The Scorekeeping Official Report is Up at The Atlantic

Long story short, I’m stuck in traffic and I just heard from Adam that everything was released.

Here is where you can read The Atlantic version, which isn’t the complete version–it was chopped down to 2000 words from 4500.



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Scorekeeping, the scientific study of subtle racism in baseball, is completed.  Adam and I are exhausted.  We both changed jobs at least once during this whole thing.  

The report will be published in the Atlantic some time this week.  Stay tuned for more.

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Bleacher Report Does It Again: Quasi-Racist Clubhouse Cancers Post

In late 2010, during the unofficial Scorekeeping, a lot of “clubhouse cancer” stuff came up.  It wasn’t a lot, it was a couple mentions here and there, mostly tedious stuff, but it was weird because it was ONLY players of color.  From that post:

Times a player of color was called a clubhouse cancer: 5
Times a white player was called a clubhouse cancer: 0

So that’s odd.  I do remember some white players being called clubhouse cancers back in the day–my go-to is Shea Hillenbrand–but how many can you name?

Anyway, without further ado, Bleacher Report came out with this article written by Robert Knapel.  It’s title?

30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History

Hm.  I’m sure this is gonna be an objective account.  

The players listed: 

  • Carlos Zambrano (latino)
  • Oliver Perez (latino)
  • Manny Ramirez (latino)
  • Vicente Padilla (latino)
  • Milton Bradley (black)
  • Gary Sheffield (black)
  • Marty Bergen (white)
  • Charles Comiskey (white)
  • Jocko Halligan (white)
  • Hal Chase (white)
  • Ty Cobb (white)
  • Rogers Hornsby (white)
  • Carl Everett (black)
  • John Rocker (white)
  • Julian Tavarez (latino)
  • Jose Guillen (latino)
  • Kevin Brown (white)
  • Shea Hillenbrand (white)
  • Albert Belle (black)
  • Barry Bonds (black)
  • Sammy Sosa (latino)
  • Carlos Silva (latino)
  • Vince Coleman (black)
  • Reggie Jackson (black)
  • Ed Whitson (white)
  • Rickey Henderson (black)
  • Dick Allen (black)
  • Jeff Kent (white)
  • Bobby Bonilla (black)
  • Luis Castillo (latino)


Nine latino players, 10 black players, 10 white players.  I have 29 listed here, so maybe I missed one, but I counted it again and didn’t find one.  

Either way, this list is … slanted, shall we say. Six players haven’t played in over a century and they’re all white.  That screams “editor” to me.  

A good chunk of these players played for the Mets at one point or another.  Of the players who played for the Mets, Jeff Kent is the only white one.  Some of them are even questionable: Coleman, while eccentric at times, was never known (to my knowledge) as a clubhouse cancer.  Carlos Silva may have had an anger streak, but clubhouse cancer is a long way.  Bobby Bonilla as well.  

Bonilla is the most curious because as far as I know he was a pretty likeable guy, even if he didn’t play that well for the Mets.


This is my greatest hope for Scorekeeping, which’ll be published in the next month (seamless transition!): we as humans like to find patterns.  However, a couple of isolated incidents is not a pattern and doesn’t deserve a label.  Let’s not get too deep into philosophy, but if you label me, you negate me.  Labels are lazy, just as comps are, and we need to be aware of that.

We also need to spread that awareness because social justice without awareness leads to contempt.  

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Scorekeeping Will Be Published in the Next Couple Months! + A Change in Plans

Adam and our top data coder Michael Carver have done an excellent job wrapping up the work.  The data work should be done by the end of the month and our rewards so far have been fruitful.  There’s a few correlations in there, which Adam and I are very proud of.  We’re currently editing the draft and it looks like it’ll be published in The Atlantic some time within the next two months.  That’s worthy of a little celebration *breaks out party hat and party blower*


This summer, I’m working with a card collector.  I’ll be selling his inventory, most of it on eBay.  Some of it is kind of random 80s junk and some of it is worthwhile.  I’ll be crossposting some of the worthwhile stuff on here.  

This is gonna be an awesome summer.

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Lilly’s impressive homerless allowed streak continues

Dodgers lost tonight in a bad way, but none of it goes on the shoulders of Ted Lilly, who had another great performance.

On the season, Lilly’s given up three runs (two earned) in 20 innings.  His WHIP is a sterling 0.85.

This likely won’t continue, but it’s cool to give him a tip of the cap now and again.

More importantly, though, is Lilly’s home runs allowed stats.

Lilly’s always been known as a decent pitcher who gave up too many home runs.  If the current trend is true, this is the exact opposite now.  Lilly ended the season with six straight starts without giving up a home run and he’s currently at three starts this season without a home run allowed.  That’s nine consecutive starts.  

You may remember this post.  The chances of Lilly pulling off this kind of run are basically .01%, so we’re past statistical anomaly.  Something’s changed and either it’s the Lilly doing something different or the marine layer or who knows.  Certainly there were some deep flyouts in tonight’s game and the competition the two previous games wasn’t stiff, but it’s time to give some credit to Lilly and the coaching staff.  This has been a cool run.  

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Spring Training is Almost Here and Video

This is our dull period, baseball fans. We have some basketball and some hockey to tie us over, but let’s be honest, both do nothing.

In its stead, I offer the following.

Click this link:

Mute the video on the left.

Enjoy wherever.

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A Great (Fake) Q&A About HGH and HGH Testing From IIATMS

I’m in the middle of a great conversation with my brother-in-law (a scientist) about steroids, PEDs, and the effects they have on baseball players. I think this may become a blog post (summer project!), but in the meantime, here’s this.

It’s About the Money, Stupid covered the subject of Human Growth Hormone: what it is, what “synthetic” HGH does to a human body, and why most tests on it are impotent (pun intended). Although Larry really didn’t treat his questioner nicely.

Q: Why would an adult athlete want to take HGH?

A: Depending on who you believe, HGH may make adults bigger and stronger.

Q: You mean, HGH works like steroids?

A: Well, it’s not exactly clear. Some sources report that HGH works like anabolic steroids and testosterone to help build muscle. However, there’s no proof that HGH actually increases athletic performance.

Q: That doesn’t make sense. HGH MUST enhance athletic performance if it helps make you bigger.

A: That’s the strange thing. The studies seem to indicate that HGH might promote muscle gain, but HGH doesn’t seem to make you any stronger.

One thing in this argument with my brother-in-law is that there’s a common minsconception that steroids are the same as HGH and testosterone–at least in the public eye. The three are completely different from one another. We’re not even talking about what BALCO did yet.

Q: re: exogenous (created externally) and endogenous (created internally) HGH, if there’s no difference between the two, how can you devise a test to catch the athletes doping with HGH?

A: Well, like I said, a molecule of HGH is a molecule of HGH, no matter whether it’s exogenous or endogenous. But there might be a statistical difference between a population of exogenous HGH molecules and a population of endogenous HGH molecules.

Q: You’ve lost me.

A: Let’s say I have a bunch of yellow M&Ms in my pocket. Without your knowing it, I take my yellow M&Ms and put them into your bag of M&Ms. My yellow M&Ms are exogenous, because they come from outside of your bag. How can you tell that you have exogenous M&Ms in your bag? Well, you can’t tell by testing any single M&M – they’re all genuine M&Ms. But if you empty the entire bag and count the number of M&Ms of each color, you’ll notice that there are too many yellow M&Ms. The M&M candy people wouldn’t put so many yellow M&Ms in the same bag. There has to be some other explanation.



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