while not as exciting as hits, walks are still interesting. or frustrating, if you are rooting for the team on defense at the moment.
maybe a factor included for pitches per plate appearance? beyond walks, it is more enjoyable (i think) to see a guy battle through an 8 pitch at bat than it is for the hitter to ground out the first pitch he sees.
Comment by dutchbrowncoat — August 23, 2010 @ 9:17 am
Can we get a weekly updating list of NERD scores, both team and starting pitcher? Or a link to a google docs that will be updated? That would exponentially increase the awesome factor of NERD.
Man, it’s hard to believe the Diamondbacks are the third most “watchable” team in baseball. That really says something about the rest of the MLB, because the D’Backs are unwatchable if I’ve ever seen it.
Not sure if this is feasible, but it would be nice to see some consideration taken in the NERD scores for the standings of the various teams. For instance, the current NERD scores have the D-Backs ahead of the Rangers, but I’d probably rather watch the Rangers because they are making a playoff push, etc.
Comment by dutchbrowncoat — August 23, 2010 @ 9:47 am
I would suggest something involving the number of close games/wins a team has. The Braves are very watchable because you know that they are due to ninth inning drama every couple games. Excellent nonetheless.
I agree that late and close games are enjoyable. The question is: is there any way to predict for which teams those high-leverage situations (bc that’s what we’re talking about, right?) will be most frequent?
My guess is the teams that both score and allow the fewest runs — those are the ones most prone to late-inning hijinks. I’m not sure if it’s predictive enough, though.
I agree that broadcast teams make a difference when watching a game on TV, but I think that may be too subjective to be used in a NERD score. I mean, everyone agrees on Vin Scully and Joe Buck, it’s everyone in between that might be hard to quantify.
(I agree with you on Orsillo/Remy being a very good team, but I know some who don’t like them, even Boston fans.)
I agree that any ranking based on who is doing the broadcasting is bound to be subjective but it seems to me that like fan scouting of fielding we can use the power of the crowds (in this case the slice of Nerds within the crowd) to get a rough determination of who makes game more enjoyable. Not sure exactly how you would do that Carson but I assume a poll that requires people to rank the various broadcasters would work.
Comment by Dr. Strangelove — August 23, 2010 @ 10:21 am
Their lineup is legit NERD fodder. Their bullpen is so bad it might actually enhance the NERD score, as you’re guaranteed fireworks once the starter leaves the game.
Awesome, but a bit disappointed that you ultimately went the park-adjusted route. It seems to me that the team’s ballpark has a lot to do with the team’s watchability, so removing those effects makes no sense. Guess I’m not sabermetrically advanced enough to stop and think “well, that was a park-aided home run. I’ll just go ahead and derive less enjoyment from that one.”
Seconded. Long games always drain me – I find Yankees-Red Sox games almost unwatchable for more than a few innings. Along the same lines, I could see adding in a component such as average number of relievers used per game, average length of reliever outings, or even ideally, number of mid-inning pitching changes.
1. I don’t think that the numbers should be adjusted for park effects. While they make sense for evaluating a player’s true talent, they don’t make sense for team watchability. A home run is a home run even if it is only out because the wall is closer in that particular park, and a fly out is still a fly out even if it would have been gone in Cincinnati.
2. I don’t think payroll is a good factor. It doesn’t really have an effect on the watchability of a game aside from any payroll effect on team talent which will already be included in the other factors.
3. I think that a playoff race adjustment should definitely be included because that definitely has a large effect on watchability. I’d rather see Cards/Reds (NERD 5 and 7), than D-Backs/Brewers (9 and 8).
4. I see that starting pitching is not included here, I know that you have a separate NERD for them, but they are a big factor for watchability. Maybe including something like K/9 for the team’s entire pitching staff would work.
5. I find it interesting that some have mentioned Pitches per plate appearance as a good factor, and others length of games. I would think that these factors would work against each other as teams who see alot of pitches would tend to play longer games.
“everyone agrees on Vin Scully and Joe Buck ” My wife and I disagree with you on Vin Scully. We used to live in LA and she would beg me to mute the TV and complain about him droning on constantly about stupid stuff (i.e. so and so is a remarkable fisherman/artist/musician/nose blower/decoupager). She had never been a baseball fan so it was absolute torture while I was able to suffer though it better. Now that we’re in the SF Bay area, she’ll actually turn the game on when I’m not home.
If you were to include broadcasters, you’d have to do some pretty intense polling and take in to account people’s preference for their favorite team’s broadcaster. In my opinion, the really big nerds among us have means of having a choice on who we’re listening to broadcast a game, and at least one of the team’s broadcasters should be tolerable.
Comment by lifewontwait — August 23, 2010 @ 2:20 pm
1. But if a team hit’s a bunch of home runs at home because they play in a park where that sort of thing happens, and then they go on the road, they aren’t as exciting of a team as they are at home. So I think park factors factor in to some degree.
2. I agree with you for the most part. I’d only penalize teams with payrolls over 200 million, that starts to annoy me.
Comment by lifewontwait — August 23, 2010 @ 2:33 pm
When your team walks, it is a Good Thing. If you are just talking about how exciting a team is to watch, it’s not. It is boring to watch a team that takes a ton of walks. It’s much more fun to watch them hitting dingers and stealing bases.
What might be really interesting is to do a “retrospective NERD” and see if teams in the past with high NERDs have been more or less successful going forward. Are NERDy teams more successful than anti-NERDs? Are they likely to become more successful? (Of course, we’d want to keep the pennant-race factor neutral for that calculation).
It’s a little strange, yes, but also remember: the reason the DBacks are so highly ranked is because they’ve been unlucky with run scoring. Take away their 1.73 LUCK number and they’re right on the cusp between 7 and 8.
That and their pretty significant power advantage — those are the differences. Not crazy, I think.
Heresy, I say! Vin Scully’s dulcet tones and rambling recitations are pure Americana. May the deuces be forever wild!
Comment by 3rd Period Points — August 24, 2010 @ 4:22 am
Why does everyone hate Joe Buck? I haven’t listened to him that much but he doesn’t seem too offensive. Does he not like new stats and wants everyone to sac bunt like Joe Morgan and Chip Caray? Also John Scaimbi was the best he reads Fangraphs.
Comment by AthleticsBraves — August 25, 2010 @ 12:17 pm
I like watching old crafty vet pitchers. It’s amazing to me to see Jamie Moyer or Livan Hernandez pitch. How do they do it? But they severely depress the NERD scores, no?
Comment by A DC Wonk — September 14, 2010 @ 2:04 pm