Sabernomics in the WSJ

Thanks to Matt Phillips for his flattering write-up of Sabernomics in his May 15 Blog Watch column in The Wall Street Journal (RR).

University of the South economics professor — and Atlanta Braves partisan — John Charles Bradbury’s Sabernomics blog offers a good glimpse into “sabermetrics,” the mathematical and statistical analysis of baseball.

Mr. Bradbury posts items on sports, business and economics. But the site also includes links to fascinating, if wonky, studies on baseball. For instance, did you know that from the 1970s to the early 1990s, the rate of batters hit by pitches was almost 20% higher on average in the American League than in the National League? Interestingly, the higher plunking rate coincides with the introduction of the designated hitter in the American League — leading some to theorize that pitchers are more likely to throw at batters when the pitchers don’t have to bat themselves and face possible retaliation.

Other studies dive into the numbers to help determine how a beer-guzzling, hot-dog-gobbling slugger like Babe Ruth might have fared in today’s game, or to figure out whether there is a rational basis for the conventional baseball wisdom that bars lefthanders from a spot behind the plate as catcher.

Thanks to John McA and Uncle Andy for pointing this out to me.

2 Responses “Sabernomics in the WSJ”

  1. gondeee says:

    Congrats JC! But I can’t figure out of ‘wonky’ is a compliment or not.

  2. Rich Lederer says:

    Congrats, JC. That’s a nice honor.