A nice day in Menlo Park, and I’ve got myself a new iPhone on the Verizon network and a new haircut. Seems like it’s “go” time. I’m ready for a busy March that will see me visit the ultra-nerdy Sloan Sports Analytics conference at MIT and spring training in Arizona (come along and hang out with FanGraphs authors!). I’ll also have to delegate for my fratority, which is having a convention a couple blocks down the street at my old school.
About the phone, I’m happy to be away from AT&T, finally. I like the heft and feel of the iPhone 4 too. It looks so nice I feel stupid putting a case on it. Maybe I shouldn’t cage it in. Let it roam free! Except it’s expensive and I want to protect it. Stupid nice things.
On to the links.
I had some MORE fun with heat maps on FanGraphs, taking a look at Jonathan Sanchez, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. It’s a great tool, but there are some pitfalls that are worth pointing out. In a similar vein, Josh Smolow (garik16) went on Beyond the Box Score to warn about some pitch f/x mistakes that can be made because of different equipment calibrations at different parks. Of course, his is much more technicable and stuff.
The big piece of the day was my email interview with noted baseball scribe Murray Chass. Chass is famous for denigrating blogs and sabremetrics, so it was very nice of him to talk to a sabremetric blogger. Heard some complaints today that the questions were softballs, but the series is a softball series in which I ask media members how they got to where they are and for their advice for younger writers. Despite not asking him any controversial questions, Chass represented himself as he would and gave some classic answers. His personality comes through pretty strongly. I’ve invited him to talk more on the phone about more controversial statements about the landscape of journalism currently, and the phone still is the best medium for those kinds of interviews. This kind of getting-to-know-you interview, however, still works in email I think.
At RotoGraphs, I ask for input on RotoGraphs coverage. Let us know what YOU want.
Baseball poetry contest with a great prize, a signed copy of Jonah Keri’s new book, The Extra 2%. Try it!
Mark Buehrle said that he was rooting for Michael Vick to sprain his ankle. Then his quote was scrubbed from MLB.com. Then Rob Neyer chimed in with a reasonable response.
Some really great lines in this short piece about Jeff Francoeur on Royals Review. Zingers! “Full Francoeur” for the win.
Matthew Yglesias has some nice visuals to back up the economic research into the growing income inequality in America. Sad state.
Buddy Niv went up to Russian River to drink some Pliny the Younger. Not only do I want to do this next year, I also want to possibly recreate the travels of Dusty Rhodes because the pictures are hilarious.