## 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

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Freedom 35
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 4:10 pm UTC

### Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

RogerB wrote:What was Wenger thinking sending Walcott on that early?

The thing about Arsenal is they always try and walk it in.

sonar1313
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

### Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

thunk wrote:On-base plus slugging is the sum of on-base percentage (proportion of at-bats at which a given player reaches a base) and slugging average (batting average weighted by the number of bases reached). It was one of the first sabermetric statistics, and 'widely considered to be the best all-around measure of a batter's performance' (according to tvtropes at least), but has nowadays often been supplanted by more advanced statistics.

Oh goody. Being far more of a sports nut than a physics/computer science nut, I never get the chance to be really pedantic about XKCD comics and their discussions. My time has now come. ( and all that.)

On-base percentage is the proportion of plate appearances (rather than at-bats) at which the player reaches base, because players are not credited with at-bats when they walk, are hit by a pitch, or hit a sacrifice fly (or sac bunt.) All those things are generally considered good, and add to a player's value, but are not counted in batting average, which is really part of the very root of sabermetrics in the first place - the notion that batting average was considered the gold standard for evaluation but was horrendously imprecise and too attached to luck.

Your definition of slugging average is technically correct, but a bit more confusing than it needs to be. Slugging average is more usually defined as total bases divided by at-bats. Total bases are the number of bases reached on a single hit. Player hits a triple, he gets one hit but three total bases.

Silhalnor wrote:
orthogon wrote:It is trickier to parse than "the gostak distims the doshes", but I'll have a go.
...
I'd be amused to know how hilariously far out my interpretation is.

That was pretty fun to read! Now I want a blog of random analyses like this by someone ignorant of the subject matter with companion analyses of why they got these things wrong and those things right.

And apologies to anyone who may have been bothered by my use of "base-ball." I just felt like exaggerating my already deep ignorance to levels heretofore unheard of.

Just to confuse you: these days, "baseball" and "base-ball" (or "base ball") mean two different things. The latter two are old ways of spelling baseball, much more common before about 1910 or so, and so now refer to the hobby of playing baseball the way it was played in the mid-to-late 19th century. (Like men once did.) Most noticeably this means without the big webbed gloves of today, and with a squishy dead ball that can't possibly be blasted 450 feet like the tightly-wrapped, cork-centered ones of modern times. And with awesome baggy, wool uniforms.

Old Bruce
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:27 pm UTC

### Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

RogerB wrote:
Freedom 35 wrote:Did you see that ludicrous display last night?

What was Wenger thinking sending Walcott on that early?

My only regret is thatisn't a real website.

Ah, but the time of death site is still up http://www.howlonghaveyougot.com

thunk
Posts: 480
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:29 am UTC
Location: Arguably Exiled

### Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

sonar1313 wrote:
thunk wrote:On-base plus slugging is the sum of on-base percentage (proportion of at-bats at which a given player reaches a base) and slugging average (batting average weighted by the number of bases reached). It was one of the first sabermetric statistics, and 'widely considered to be the best all-around measure of a batter's performance' (according to tvtropes at least), but has nowadays often been supplanted by more advanced statistics.

Oh goody. Being far more of a sports nut than a physics/computer science nut, I never get the chance to be really pedantic about XKCD comics and their discussions. My time has now come. ( and all that.)

On-base percentage is the proportion of plate appearances (rather than at-bats) at which the player reaches base, because players are not credited with at-bats when they walk, are hit by a pitch, or hit a sacrifice fly (or sac bunt.) All those things are generally considered good, and add to a player's value, but are not counted in batting average, which is really part of the very root of sabermetrics in the first place - the notion that batting average was considered the gold standard for evaluation but was horrendously imprecise and too attached to luck.

Your definition of slugging average is technically correct, but a bit more confusing than it needs to be. Slugging average is more usually defined as total bases divided by at-bats. Total bases are the number of bases reached on a single hit. Player hits a triple, he gets one hit but three total bases.

Thank you, I now know a few more things than the average Cueball.
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sonar1313
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:29 am UTC

### Re: 1859: "Sports Knowledge"

thunk wrote:
sonar1313 wrote:
thunk wrote:On-base plus slugging is the sum of on-base percentage (proportion of at-bats at which a given player reaches a base) and slugging average (batting average weighted by the number of bases reached). It was one of the first sabermetric statistics, and 'widely considered to be the best all-around measure of a batter's performance' (according to tvtropes at least), but has nowadays often been supplanted by more advanced statistics.

Oh goody. Being far more of a sports nut than a physics/computer science nut, I never get the chance to be really pedantic about XKCD comics and their discussions. My time has now come. ( and all that.)

On-base percentage is the proportion of plate appearances (rather than at-bats) at which the player reaches base, because players are not credited with at-bats when they walk, are hit by a pitch, or hit a sacrifice fly (or sac bunt.) All those things are generally considered good, and add to a player's value, but are not counted in batting average, which is really part of the very root of sabermetrics in the first place - the notion that batting average was considered the gold standard for evaluation but was horrendously imprecise and too attached to luck.

Your definition of slugging average is technically correct, but a bit more confusing than it needs to be. Slugging average is more usually defined as total bases divided by at-bats. Total bases are the number of bases reached on a single hit. Player hits a triple, he gets one hit but three total bases.

Thank you, I now know a few more things than the average Cueball.

To be honest, I'm surprised the average Cueball/Randall hasn't yet discovered the world of sabermetrics, since it's such a massive collision of the worlds of math geeks and sports. Baseball is such a "digital" sport (comprised of sequences of discrete events, vs. a highly "analog" sport like soccer) that it lends itself incredibly well to the Nth degree of statistical analysis. I wouldn't have batted an eye (and the joke might work much better) if Cueball had been talking about Mike Trout's BABIP and wRC+ and oWAR instead of OPS, presenting himself as being completely into all the math-nerd stuff because he's a math-nerd, and totally forgetting the so-called basics.