Sorry for the lack of posting. This has proven to be a busy quarter and as always, I’ve not gotten as much work done as I want to. Personal/health/financial issues have taken their toll. But it’s not all bad news. I had a great interview on Monday with a statistician who does work for a Major League Team and I have an interview tomorrow with an actual front office person at an MLB team. I’ve also made a few more connections about how the professionalization process of the sabermetrician ties into the way institutions incorporate new forms of knowledge. In any case I promise to write more next week after this interviews. I’m almost done with these things thank god.
One more thing actually, someone I interviewed last year contacted me to see how the research was going. Here is the text of the email that I sent him. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t have much to report. The interviewing process is frustrating as always, but I shall persevere. I’m actually in Texas right now, visiting my mom for mother’s day, but I thought I would post a link to an essay that I wrote on my personal blog. I wrote a brief piece giving my two cents on the recent appearance of HG Bissinger, Will Lietch, and Braylon Edwards on Costas Now. I do think it is very related to what I’m doing here, in the fact that I think the same spirit of discontent with the institution has found itself both in blogs and the sabemetric movement. In other words, blogs and sabermetrics in its current form are both a reaction to something. And that something is a failure by an institution to provide the people who interact with the consumer with something that is useful for them. In any case, I’ll be back next week with a better progress report, but I figured I spent a great deal of time working on the essay so that should count for something.
OK, so it’s been a while. But I promise, I’ve been busy with other things, among them, getting rejected for funding for next year. i applied for a research fellowship with one of the research projects here at UCSB and they turned me down, despite me being excessively qualified for it. I’d get into it some more, but I don’t necessarily want to air my dirty laundry here. Just know that I got screwed.
The main reason I write this is because as part of the dissertation, I need to maintain funding for school, and I have found that to be somewhat difficult. Part of it is my topic, which doesn’t fit under the kinds of research that is usually funded. I understand that my work is not going to benefit any kind of social causes, but it’s still frustrating that generally speaking, people don’t think my research is worth supporting. I have a couple of more options for next year, so hopefully one of those things will come through, but if they don’t…well, I’d prefer not to think about it.
On the positive side, I have had a few more great interviews, including one with Alan Schwarz, the NYT baseball writer and the author of the book, The Numbers Game, which I have referenced many times here on this blog, and which I am also using very liberally as a reference source for my work. Alan was nice enough to waive the confidentiality of the interview, so that’s why I’m referencing his interview by name. Read the rest of this entry »
But these are legitimate ones, I swear. I just realized that I forgot to mention that last week was Spring Break for UCSB, which is why I didn’t write a post. I’m still caught up in fellowship application hell, but after tomorrow I should be in the clear. I’d write some more now, but today is my birthday, so I’m going to go ahead and postpone my commentary on Bill James’ appearance on 60 minutes last night. I’ve got some presents to open, and I think that’s going to involve me not working on my dissertation. But if you haven’t seen the interview yet, go ahead and watch it, so that we can discuss is later this week.
I don’t have any real progress work wise to report to you. Like last week, I’ve been busy mostly with fellowship applications and what not. I am also running into the familiar problem of not getting any responses to my interview requests. As usual, I keep sending off missives into cyberspace I’m starting to get a little worried, especially with the writers because I think they’re going to be key in my analysis.
In any case, I’ve been organizing some of my thoughts and looking through the transcripts and reading, and I’ve come up with somewhat of an issue concerning Bill James. For those of you who don’t know, Bill James probably one of the most important people in the history of sabermetrics. He is generally credited with popularizing sabermetrics with the publications of his baseball abstracts. His name comes up more than any other name both in my reading and in my interviews. This, in and of itself, is not surprising. And I’m sure I could write a lot about how Bill james has influenced sabermetrics through the tone of his writing as he did through his actual research matter.
The issue that I’m struggling about is how to write about an individual in the context of a sociological research project. Like I said, clearly, he is an important figure…actually the important figure in sabermetrics, Read the rest of this entry »