September 30, 2012 |
WAR. What is it good for? Absolutely something if you think Angels rookie Mike Trout should win the American League most valuable player award over Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera based solely on this advanced metric, which stands for Wins Above Replacement. But what is WAR, exactly? It attempts to quantify a player's overall contribution - hitting, baserunning and defense, for position players - and is expressed as the number of wins a player adds to his team by comparing his performance with that of a fictitious "replacement player," assumed to be an average triple-A call-up.
September 29, 2012 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - The most valuable player ballot is a rather plain document, delivered not by fancy envelope but by email. Fill in the blank spaces, return to sender. The ballot is accompanied by a letter. This is how that letter starts: "Dear Voter: There is no clear-cut definition of what Most Valuable means. It is up to the individual voter to decide. " Keep that in mind, as perhaps the most polarizing MVP debate ever reaches its crescendo. The polls close Wednesday, the final day of the regular season.
September 26, 2012 |
Matt Barkley has been less than perfect. But USC's senior quarterback, who's had four passes intercepted in the last two games, says he's "perfectly happy" if the Trojans win, regardless of his statistics. "This is not a year for me to start complaining about stats or anything like that," Barkley said Tuesday after practice. "Because if we're winning, then I'm perfectly happy. If we're running the ball for 300 yards, than I'm perfectly happy. " The No. 13 Trojans have an open date this week before playing at Utah on Oct. 4. Barkley's statistics through the first third of the season are comparable to what they were at this stage a year ago. After four games last season, he had completed 68.5% of his passes for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns with three interceptions.
September 24, 2012 |
Widespread ballot-box stuffing and fraud likely occurred in the 2012 Russian presidential election that returned Vladimir Putin to the office, according to a new statistical model. The analysis, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also identifies Uganda as a site of widespread election tampering. There have been rumors of election fraud in Russia for the past several elections, and they reached a fever pitch this year. But election fraud is difficult to prove.
September 22, 2012 |
For decades many soccer coaches viewed statistics other than goals and saves as nothing more than meaningless curiosities. But now, inspired in part by the "Moneyball"-fueled rush to break every game down to the sum of its parts, the sport is taking a new look at numbers. And while it has found value in some of those figures, it's clear not all of the numbers are adding up. On the plus side, Major League Soccer has experimented with a lightweight wireless data-tracking system that fits under a player's jersey and blends information from a GPS, gyroscope and accelerometer into real-time measurements of effort, speed and the distance each player has covered.
August 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - In declaring that women's bodies can somehow prevent pregnancy in the event of a rape, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) sparked a national conversation about a scientifically unsubstantiated theory, sending reporters scurrying in search of the data that would prove him right or wrong. Surprisingly few hard facts and figures were available about the prevalence of rape-related pregnancies. Many news outlets, including this one, cited a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, which estimated that more than 32,000 women experience a rape-related pregnancy each year.
August 13, 2012 |
Ready for this one? Americans are fat. More accurate, Americans are still fat. The federal government released its “obesity map” on Monday, outlining the rates of obesity and how rates in the states compare. Colorado gets the svelte bragging rights, with 20.7% of its adults obese. At the other end of the scale is Mississippi, with a rate of 34.9%. California had a rate of 23.8%. The CDC has published all the states' figures. The South had the highest prevalence of obesity - with several states among the 12 that are in the over-30% category: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.
August 7, 2012 |
There was excitement in the air at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night. Fans received bobblehead dolls crafted in the image of Sandy Koufax. The Dodgers were fielding a lineup that existed only in the wildest of fantasies when they were stuck in bankruptcy last season. But the buzz in the stands was soon replaced by frustration, which manifested itself in boos. The Dodgers were facing the worst-pitching team in baseball, but couldn't hit. Again. They fell to the last-place Colorado Rockies for the second time in as many days, this time by a 3-1 margin.
August 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The latest jobs report means the economic shape of the presidential battlefield is now largely set, with an economy that no longer appears headed back toward recession, but in which growth continues at a sputtering pace. Friday's report from the Labor Department said that employers nationwide had added a seasonally adjusted 163,000 new jobs in July - the most since February, but still nowhere near enough to lower the unemployment rate, which edged up to 8.3% from the 8.2% level of the last two months.
August 3, 2012 |
The Dodgers'Jerry Hairston Jr. is among a group of major leaguers whose ability to play capably at multiple positions enhances their value to their teams. A look five other top utility players: Jeff Keppinger, Tampa Bay Rays Keppinger has played in 27 games at third base, 18 at second base, and also has played first base and designated hitter. He has been especially effective against left-handed pitchers, batting .426. During his career, he's played every defensive position except for center field and catcher.