In the interest of shaking up these electronic pages a bit, I’ve decided to dig into the old FanGraphs mailbag to answer some questions from questionable readers. Remember, if you are interested in asking a question of FanGraphs representatives, use the frequent chats that occur on this site, because that is a much better option. If you insist on emailing a question to the totally-not-made-up mailbag, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question #1: Hey, who are you? – Stephen, Dallas, TX
Excellent question, Stephen. I’m David Temple. You may know me from my excellent work at NotGraphs, where I currently hold titles as Most Handsome and Best Writer. NotGraphs is that little purple section of this site. You should check it out — there’s a lot of really great work over there. Most of it comes from me.
Question #2: As the season winds down, I find it hard to pick which games I want to watch. My favorite team is out of it, so I’m just looking to watch some fun, meaningful baseball at a high efficiency. Any suggestions? – Melissa, Seattle, WA.
Well, Melissa, I’m assuming you’ve seen Cistulli’s NERD scores here, but perhaps you’re looking for a different approach. This is a common theme for people trying to negotiate Cistulli, so you’re in good company. As it happens, I’ve devised a method that may help. If you’re looking to maximize your Playoff Race Consumption Potential, the thing that can really kill it is slow play. While you’re waiting for the dumb pitcher to throw the dumb ball already, that really good guy just won the game on a five-run homer. AND YOU MISSED IT. You gotta be quick on that remote, and slow play does not make that easy. But how do we know which teams are the slowest? Introducing Wait Above Weighted Wait Average, or WAWWA. I took the pace numbers (from PITCHf/x) for every pitcher, and created an average weighted by innings pitched. If my calculations are correct — a bold assumption — the magic number here is 22.51 seconds. Below is a table of all the playoff-contention teams and their WAWWA+, which is based off a 100 average. Higher numbers denote more time between pitches.
Question #3: I’m 42 years old, and was recently laid off from my job. I’m upside down on my mortgage and plan on declaring bankruptcy next week. I think I’m going to the library tonight — is there a MLB.TV game I can watch for free to distract myself for a few hours on the cheap? – Andre, San Diego, CA.
There is Andre, and you’re in luck because it feature your hometown Padres! See? Things aren’t all that bad after all. You’ll see Tyson Ross (98.62 WAWWA+) vs. Charlie Morton (91.96 WAWWA+) and the Pirates. It starts at 7:05 ET, approximately. **NOTE: As astute reader Ozzy points out, since you are in the San Diego area, this game will be blacked out, Andre. So, maybe things are exactly as bad as they seem. Readers low on cash and NOT in either the San Diego or Pittsburgh area are still free to enjoy this game.**
Question #4: Will you finish this up already? I can’t believe I actually miss Cistulli. – Dave, Winston-Salem, NC.
Oh, hi, Dave Cameron. I see you’ve been
peaking peeking at my drafts here on the mother site. You’re the boss, so let’s bring this in for a landing. Below are the rest of today’s games featuring the starting pitcher’s and opposing team’s (batting) WAWAA+ based on their respective pace numbers. The game score is a simple average of the two. For those looking for NERD scores, feel free to read this list while listening to the song featured below by the band N.E.R.D. After you read the list, you can continue to listen while watching Spiderman dance. It’s the best I can do.
|Scott Diamond||MIN||97.73||98.62||96.5125||101.29||88.41||CHA||John Danks||2:10|
|Jason Vargas||ANA||97.73||102.62||96.29||103.07||81.74||OAK||A.J. Griffin||3:35|
|Alex Wood||ATL||90.18||97.73||98.1775||102.18||102.62||WAS||R. Ohlendorf||7:05|
|Nathan Eovaldi||MIA||91.96||95.96||95.2925||97.29||95.96||PHI||Zach Miner||7:05|
|Tyson Ross||SDG||98.62||98.62||97.6225||101.29||91.96||PIT||C. Morton||7:05|
|Phil Hughes||NYA||95.07||104.84||98.7325||95.51||99.51||TOR||J.A. Happ||7:07|
|H. Iwakuma||SEA||110.62||99.07||102.5125||101.29||99.07||DET||J. Verlander||7:08|
|W. Chen||BAL||96.40||99.07||98.7325||104.84||94.62||BOS||Jake Peavy||7:10|
|Matt Cain||SFN||99.96||98.62||97.9575||99.07||94.18||NYN||A. Harang||7:10|
|D. Holland||TEX||96.85||99.51||100.0675||99.51||104.40||TBA||Chris Archer||7:10|
|Chris Rusin||CHN||92.40||100.84||97.62||102.62||94.62||MIL||T. Thornburg||8:10|
|Greg Reynolds||CIN||109.73||101.29||105.51||102.18||108.84||HOU||Brad Peacock||8:10|
|Danny Salazar||CLE||95.51||97.73||93.625||96.85||84.41||KCA||Bruce Chen||8:10|
|A. Wainwright||SLN||103.95||100.84||99.7325||102.18||91.96||COL||T. Chatwood||8:40|
|Stephen Fife||LAN||98.18||101.73||98.955||101.73||94.18||ARI||B. McCarthy||10:10|