FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Dejan has gone from a very good baseball beat writer at the P-G to a knee-jerk polemicist at the Trib-Review. He’s barely readable. It will cause him considerable anguish to praise this management team if/when the Pirates finish above .500.

    Comment by DirtWoman — June 14, 2013 @ 9:40 am

  2. There were also two big concerts (The National and some boy band from the 80s) as well as an arts festival in town that night. I would have been at the game had I not had tickets to The National show already. I’m sure others would have as well.

    Comment by Scott — June 14, 2013 @ 9:43 am

  3. I would like to see what has a bigger impact on attendence, the debut of a top prospect during the season, or the debut of a major piece acquired at the trade deadline? I guess the prospect would still garner more attention, since there has been a longer time of anticipation. I was gonna say the debut of a big FA signing, but the “start of the season” excitement would skew the numbers.

    Comment by Shawn — June 14, 2013 @ 9:44 am

  4. Dejan has been a habitual cherry picker when it comes to stats and “facts” the last couple of years. But in fairness I bought my tickets on stub hub Friday when rumors were floating about his debut. Whether or not stub hub purchases are included in the aforementioned 8000 I don’t know but some may have been acquired in a 3-5 day span.

    Comment by adam — June 14, 2013 @ 9:45 am

  5. 8000 is not a lot? That’s $400,000 at $50 per person on tickets and miscellany… is that not a lot? 8000/22000, that’s more than 33%! How is that not a lot?

    What was he expecting?

    Comment by mike wants wins — June 14, 2013 @ 9:51 am

  6. Dejan’s response to this will be a subtweet about nitpicking BLOGGERS and to block everyone who tweets this to him

    Comment by Neal — June 14, 2013 @ 9:54 am

  7. Side note to the actual topic of the post: I went to The National concert in Baltimore and it was great! I highly recommend them to anyone who loves a great live show.

    Comment by Cody — June 14, 2013 @ 10:12 am

  8. Some of this may also be tied to the level of hype and length of time hyped. I don’t think any prospect has been hyped as much as Strasberg, even Harper.

    Comment by PackBob — June 14, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  9. Couldn’t agree more, its amazing how DK went from being one of the best reporters (if not the best) in town to a complete hack with a chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Washington. I’m sure he already is penning another article on how the Pirates system hasn’t improved and how his daughter could outpick NH in the draft.

    For a sports crazy city, Pittsburgh sure has some awful sports reporters at every level. These bulk of these guys can;t even be bothered to know facts about the teams they cover let alone know anything about the leagues/players as a whole. Its really frustrating.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — June 14, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  10. The ‘wanding’ policy makes me curious. Do other teams do the same? What are the typical security procedures for MLB teams?

    The Cardinals check bags, purses, etc., but that seems more to enforce food/drink rules than anything else. It is typical for the bag checker to use a small stick (e.g. a drumstick) to shift items in the bag to see the bottom. I’ve never seen anyone put a hand in a bag or on a person.

    Comment by Anon — June 14, 2013 @ 10:33 am

  11. I can think of four people, myself included, who would have gone to the game if I had not already had tickets to the National concert. 8,000 is alot, especially considering how beat down the Pirates fan base is.

    Comment by Cabe — June 14, 2013 @ 10:35 am

  12. Another group of us already had tickets for Father’s Day with Cole scheduled to pitch. I know that’s why we didn’t go.

    Not to make excuses, a 8,000 walk up sale is huge for a Tuesday night as is 30,000 actual bodies in house when they are lucky to have 15,000 show up most Tuesday’s.

    Comment by Pirates Hurdles — June 14, 2013 @ 10:37 am

  13. I really enjoyed seeing Fangraphs call out DK’s unnecessarily negative response to Cole’s comprehensively positive debut — which really doesn’t amount to anything more than a grown man with a public-facing job pouting over the poor performance in the postseaon by his beloved Penguins.

    Comment by Retirenutting — June 14, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  14. It would be useful to know what days the previous/following home games were, as the only fixed part of the weekly schedule is the 3 weekend games.

    Comment by Dave (UK) — June 14, 2013 @ 10:43 am

  15. SSS but here are the Pirates other Tuesday games from 2013:

    5/7 vs SEA – 12,973
    5/14 vs MIL – 11,556
    5/21 vs CHC – 16,092

    Gerrit Cole night was also a Groupon night which is the only reason the Pirates managed to sell 22,000 tickets before announcing that Cole was starting.

    There was a buzz all over the city for Cole. Dejan is an idiot.

    Comment by John Franco — June 14, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  16. How did Matt Harvey only rank 54? Did he suddenly gain his velocity during the year he debuted? Did he have some sort of problem that he fixed that year? That seems very low considering how polished and dominant he was when he arrived.

    Was Strasburg’s debut the greatest of all time in terms of anticipation and performance?

    I do think Harper’s would have been bigger if it had been in June as originally planned and there had been a couple months of hype building up to it. Instead, he was called up out of nowhere (his AAA stats weren’t even stellar) and debuted in Los Angeles before coming back home. Even then, I was surprised that game didn’t sell out.

    Comment by cass — June 14, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  17. Will DK block Fangraphs as well? Or will he pick a fight with someone at Fangraphs similar to what he did vs Charlie Wilmoth at Bucs Dugout only to delete his own tweets a few hours later? What a tool he is.

    Comment by AJ — June 14, 2013 @ 11:02 am

  18. I actually did both. Got into the game on the cheap, watched Cole’s first 3 innings, and then went over to Stage AE to even see most of the opener. The National rocked. Great night in Pittsburgh.

    Comment by Jon — June 14, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  19. Next question is why Reds fans hated Bruce so much :)

    Comment by The Humber Games — June 14, 2013 @ 11:16 am

  20. I don’t think it’s completely fair to say FanGraphs “called out” Dejan Kovacevic. His comment prompted the article, but Wendy hadn’t yet done the research. Had the data proven Kovacevic right, it still would have been written.

    Comment by David Laurila — June 14, 2013 @ 11:20 am

  21. Agree that it’s a lot, but Pirates tickets at $50 per person seems like a stretch, no? Still, gotta be very happy about getting 30k out for a Tuesday game in Pittsburgh.

    Comment by TKay — June 14, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  22. Strasburg mania was special. Rumors of his start date began in March. People were buying tickets for a bunch of surrounding games, hoping they’d be the Strasburg debut. Also, ticket prices for that game doubled. Hard to calculate all of that kinda thing, especially for each player.

    Comment by TKay — June 14, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  23. Even knowing what we know about how teams time the promotion of top prospects in regard to service time, arbitration clocks, super two eligibility, etc., I still find it striking that only one player had to be eliminated from the study because he debuted on opening day.

    Comment by BeastJunior — June 14, 2013 @ 11:27 am

  24. The day before and day after attendance is a bit misleading as the day of the week has such a major impact on attendance. I’d rather see the average attendance on the day of the week the prospect made his debut and what the percentage increase was. For example, did Cole’s debut cause a 30% increase in Tuesday ticket sales?

    Comment by jwise224 — June 14, 2013 @ 11:55 am

  25. This is a very cute article but you bloggers always team up and create these silly articled thst mean nothing. Way to nitpick the stats to make your position look good.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

  26. Also I am on vacation right now so don’t waste my time trying to respond to me because I won’t talk about this team anymore for awhile. Either they win, or the get fired. That is it.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

  27. Right, but when it proved untrue… his assertion was called out. Semantics, yeah?

    Comment by Retirenutting — June 14, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

  28. “tickets and miscellany” — it appears that estimate is including things like beer, food, and possibly Cole jerseys (averaged across the 8000), and may be based on this year’s “Fan Cost Index” of $164.84 for Pittsburgh, but that includes

    four adult average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular-size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two least expensive, adult-size adjustable caps.

    That’s always struck me as unrealistically high (the fans that purchase all that are going to be balanced out by fans who pay for nothing more than a ticket, so the average is going to be much lower, especially considering repeat fans are not buying hats on every visit). The average ticket at a Pirates game is $17.21, and even when you factor in SF as a visitor bumps Pirates tickets by ~$6, the Pirates are probably not capturing $40 per additional attendee.

    Comment by joser — June 14, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

  29. At Mariners games they look in bags (or anything bulky) and diligently demand you forfeit any drinks (solid food of any sort is allowed however) but don’t seem to care about anything else. I’ve never seen wands used at a baseball game, not even the first home game after Sept 11th.

    Comment by joser — June 14, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

  30. For a sports crazy city, Pittsburgh sure has some awful sports reporters at every level.

    Yellow journalism threatens to become the norm these days, sports journalism especially.

    DK has traveled a strange road these past few years. He once was the best sports reporter in Pittsburgh and his work had gained national recognition because of its high quality. Today knowledgeable fans considers his work incredible until proven otherwise.

    Comment by Steve Z — June 14, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

  31. It is not being negative, it is stating facts. I would not be surprised if you did not know the difference.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  32. I have to keep the columns and links near the top and Charlie knows he was wrong.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  33. Thanks for the lol moment, way to prove all the comments above correct!

    Comment by rotowizard — June 14, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

  34. Bloggers United You guys are like a sabermetric version of the Justice League

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  35. I know the difference!

    It’s that facts are true.

    Comment by matt w — June 14, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  36. Its obvious that you will never learn. Good day, Matt.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 12:51 pm

  37. Wow, somebody pays you to write?

    Comment by TKDC — June 14, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

  38. Its obvious that you will never learn.

    In fact, I’m not sure what’s applause-worthy about that comment.

    Comment by The Surging Danube — June 14, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

  39. That is what happens when you are a professional.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

  40. Nice Try

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

  41. This is DK at his finest…..

    And now the whole baseball world gets to see what Pittsburgh does everyday. The condescending, passive aggressive, DK.

    Comment by bucsfan1978 — June 14, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

  42. Hah – good point. For one game, that’s also more revenue brought in than Cole will make this entire season, in case DK wanted to look at it from yet another obvious perpsective (which he likely won’t).

    Comment by jg941 — June 14, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

  43. Yeah it probably would have been better if he hadn’t started responding to some of the folks above. Readers that were unaware of DK, or the particulars of his tweet, or were just neutral in general, just got a quick dose in his style of engagement: ridicule and dismissal.

    Comment by ibid — June 14, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  44. I can’t imagine that Trib management encourages of such interactions….

    He will be trying to remove his posts above very soon.

    Comment by bucsfan1978 — June 14, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

  45. Ummm, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter are professional writers. What does that fact entail about professional writers?

    And, these days, Charlie W. gets some money for his writing and editing work. Moreover, there are bloggers who produce political journalism of the highest quality. Some of them even get paid for doing so. They move without friction between the old and new media.

    The upshot: The distinction between blogger and professional does not carry much weight. There are bloggers worth reading and professionals who are tools, willing propagandists or clowns.

    We should respect quality work where and whenever it appears.

    Comment by Steve Z — June 14, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  46. Clearly you’re unmarried, because you would absolutely know there is a negative way of stating facts.

    Comment by ed — June 14, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  47. I have to be honest, when writing for the Post-Gazette, it was the finest coverage around. I would follow his blog everyday for Pirates news. Now over at the Trib, i could care less…interest lost. I think his priorities are elsewhere and if so, leave them there.

    Comment by SteveD3 — June 14, 2013 @ 2:07 pm

  48. I can’t believe the original author would post in this manner. It seems so…insecure.

    Comment by ed — June 14, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

  49. That’s not true. There are plenty of professionals who can put together clean, coherent sentences. There are also professionals that actually do research before writing something.

    Comment by TKDC — June 14, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

  50. Only in a world filled with a gazillion hack writers who happen to get some form of a ‘paycheck’ would a hack-in-serious-need-of-a-Twitter-editor like DK equate getting said paycheck with being a decent and knowledgeable writer, particularly a “columnist”.

    And the fix is so easy for him, too. If I was his friend, offering friendly advice (and I wonder why no one else tells him this), I would just tell him that people say stupid crap all the time, it’s normal, and when you say it, occasionally it will turn out to be wrong, and it’s always best to just mea culpa, own up to it and move on.

    But DK’s just a guy incapable of that level of self-deprecation, which only gets magnified from time-to-time (the dumb, baseless comments, that is) because it’s published (despite efforts to “un-publish” his thoughts from time-to-time).

    Most writers have, and need, an editor. And those that need them the most, like DK, probably need to stay as far away from media like Twitter as possible. We see it all the time now – nothing will un-mask your inner stupidity, ignorance, ugliness or ineptitude than having unfiltered, unmitigated access to an avenue to share every uniformed thought that pops into your head, at any time.

    IMO :-)

    Comment by jg941 — June 14, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  51. Nice Try

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  52. So was Harper’s debut kind of a “been there, done that”? Or is that the effect that Tuesday has on society?

    Comment by KCDaveInLA — June 14, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

  53. 1) next home game attendance for Washington after Strasburg’s debut (40,315) was 18,876. a decline of 21,439 or 53.2%
    2) next home game attendance for Pittsburgh after Cole’s debut (30,615) was 19.966. a decline of 10,649 or 34.7%
    3) next home game attendance for Washington after Harper’s debut (22,675) was 16,274. a decline of 6401 or 28.2%

    I didn’t include weekend debuts. But referencing the #’s on the chart, Cole’s debut “moved the needle” even more than the anointed one’s (Harper) debut.

    Just stating the facts. Go Bucs!

    Comment by mez — June 14, 2013 @ 3:14 pm

  54. Words of a supposedly legitimate “journalist”:

    “Also I am on vacation right now so don’t waste my time trying to respond to me because I won’t talk about this team anymore for awhile. Either they win, or the get fired. That is it.”

    Just using these 25 or so words, some of the reasons I am surprised you get a paycheck:
    1. “don’t waste my time…” – Don’t you mean “don’t waste your time”, if you are not going to respond how does it waste your time? But of course you did respond. You’re obviously a child.
    2. “Either they win, or the get fired.” – I assume you mean “they” but I’m not sure because this sentence makes no sense. Who is they? The Pirate Parrot? What do they have to win? The World Series? Tonight’s game?
    3. “That is it.” – No, it is not.

    I would suggest that you stick to your statement that you will not write about this team for a while, only I’d push that further. I’d suggest you not write awhile about anything (note the correct usage of awhile/a while). I’d suggest a new line of work, you really suck balls at this.

    Comment by TKDC — June 14, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

  55. Any idiot who thought I was really dejan kovacevic is a total moron. Do you really believe he would waste his entire day commenting to u losers and give pub to an article that refutes his opinion.

    Comment by DK — June 14, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  56. Well it can sometimes be difficult discerning the difference when one troll masquerades as another. So kudos, I guess.

    And FWIW, yes, I do believe he would waste his day commenting on articles refuting his opinion, because frankly, he’s done it a handful of times before.

    Comment by ibid — June 14, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

  57. Uh, yes. Yes I do believe that.

    Comment by Operation Shutdown — June 14, 2013 @ 4:21 pm

  58. NO U

    Comment by Justin Bailey — June 14, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

  59. So you saw the National Pastime, time passed and you saw The National?

    Comment by Tacobomber — June 14, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  60. DK: “That is what happens when you are a professional”

    Ah the equivalent of “I have a PhD in Third World Transgendered Marxist Literature” you must address me as DOCTOR.”

    Comment by TeacherinTejas — June 14, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

  61. It was only Harper’s home debut, not his Major League debut. He was called up out of need rather suddenly out of need and debuted in L.A.

    Comment by cass — June 14, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

  62. It does not matter much if DK refers to Dejan Kovacivic or to a pretender or whether anyone believed DK referred to Dejan Kovacivic when, in fact, it was the ‘ruse’ of a troll. As long as DK made arguments akin to those Dejan Kovacivic would make, then responding to them as such had value.

    I doubt that Dejan Kovacivic would write the following:

    This is a very cute article but you bloggers always team up and create these silly articled thst mean nothing. Way to nitpick the stats to make your position look good.

    But he is capable of bashing bloggers.

    Comment by Steve Z — June 14, 2013 @ 5:37 pm

  63. I’m having a hard time telling if you’re real or a parody account. You might consider that a bad sign.

    Comment by Tim — June 14, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  64. OK, now I’m leaning towards real.

    Comment by Tim — June 14, 2013 @ 5:40 pm

  65. Why am I not surprised that you live in Texas?

    Comment by Justin Bailey — June 14, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

  66. Great article. I’ve been calling out DK for years, and this is probably the best article ever to appear on fangraphs. The dude is an idiot and will be out of a job shortly as the few old angry yinz who read his filth die off over time. Wendy you are a hero.

    Comment by Kosstic518 — June 14, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

  67. That said, it appears the NFL is implementing new rules regarding bags and searches starting this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the MLB follows with something similar.

    Comment by joser — June 14, 2013 @ 10:04 pm

  68. Dejan was the best beat reporter; I can’t read him anymore. That being said my story does reflect 8000 as being not a big deal.

    On Tuesday July 17th 2003, the Pirates returned from a six game road trip. I was at this game, I was a walk-up, I was above normally excited to see my team. On that day, a Tuesday, the attendance was 32,304. The previous and ensuing weekday games had attendance of 19,947 and 14,271 respectively. Why this increase? I can’t speak for the other 15,194 above average present that day, but on July 9th in Milwaukee, Randall Simon swung a bat at a girl in a sausage costume.

    Conclusions: In Pittsburgh, the homecoming of a crappy first basemen with a minor assault charge is more celebrated that the debut of the best pitching prospect in twenty years.

    Comment by santrj — June 15, 2013 @ 1:46 am

  69. So basically, with around a 6,000 fan difference in the average of the 2 sandwiching games and his debut, if each of those fans spent about 85 bucks a piece, his debut pays a league minimum salary.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 15, 2013 @ 2:30 am

  70. Although, Pittsburgh has seen many prospects debut during their time of famine, but, Matt Morris notwithstanding, they have not seen any major pieces acquired at the trade deadline. This has to make a difference. I would bet that they would see a fairly significant attendance boost if they nabbed Cliff Lee or some other player that would cost more than they should probably spend.

    Comment by Bill — June 15, 2013 @ 5:57 am

  71. You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.

    Comment by Bill — June 15, 2013 @ 6:01 am

  72. other than the fact that I doubt casual fans coming to a game to see a trending player would pay an average ticket price of $85 outside of NYC and Boston, you have a good point.

    Comment by kiss my GO NATS — June 15, 2013 @ 6:01 am

  73. Might be useful to include date of last home game. Food for thought. Otherwise great job Wendy.

    Comment by Gary — June 15, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

  74. Sorry meant day of the week of last home game.

    Comment by Gary — June 15, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

  75. How many of the Tuesday games in this sample had a previous home game that was played on Sunday?

    Comment by Feeding the Abscess — June 15, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

  76. The Strasburg debut was one of the most hyped games in my 20 years of attending Washington sports games (kind of a sad statement I know). I have gone to Caps playoff game 7s, Opening day, Monday Night Skins games, Stanley Cup Finals, all somewhat less hyped than this. Maybe opening night of Nats Park was a harder ticket, but Strasburgs debut had people buying tickets for the entire week he was speculated to start. I got lucky and a friend had an extra ticket and the place was just crazy. Same buzz as playoff games easily perhaps his performance made it entirely more pleasantly memorable, but when he K’d his final three batters of the 7th (I believe it was all 3) there was a feeling that this was a special moment in baseball history and one the moments in a sports stadium I will never forget. I try not to overhype or over dramatize the present but of the hundreds of games I have attented it is easily atop 5 most anticipated game, and definitely #1 for a single player.

    The excitement he brought was incredible and would be hard to top by any other rookie. DC had been dying for a star, especially in baseball which it hadn’t had since Walter Johnson. Now RG3 has taken the torch somewhat, but eve he didn’t have the lengthy hype of Strasburg as no one was sure exactly how RG3 would do I the NFL. With Stras it was almost a given he would dominate. With Haroer it was different because he didn’t dominate the minors the way Stras had and he made his debut on the road. Plus 4-5 ABs is different tehan 90-100 pitches and the game being a pitchers to battle somewhat himself.

    Cool look at the other debuts and will be interested in the Wheeler debut next week in NY.

    Comment by Danny — June 15, 2013 @ 4:07 pm

  77. Nobody should be that excited.

    1) 8000 extra fans is not very many, regardless of what the aythor of this article inists.
    2) Cole wasnt that great. He only struck out 3.
    3) The Pirates deserve every bit of criticism they receive.

    Comment by Dejan K — June 15, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

  78. Parking, a ticket, merch, foot, etc. it’s overly simplistic and pretty much only counting revenue and assuming the team gets 100% of each of those.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 15, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  79. Also, the previous home game was a Sunday. So really, the number of extra tickets is greater. Basically, his debut paid his salary.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — June 15, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

  80. To be fair, that sounds like a pretty tough topic. I’d probably address them as “Dr.” in the correct context. Sourcing a sufficient corpus of texts and references from the developing world already sounds like a pretty significant undertaking.

    By comparison, being a professional writer means the exact same thing as being an amateur writer, except that you have finally found someone willing to pay you.

    Comment by B N — June 15, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  81. Which is not to disparage professional writers, but simply to say that being a professional writer does not mean being a writer who conducts oneself professionally (nor the converse).

    Comment by B N — June 15, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

  82. To be fair, Gerrit Cole doesn’t even have a plate appearance against a sausage this year, let alone a hit.

    Comment by B N — June 15, 2013 @ 7:50 pm

  83. I already pulled this shtick pal.

    Comment by DK — June 15, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

  84. Nice Try

    Comment by ed — June 16, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

  85. I am definitely the real author and I am suing all of you for defamation. I’LL SEE YOU IN COURT BLOGGERS

    Comment by DK — June 16, 2013 @ 2:27 pm

  86. DK being short for ‘Dick’, yes? Yes.

    Comment by Jason B — June 16, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  87. Fangraphs needs to grow a couple and clean up their message system by implementing a simple tag for known journalists who care to respond to their posts. This stuff is what gave bloggers in general a bad name.

    Comment by slander — June 16, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

  88. this

    Comment by Straw Man — June 17, 2013 @ 9:14 am

  89. Or a great sign for the purveyor of parody…

    Comment by Jason B — June 17, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

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