Enhanced Gameday? Enjoy it while you can? Or do you enjoy it?
by Bob Timmermann
While I've never been fond of the "Enhanced Gameday" from MLB.com, it's clear that some people are crazy about it.
In the New York Times "Keeping Score" column, Dan Rosenheck describes how some researchers and scouts are poring over the data, presumably using computers that have a lot more RAM and processing power than mine.
Some work has also been done on identifying batters’ tendencies: Iván Rodríguez swings at nearly 60 percent of pitches thrown to him out of the strike zone, and Juan Pierre makes contact with 92 percent of the balls out of the zone he swings at, for example.
“Will chase curveballs low and away” will become “swung and missed at 73 percent of pitches thrown under 83 m.p.h. with a vertical break of at least 12 inches on two-strike counts on the outer third of the plate.”
“Slider lacks bite” could be replaced by “slider begins to break 30 feet from home plate.”
The possibilities for use of the data are virtually endless — assuming, of course, that it remains publicly available. Although no changes are expected while the system is in development, Schwartz would not guarantee that it would always be accessible for free to the public, saying that “upper management” would eventually decide whether to charge for the information. While there is little doubt that the 30 major league teams can have the data if they want it, the broader statistically minded fan base — and the army of independent researchers included in it — may be shut out.
Shut out? But what would happen to my pFX jokes? Those were comedy gold!
There's is no truth to the rumor that MLB.com is attempting to tell people more quickly what actually happened in the game.