Is Bingo Small for a AA Franchise?

Recently a Binghamton Mets fan commented that AA is a high level of ball for a community the size of Binghamton. Is that true? Let’s take a look at the populations of the metro areas in the Eastern League. The whole metro-area thing is not an exact science, but I think most of the EL cities are reasonably represented. I used a list on Wikipedia that has 2012 population figures. New Hampshire is represented by Manchester, and New Britain is represented by Hartford. The only real choice for Bowie is Washington. Bowie is a bit of an anomaly in the Eastern League, as it’s the only location that very close to an MLB city. The metro-area populations are shown in the chart below. Bowie is not included, because Washington’s nine million population is off the charts.

el_pop



I’m surprised that New Britain/Hartford is the largest (apart from Bowie/DC). Anyway, the fan was correct: only Altoona has a lower population than Binghamton. I’ve been to Altoona, and not only is it fairly small, but it’s also pretty isolated. I can’t imagine that many people make the trek from Pittsburgh or State College. It’s a fairly new site for organized baseball (1999), and their attendance is relatively strong. Well done, Altoona!

Speaking of attendance, the average EL 2014 home attendance is shown in the chart below.

el_att

Binghamton’s place in the cellar may play a large role in the possible demise of the franchise, but it’s been fun while it’s lasted!

Errors at Different Levels of OB

Commish & I were discussing the standards for official scorers giving errors. Should the same standard be applied regardless of the level, or should the standards be higher at the higher levels?

Commish made the excellent point that throwing errors (especially to first) are going to be automatic and are not really subject to any subjective standard. Since these types of errors are obviously made more frequently at the lower levels, we expect the number of errors to go up as the level goes down.

So, I can’t answer my original question with stats, but I still thought it would be interesting to look at the fielding percentages at the different levels of OB. I used 2013 stats and excluded leagues south of the border.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 9.36.42 PM

The trend is clear. Actually, it’s clearer than I expected! When you get down to A ball, errors are twice as likely compared to the Bigs.

Dayton Dragons

Panorama from a stadium named for a bank. (Click to enlarge.)

On August 2 the Dayton Dragons fell to the Lansing Lugnuts 5-2. They’re working on consecutive sell-out #860 or something, but there were lots of empty seats.

Passed Balls & Other Advances

When a runner tries to advance after the ball gets away from the catcher, and it’s not ruled a Wild Pitch, two things can happen. If the runner advances safely, the catcher is charged with a Passed Ball. If the runner is thrown out it’s simply an out. You might think the second case is Caught Stealing, but it’s not. From Rule 10.07:

In those instances where a pitched ball eludes the catcher and the runner is put out trying to advance, the official scorer shall not charge any “caught stealing.”

Project Scoresheet codes this as “OA,” Other Advance.

OA is coded for a base runner advance that is not covered by one of the other codes. A comment may be given explaining the advance.

play,3,1,parkr001,??,,OA.2X3(25)
com,"Thompson out trying to advance after ball eluded catcher"

Commish & I saw this happen a couple of times at a B-Mets game this week. Commish was interested to know how many times these events occur. So was I.

Using Retrosheet Event File data from last five regular seasons (MLB 2007-2011), I count 1,522 Passed Balls and 337 Other Advances that involved the catcher. (I didn’t count 19 Other Advances that didn’t seem to involve the catcher.) So, there’s one Other Advance for every 4.5 Passed Balls. A Passed Ball occurs once every eight games on average, while an Other Advance occurs once every 36 games. For comparison, a Wild Pitch occurs once every 1.54 games.

B-Mets Games in 2011

From a stack of ticket stubs. Might have missed one or two.

  1. April 14, New Hampshire, L
  2. April 20, Portland, W
  3. April 30, Akron, W
  4. May 1, Akron, L
  5. May 9, New Britain, L
  6. May 21, Harrisburg, L
  7. May 28, Altoona, L & L
  8. May 30, Altoona, L
  9. June 7, Harrisburg, L & L
  10. June 18, Trenton, W
  11. June 19, Trenton, L
  12. June 30, Bowie, L
  13. July 1, Bowie, W
  14. July 5, Portland, L & L
  15. July 14, New Hampshire, L & W
  16. July 17, New Hampshire, W
  17. July 26, Portland, L
  18. August 5, Reading, W
  19. August 12, Richmond, L
  20. August 16, New Britain, W
  21. August 24, Erie, W
  22. August 25, Altoona, L, Jose Reyes rehab
  23. August 26, Altoona, W, Jose Reyes rehab
  24. September 2, Reading, L
  25. September 3, Reading, L
  26. September 4, Reading, L
  27. September 5, Reading, L, final game

I didn’t bring ’em any luck. They were 10-21 (.323) when I was in the stands, 65-76 (.461) overall.

B-Mets Jersey Auction

Results from last night’s (2011-09-03) jersey auction. The B-Mets wore 1992 throw-backs from their inaugural season. $80 minimum bid.

# Player Winning Bid
22 Brandon Moore $210
49 Matt Harvey $200
2 Reese Havens $190
13 Juan Lagares $170
16 Matt den Dekker $150
18 Brahim Maldonado $120
43 Jheris Familia $120
34 Alan Dykstra $120
9 Kai Grönauer $120
11 Jon Malo $120
5 Mike Fisher $110
6 Wally Backman $110
3 ? $110
7 $110
50 Rob Carson $100
4 $100
10 Ricky Brooks $90
8 $90
15 Eric Turgeon $80
19 Tobi Stoner $80
21 Eric Campbell $80
23 Colin McHugh $80
25 Roy Merritt $80
27 Edgar Ramirez $80
38 Jean-Luc Blaquiere $80
44 Brad Holt $80
47 Rhiner Cruz $80
17 ? $80
33 $80
45 $80
1 $80
20 $80
24 Niuman Romero
54
46
26

Dunn Field, May 8, 1965

Article and box score from the 1966 Official Baseball Guide about the then-record 27-inning game down the road at Dunn Field. Amazing how few pitchers & position players were used. This game was later surpassed by a 33-inning affair in 1981. Still, the Elmira game might be the longest pro game completed in one day. Belanger and Piniella were to be the big names from this Pioneers team. Earl Weaver piloted the squad.