Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The End Of The 50-Yard Field Goal

Stephen Gostkowski, the kicker for the New England Patriots, has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. Most of his kickoffs go into the opponent's end zone -- many of them for touchbacks.

But he doesn't have any 50-yard field goals this year. That's because Coach Belichick hasn't asked him to try any. Gostkowski has a 93% success rate on kicks less than 50 yards. But no attempts beyond that distance.

This stat is part of a larger trend in the NFL.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cliff Lee For MVP?

Photo by aturkus on flickr
Cliff Lee is now 14-2 for an Indians team that has won only 45 games. Lee has over 31% of his team's wins.

The last pitcher to finish the season with more than 30% of his team's wins was Fergie Jenkins, winning 25 games for the 1974 Texas Rangers. And Jenkins pitched in a 4-man rotation, allowing him to get 41 starts.

In other words, no pitcher has ever done what Cliff Lee is doing: winning 30% of his team's games while pitching in a 5-man rotation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Over-Active Game Design

Photo by Bari D
It's not surprising that everybody wants to be a game designer. What's bad is that everyone thinks they can be a good game designer.

Probably the most telling aspect of bad game design is "over-active" game design: the desire to "improve" games by adding complexity.

The media response to tonight's All Star Game is a perfect example of over-active game design. Some suggestions I've heard on T.V. and radio:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Varitek Isn't The Weak Link

I don't live in Boston anymore. But I still live in Red Sox Nation. This means that the radio next to my desk gets WEEI. The hot topic this week is how Jason Varitek's offensive drought is hurting the team.

Tek is definitely worrisome. However, his OPS of .672 is only 118 points below his career average.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Predictions At The Halfway Point

As of today, the average Major League team has played exactly 81 games. We are officially at the halfway point. For about an hour last night, the Tampa Bay Rays had the best record in baseball! Are they for real? What about the Cubs, White Sox and other division leaders?

Using Baseball Mogul 2009, we updated our database to reflect current records and injuries, and we simulated the second half of the season one thousand times.