June 7th, 2007



FanGraphs is my new favorite baseball website. It gives you a batter-by-batter graph of an entire game, showing the chances of each team winning before and after each at-bat. And then it assigns win shares to each person. So, for example, if you're up to bat in the home half of the 7th, with your team down by 1 and no one on base and no outs, your team probably has like a 20% chance of winning, based on all teams who were in that situation over the year. If you then single, your team probably has around a 35% chance, so you just got .15 wins for that hit, regardless of how the rest of the game goes. Winning teams always have a net total of .5 wins for a game. There's also a graph of "leverage", that is, how important any given at-bat is in terms of win shares. The stats are kind of unfair to hitters, since their shares depend so much on the situational leverage, but it's great for pitchers. I think so, at least. Some examples: Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS (Dave Roberts' steal was worth about 0.1 wins), Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS (Aaron Boone's home run was about 0.35 wins), and the Phils' crazy win last night (Rollins' homer was about 0.44 wins).

My first frisbee game in two years was last night. It was awesome. I think I've actually gotten slightly better since I last played, even though that doesn't make any sense. I'm definitely more out-of-shape, though. I'm quite sore today.

Unrelatedly, I finally made a chiro appointment. Just decided that it was time to finally pick one out of the phonebook (well, out of my insurer's list of in-network chiros) that sounded reputable based on their website or whatever, and make an appointment. So I'm going a week from Wednesday. Wish me luck.

I finally underwent the formality of requesting and receiving two weeks off in August. August Of Awesomeness v. 6.0 is therefore well on track. 8 more weeks...

Anyone have any book recommendations for me? Preferably non-fiction and tending toward sciency stuff, whether physics or pop psychology/sociology/Blink-type stuff. I also like memoir-type stuff, though for some reason I didn't like David Sedaris in particular. Fiction is okay if it's good and light and either funny or teenage-angsty (which is also funny in its own way). And I'll never pass up a great sports non-fiction book.

Facebook is well on its way to taking over the world. Just you wait and see. This application platform is more powerful than most of y'all realize.

And finally, here's an awesome link from one of y'all to a story about the lighter side of facebook; parents friending teenage children and that sort of thing.

Happy Wednesday!