Archive for the ‘Alan Schwarz’ Category
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 »
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 »
Two pieces, one in the NYT Magazine in their annual sports issue, and one in the “First Person” Column in the today’s LA Times, center around two Sabermetric related items, Baseball Sims, which I wrote about in a previous post, and Retrosheet. The links are to the articles on the newspapers’ websites, but if over time the links become outdated you can read the NYT article here and the LA Times article here.
The articles present two views of Sabermetrics that are different, yet united by a common thread, that I think are relevant to my work. The NYT piece, written by well known writer, Neal Pollack, revolves around Pollack’s involvement in a Baseball Sim league. Meant to be a humorous piece, the first sentence really sets the tone.
Let me first say that my latest cattle call for interview subjects has been an overwhelming success, which I will write about later. One of the people who responded directed me to the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective website. Per the website:
This existence of this organization has many implications for my research and I thought that I’d just ruminate about them here.
Sorry that it’s been so long. Again, this blog is supposed to keep me motivated and were it not for this, I might not have gotten back to my work for another three weeks so it’s working already! Anyways, the next few posts are going to be mostly informational posts designed to get this blog up to speed with where my research is at this very moment. I figure that the first thing I need to do is give a more thorough description of the project in terms of its subject, its genesis, and its future direction.