Monthly Archives: January 2008

John Burnson and I talk about the Graphical Player

John Burnson's Graphical Player

Take a listen.

If you’re not familiar with John Burnson’s Graphical Player, you really don’t know what you’re missing. If you make the mistake of flipping through it and saying “I don’t get it!” then you really should rethink your approach to books.

Don’t feel bad — as until you learn how to read the graphs, it seems like a lot of work. But as Burnson says in the intro to the book, “if you can follow the course of a fly ball, you can follow this book.” He’s spot on with that —

Now in it’s 5th edition, the premise of the book is to use the right half of the brain to show a graphical representation of what statistics show the left brain. The result is a faster way to process historical trends and see just what a player has been up to – and whether or not it’s in line with past years or leans to the fluke side.

Burnson also contributes some great analysis of team’s minor league systems, major league ballparks, and a white glove/black glove analysis of defense that provides a snapshot size look at where teams’ strengths and weaknesses are in the field.

For the fantasy player or avid baseball fan, give a strong look at Graphical Player and find a spot for it on your reference shelf. I think you’ll be glad you did.

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My chat with Ron Shandler about the Baseball Forecaster

Ron Shandler's 2008 Baseball Forecaster

Take a listen to my recent interview with Ron Shandler as we talk about the 2008 edition of his Baseball Forecaster.

The book is a great tool for those involved with fantasy baseball, as well as an excellent resource for those who are really into baseball numbers, stats and projections. We talk about the issue of noise in gathering accurate information about players, as well as numerous other topics, including what happens when Ron has to write an unfavorable projection about his favorite players.

While the book is made up of statistics and projections that will have to wait until the end of the season to be judged, there are some great articles in the book that will open your eyes to the fog makes projecting performance difficult.

The piece on “noise” is worth the price of admission — as is the section on injuries. Both bring to the light the many factors that go into the injury problem, affectionately referred to by Shandler as “the bane of our existance.” I won’t give the goodies away – but it will make you think about things differently when you read the sports section the next morning.

As a non-fantasy leaguer, I got a ton out of this book, and it will occupy a prominent piece of real estate on my shelf this season. I think you’ll find that if you pick up a copy, it’ll do the same.
Be sure to post your comments about the 2008 Edition of Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster.

Thanks to Mariners Radio for hosting the stream.

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