Saturday, May 15, 2010

Welcome to Beyond the Upper Deck!

I've always loved baseball - especially the Cincinnati Reds - and I've really gotten into the excellent work being done with sabermetrics. I'm a fairly smart guy, so I thought I might see how I could share what I'm learning and maybe entertain some people along the way. Before I get started, let me give you a little background.

First off, my first readers are likely to be friends of mine who are fans of baseball but may not even be aware of what sabermetrics means. I don't know if there is some official definition out there, but sabermetrics is basically a field of study that uses advanced statistics to study the game of baseball. I don't really understand how a lot of these statistics are derived, but I get the basic idea behind what they mean and I'll try to explain things so that you do too. My interest in sabermetrics began my senior year in high school. In Research Practicum, I tried to come up with a formula to predict MVP winners based on statistical data available from the 1950s. Along the way, I researched some work that was done by Bill James, among others, and was introduced to a field that has intrigued me ever since. Nowadays, I regularly follow blogs like and Rob Neyer's SweetSpot blog for ESPN. I'd like to think that as you read, you'll come to understand and appreciate these and other resources too.

Should this venture be successful, I may end up picking up some sabermetrically inclined readers who don't know me, and they may wonder who I am. I'm just a fan. I have no contacts in the baseball world. I don't subscribe to, and I don't even have cable television, so just about the only baseball I see these days is at my son's tee ball games. Still, I love the game and follow it daily - often on my or iPod as the games are happening. I appreciate the little things in the game, but I don't know the first thing about scouting players or anything like that. I'm very analytical though, and I see that as my avenue to contribute here. For me, this is simply a means to relax and unwind from my stressful, but successful, day job.

As I'm new to this whole blogging concept, I'm sure I've got a lot to learn. Constructive criticism is always welcome and appreciated. The more intelligent and insightful the readers are, the better I'll be too. I hope you'll find the blog enjoyable, and I hope you'll keep coming back for more! Thanks for reading.

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