It’s been a while…

Surprise

At the Baseball Winter Meetings last week in San Diego, a number of people told me how much they appreciated my work. This was a bit of a surprise since I really hadn’t published anything in so long and my old Japanese baseball webpage hadn’t been updated in over a decade. Other people have been using data I’ve provided for them, but I can’t take any credit for work they’ve done in making that stuff public .

Since then, “The Hot Corner,” my weekly column on Japanese baseball in the newspaper formerly known as the Daily Yomiuri was canceled after 10+ years over what one could generously call philosophical differences. More recently, the day job has changed and the new gig at Japan’s national press agency does not encourage opinion. Being a wire service, they like things short and sweet.

A brief poll on Twitter for content suggestions resulted in:

  • research studies
  • breaking news
  • historical research
  • stats
  • Japanese park factors
  • blog

Good thing nobody mentioned projections 🙂

When Nippon Ham Fighters assistant GM Hiroshi Yoshimura, one of my first readers back in 1995 when he toiled for the Pacific League, said, ‘You should do projections!’ I thought,  ‘Who would want Japanese projections?’ It turns out that by 2005 the answer was just about every one– which may be why he’s a team executive and I’m starting a blog 20 years after our first conversation.

I’m not certain what was going on in that field after Bill James came out with his Brock Projection system in the mid-1980s, but come 2010 and team executives say, ‘If you’ve got data, you’ve got projections, too?’ Uh no.

In the meantime there are a dozen or so studies I’d like to rescue from my past, dust off and see if they’re still valid. I’ll be publishing those when possible. Thanks to the proliferation of data on the internet, the days of typing in each day’s game data — as I did from 1992 to 1999 are over and I don’t miss them. I do miss the data, however, since a hard disk crash lost almost all of it…

When I learn to upload things on to this site and include links to as many of the people publishing good things as I can, I will.

It’s good to be back.

Author: jballa5_wp

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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