Who Do I Think You Are?

If you’re like me, you find no greater comfort than to bury yourself in the warm embrace of sweeping generalizations. That, and you haven’t showered in about a week.

And while the readership is undoubtedly curious about my bathing habits, in the interest of time, I’d like to confine the present discussion to an exploration of the former: sweeping generalizations.

Specifically, in this post, I’d like to look at the opportunity that the Fan Projections has given us to make some barely supported claims about the FG readership.

Of course, any and all demographic information is already available to FanGraphs Overlord David Appelman. Like Dr. Claw of the Inspector Gadget cartoon series, Appelman runs the crime syndicate known as FANgraphs from an overstuffed swivel chair in his rainswept castle, surveying our every waking moment on a surprisingly advanced Tandy computer.

But as you can probably guess, we lowly contributors are not allowed to talk to Appelman or look at him directly or learn his true identity — and we’re certainly not privvy to his secret databases.

Which is why these Projections are a great opportunity for those who, like me, are curious about the kind of people who point their internet browsers this way. In the interest of discovering just that, I made periodic records yesterday of which players were the most frequent targets of our new Fan Projections.

Below is a list of the players with the times at which they crossed the 30-ballot threshold. In each case, I’ve added a brief, and wildly speculative guess as to why this or that player might be popular amongst the readership.

Monday, November 30, 11:40 am PST
Hitters: Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki
Pitchers: CC Sabathia

Before Mr. Appelman raised the minimum ballots-per-projection from 10 to 30, this list was longer, but for the purposes of the present work, it’s fine. Pujols is fun to project because he’s crazy good. I’m guessing that the readership just enjoys entering all those video game-sized numbers next to Pujols’s name. Ichiro, besides being Ichiro!, is a player who gives projection systems fits. It’ll be interesting to see how the Fans do here. Sabathia is our first pitcher, because he hails from a large and interested market (read: New York) and because he’s probably an odds-on favorite to lead the AL (if not the majors) in wins.

Monday, November 30, 12:50 pm PST
Hitters: Dustin Pedroia and Franklin Gutierrez
Pitchers: NONE

Gutierrez is obviously a FanGraphs favorite based on his outstanding defensive production. Pedroia, besides hailing from another large and interested market (read: Boston) also possesses a little bit of that Ichiro mystique, I think. No, he’s not a hero in Japan, but he does have a profile (small frame, swings from the heels, excellent contact rate) that resists easy categorization.

Monday, November 30, 2:10 pm PST
Hitters: Derek Jeter
Pitchers: NONE

Jeter is a potentally polarizing figure, and certainly one upon whom fans are eager to weigh in. As of 12:35 pm PST today, he’s got a Fan-Projected UZR of -1.5. It’s interesting to note that, at this point, Sabathia had a full 75 ballots cast for him even as no other pitcher topped 30.

Monday, November 30, 4:10 pm PST
Hitters: David Wright, Adrian Beltre, Jose Lopez.
Pitchers: NONE

Seattle-ites again. Beltre is interesting, like Gutierrez, because of the influence of defensive play on his overall value. Lopez? Hmmm. Maybe Dave Cameron is stuffing the ballot box.

Monday, November 30, 4:55 pm PST
Hitters: Russell Branyan, Jeff Francoeur
Pitchers: Felix Hernandez

King Felix became the second pitcher with 30+ ballots, again — along with Branyan’s inclusion — suggesting that Seattle is representing real hard around here. Francoeur is like the anti-Gutierrez for the average FG reader: where Guti’s contributions are easily overlooked, Francoeur plays well in traditional stats like AVG and HR while displaying almost nothing in the way of plate discipline. (As of 12:40 pm PST today, Gutierrez has a 4.8 WAR versus Francoeur’s 0.4.)

Monday, November 30, 7:30 pm PST
Hitters: Joe Mauer, Mark Teixeira, Ken Griffey Jr., Jack Wilson
Pitchers: NONE

Joe Mauer is sorta like a mini-Pujols in terms of production. Teixeira is a New Yorker. Griffey and Wilson are two more Seattle-ers.

Monday, November 30, 9:10 pm PST
Hitters: Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano
Pitchers: NONE

New York fans (again!).

Tuesday, December 1, 9:30 am PST
Hitters: Kevin Youkilis, Chase Utley, Carlos Beltran, Ryan Howard, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, David Ortiz, Jay Bruce, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chone Figgins
Pitchers: Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke, Ricky Nolasco, Edwin Jackson

So, you’ll notice that there’s 12 hours between this and the last check-in. A man’s got to sleep, alright. Anyway, here we get some Bostonians (Youk, Ells, Ortiz), some New Yorkers (Beltran, Swish), and a couple of World Series-ers (Utley, Howard). Longoria, Zobrist, Upton, and even probably Edwin Jackson appear as part of the R.J. Anderson Effect. That, and the fact that the Rays, as an organization, are a case study for Doing Things the Right Way. Figgins is little guy with a high walk total: Will he sustain that? Lincecum and Greinke are your Cy Young winners and interesting for that reason. Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco (and Jackson, too) are Appelman’s “Target Players” for the day (supporting the fact that Appelman will be obeyed).

Tuesday, December 1, 12:15 am PST
Hitters: Matt Wieters, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Saunders
Pitchers: Jon Lester

We have an Oriole, folks! Of course, it’s not just an Oriole: it’s Matt Wieters! Rollins is a third World Series-er. Saunders is your ninth Mariner.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Detroit Michael
Detroit Michael

Possibly Seattle baseball fans frequent Fangraphs.com more frequently than fans from elsewhere because David Cameron brings Seattle readers with him when he writes for both USS Mariner and Fangraphs. Just a guess.


The sheer volume of baseball loving jock-nerds in and around the Seattle area is unparalleled. Check out past results of Tango’s Scouting Report by the Fans for the Fans. Mariner fans have been dominating that arena since 2006, long before Cameron showed up here.*

* Cameron most likely (definitely) directed ussm readers to Tango’s project in 2006.


I wanted to link to the M Ward song “Portland Rain” but all I could find was an Everclear song:


Whatever. Mostly I wanted to demand more Carson! Mark’s previews are great and all, and no offence to the Daves, but its the off season! its over! There is a time and a place for Dante references and semi colons; and its now!

Carson may not be to Pos level yet, but no one else is either, and Ken Tremendous isn’t walk in that door. Irreverent, intelligent, and funny writing isn’t easy to come by, and FG is a better site with more of it.

With that said its time to recite P.G. Wodehouse while dancing a Flamenco in a pinafore. (Hey, its a living!)