Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: AdamKilgoreWP and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Sports and Redskins  |  RSS

Box Scores: What Do You Think?

I'd like to get your thoughts on something.

Our baseball boxes in the print edition are changing width, which means we are going to have to take some things out.

Let me stop right here and say this does NOT affect the Nats boxes, which will run on the opposite page and should include everything (we'll have to test them, but that's the intent).

Anyway, AP has decided to remove strikeouts and add OPS. Meantime, we have to take out one category, and it's down to walks or OPS.

My inclination is to take out walks, with strikeouts already gone, but what do you think?

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 27, 2009; 1:53 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Roster Puzzle's Final Pieces
Next: Hernandez Thinks He'll Be Ready By Opening Day

Comments

I like to know what has happened in that particular game so I am more interested in BBs and Ks than OPS.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | March 27, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Replace all boxscores with restaurant reviews, Chico.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | March 27, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I second GGG.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 27, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Agree 100%... the focus of a box score should be to tell you what happened in a specific game. If you want up to date statistics for players, that can be obtained from other sources other then the box score.

Box scores are the story of a single game, not the story of a season or a career.

Posted by: rumbly45 | March 27, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I third the walks. And would motion for K's if there is any way...

Posted by: BangZoom | March 27, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

This is very interesting, thanks. (The SO ship has sailed, unfortunately ...)

Posted by: traceeh | March 27, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Steveo11:

Your points are good about trading leverage, but have nothing to do with how many games he pitches for the Nats. That's why the question, "would you rather have 1 1/2 months now or 1 year later" is a false choice. You can have both. The question of sending him down for a couple of months only has to do with how much money you'll need to pay him to do it. That's the point I was making.

In fact, if they sign him to a long term deal, you could argue that by keeping him in the majors now, they are trading 1 year of a contract to a broken down 33 year old for 1 1/2 months of a fresh 22 year old. I would also add that given the way salaries are expected to decline in the short term and increase probably in the long term, getting a guy to free agency sooner rather than later may not be a bad thing.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 27, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Walks for me too.

Posted by: OldDude | March 27, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Put me in the "keep the BB" camp.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 27, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't think strikeouts will be available, since the Post will probably be directly showing what the AP reports (Tracee mentioned that the AP would be taking out the SO's).

Looks like it's down to OPS or BB, I'd like to see walks, as opposed to a season-to-date average, such as OPS.

Posted by: -CN- | March 27, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I go with BBs and Ks. As others have said it is more important to look at a box score and see what happened during an individual game. OPS etc don't tell you what happened during the game and are pretty meaningless.

Posted by: brothbart | March 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Me too - keep walks.

Posted by: PattyinSJ | March 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Please keep walks in the box score. Very useful indeed for reconstructing what happened in a game that the reader didn't get to watch. OPS is a cumulative season statistic and can be looked up along with the rest of that player's overall statistics, but box scores are for numerically representing what happened in a particular game.

Posted by: funafuti | March 27, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Gotta keep walks. You need to be able to connect the dots when the number of AB is lower than PA.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | March 27, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Agreed on walks! I often look first at hits and then at walks, especially for someone like Nick Johnson. Gives a fuller picture of their contribution during the game.

Posted by: JennX_ | March 27, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Keep the walks. The box score lets me know how the player is doing on a day-to-day basis. Knowing whether the player reached base by BB is an important part of that.

Posted by: Bob_L | March 27, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I realize that the strike outs column has missed the cut, but I'd still like to revisit it; if something like batting avg is in there, drop it along with OPS, and leave both SO and BB for the game coverage. There will still be (I trust) weekly cumulative stats.

Posted by: angusgoodson | March 27, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I'd vote BB's (and K's) as well, but I don't think I'm a qualified voting member being outside the realm fo deadtree delivery.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 27, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"Steveo11:

Your points are good about trading leverage, but have nothing to do with how many games he pitches for the Nats. That's why the question, "would you rather have 1 1/2 months now or 1 year later" is a false choice. You can have both. The question of sending him down for a couple of months only has to do with how much money you'll need to pay him to do it. That's the point I was making.

In fact, if they sign him to a long term deal, you could argue that by keeping him in the majors now, they are trading 1 year of a contract to a broken down 33 year old for 1 1/2 months of a fresh 22 year old. I would also add that given the way salaries are expected to decline in the short term and increase probably in the long term, getting a guy to free agency sooner rather than later may not be a bad thing.

#4"
#4 my point was across the board you increase the value to the team by perserving that extra FA year. Not only in trades but in leverage in negotiations as well. This is esp. true for pitchers b/c you are less likely to sign them for as many years as say a position player. For a posistion player you see a lot of 6-7 year deals for star players with options that lock up between that 7-9 year...thats what Longoria, Markakis, Tulo, Braun and Pedroia all signed for. Pitchers on the other hand due to injury you try not guaranteed years. Grienke signed for only four years (2 FA years) and Lester signed for 5 years (1 FA year and one option year). So the point with adding more leverage that when you resign him you are only gonna buy out an extra FA year or two. Maybe have options covering an extra couple of years but maybe not. So if you are gonna extend him for best case senario 5 years, his 3 Arb. years and his first two FA years (lets say you have an option for a 6th year also). You can do that three years from now after the 2011 season or send him down for 2 months and extend him the exact same deal (adjusted for inflation but not a huge amount) after the 2012 year. So you are still getting an extra year out of Zimmermann.

While you are right that buying out those FA years in 2012 will be more expensive than 2011 (though this current recession showed that its not always the case). It would still be less expensive than the difference in that extra year that you gain by sending him down. Esp. considering that year is at the minimum.

Posted by: Steveo11 | March 27, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Walks, as much as we all hate them. Where is I Hate Walks these days?

Also, "It's because Nick's healthy, genius.

"Posted by: Brue | March 27, 2009 2:12 PM "

Is amusing, because not only does it prove Brue a naive fool, but an illiterate one as now, since I was responding to people who were responding to the question of what to do if Nick went down.

Way to go buddy, keep adding things to the discussion! Man-ny would be proud.

Posted by: Section506 | March 27, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Note to self and for the benefit of others: don't call someone illiterate in the same clause as a typo.

Posted by: Section506 | March 27, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

OPS is pretty useless when you're talking about one game.

Posted by: dclifer | March 27, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

A box score is the account of a single game; in that setting walks and strikeouts are much more germane than a season-long stat like OPS.

Posted by: greggwiggins | March 27, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Since we're on the topic of content, Tracee. Considering the recent roster discussions, a link or Post-generated content containing the Nats current 40-man and active rosters would be a welcomed addition. Dare I say, maybe in the left-hand column with the other links. It's true this can be found elsewhere, MLB.com tracks the rosters, ESPN offers a "depth chart", but it would be nice to have the info here.

Or, maybe go beyond their coverage. Listing where players are in the sping camps, etc. Just a thought.

Posted by: dclifer | March 27, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Tracee - I think the OPS line is a nod to the creeping influence of fantasy baseball, as is the running total of RBIs in the box score. Mind you, I'm "play" fantasy baseball, but my cardinal rule is never let fantasy interfere with reality. Keep the box score real and have more game-specific information. I can score my own team on my league website.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 27, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Who needs OPS in a box score? Unless you're replacing BA with it, deciding it's a better stat. It certainly doesn't add info about the game -- which is what the box score is supposed to do. Fantasy managers can click online to find a player's OPS, if they care.

I don't understand what the AP is thinking, but please don't fall into the same trap.

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what you do. You're a bunch of sorry SOBs and I hate everything you say and do. And you're stupid too.

(I love anonymity)

Posted by: NatsNutsOtherMoniker | March 27, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you could condense book reviews and put them in the box score spaces?

Better yet: leave the box scores alone.

Posted by: EdDC | March 27, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

You can get a good sense of walks by comparing batting average with OBP. Cut walks, save OPS.

Posted by: wblake04 | March 27, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

For what it's worth for Tracee's feedback, I don't ever read the Post's box scores (hard or soft copy) for just this reason, they have limited info. I much prefer to get my box score at ESPN which has more data plus links to the player. I come to the Post for the stories which is the best part, you can get stats/box scores anywhere these days.

Although if the Post's website could give box scores and stats that rivaled say ESPN then I'd be all for that.

Posted by: Avar | March 27, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Like lowcountry, I do not live within the subscription area, so my input shouldn't hold as much water as those who can buy the dead tree edition.

That being said, go with walks. I definitely understand why you would lean towards axing them in light of strikeouts being culled, but it just makes more sense than OPS, which is a season stat.

Am I the only one who thinks it looks like the box score is catering to fantasy players?

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 27, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...from an SI article:

The Reds, of course, are nowhere near that level of success, but if there's been a silver lining to their status as a doormat, says Harang, it's that, "You learn from your losses, you don't learn from winning."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/ted_keith/03/27/reds.rotation/index.html

Posted by: dclifer | March 27, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

And reading up on the comments, it looks like I'm not the only one who noticed the fantasy influence.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 27, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

If you already show OBP & SLG, then drop OPS.

Posted by: VelocityAtrocity | March 27, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Avar. I don't come to the Post for box scores.

Posted by: Juan-John | March 27, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

See . . . I told you so.
________________
I don't care what you do. You're a bunch of sorry SOBs and I hate everything you say and do. And you're stupid too.

(I love anonymity)

Posted by: NatsNutsOtherMoniker | March 27, 2009 3:10 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | March 27, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I vote for wOBA.

Posted by: sbiel2 | March 27, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. We need more wOBA. I love calculating the linear weight values of batting events in my head, then scaling them, just like Dad taught me.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | March 27, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

On the Zimmerann / Martis rotation topic - It's probably a moot point, but I'll not be mute about it. My preference would be to have both start in AAA and have managed inning loads for two months before a call up. I care a lot less about the arbitration start date.

If Zimmermann pitches more than 160 innings this year, then there is more of a basis for saying the ownership is just in it for a short term buck than there is with any of the contracts or stadium rent discussions we've had in the past. This guy is a long term asset. To burn him out to please the no patience crowd would be a travesty.

Having said that 150 - 160 should be his innings target, you could go several ways:

1) the MLB express route, let get about 25 - 28 starts or so, and shut him down around August 1;

2) the managed MLB innings load route, start him either in the bullpen or only let him go 4 innings every start for the first 10 starts to keep his load down; or

3) burn about 40 innings of his 160 in the minors, doing the same sort of short starts for a while and stretch him before his call up around 6/1.

I'm a big fan of the latter. It places less load on the bullpen than option #2. If he is going to be unavailable for 1.5 to 2 months, I'd rather have that early than late in the year. That option #3 also makes the most sense financially is an additional benefit but not the driver.

Martis has gone more innings in the past (not last year), so it is a bit less critical to limit his innings. But, if I had my druthers, he'd be down to for April and not allowed to go more than 170 innings.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 27, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Definitely keep the walks. You balance a box score by the hits, errors, walks, hit batsmen and that ever occasional catcher's interference. With a complete boxscore, theoretically, with a little guesswork, you can reconstruct exactly how the game went player by player. Of course, the need for this is an anachronism by now, but it still gives you more of a feel for what happened if you keep the walks listed. In that vein, strikeouts are less important, although not less interesting (I used to follow Adam Dunn by checking that column as much as home runs.)

Posted by: jonb5 | March 27, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Keep the walks please.

Posted by: razorkid | March 27, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

There are so many other online sources for complete box scores I don't need the fish wrap to supply it. By the way when is the Post going to down size it's paper size like the Sun? Just another nail in the coffin as the news information world transforms itself.

Posted by: ecmdfan | March 27, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Avar and Juan-John: why put box scores in the paper?

Fill the space now occupied with box scores that I can get on every single sports web site out there with something interesting that I *can't* get on every single sports web site out there. If you do that I'm more likely to read my dead tree edition versus it going directly into the recycling bin, and perhaps along the ways see some interesting ads for things I need to go buy hopefully spurring more ad sales for WaPo.

Posted by: sniz15 | March 27, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

section509 wants VORP in the box score.

As for me, I don't come here for box scores either. (Sorry Tracee)

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I meant section 506. that sure takes the air out of an already stupid joke now doesn't it?

Posted by: NatsNut | March 27, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

OPS is about as cutting-edge as Vanilla Ice. Keep BB's

Posted by: Wooden_U_Lykteneau | March 27, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Here's my question? At what point do the Nats quit protecting their pitcher's arms? When can we expect JZimm, Martis, etc. to throw 200-220 innings, if capable? Doc Gooden threw 276 IP at age 20. Greg Maddux threw 249 IP at age 22. Tom Glavine threw 195 IP at age 22. All these guys had long careers. Has the game changed that much? If not, then we need to seriously evaluate how we are developing pitchers in this country.

Lastly, Steveo, the only thing that you don't assign value to in your summary is the three months of work in the big leagues that he'd get this year. Does that have ANY value to the team? If he's their best pitcher right now, presumably that would help, yes? While one must plan ahead, there is something empty about always living for the future.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 27, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for all the comments; you've been very helpful, as usual. I know you all are not (all) print edition readers but you ARE dedicated baseball readers and that's the viewpoint I was looking for. Again, thanks.

Posted by: traceeh | March 27, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry - pitchers' arms.

#4

Posted by: db423 | March 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Box scores are great bathroom reading...

Posted by: fischy | March 27, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Keep BBs. I agree that the usefulness in a box score is its compact account of a single game.

Not that you asked, Tracee, but since it has come up in the comments: I *need* box scores in my daily paper. Does the Post run game summaries? I live in Chicago now, after being in Washington for 22 years. The Chicago papers don't run summaries on all the previous days games so I need box scores to find out what happened around the league. Even with the summaries, the box scores are still useful. You develop a familiarity with the rest of the league and players you can't see regularly by recognizing their names in print (at least I do). It really helps to know when, say, the Astros come to town who's been hot lately. And w/out box scores I really don't know.

Posted by: mrm0to | March 27, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Keep walks for box scores (because they help to tell the story of that individual game). If you really want to change something for the better, get rid of BA in favor OBP or OPS (if they aren't already included).

Posted by: Offense-offensive | March 27, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

An introductory sentence that makes the entire entry a Post of the Day candidate.

Option A could theoretically work if they sign Strasburg. But that's far from a given, so it wouldn't make sense to formulate a strategy around that possibility.

I like plan C as well, but it would require another starter to take his place. Balester could step in, but he's been struggling this spring. Bergmann hasn't gotten enough innings this spring. Who would take Cheese's slot in the rotation?

-----

On the Zimmerann / Martis rotation topic - It's probably a moot point, but I'll not be mute about it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 27, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

How interesting. I would definitely say keep walks, but I did not think there would be such widespread agreement.

I haven't seen this much agreement since the JayBeee-Only Forum hosted its "Is Lastings Milledge a Good Ballplayer?" panel discussion. Rimshot!

Posted by: HenryStin | March 27, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

NatsNut, you got my hopes up. "Somebody else loves VORP!!"

Posted by: Section506 | March 27, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see BB, but also Ks, since we just signed Adam Dunn. In general, though, I find it better for describing individual games.

The Post, like all papers, is bleeding soy-based ink like crazy.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | March 27, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

JiM - I think my typo on the man with too many ms and ns disqualifies that sentence for PotD.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | March 27, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

That's why I call him Cheese.

New post!

-----

JiM - I think my typo on the man with too many ms and ns disqualifies that sentence for PotD.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 27, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

get rid of OPS

Posted by: NATSFAN10 | March 27, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Keep walks, not OPS. It's tradition man!

Posted by: ThinkingOne | March 27, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

h/t Section506 ... I'm mostly lurking these days. I have a hard time participating in the comments with the "restaurant review" crowd behaving like 12 year olds (although BobL had a little poem the other day that took me back).

My vote would be to KEEP THE WALKS and KEEP THE STRIKEOUTS and lose the on-base plus slugging and batting average stats.

I know, this has been said before. just ... +1

I know, "the SO ship has sailed." Still. That's my opinion and you asked.

The ratio of BB/K is, to me (a simpleton), a very handy way of measuring how a pitcher faired in a particular outing at the most basic level of what he is supposed to do. Did he get people out, or give away bases?

Thanks for listening.

Posted by: ihatewalks | March 27, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Box score describes a game - so keep walks, and Ks if possible. Drop seasonal numbers if you have to drop something. I'd actually prefer OPS to average if you're going to keep one cumulative stat.
Geezer

Posted by: utec | March 27, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

You called it, lowcountry.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 27, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Agree with the majority, take out OPS and keep walks

Posted by: TheRoss-Man | March 27, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I love OPS, but you have to keep walks. Box scores must identify all non-outs to be useful. Strikeouts are just one flavor of outs and shouldn't be included. Glad we're rid of them. If you ever have more room, OPS would be much more enlightening that Strikeouts.

Posted by: dm-kensington | March 27, 2009 9:30 PM | Report abuse

This is probably a moot point since the AP is taking out SO already, but I think you should take out Batting Average and replace that with OPS. I'd prefer see both BB and K's and no season-long average if we have to make these choices. Ideally, we keep them all, but I guess there's no space for that. But put me in the Walks column too. I agree with early posts that the boxscore should tell the story of the game, leaderboards or other sources can tell the story of the season.

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | March 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company