How reliable are the player stats on the Golden Baseball League website?
I’d say “pretty reliable, but not absolutely reliable.” Some of the stats don’t pass the smell test. Allow me to elaborate.
- There are duplicated players in the stats. Take, for example, Pitcher Phil Sobkow of the Calgary Vipers. According to the GBL stats (provided by PA SportsTicker), Sobkow was both 1-4 with a 10.03 ERA in 49.1 innings of work, and 2-5 with an 8.56 ERA in 74.2 innings of work. Which one is it?… or is it a combination or average of both? I think the stats themselves helped me para-solve this question. For example, it’s very unlikely Jose Morban of the Edmonton Cracker-Cats played 47+79=126 games in an 88 game schedule. When the issue of a duplicated player comes up in the stats, I assume that the stat-line with the greater statistics (i.e., more at-bats, more innings pitched) is the correct line, but I could be wrong.
- The “All Others” batters and pitchers are difficult to rationalize. The “All Others” pitcher for the St. George Roadrunners has a record of 18-27. That’s pretty significant for an assumed grab bag of pitchers, and therefore I have my doubts about the data. The Reno Silver Fox won 30 games in 2008. Their pitchers of record (pitchers that appear in the stats as individuals) won 27 games, and the “All Others” pitchers won… another 14? I don’t think so. The “All Others” batters data is similarly suspect. Not knowing how to interpret this data, I tend to ignore it. Is there a better option?
All in all, I decided to go with the stats provided on The Baseball Cube when it came down to making myself a analyzable spreadsheet of the 2008 GBL player stats. The Baseball Cube provides stats like IBB, HBP, SF, DP, WHIP, and K9 that you don’t get on the official Golden League site. It reminds me of that conversation between Billy Chapel (played by Kevin Costner) and his date Jane Aubrey (Kelly Preston) in For Love of the Game, after Jane just saw Billy pitch for the first time:
Jane: Do you lose very much?
Billy: I lose. I’ve lost 134 times.
Jane: You count them?
Billy: We count everything.
As a baseball fan, the more stats you can give me, the happier I am. It’d be nice if the GBL presented more complete player stats in a more user-friendly (customizable, sortable, etc) format, but I’ll gladly settle with The Baseball Cube instead.
Also, situation stats like RISP and home/away breakdowns have become MLB commonplace, but are nowhere to be found in the GBL data or The Baseball Cube data. This is a missed opportunity.
Long story short, I’m going to be using my new GBL Stats Spreadsheet(!), with stats provided by The Baseball Cube, to aid me in some 2008 off-season analysis. Like I said before, it’s a long off-season (especially when there’s a good foot of snow on the ground), so we’re going to have to make the best use of what we have.