Baseball Prospectus.comÂ has throwed its doors openÂ this week allowing curious baseball fans the chance to sample what they have to offer.Â Whether you are a stat fan who hasnâ€™t yet taken the plunge into the Premium content, or if your natural inclination is to avoid the â€˜numbers geeksâ€™ at all costs, it’s an opportunity worth taking up if you haven’t read much from the BP Team before.
For several years, my â€˜baseball-relatedâ€™ expenditure has included a BP Premium subscription alongside their excellent annual.Â Now, Iâ€™m probably not their core target audience.Â Iâ€™m not overly obsessed with stats and anything beyond a bit of simple number crunching on my part takes me out of my comfort zone.Â Iâ€™m also far from the worldâ€™s biggest fantasy freak, so the Fantasy-based content isnâ€™t of great interest to me.Â Yet in spite of this, I always enjoy reading a number of their writers and, combined with my amateur forays into their extensive stats sections, that more than makes the subscription fee excellent value for money.
BP has a reputation in some quarters for being a group of smarmy know-it-all blighters.Â The image doesnâ€™t match the reality though.Â Yes, they are often opinionated and pull no punches when they think someone deserves criticism.Â They are also happy to go against conventional wisdom and to tell you why you are wrong, which understandably can rub people up the wrong way at times, but they are not mere tub thumpers.Â When they say something, they invariably back it up with evidence in an effort to convince you of their position.Â Sometimes it works; sometimes you still end up disagreeing with them.Â Either way, they always get you thinking and they are never boring.Â I sometimes think that as the Internet has allowed everyone a voice, itâ€™s actually made people less willing to listen to others, rather than encouraging the sharing of ideas.Â Itâ€™s amazing how many people you come across on the Internet who cannot cope with the idea of someone having a different opinion to theirs.Â Okay, you have to acknowledge thereâ€™s a healthy â€˜nutterâ€™ element out there on the message boards and forums, but even so â€¦
Anyway, what I like most about BP is that, in a lot of cases, they use their numbers as supporting evidence to their content rather than being the focus of the actual articles.Â Will Carroll has started adding in some stats to his regular â€˜Under the Knifeâ€™ column, but essentially they are based around the information about player injuries that he gets from his many contacts in the game (warning: Willâ€˜s article from yesterday includes a link to a post on Curt Schillingâ€˜s blog where he talks about his latest injury.Â This includes graphic, mid-operation pictures that are fascinating viewing but are a bit much when youâ€˜re surfing the â€˜net while innocently eating some rhubarb crumble).Â Kevin Goldsteinâ€™s writing about prospects is unmatched, as is Christina Kahrlâ€™s analysis of all the latest transactions.Â Â Joe Sheehan is never knowingly shy at stating his opinion on all the major issues in the game, while John Perrotto brings another different flavour to the mix with his â€˜newspaper sports journalistâ€™ type columns.Â And of course if you are a dedicated fan of stats, there is plenty of cutting-edge statistical analysis to enjoy as well.
So spend a bit of time this week looking through the fantastic content that BP publishes.Â A full Premium subscription for the year costs Â£20 ($39.95), possibly around Â£21 if you have to pay an overseas transaction charge to your bank .Â At Â£1.75 or less per month, you canâ€™t go wrong.