Open Thread: Rethinking the box score


We all love box scores — or, at least, I hope everyone else does. It’s going to be strange soon, having a generation of baseball fans who didn’t grow up waiting for their dads to finish reading the sports section so they could read all the box scores from the previous day. But while the actual experience will change, the box scores will not. We’ll still see them, just in pixels on MLB.com instead of on paper with dried ink.

One great thing about the internet, though, is that it doesn’t have the space limitations of a newspaper. Box scores caught on because they fit a lot of data into a relatively small space, allowing papers to print them all on one page. Today we don’t have to limit ourselves to that. We can still present the box score in its original format, because people find it familiar, but we can also experiment a bit more with new was that might take up a bit more space. FanGraphs‘s WPA chart is just one example. We can post this along with the original box score, and it really doesn’t matter because we’re not limited to a certain space.

At Baseball Analysts, Dave Allen imagines a box score of his own. It’s in a linear format, like the WPA charts, but it does it in a different way. Here’s the example, though make sure you read the post for the full gist of what he’s doing. Also, click on it for a larger version.

In 2010 we plan to add more game data to our recaps. The regular box score will likely be part of that, but we also want to think about other ways we can present information from the game. If you’re so inclined, leave the comments below, and we’ll sift through and see if there are any ideas we can use. Nothing’s off-limits now that we’re not constricted by space, so think as out of the box as possible.

If you’d rather just BS, well, that’s why this is an open thread. Toronto visits the Devils, the Nets are in Boston, and Milwaukee plays the Knicks at the Garden.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Drew says:

    Why does it say “Bill Bruney?”

    • You don’t remember Bill Bruney you big dope? Rule 5 draft, traded to the Nats for Jamal Hoffman?

      Boy, some people are so bad with names. You should try taking a class to improve your memory, Droop.

  2. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    Cool Boston, cool, now is your chance to show the rest of the NBA you still got it when you play against a friggin’ punching bag tonight.

    (God please guide the Net to a rare victory…)

  3. Mike Axisa says:

    I saw that earlier, and I think it would be a fantastic way to adjust the box score. It might be easier to go portrait instead of landscape though. so the first inning is on top, the second is below it, etc. You can add all the G-6′s and F-7′s as well.

  4. Steve H says:

    Anonymous baseball man:

    “Now we’ll see what the contracts do to both guys. It won’t faze Verlander, but I guess it’s possible Felix could get a little complacent. His makeup doesn’t suggest it, but you never know. I say Felix has a slight edge, but I really don’t know who I’d take to be honest with you. You can’t go wrong with either guy.”

    Does anyone else think there’s more than a little “Hispanics are lazy” in that comment? I mean, he goes out of his way to say that there is nothing in Felix’s makeup to suggest complacency with his contract, and yet he mentions it anyway. And of course, there’s no way the big contract will faze the gritty Verlander. Considering there is nothing wrong with Felix or Verlander’s respective makeup’s, what is the other factor that he is considering to determine that the contract might effect Felix, but no way will it effect Verlander? What a douche.

    • Zack says:

      Well Felix did show up to ST in 2006 (his first ST) out of shape. Granted he’s gotten into shape since then, you can say he got complacent after coming up in 2005 and pitching great, then feeling like he didnt have to earn a spot in ST.

      • Steve H says:

        I’d be fine with that explanation if he didn’t say that there was nothing in Felix’s makeup that would suggest it. And as I posted below, if you go strictly by performance, Verlander seems to be the one who may have gotten complacent before his 2008 season. Not likely, but it’s at least some statistical evidence.

    • JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

      Meh, Felix is what, 23? Verlander is 26, so he could be noting that people of younger ages are generally less mature? That’s the only connection I can make.

      You’re right though—there seems to be no benefit in even thinking aloud that there could be complacency, particularly when he admits there’s no basis for the suggestion. Strange.

      • Steve H says:

        I think the age gap is lessened considering that Felix has been in the majors since 19. You grow up pretty fast I’m sure. If you look at statistics, you could make the case that Verlander is the only one who has shown any possibility of complacency. Felix has improved every year since his 1st full year in the majors. Verlander, after 2 good years, had a big drop in performance in 2008. Was it complacency? Likely not, but there is at least some statistical evidence that says maybe he got complacent with his performance after two good years and worked out less, partied more, etc. Felix has only gotten better, every year.

    • Nobody said Hispanics are lazy, just Venezuelans. They must be half-Dominican or something.

  5. JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

    That image looks like the Port of Newark.

  6. Why am I watching the Nets?

  7. bexarama says:

    I feel pretty, oh so pretty:
    http://cache.deadspin.com/asse.....tyGirl.jpg (safe)

  8. The back of Chris Douglas-Roberts’ jersey is humorous.

  9. bexarama says:

    As long as we’re talking box scores, Retrosheet, not so much a Yankee fan:

    Richie Garcia misses call as 12 yr
    old fan leans over wall to catch ball; it goes into stands due
    to the interference and the kid becomes an instant hero in NYC

    Mauer hit a ball down the left field line that
    hit Melky Cabrera’s glove and landed fair before bouncing into
    the seats; LF umpire Phil Cuzzi called it a foul ball; the call
    cost the Twins a run because Mauer would have scored on one of
    the two following singles if he had been given the double that
    he hit

    (this was the WORST. CALL. EVER. but if the Twins get runners on second and third, no outs, the next guy probably would have been IBB’ed and then if everything else went the same way, they still don’t score. Take that, Retrosheet!)

    • Devil In A Blue Cap says:

      It was a horrible, horrible call. But retrosheet is taking it for granted that there are singles. Kubel’s single went into the hole between 1B and 2B. But there wouldn’t have been a hole there if Mauer had been on second; Teixeira would have covered it. Tex was holding the runner. It’s possible then that they bring the infield in or even intentionally walk Cuddyer. Then everything evolves the same way as it did before and…boom. No runs score.

      I would have more sympathy if the Twins didn’t parlay the missed double into a situation with a much higher run-expectancy and still failed. Having the bases loaded with no one out didn’t get them a run, so why would having a leadoff double assure them a run?

      • bexarama says:

        Exactly. Not taking away from the fact that it was an awful, awful call, the last phrase there wasn’t necessary and was pretty much subjective. That call didn’t help the Twins, but leaving tons of men on base, including having a bases loaded nobody out situation and not scoring, and Nathan’s inability to close the game was what really killed them.

  10. Attn: Hockey fans:

    Sell me on your sport.

    Things to take into consideration:
    –My geographic location (SW CT)
    –The way I watch/follow baseball (you all know this well by now)
    –That I love hockey live, but just can’t watch it on TV for some reason

  11. bexarama says:

    this is hilarious, even for the Mets:

    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/.....mets-fans/ (sfw)

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

      awesome comment:

      Here’s another way to torture Mets fans: Have them watch the first few minutes of “Beer League,” in which Ralph Macchio’s character gets into an argument with his live-in fiance, who’s making their wedding cake. “I was going to get you a Derek Jeter action figure to put on top of the cake but now it’s just going to be one of those Puerto Ricans from the friggin’ Mets!”

      By the way, “Beer League” is a surprisingly witty look at life in New Jersey.

  12. Steve Phillips, who was fired by ESPN last year as a baseball analyst after his affair with a network production assistant became public knowledge, will be interviewed Monday by Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show.

    His agent, Steve Lefkowitz, said in an interview that Phillips spent 45 days in Hattiesburg, Miss., at the Gentle Path sex addiction clinic, the same one that Tiger Woods reportedly attended. Phillips, a former Mets’ general manager, is attending after-care therapy. His wife, Marni, is also in therapy in Arizona, Lefkowitz said.

    “He’s coming back with hat in hand, and he’s trying to fix his marriage,” Lefkowitz said.
    He added that Phillips expects to discuss the affair, his therapy and his perspective on Woods’s infidelities.


    So Steve Phillips is trying to supplant Dr Drew as the go-to expert when a TV show needs a “Sex Addiction” specialist.

  13. Zack says:


    How bad is your franchise when they look at Isiah Thomas and say, yup lets get him to be our coach/GM.

  14. I’ll bet that everyone here has had their fair share of bad breakups, but this:


    ..is a wee bit much. E-mail naked pictures to her Dad like everyone else, OK?

  15. JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

    If Donald Sterling really does hire Isiah Thomas to be the coach/GM, does he instantly become the greatest troll in professional sports?

    • Steve H says:

      If he really does that, he’s totally just fu*king with us all. He cannot possibly do it, right?

      If he does, I cannot wait to see Bill Simmons’ response. Simmons has bashed Dunleavy and Thomas more than he’s bashed anyone else, ever. This will truly be amazing if Sterling does it.

  16. Anyone live in South Jersey or DC area?

    Is it snowing yet?

    • scooter says:

      I live in Alexandria, VA – and you could say it’s snowing.
      It’s to the tune of about 10″ so far. By tomorrow AM, we’re supposed to be at around 20″. Tomorrow will be a good day to break out the cross country skis

      The way they plow around here (they won’t do much til Sunday – and the roads won’t be good until Monday afternoon), I expect the Super Bowl party I was attending to be canceled. On the plus side, I’ll probably get to work from home on Monday

  17. JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura says:

    Best music video I’ve see in a while:


  18. The Doctor says:

    Frickin Devils,I dunno how well Kovalchuk will fit their system, but if they can pull tricks like tonight, it may not matter. I have never feared a franchise like I fear them.

  19. ColoYank says:

    Two cents’ worth: It’s all on the table with box scores, and I bet I’m a minority of one here, but I’d like to see assists and putouts somewhere in the product.

    And a listing of players available, in addition to the starting lineup – just position bench players – no pitchers needed. I’ll always know who’s on the Yanks’ bench, but would like sometimes to know who are the reserves on the opposite side.

    Call me hinke (sp?).

  20. Jack says:

    Late addition to the last night’s meme dictionary thread:

    _____ is unimpressed by _____.

  21. [...] Dave Allen at Baseball Analysts presented a new box score of his own, which Joe passed along as that night’s open thread. The new linear layout basically told the story of the game, starting at the first inning and [...]

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