HELP SECTION FOR THE NEW (2015) EDITION OF THE COMPLETE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA I’m going to write this section as a Q&A session. Q: What does the compact database feature do? A: From time to time, the database may grow and get large enough that it needs to be compacted. One way to tell is if you do a sort that, you know from experience doesn’t take long, but it takes way too long to get your results that you reach the point where you give up. So far, the only things that I’ve noticed that have taken so long were sorts involving postseason stats, but I can’t eliminate the possibility that it could happen with something else. I’ve found when I’m in that situation, I just needed to compact the database and then I got my results in the very fast fashion that I was used to. It is actually possible for the database to grow even if you are not updating it via the daily update package. Using the career/seasons with and the streaks features will, for technical reasons, end up increasing the size of the database and, over time, that can grow to a point where you would need to compact it. It’s too early to tell anything yet, but it appears that updating the encyclopedia each day for the 2014 postseason will also make you run into this issue. So, I strongly recommend running the compact database at least around every 2-3 days, at a minimum, during the 2014 postseason. At least this is a very quick process. I didn’t put a timer on it, but my estimates are it only took 5-10 seconds or so for the database to be compacted. Q: In the ATM reports, when Rajai Davis reached 30 SB, you reported that the Tigers hadn’t had a player with 30+ SB since 2003 and the streak of 10 consecutive years without a 30+ SB player was the 4th longest in team history. How do you determine that? I see an area for seasons with items, but I don’t see the area for seasons without. A: You’re right. There is no section for “seasons without.” The way to determine that is to rephrase the question. When a team doesn’t have a player with 30+ SB, it means that their team leader had less than 30 SB. Viewed that way, it now becomes something the new edition of the encyclopedia can calculate. So, in order to determine the most consecutive years without a 30+ SB player for the Tigers, I went into streaks and selected SB as the category. I then selected team leader as the next criteria on that line, selected less than and entered 30. Then, in the lower left hand corner, I changed “player” to “team”. Meanwhile, in the league/team area, I changed everyone to team and then chose Tigers as the team. Finally, I hit generate and got the list. Q: I see in the streaks area, you can choose rookies only. Why? It’s not like Jose Abreu is going to be able to have a multiyear streak of hitting 30+ HR as a rookie. A: You’re right. It doesn’t really make any sense to be able to create a leader list for most consecutive years doing something while being a rookie. Sure, there are players who have rookie status for more than 1 year, but who wants rookie streaks for things like most consecutive years getting less than 10 AB while remaining a rookie. So, initially, that option wasn’t there for streaks. But, then, the 2014 postseason started. Cardinals rookie Randal Grichuk hit a HR. In order to see if I could come up with something interesting for the ATM reports, I used the seasons with feature to generate a chronological list of all of the Cardinals rookies with 1+ postseason HR and I noticed that this is the 4th consecutive year that the Cardinals had a rookie hit a HR in the postseason. That’s interesting and I wanted to know if that is a record. So, I went into the streaks area to see what team had the longest such streak. But, that’s when I realized that the encyclopedia couldn’t do it. That’s when I realized that my initial assumption that it doesn’t make sense to have the rookies option was wrong. So, I added it, for the sake of being able to look at streaks for teams with rookies with criteria. Q: On the top menu, under 2015, what does “update hitting leaders 1”, “update hitting leaders 2”, “update pitching leaders 1” and “update pitching leaders 2” do? A: Those should only be selected if you are a subscriber to the daily updates. Those features mark the players as being the league leader, team leader, position leaders for all of the stats. Doing so is a VERY tedious process, since the encyclopedia has to literally create a few thousand lists to perform that function. It took my laptop 3-5 minutes to run “update hitting leaders 1” and “update hitting leaders 2”, while it took 1 ½ minutes each for the 2 pitchers functions. So, it might not be something that you would want to run every single day. Also, it might be too early in the season for you to want 2015 to already count as how many time a player was a league/team/position leader. Q: So, what is the difference between those features in the preceding question and the "update hitting top 10" and "update pitching top 10" features? A: In all previous editions of the encyclopedia, the year by year top 10 lists could not be updated during the season and the player by player lists of top 10 yearly rankings could also not be updated during the season. I redesigned some of the code for that area and now those areas can be updated during the season. There are a couple of key differences between the top 10 and the items from the preceding question. First, the top 10 lists only take a few seconds for that feature to run. Second, in the preceding question, the data gets wiped out each day and you have to start from scratch and rerun them if you want 2015 to be marked for leaders. But, for the top 10 areas, that data will remain until you run it again. That means that, if you run the function on Monday and then go back and look at it on Thursday, Monday's data will still be there. Both the rankings and the stats will reflect what they were on Monday. I agree that is a bad design, but the solution for that is not only impractical, but it would take more time to run than it would just to rerun the feature whenever you wanted to see the data for 2015. So, I leave it to the individual user to determine how often you want to run that function. But, please note that, each day, when you do the daily update, doing that update will wipe out the previous day’s use of this function. So, you would have to repeat it. After all, when you last ran the function on Monday, Jose Abreu might have been leading the league in HR, but now, it’s Nelson Cruz. When you run these functions, it will give you a number. That will tell you how many seconds it took for this function, so you know how long it takes and you can set expectations. Multitasking can significantly slow down this feature. Doing other things in the background will increase the time. Also, if do multitask, or even if you don’t and you innocently click on the mouse while these functions are running, you are almost certain to see “not responding” up on the top of the computer. Don’t be alarmed. Just ignore that and let it finish. Q: I see that you now made the “capsule” player summaries available, like they are in the ATM reports. But, is there way that we can customize that and select our own list of stats? A: I had originally planned on providing that feature. But, there were far more pressing new features that were much higher priorities. Then, in the final days leading up to the release, my list of loose ends to tie up ended up being so big that I just couldn’t include that ability in this edition. But, that could be something that could be added to a future edition. Q: In the ATM reports, you featured a top 10 list that showed that Derek Jeter was in the top 10 for most career games by a player who played his entire career with 1 team. But, I don’t see where that option appears. So, how did you create that list? A: I created that list by generating the top 100 list for career games, cutting and pasting it into a text file and then manually removing players until I was left with a top 10. I really want to be able to add an option that allows the encyclopedia to generate those kind of lists. On the one hand, it would be very easy, in between seasons, to determine what players in MLB history played their whole careers with 1 team, mark them as such and then add the ability to restrict searches just to those players. That would take me less than 5 minutes to do. But, I haven’t been able to figure out how to deal with players who had spent the whole career with 1 team, but then lost that designation during the offseason (such as Robinson Cano, for 2014) or lost that designation due to a mid season trade (such as Jon Lester and David Price). Once I figure out the solution to that problem, I can add this feature. But, until then, I am currently stumped as to what is a good solution to this problem. Q: I wanted a top 10 list for most seasons for hitters with more HR than SO. So, I went into the seasons with area, in the final line of the criteria, I chose HR greater than SO. I chose qualifier and then generated the list. But, the whole entire top 10 consisted of players who were only on the list because they played before batter SO were recorded. How do I get a list limited to players who should legitimately be there? A: I had the same problem. That problem is caused by the fact that, when a stat wasn’t kept, such as batter SO for portions of the 19th century and the early 20th century, the database shows 0 for those players. But, then there is no way to separate out the players who really had 0 SO, as opposed to those who we don’t have the data for. (And, leaving blanks in the database can cause more problems than it solves, so that’s really not a viable option.) But, there is an easy solution. In addition to choosing HR greater than SO in the final line, in one of the above lines, also select SO greater than 0, or SO greater than/equal 1. That will get rid of the players who are only on the list because we didn’t have the data for them. Q: How do I create the list for most consecutive winning seasons for teams? I don’t see that area. A: Go to the streaks area. You can pick either hitting or pitching, it doesn’t matter which one. Pick a stat. It doesn’t matter which one. Then, chose greater than/equal 0. Then, in the right hand column of options, for “team W-L”, select either “winning record” or “losing record”. Then, in the lower left hand corner, make sure that “team” is selected, instead of “player.” Hit generate and you’ll get the list you want. Q: In the seasons/careers with area, I see options to list all seasons, chronologically and list all seasons, alphabetically. I can understand the former, I don’t understand the latter. For example, if I want a list of all of the 50+ HR seasons, why would I want Brady Anderson listed ahead of Babe Ruth, just because Anderson comes before Ruth? A: The reason for the alphabetical is that way, you can look at the list and everyone who achieved that feat has all of their seasons listed together. For example, if you wanted a list of all Yankees 30+ HR seasons and you wanted to focus on Lou Gehrig, you can get all of Gehrig’s seasons right after each other, without also having the list interrupted by Ruth. You could also get all of Gehrig’s seasons together if you did the display all seasons for individual player. But, there might be more than 1 player that you wanted to focus on and this gives you all of them in the same list. Q: I wanted a list of most HR in a season by players who did not lead the league. So, in the sort hitting area, I selected HR as my stat and I selected season. Then, in the other criteria area, I changed “display only” to “Not League leader”. When I ran the list, the encyclopedia ignored the “Not League leader” and just gave me the all time single season HR list. What went wrong? A: On the same line where you did “Not League leader”, you also have to select HR again. Then, you will get the list you are looking for. I know that, at first glance, that seems redundant. By doing it this way, I greatly expand the amount of lists that can be generated. You can mix and match stats this way. For example, you can get HR leaders among batting champions, by choosing AVG, instead of HR, in your other criteria and then choose “league leader” as a criteria. Q: In the last edition, I was able to do a sort, in the annual leaders area for my favorite team’s annual HR leaders and was able to have the league leader capitalized. This year, I can’t. Why not? A: I HATE removing things from the encyclopedia. I can’t think of anything else in the history of this product that I had to remove from one edition to the next one. Unfortunately, that particular feature had to go. It was a casualty of this year’s additions. Adding team leaders and position leaders to the database destroyed that feature’s ability to work properly. There became problems with the capitalize league leader feature that were just insurmountable. If I ever think of some new idea on how to overcome those obstacles, I will give it another chance and maybe it can come back in the future. The ability to see all of a team’s league leaders in a category are still there and are in the seasons with area. I agree there is value to the old system, where you can still see all of the team’s annual leaders, with the league leaders highlighted. But, the new additions give us so much more lists that we can create and that gain outweighs the cost of losing that feature. NOTE about removing retired players: Do not use that function unless you are a subscriber to the daily update service and you have already performed an update at some point during the 2015 season. That feature will go through the database and will remove active player status from any player who hasn't already appeared in the major leagues in 2015. So, if you perform that function now, thinking it players like Derek Jeter and Adam Dunn will no longer show up as active players, that is not what will happen. If you perform that function now, it will wipe out active player status for everyone in the majors. I will leave it in the hands of each individual user to determine for themselves when, during the 2015 season, it's time to stop classifying players who haven't appeared in the majors yet as active players. Personally, my cutoff point is April 30. Meanwhile, if a player's active player status is removed, but then he appears in a game later in the season, he will automatically have active player status restored to him after his 1st game of 2015. If you have any questions and there is anything that you can’t figure out how to do, please ask. I use the encyclopedia for literally hours per day, while working on my daily ATM reports. I know its capabilities so well that I really don’t know what might not be clear to everyone else. I’ve identified a few areas that I know needed explanation. But, I really don’t know what else people might have questions about and I don’t know what else might not be clear. So, please ask. I will not only answer your questions for you, but will also put answers here, so others can also benefit from the questions. Meanwhile, what follows is the help area that had been in the encyclopedia for previous editions. What was in that area is still applicable to the new edition. COMPLETE BASEBALL ENCYCLOPEDIA AROUND THE MAJORS REPORTS * In addition to creating the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia, I also run the around the majors reports list. Each day I send out reports that feature news, commentary, stats and rumors. Each Sunday during the season, I send out a stat package. Membership on the list is free and you can subscribe by sending a request to me, in the contact me area. DISPLAY PLAYER STATS * After a player is chosen, his stats will be displayed. * You can type just part of a player's name and the database will search for any players who match what you've typed. For example, if you type Alex, you will get both Alex Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander listed among the possibilities. Also, if there was more than 1 player with the name you have selected, you will need to choose which player you want. * It doesn't matter whether you use capital letters or lowercase. * The league average line shows the stats for an average player who played in the same league and had the same PAs or IPs as the chosen player on an annual basis. For example, a player who had 10% of his career PAs in the AL in 2000 would have the 2000 AL average count towards 10% of that line. The calculations for averages stats could be slightly different from what you would get if you figured them out based on the displayed totals. For example, a player's league average could show 27 H, 100 AB, but a .273 AVG. That's because the numbers that are shown for the non-percentages stats are rounded off, but the percentages stats (like AVG) consider the non rounded off numbers. So, in this example, the league average player would have had 27.3 hits in the 100 AB. For hitters, G is left blank for the average line. That's because the effect of pinch hitters and defensive replacements make that calculations too low for everyday players to be taken seriously, while it's always too high for players who were mostly backups. * The league average category for G, GS and GF are blank. Since the league totals combine both starters and relievers, it's not possible to get credible numbers in those areas for either group. Also, CG, SHO and SV are exceptions to the rule that everything is prorated to that pitcher's IPs. CG & SHO are prorated to his GS, while SV are prorated to his GF. * The position average line is the same as the league average, but just for that player's position. * The death data is incomplete. SORT HITTING/PITCHING/FIELDING * You may choose as many stats as you would like. But, the more stats you choose at 1 time, the longer it will take to generate the lists. * If you select Top as your option, as many stats as you would like can be chosen. When a stat is chosen, it is moved from the top box to the lower box. You will then get a listing of the top X players for each stat, according to the criteria you have selected. * However, if you select At least as your option, you may only select 1 stat at a time. For most stats, you will get a list of everyone with X or higher in that category. But, for the following stats, you will get a list of everyone with X or lower--ERA, Walks/9 IP, Hits/9 IP, Baserunners/9 IP. * For percentages stats, you must choose either a minimum amount of PA/IP or whether the player qualified for the AVG/ERA leadership. For purposes of this program, the qualifications are always set at 3.1 PA/G or 1 IP/G. But, qualifier is only a valid option for single season stats and not for career totals. * Since RCAA & OWP are based on league averages that exclude pitcher's hitting stats, pitchers are not included on leader lists for those stats. * Players with 0 in a category are not listed, except for RCAA, RCAP and RSAA. For those stats, players with 0 are included, since 0 doesn't mean none, but rather means league average. * If a stat is listed, but has no players listed, it either means that none of the players who met the criteria for sorting had anything other than 0 (such as the shutout leaders for the 2000 Padres), or it means that the stat was not available for the chosen years. * If a stat's leader list is listed in descending order, then 'best' means highest to lowest, while 'worst' is highest to lowest. It's vice versa for stats where leader lists are in ascending order. In other words, since the ERA leader list is lowest to highest, choosing 'best' for that list will give you the lowest ERAs. Meanwhile, for HR allowed by pitchers, even though a high total isn't good in that category, since the leader lists is determined by who had the most, choosing 'best' for that stat will give you the highest figures. * The following stats are not available for the following leagues & years-- RBI--AA, 1882-86, 1890; UA SO (batters)--AA, 1882-90; AL, 1901-12; NL, 1897-1909; UA SB--AA, 1882-85; NL, 1876-85; UA CS--AA; AL, 1901-19; NL, 1876-1911, 1926-42, 1945, 1948, 1950; UA; PL SAC--AA; NL, 1876-93; PL; UA SF--AA; AL, 1901-53; NL, 1876-1953; PL; UA IBB--AA; AL, 1901-54; NL, 1876-1954; PL; UA HBP--AA, 1882-83; NL, 1876-86; UA GIDP--AA; AL, 1901-38; NL, 1876-1932; UA; PL BFP--incomplete for the late 19th century through 1906, only about half of the pitchers have accurate data, the rest have zeros ADDING CRITERIA TO YOUR SORTING QUERIES * In addition to selecting specific teams/leagues/time spans/positions, you can also add statistical criteria to your sorting queries. * For example, if you want a HR list with players with a 1.000+ OPS, select HR as your stat by clicking on it in the box on the top left hand area of the screen. Then, in the 'other stats' area, which is to right of the other box, click on OPS, then click on 'greater than/equals', then enter 1.000' * You do not need to select any additional criteria. If you don't choose any, then none will be used. * If you just want to see a stat column, but don't want to set any specific criteria for that stat, then choose the stat and select 'display only.' For example, if you want the age of the oldest single season HR hitters, but don't want the list to be limited to players with specific ages, then you would select HR as your sorting stat and then age, in the 'other stats' area, along with the 'display only' option. * Age, height and weight is listed as additional sorting criteria, as well as being included as criteria with their own areas of the screen. If you use that criteria going through the box on the screen, it will be used as criteria, but each player data in that area will not be shown. If you would like to have that data displayed for each player, you need to include the data in the 'other stats' area. * You can select up to 5 additional stats to use, but you do not need to choose 5 stats. You can choose anywhere from 0 to 5. Also, you do not have to line in the lines in order. For example, if you choose 3 additional stats to use, you can fill in the 1st, 3rd and 5th lines and it will be the same thing as if you filled in the first 3. Meanwhile, if you do a sort with 3 stats, using the first 3 lines, and then decide you want to do another one, but dropping the 2nd stat you used, all of you have to do is set the stat in that line to 'None.' If you set it to none, then you don't have to bother to get rid of what you entered for the criteria for the rest of that line. (In other words, the greater than/less options and the numbers you used on that line. * To get a list of the youngest or oldest players to achieve a feat in a season, select age as your stat and then fill in the criteria in the 'other stats' area. To get a list of the oldest players, set the best/worst option. To get the youngest, set it to worst. By setting that option to worst, you will get the lowest numbers, which in that case will give you the youngest players. * You can not use age as a sorting stat for career numbers. In other words, you can't sort for the oldest players to reach 500 HR. You can only sort for oldest and youngest players when dealing with single season lists. But, you can generate lists such as HR leaders for players older than 35, by choosing HR as the sorting stat, and then setting the age criteria the 'other stats' area and/or the stand alone age area. SORT/DISPLAYING VS. AVERAGE * The sorting vs. average area allows you to generate leader lists of comparisons of player stats to their league averages. You can use either the overall league averages (minus pitcher's batting) or just the player's position. * All percentages will be computed based on unrounded off numbers, although just rounded off numbers will be shown. * You have the choice of using absolute numbers or percentages. Absolute numbers are the player's totals minus the league average, except for those stats who have asterisks next to them. For those stats, absolute number comparisons will generate league average minus the player's figure. * If percentages is chosen, then the list is generated by dividing the player's total by the league average, except for the asterisked stats, which are league average divided by the player's stats. In both cases, 100 represents the league average, 110 would be 10% above average, 90 would be 10% below average, etc. * When viewing a pitcher's W-L record vs. average, it appears that some pitchers are below average, when they really aren't. For example, it appears that Randy Johnson's W-L column vs. the league shows up as 56-63 when the differences are displayed and 133-159 when the ratios are displayed. But, what that means is Johnson is 56 wins above the league average and 63 losses above average. For the ratios, it means Johnson is 33% above average in wins, while his losses are 59% better than average. * When displaying a player's stats vs. the average, the column will be blank if it is not a category that is compared to the league average or if computing the ratio would result in a division by zero error. YEAR * Postseason results are included with each year's standings. * The hitting and pitching leaders are all of the top 10 leaders for that year and league. * The team hitting and pitching option here gives you all of the teams in the league for that year. The hitting charts are sorted by runs scored, while the pitching charts are sorted by ERA. * Debut and final year gives a list of everyone who ever debuted or had their final year in that season. Players who were still active in the minors in 2000, but didn't play in the majors, as well as those who missed the whole season due to an injury, will be included on a list for this purpose. TEAMS * In early baseball history, it wasn't uncommon for teams to change their names. Whenever a team name is displayed, it is the name of the team, as they are known today. For defunct teams, the name is the name that they used the most. * Exceptions--the Minnesota Twins & Texas Rangers were both originally known as the Washington Senators. The Baltimore Orioles used to be the St. Louis Browns. The Milwaukee Brewers started as the Seattle Pilots. In these cases, the team name will be the team that they used in that particular year. * The standings, hitting and pitching options in this area allow you to see a single team's year by year performance in that area. * The roster option presents all of the individual hitting or pitching stats for a particular team in a particular year. Special thanks goes to Kevin Cluff, for providing help with biographical data.
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