Baseball

The great baseball stories and the insights one gets from careful attention to the game are, in my opinion, almost completely obscured in the media by bromides about overcoming adversity, the greatness of the past, and emotionally stunted father-son relationships. Below are a few of my attempts at articulating what I find interesting and beautiful in baseball.

Game of Chance Podcast (2010-11, 20 episodes)

A collection of ten-minute episodes about baseball statistics, history, and culture. I cover a wide range of topics, with a preference for those which are not typically covered in sports journalism, including psychology and emotionality in sports, and what statistical analysis can teach us about the world in general.

For example, it is possible to statistically determine which baseball skills (eg: throwing accurately, hitting home runs, striking out) are actually skills, and which are so highly influenced by luck that, at the professional level, nobody can really be said to be much better at them than anyone else. If we could collect enough data about the mundane events of our lives we could determine whether any of us has an actual ability to, say, win at blackjack, make friends, or turn a startup into a sustainable business, and or whether these things are largely due to luck.

For a sample, check out the "Tough Guys" episode.

Reisner Scorekeeping (2001-present)

A new method of baseball scorekeeping which differs significantly from the traditional method as well as the Project Scoresheet method, which had been the only well known significant departure from traditional scorekeeping in about 100 years. The system has been adopted by coaches, official scorekeepers, and enthusiastic little league parents, with hundreds of scorebooks and digital downloads sold. Learn more at the official website and Wikipedia.

Praise for Reisner Scorekeeping:

"The system [is] brilliantly simple and yet precise and complete."
— Preston Lord, West Linn, Oregon

"It's ideal for what Minor League baseball requires us to do as official scorers and other elements that we need to have in the press box. I would recommend your scorebook to anyone."
— David L. Baker, Official Scorer, State College Spikes (A), Assistant Athletic Director, Penn State U

"[Reisner Scorekeeping] is so much easier to use, and it makes it so much easier to re-create events, that I have a really difficult time using a traditional scorebook now."
— Richard Wells, St. Louis Park, Minnesota

"I have had the most fun with this scoring - I never thought I could do it but this made a lot of sense so I started and now I am sort of obsessed."
— Cynthia LaPier, Bronx, New York

"I will never go back to the traditional scorebook. I had a hard time convincing my scorekeeper to try it, but after one or two games he was hooked also. This scorebook should replace ALL OTHER scorebooks!"
— Cuddy Wolf, Baytown River Bandits (semi-pro team)

"It's a great book. Thanks for putting it out there."
— Jim Warnock, Former STATS, Inc scorer

Short Articles and Studies