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Tribune buys BP membership

It may not seem like a big deal, but I've noticed something over the past week or so. The Chicago Tribune, Phil Rogers in particular, has been including little bytes of info that may go unnoticed if taken singularly, but when you take a step back and look at the big picture, there is a greater trend developing. The Chicago Tribune is trying to introduce the average sports fan -- the one who is wowed by stolen bases and hates players who strikeout -- to more advanced statistics than you would usually see being used in your local sports section.

I know Phil Rogers has taken some heat around here lately, but take a look at these excerpts from his last two columns: Letting Burnitz go a Cubs Gaffe

Baseball Prospectus, in its Value Over Replacement Player ratings, ranked Jones 23rd and Burnitz 24th among 34 big-league right fielders with at least 300 plate appearances last season.
Sox park no pitchers' picnic
It is tough to pitch in Texas, no doubt. But according to rankings in the Bill James 2006 Handbook, it's much tougher to pitch on the South Side of Chicago. Yet it's almost as if the pitchers haven't noticed.

James uses the ratio of home runs hit and allowed by every team in their games at home versus on the road to assign each ballpark an index figure.

U.S. Cellular was at 139 in 2005 and 135 for 2003-05. Texas' Ameriquest Field was at 126 in '05 and 119 for '03-05. That '05 figure was the second highest. The one over the last three seasons ranked fourth also behind Colorado's Coors Field and Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park, both at 121.

In today's Tempo section of the Tribune, there is a feature on Nate Silver, Baseball Prospectus, and PECOTA. The most interesting part of the article -- at least to this White Sox fan -- was the revelation that the Sox use PECOTA among other projection systems.
The White Sox are believers. According to spokesman Scott Reifert, PECOTA is one of several systems the team uses. He says the Sox's baseball operations people consider it "one of the top couple of projection systems out there."