Sabr101x – Week 1

This has been the first week of Sabr 101, but also the first week of my new job, so I’ve been in the state of constant bewilderment and confusion that typifies a first week. New job people have largely greeted news of my existence with cries of great joy or expressions of great sympathy, so I get the feeling that the job is exactly as large and as tedious as presented in the interview.

The course has been good though.  I really like the way it is set up. We’ve got several ‘tracks’ to cover over the course of the week and they are broken into several smaller sections, that each consist of a short video, maybe a little reading, maybe some questions and maybe a requirement to add something to the discussion on the topic.  So it’s been easy to take little bite sized chunks of course every time my brain de-jobs enough to do so.

My ambition is already far outstripping my skills, so I may have to lean on my mother for Excel expertise in the near future.  I’ve already posted a help request that basically says “Please program this in VBA for me? Please?” to do something that I’m only curious about as a starting point. I always wish I already knew all the basics and could just jump to the fun stuff.

The 2015 body issue covers have been all over my corner of the internet today and Amanda Bingson has been delightfully “Sod it, I’m big and I love it” all over that part of ESPN.  Because baseball information includes height and weight information* here is the player with the largest BMI born the same year as me.**

Still littler than Panda!

Still littler than Panda!

Carlos Lee (BMI 34.66) – 13 year career left-field, 1B and DH, 3 All Star nods and 2 silver slugger awards.  Probably not quite a Hall Of Famer, but good enough to kick ass and take names for more than a decade.  Fun fact, he scored 4 points in the 1999 AL Rookie of the Year award – winner that year was Carlos Beltran with 133.  All the Carlos’ play baseball good!

He’s part of that small and select group whose first hit in the major league was a Home Run (117/18,239). He went on to hit 358 home runs throughout his career (equal 84th with Yogi Berra – though Carlos Beltran is still in front of him with 380) and 17 of those were grand slams (7th most, all time – take THAT Carlos Beltran, you’ve only hit 11!)

But, beyond all that, I think he’s most known for signing a fantastic deal (for him) with the Astros. A 6 year $100 million contract is definitely making bank.  The Astros somehow ended up with a guy in his early and mid-30s who kept losing range and power.  This contract pretty regularly appears on the ‘worst ever’ lists.  But I have the biggest soft spot in the world for big cuddly power-hitters and pretty much the absence of a soft spot for the way the Astros handle their player contracts and relationships, so I’ll just quietly enjoy my schadenfreude over in this corner.

Carlos Lee – it was nice to make your acquaintance.

*I’ve never really understood why – at some point I guess I’ll be writing myself some queries to see if there’s enough of a correlation between height and/or weight in performance (once you’re at this very elite level) to make it worthwhile information.  Or perhaps it’s just to help the crowd spot which player is which?

** Using the sabr101x SQL sandbox hooked up to the Lahman Database.  I assume there are commands to sort the data, but I don’t know them yet, so Excel is my friend.

SELECT nameFirst, nameLast, ROUND(weight/(height*height)*703,2) AS BMI FROM Master
WHERE birthYEAR = 1976


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