Archive for the ‘To Do’ Category
Greetings. I must start this post with an apology. I have very obviously not been able to use this blog as a motivation tool for myself, and I haven’t been able to update you on the progress of my dissertation project as well as tell you about other related developments. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been neglecting my personal blog as well. That doesn’t make you feel any better does it? Didn’t think so. I guess I should just stop dwelling on it and start by updating you on where I am in the data collection process.
By this time, I have completed about 24 interviews. I did about 12 interviews at the SABR conference, and the rest of the interviews have been done over the phone, with my most recent one being last Saturday. They have been all with what I’m calling the “rank and file” of the sabermetrics movement meaning that they are just regular people who aren’t necessarily involved with any professional sports franchises or what I’ve been referring to as the baseball institution. All of them have been very interesting and great conversations to have. They’ve ranged from age 17 to 78. They’re all males, and they’re pretty much all white. I’ll be scouring the world for a female sabermetrician, as well as one of color soon enough, so if anyone can refer one to me, that’d be great.
The next phase of my data collection revolves around doing interviews with “key informants”, those people who are plugged into the baseball institution and can speak directly to the way that the knowledge has made its way through the system. The kinds of people I’m looking for here are statisticians who actually work for baseball franchises, front office baseball people, and sports journalists. I really need to get my ass in gear and start contacting these people because if I don’t have the data collected by Christmas, I think I’m going to shoot myself.
I’ve been pretty bad about transcribing the interviews. This is bad for two reasons. One, I should be listening to the interviews as soon as possible after doing them so that I can recall the most detail about the conversation when transcribing. Second, it’s bad because I haven’t really listened to them so that I can start to really begin to outline the research. I have some ideas of what I’m going to do, but those ideas would be much better fleshed out if I had been transcribing this whole time. In any case, I’ve decided to dedicate all of my time at my second job as a computer lab desk attendant to transcribing. My colleague, the great MG, says that I just need to put the blinders on and get into the habit of doing it before it is too late.
We also discussed the need to spell out specific tasks that need to be done to advance the dissertation, so the first order of business for me (besides transcribing) is to write a blog entry tomorrow about two players around which I want to possibly organize two of my chapters.
So again, my sincerest apologies, and please check back tomorrow for some of the things I’ve learned about Joe Morgan and Barry Bonds.
As I alluded to in the previous post, the latest bulletin board posting blitz has been quite successful so far. I’ve gotten at least a dozen people to email me back and we are on our way to getting an honest to goodness interview schedule going. Additionally, most of the people have been good about forwarding my request for interviewees to other people and to other mailing lists. In fact, the nice folks at Baseball Think Factory put up the announcement in one of their news blogs! BTW, if you click on over you will find an amusing exchange in the comments section. As if getting interview subjects wasn’t enough, most of the people have had kind words of encouragement for my research. They’ve also directed me to a lot of good advice about conducting my research and resources that will be helpful in my research, i.e. the previous post on the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective was a result of one of these people sending me the link thinking it would be helpful. It’s been a bit humbling actually. I mean, I’m feel pretty knowledgeable about Sabermetrics, but I think pedagogically, we as researchers, often forget that we don’t nearly as much about the things we are studying, as the actual people we are studying. I must say, I’m very encouraged by all of this. Like most grad students, I’m a bit jaded and cynical about the nature of humans, but the response that I have gotten makes me hopeful that it is worthwhile to study other human beings.
Anyways, now I need to get to the business of getting things shored up for all of these interviews coming up this summer. So, without further ado, here is to do list #2.
Most of you probably haven’t noticed, since basically no one knows about this blog yet really, but I’ve changed the template. I was using the default one, but I’ve always been a fan of the three column format for blogs. While I hate the color scheme, the overall layout is closer to what I would like for this things. There’s also a good possibility that I’m going to change the template. Anyways, I’m still working out the kinks of the blogroll and the links section, as well as adding a bunch more widgets that will make finding things on this blog easier for me and for you. I have to say that so far, it seems that WordPress blows Blogger out of the water in terms of features and customizability. However, it is much easier to make changes to the layout in Blogger, as most of the stuff is done with a point and click interface. With WordPress it is a lot more code editing. Luckily, for someone like me, it isn’t that hard to figure out. However, it is a bit more time consuming.