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The Almanac contains entries which apply the Southpaw rating system to analyze various aspects of major league baseball, past, present, and future.

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232

No Longer Ignoring Barry Bonds

Posted by Charles Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:45:33 -0500
Filed Under: players science

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Barry Bonds had a backwards career. The chart will make that make sense. Bonds aged in a peculiar way: he got better with age, much better.

Below is the hitter aging curve plotted with Bonds' career incline. The red line, labeled “Bonds,” begins Bonds' career with a reset rating of 1509 at age 21, which starts him on the aging curve. His career diverges more and more as he gets older, finally he retires with an RVL of 93 at age 42, which is about 135 rating points higher than average rating of 41 year hitters. There aren't enough 42 year old hitters to even make a meaningful comparison.



Click image for larger version.


The yellow line shows Bonds' career with his age 42 rating swapped with his age 21 rating, his age 40 rating swapped with his age 22 rating, and so on. This curve is then shifted down so that the new rating for Bonds at age 21 matches the overall hitter aging curve rating for age 21. The path of the yellow line follows the overall aging curve more closely. It even looks like a realistic career path for a Hall-of-Fame player, what with a huge incline in ability early and a very low end point, which points to the fact that the whole curve was likely shifted downwards to match the player's rookie rating to the hitter aging curve.

Bonds' reverse curve looks like Ken Griffey's regular curve. Bond's career path looks like water running uphill. If Bonds wasn't using performance enhancing drugs after age 34, something very strange must have happened to him.

Post 226 contains an explanation of the hitter aging curve.




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Comment by Jay Fri, 16 Dec 2011 14:45:52 -0500

I won't argue that Bonds wasn't on PEDs for the extended twilight to his career, but is the PED use what made these years the outlier? Are there additional players thru the years that have shown this mysterious post-34 surge? Are there players that were not suspected of PED use with this surge? Do all suspected PED users share this curve?

While the Bonds chart is currently interesting, I'd argue it's not so interesting due to his PED use so much as it's interesting because he is truly one-of-a-kind.

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231

Nolan Ryan: Why Did He Retire?

Posted by Charles Sun, 11 Dec 2011 11:25:12 -0500
Filed Under: players science

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The starting pitching aging curve is much less interesting than the hitter curve. Pitchers' success is much more greatly influenced by how fast their arms wear out. The acquisition-of-skill aspect of baseball is much more visible at the major league level among hitters than pitchers, at least as far as the aging curves are concerned. Hitters typically gain a lot of ability in their first few years in the league, much more than pitchers. Maybe pitchers learn their trade more completely while they are in the minors or maybe their trade is mainly based on how hard they can throw a baseball, an ability that typically goes into decline when players are 23 or 241 years old.

Nolan Ryan's career is plotted next to the starting pitching aging curve below. Ryan's first 200-event season was when he was 21. I shifted his ratings such that his age-21 rating matched the age-21 rating on the curve. As you can see, Ryan didn't really decline. When he retired he was in a two year steep decline but his last season was not that much worse than his age-21 season.


Click image for larger version.

This graph is explained more here.

1 Based on strikeout rates which peak on average, at age 23.56, from
Bradbury, J.C. (2011) Hot Stove Economics: Understanding Baseball's Second Season

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Comment by Joseph Tue, 13 Dec 2011 11:40:06 -0500

i imagine that Barry Bonds' chart looks similar

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Table of Contents

May 6, 2014
358 Data Update
Comments: 2
Filed Under: predictions
April 2, 2014
356 Puzz #1!
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art puzz
February 13, 2014
355 Stopping by Yards on a Snowy Morning
Filed Under: art
January 10, 2014
353 Data Acquisition
Filed Under: conversions meta data past performances
December 14, 2013
351 Warren Spahn Awards 2013
Filed Under: art players spahn award SPAR
December 10, 2013
350 Mariano Rivera Awards 2013
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players rivera award
December 9, 2013
349 The 70-11 Line
Filed Under: science teams
December 4, 2013
347 2014 HOF Ballot
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art hall of fame
November 19, 2013
346 World Series Probability Continues
Filed Under: math probability science
November 6, 2013
345 2013 Laurels
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art challenge laurels
November 2, 2013
343 World Series Length
Filed Under: math probability science
October 30, 2013
342 World Series Probability
Filed Under: math probability science
October 24, 2013
341 More Speed Scores
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science
October 4, 2013
338 Postseason Auction
Filed Under: math probability science
August 20, 2013
329 Sparing SPAR
Filed Under: conversions past performances players science SPAR
August 2, 2013
324 Data Addition
Comments: 1
Filed Under: meta data past performances
June 28, 2013
319 Data Update
Filed Under: players predictions
June 3, 2013
316 Data Update
Filed Under: players predictions
June 1, 2013
315 Game Predictions Reconsidered
Filed Under: predictions
May 22, 2013
314 Game Prediction Check-in
Filed Under: predictions
April 25, 2013
310 Ray
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art players
April 11, 2013
309 A Room with a View
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art
April 2, 2013
308 Defense Take One
Filed Under: defense players predictions science
March 24, 2013
307 Pop Quiz #10!
Comments: 3
Filed Under: art pop quiz
March 2, 2013
306 Larry Bowa is my Bench Coach
Comments: 3
Filed Under: art team RVL
January 22, 2013
304 2012 Miscellany
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
January 19, 2013
302 Hall of Fame: Looking in and Looking Out
Filed Under: hall of fame
January 16, 2013
301 Transaction Upgrade
Comments: 2
Filed Under: meta data predictions trades
December 22, 2012
299 A Modest Proposal
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art hall of fame players
December 1, 2012
296 Mariano Rivera Awards 2012
Filed Under: art players rivera award
November 30, 2012
295 Warren Spahn Awards 2012
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players spahn award
November 29, 2012
294 2013 HOF Ballot
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art hall of fame
November 27, 2012
293 Content Upgrades
Comments: 2
Filed Under: meta data predictions trades
November 24, 2012
292 Player Ratings: 1945 and 1946
Filed Under: players
November 22, 2012
291 Trout for Thanksgiving
Comments: 3
Filed Under: forecasting players science
November 10, 2012
290 Dynamic Duos: Hitters
Filed Under: art players
November 8, 2012
289 Three Degrees of Southpaw
Filed Under: new feature
November 1, 2012
288 Champions Please Step to the Podium
Filed Under: art challenge laurels
October 30, 2012
287 Player Ratings: 1927
Comments: 5
Filed Under: new feature players
October 14, 2012
283 O Captain! My Captain!
Filed Under: art
October 4, 2012
281 Postseason Auction
Comments: 2
Filed Under: challenge new feature
September 8, 2012
279 Pop Quiz #9!
Comments: 15
Filed Under: art pop quiz
August 31, 2012
277 2012 Rating Update
Filed Under: players predictions
August 15, 2012
273 In-Season 2012 Ratings
Filed Under: new feature players predictions
July 25, 2012
268 New Feature
Filed Under: new feature
July 4, 2012
264 Occupy Boston
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art
June 26, 2012
263 Our Dominion Expands
Filed Under: meta data
June 13, 2012
261 Unreachable Convergence
Filed Under: new feature predictions
June 1, 2012
258 Warren Spahn Awards 2011
Filed Under: art players spahn award
May 20, 2012
254 Switch Hitter Update
Comments: 1
Filed Under: players science
April 27, 2012
252 Goodbye to All That
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art contracts players
April 25, 2012
251 Pop Quiz #8!
Comments: 4
Filed Under: pop quiz similarity
April 6, 2012
248 2012 Watch List
Filed Under: art forecasting players
April 4, 2012
247 Eric the Red
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art best by position players
March 24, 2012
246 SABR Analytics Conference Part I
Filed Under: SABR science
March 10, 2012
245 A Long Game's Journey into Night
Filed Under: statistics
February 29, 2012
243 Happy John Kruk Day!
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
February 28, 2012
242 Pop Quiz #7!
Comments: 6
Filed Under: new feature pop quiz
February 19, 2012
241 Philosophical Musing #4
Filed Under: philosophy players
February 5, 2012
240 Two True Outcomes
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
January 30, 2012
239 History of a Junkballer
Filed Under: art past performances players
January 17, 2012
238 Fantasy Baseball and Southpaw
Filed Under: players predictions science
January 7, 2012
236 Who is Jack Hiatt?
Filed Under: players science
January 6, 2012
235 Who Needs a Fielder?
Filed Under: art contracts players
December 15, 2011
233 Time Machine: October 1976
Filed Under: art teams world series
December 13, 2011
232 No Longer Ignoring Barry Bonds
Comments: 1
Filed Under: players science
December 11, 2011
231 Nolan Ryan: Why Did He Retire?
Comments: 1
Filed Under: players science
December 10, 2011
230 Ichiro and Aging
Filed Under: players science
December 10, 2011
229 Ken Griffey, Jr. and the Aging Curve
Filed Under: players science
December 10, 2011
228 Aaron, Mays, and Pujols Year-by-Year
Filed Under: players science
December 8, 2011
227 How Old is Albert Pujols?
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science
December 7, 2011
226 Baseball, Aging, Birth Certificate Forgery
Filed Under: science
December 4, 2011
225 Time Machine: October 1992
Filed Under: art teams world series
November 24, 2011
224 Three Turks and an Under-Rated Counting Stat
Filed Under: art players
November 17, 2011
223 Decline by Age
Comments: 1
Filed Under: forecasting players science
November 14, 2011
222 Further Decline Research
Filed Under: forecasting players science
November 11, 2011
220 The Cold Breath of Mortality
Comments: 1
Filed Under: players science
November 11, 2011
219 Why Chad Cordero?
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
November 9, 2011
218 2011 Positional Leaders
Filed Under: art forecasting players
November 8, 2011
217 Time Machine: October 1970
Filed Under: art teams world series
November 8, 2011
216 Thank You, Retrosheet!
Filed Under: meta data
October 28, 2011
213 Time Machine: October 1949
Filed Under: art teams world series
October 23, 2011
211 World Series Repeat Offenders II
Comments: 2
Filed Under: teams
October 21, 2011
210 World Series Repeat Offenders
Filed Under: teams
September 19, 2011
209 Prediction Predictions
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art predictions
July 25, 2011
200 Pop Quiz #6!
Comments: 4
Filed Under: pop quiz
July 11, 2011
192 More Data!
Comments: 1
Filed Under: meta data
June 29, 2011
186 The Latest Features
Comments: 1
Filed Under: meta data teams
June 27, 2011
185 Bleeding Blue in KC and LA
Filed Under: science teams
June 26, 2011
184 What's Wrong with this Picture?
Filed Under: art
June 22, 2011
180 Defense Wins Championships
Filed Under: science statistics team RVL
June 21, 2011
178 Positional Similarity Revisited
Filed Under: players science
June 13, 2011
168 Best of the American League Since-1950
Filed Under: art teams
June 4, 2011
162 Cryptic Knockoff of Pop Quiz
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players
June 2, 2011
160 Pop Quiz #5!
Comments: 4
Filed Under: pop quiz
May 25, 2011
154 NL East Since-1950 Teams
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art since 1950
May 18, 2011
146 AL West Since-1950 Teams
Filed Under: art since 1950
May 17, 2011
145 NL Central Since-1950 Teams
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art since 1950
May 15, 2011
143 TARP III: Some Relief
Filed Under: players science TARG
May 14, 2011
142 TARP II: We Like Rob Dibble
Filed Under: players science TARG
May 6, 2011
136 Feature Alert
Comments: 1
Filed Under: meta data new feature
May 5, 2011
135 Keep Jimmy Rollins?
Filed Under: art contracts forecasting
May 3, 2011
134 Line beats Log
Filed Under: science
May 1, 2011
132 Southpaw converted to Offensive Win %
Filed Under: science
April 30, 2011
131 Offensive Win % and Southpaw
Filed Under: science
April 29, 2011
130 NL West Since-1950 Teams
Filed Under: art since 1950
April 28, 2011
129 AL East Since-1950 Teams
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art since 1950
April 27, 2011
127 Since-1950 Teams
Comments: 3
Filed Under: art since 1950
April 27, 2011
126 The Joe Mauer Problem
Comments: 2
Filed Under: events players science
April 23, 2011
123 Philosophical Musing #3
Filed Under: art philosophy
April 22, 2011
122 RVL Update
Filed Under: meta data
April 22, 2011
121 Pop Quiz #4!
Comments: 8
Filed Under: pop quiz
April 17, 2011
118 Similarity by Position
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science
April 14, 2011
117 Decline and Stall
Comments: 2
Filed Under: science
April 9, 2011
109 Statistical Musing #8
Filed Under: science statistics teams
April 8, 2011
108 All Hail Tony the Russian
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art players
April 7, 2011
107 Peas in a Pod
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art pitcher use players
April 5, 2011
104 2011 Watch List
Filed Under: art forecasting players
April 3, 2011
101 Cups of Coffee
Filed Under: events players science
April 2, 2011
100 Pop Quiz #3!
Comments: 4
Filed Under: pop quiz
April 1, 2011
99 When Careers Peak: Hitters
March 31, 2011
98 Predictions 2011
Filed Under: predictions
March 25, 2011
96 Hitter Aging Patterns
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
March 25, 2011
95 Developments
Comments: 2
Filed Under: meta data new feature
March 21, 2011
94 Economic Musing #1
Filed Under: economics science
March 15, 2011
92 Back to the Bullpen
Filed Under: events pitcher use players science
March 14, 2011
91 Happy Pi Day!
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art events players teams
March 13, 2011
90 Interleague Swiss
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art teams
March 10, 2011
89 Ten Baseball Questions
Comments: 3
Filed Under: players science teams
February 24, 2011
82 Wainwright
Filed Under: expected winning pct
February 23, 2011
81 Statistical Musing #6
Comments: 4
Filed Under: players science statistics
February 22, 2011
80 Signs of Competence
Comments: 1
Filed Under: science
February 21, 2011
78 Technical Note #1
Comments: 4
Filed Under: meta data
February 21, 2011
77 Cy Young Awards, Part III
Filed Under: art players
February 21, 2011
76 Cy Young Awards, Part II
Filed Under: art players
February 21, 2011
75 Cy Young Awards, Part I
Filed Under: art players
February 19, 2011
74 Big TARG Map
Comments: 1
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 18, 2011
73 Statistical Musing #5
Filed Under: science statistics
February 16, 2011
72 Settling the Matter
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art past performances
February 15, 2011
71 TARG VIII: A Map
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 15, 2011
70 Pop Quiz #2!
Comments: 5
Filed Under: pop quiz
February 15, 2011
69 Revisiting TARGET and H-gauge
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 13, 2011
67 Route Planning for the 2011 Phillies Victory Parade
Filed Under: art
February 11, 2011
66 On TARGET
Filed Under: art players TARG
February 11, 2011
65 Mathematical Musing #1
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art math players
February 9, 2011
63 The Fat Game in History
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art hall of fame players
February 8, 2011
62 Event FAQ
Comments: 1
Filed Under: events meta data
February 8, 2011
61 TARG VI: Bonds, Barry Bonds
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 4, 2011
59 TARG V: Ichiro
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 4, 2011
57 TARG III
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 3, 2011
56 Three-Axis Rating Gauge, Part II
Filed Under: players science TARG
February 2, 2011
54 Best Hitting Season Progression
Comments: 3
Filed Under: art
February 1, 2011
51 You call that Arcane? This is Arcane.
Filed Under: art players
January 28, 2011
46 Well-Designated Hitters
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 26, 2011
45 Pop Quiz #1!
Comments: 7
Filed Under: pop quiz
January 26, 2011
44 Right-field Mashers
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 25, 2011
43 A Surprise
Comments: 5
Filed Under: players science
January 25, 2011
42 Turnover and Winning
Filed Under: science teams
January 24, 2011
40 Philosophical Musing #2
Filed Under: art philosophy players
January 22, 2011
39 EmployeeTurnover by Position
Comments: 3
Filed Under: players science
January 19, 2011
36 Clash of the Titans
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 18, 2011
34 Statistical Musing #4
Comments: 3
Filed Under: players science statistics
January 17, 2011
33 Statistical Musing #3
Comments: 8
Filed Under: players science statistics
January 14, 2011
32 The Best-Hitting Shortstops
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 14, 2011
31 Second Base
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 12, 2011
30 Similarity among Hitters
Comments: 2
Filed Under: players science
January 13, 2011
29 First Sackers
Filed Under: art best by position players
January 9, 2011
26 Team Movement Charted
Filed Under: art teams
January 7, 2011
25 Relief Pitching Effectiveness
Filed Under: pitcher use players science
January 7, 2011
24 Who is John Grubb?
Comments: 2
Filed Under: art players
January 3, 2011
22 Hall of Fame Arguments
Filed Under: art hall of fame
December 31, 2010
21 Another Angle
Comments: 7
Filed Under: players
December 30, 2010
20 Statistical Musing #2
Filed Under: science statistics
December 22, 2010
19 Transactions, Proportions, Dinner
Filed Under: players science
December 20, 2010
16 Even More Team Ratings
Filed Under: science team RVL teams
December 20, 2010
15 More Team Ratings
Filed Under: science team RVL teams
December 19, 2010
14 Team Ratings by Category
Filed Under: science team RVL teams
December 16, 2010
13 Philosophical Musing #1
Comments: 1
Filed Under: art philosophy players
December 16, 2010
12 Career Graphs for a Few Great Pitchers
Filed Under: players science
December 15, 2010
11 Career Graphs for a Few Great Hitters
Filed Under: players science
December 13, 2010
10 Graphs of Hitting Performance
Filed Under: meta data players science
December 9, 2010
9 Who's your Designated Hitter?
Filed Under: art players
December 9, 2010
8 Worst-Hitting Career By Position
Filed Under: art past performances
December 13, 2010
7 The Best Hitting Positions
Filed Under: players science
December 13, 2010
5 Infield Hitting by Position
Filed Under: players science
December 13, 2010
4 Outfield Hitting by Position
Filed Under: players science
December 15, 2010
3 2011 'HOF' Ballot
Filed Under: art hall of fame past performances
December 3, 2010
2 Statisical Musing #1
Filed Under: players science statistics
December 7, 2010
1 Are Pitchers Better Now?
Filed Under: pitcher use players science