I need your feedback!

I’m working away on the Hardball Times Annual 2010 (have I mentioned that lately?) and I’d appreciate your feedback on something. Past Annuals have included a graph of each team’s runs scored and allowed, as well as games won, on an average ten-game basis. It’s supposed to be an easy way to visualize the season. I don’t know if many people actually like it, but I think it works pretty well (particularly when we add the big events of each year on the bottom).

The graph is kind of complex, but I’m thinking of adding something to it. In addition to all the runs and wins lines, I’d like to add a line that references each team’s Drama Index during the year. The Drama Index tells you how dramatic each game was along the way and adds context to the runs scored and allowed info.

By the way, the Annual will also include Championship WPA for all players. Championship WPA is basically a combination of WPA and the Drama Index, though the version will be publishing was created by Sky Andrecheck.

So I want to put this extra info on a black and white graph (got to be black and white for the book). Here’s what it looks like for Minnesota, the only team providing any drama at this time of year:

image

What do you think? Good info to see on the graph? Too confusing? Don’t care about it?


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Evan Brunell
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Evan Brunell

I want to see it on the graph, but I can’t make heads or tails of anything past the solid black line. I would recommend making the dotted gray line reflected in the key instead of just one tiny slash. Make it CLEAR what the dotted line is, then you are OK.

Tim Stoeckel
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Tim Stoeckel

I think it’s a good addition to the graph, too. Placing it at the bottom of the graph, as you’ve done, sets it clearly apart from the other info; thus it is not confusing.

However, it does give the impression that none of Minnesota’s games were very dramatic because the drama index lies entirely below the graph’s horizontal dashed line. Maybe you could add another, separate horizontal line running through the drama index part of the graph.

Detroit Michael
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Detroit Michael

I love your articles, and I’ve placed an order for the book again.  I’m glad that Championship WPA will be availble (although having it somewhere on line ASAP after the regular season ends would be better).

And … I don’t care what the graphs look like.  Sorry for the lack of interest there.

Mike Treder
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Mike Treder

Dave, I’ve never liked the season graph all that much to begin with, but I actually think the Drama Index makes it a lot more compelling.

What I’d really prefer is if you took out the RS/RA lines altogether and just focused on the drama aspect vs. W/L results. Of course, that’s going in a whole different direction, but it seems more interesting to me than just the dry numbers.

Dave Studeman
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Dave Studeman

Thanks, Mike.  In the book, we put those pointers below the graph, on the same time continuum.

Dave Studeman
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Dave Studeman

Good feedback.  I’ve made some changes based on your comments, such as widening the line in the legend and adding the average to the Drama Index.

Mike, I don’t know what you mean about drama vs. W/L results.  Can you expand on that?

The point of the graph is to show each team’s W/L results vs. offense and defense, so you can see which one was more (or less) responsible for winning and losing at any point during the year.  I obviously like it—it’s a nice overview of a team’s story—but I’m open to other suggestions.

Mike Treder
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Mike Treder

Including both RA/RS and DI just seems to complicate and clutter up the graph too much. But what if you took out the former and also added some pointers indicating significant changes to the team during the season—trade, injury, manager change, clubhouse fight, etc.—that may illuminate the real drama from a fan perspective.

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