Monday, August 24, 2009

Introduction to The Prince of Slides

In my everlasting search for the answer to every sports (among other topics) question imaginable, I decided to create this blog. While there are a number of very advanced sabermetric, statistical, economic, legal and fantasy sites around--Statspeak, Dataspora Blog, The Book Blog, The Hardball Times, Fantasy Ball Junkie, The Sports Economist, Sabernomics, Shysterball, Sports Labor Relations--I will try to present something different. I plan to investigate questions that are, well, a little more fun. I honestly glaze over when reading articles about park factors, replacement players, and projection system analysis. My goal here is to ask more broad questions, and try to answer them with multivariate visualizations, logical economic thinking, and even my sometimes bold, unwaivering (and likely incorrect) opinions.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite bloggers, Pizza Cutter, has recently resigned from Stat Speak. I loved his blog entries and analysis because they differed in many ways from the traditional projection systems, WAR analysis, fielding metrics, and park factors we see every single day on blogs all over the internet. My inspiration for some of the techniques used comes from Pizza Cutter; however, my breadth of knowledge and my skill as a writer fall far short and I look forward to any type of return from him in the future. I am not a 'subject matter expert' in any academic field discussed (that includes sabermetrically). However, I pride myself in my knowledge of the game of baseball from both an old-school scouting POV, as well as a progressive, statistical POV. While the latter is most objective, it can be lost without the former.

In my quest to question everything, and my inability to answer anything, I hope that readers will contribute their opinions to entries posted here. I have found discussion to be the only road to truth and I search for it through any means possible. The posts here are to, hopefully, encourage and enhance discussion. They are not to be taken as the end-all answer to a specific topic.

A LITTLE ABOUT MYSELF:

I go by Millsy on the internet and am a somewhat active commentor on a number of the blogs listed on the sidebar. I'm currenlty a PhD student in Sport Management at the University of Michigan. I have a BA in Psychology as well as an MA in Sport Management. I am focusing on linking econometric/statistical/sabermetric topics directly to management and policy in professional sport. I am also in the process of pursuing graduate degrees in Statistics and Applied Economics (with specializations in Labor Economics, Econometrics, and Industrial/Organization Economics). I played baseball in college, as a pitcher, but always thought I was a better hitter. Most likely I was wrong in that evaluation, despite not even being all that good on the mound. I'm a pretty avid fantasy baseball player, and dabble in football as well. Hopefully I'm a better writer than baseball player, and a better graduate student than undergraduate.

SIDE NOTES:

1. Because I am a grad student, posts may be somewhat sparse during non-summer months.
2. I may not get too in depth with some topics, as my work toward publishing in academic journals (maybe I'll get one soon) takes precedent over this blog. But that's good for readers, because academic publications tend to be boring and super nerdy.
3. The title of this blog stems from my favorite book, The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy. The alteration to that title (Slides) comes from my apparent involuntary reflex of always sliding in my softball games. The old men hate it.

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