Renovating Wrigley Field

In Chicago there is much ado about renovating Wrigley Field. As a Red Sox fan, I can only say that the Fenway renovations are being well-received. A little while back, the Chicago Tribune illustrated just what these proposed changes will be. The first image was from the above the fold section, and the second was a smaller set of illustrations that were below the fold.

Above the fold illustrations
Above the fold illustrations
Below the fold illustrations
Below the fold illustrations

Really, it’s just always a treat to be able to post printed graphics.

Credit for the pieces go to the Cubs and Chad Yoder of the Tribune.

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper is undoubtedly one of the best baseball players in the game today. To put it simply, he hits. And he hits well. And he hits well often. So the Washington Post put together an interactive, long form piece about Harper’s swing and hitting.

Pitching to Bryce Harper
Pitching to Bryce Harper

The piece begins with a narrated video outlining the science behind Harper’s swing. Then the reader can down into the piece and learn more about Harper’s history and development and how he compares to other hitters. Statistics and data visualisation pieces show just how impressive Harper is as a hitter and how pitchers are trying to combat that.

Interactive long form articles are appearing more and more often online. But this is perhaps the most data- and science-intensive piece I have seen thus far. What is particularly nice about the format is that, as I have often noted, annotations and explanations are what make good infographics and what move data visualisation from presentational to informational. That this piece in particular happens to be about baseball, well, all the better.

Credit for the piece goes to Adam Kilgore, Sohail Al-Jamea, Wilson Andrews, Bonnie Berkowitz, Todd Lindeman, Jonathan Newton, Lindsay Applebaum, Karl Hente, Matthew Rennie, John Romero, and Mitch Rubin.

Disabled List Payrolls

The Boston Red Sox are in Chicago this week to play the other Sox, i.e. the White Sox. So this week we have a bunch of baseball-related pieces. The first is this recent interactive graphic from the New York Times. It is a daily-updated graphic that looks at the payroll of all Major League teams that is tied up on players on the Disabled List, i.e. those unable to play because of injuries.

Comparing all MLB teams
Comparing all MLB teams

Clearly the Yankees are paying a lot of money for no production. You can go down the list and compare each team’s total spending. But if you want intra-team details, the piece offers you the ability to look at player-by-player salary details. Interestingly one of Chicago’s baseball teams ranks just above the Red Sox while Milwaukee sits just below.

Red Sox players on the Disabled List
Red Sox players on the Disabled List

Credit for the piece goes to Shan Carter, Kevin Quealy and Joe Ward.

Your State’s Highest Paid Public Employee

This choropleth map comes from Deadspin and it looks at each state’s highest paid public employee. As you can probably imagine since the graphic comes from Deadspin, most states pay their highest wages to sports coaches. Ten states pay somebody other than a sports coach. And five of those are in the Mid-Atlantic/New England area.

Highest Paid Public Employees
Highest Paid Public Employees

Credit for the piece goes to Reuben Fischer-Baum.

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend, but your humble author is out until next week. So here is a work from David Yanofsky at Quartz that looks at the average horse times in the one and three-quarter miles at the Kentucky Derby. (I’m a baseball guy, so ask me about Pedro’s strikeout rates in the late 1990s and I’m much better equipped with answers.)

But he takes decade-long averages and shows how horse speeds have essentially plateaued since the 1960s.

Horse times
Horse times

Credit for the piece goes to David Yanofsky.

Replacing Nomar Garciaparra

I am a fan of the Boston Red Sox and have been since 1999. The first (and sadly only) Red Sox game I saw at Fenway was the day after Nomar Garciaparra hit three home runs in one game. Two of them were grand slams. For you non-baseball folks (NBF) reading this, that is majorly impressive. Anyway, the Red Sox traded him in 2004 to acquire some pieces they needed to make a run for the World Series title that had eluded them for 80+ years (also significant for NBF). The result? My favourite player traded to the Cubs, but my favourite team won the World Series.

But now it’s Opening Day, the kickoff for the baseball season—that reference is for you American football fans. (To be fair, there was a game last night between two Texas teams, but today’s the de facto start.) Since that 2004 trade, however, the Red Sox have not had a consistent, long-term shortstop of the same offensive calibre of Nomar. How bad has this revolving door been? My infographic today looks at the shortstop replacements for Nomar Garciaparra.

Click to go to the full graphic
Click to go to the full graphic

March Madness Continues

I imagined that I would be finished with posts about this March Madness thing. However, the New Yorker released its own bracket system that interested me—again, with the giant caveat that I know nothing about basketball.

To be an interactive bracket, clearly the piece needs to function as a means of following results. However, the New Yorker offers additional layers as part of the graphic: the programme’s expenses, revenues, and geographical location. Here is the expected bracket of actual results.

Current and actual results
Current and actual results

But the first thing I realised when looking at the map is that none of the groupings make any sense. How are schools from within the same city all in separate regions?

How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?
How is LaSalle in North Philly in the West?

Second, the list shows you the schools ranked, again by either expenses or revenues. The encouraging thing is when you compare this to the results thus far, teams that spend very little money (comparatively) can defeat the big spenders, e.g. Florida Gulf Coast defeated Georgetown.

Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)
Show me the money! (At least who's spending it.)

And that point of course proves that the most interesting view, the money bracket, does not necessarily hold true. Those teams that spend the most will not necessarily be victorious.

The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game
The bracket, if the team spending the most money won each game

Credit for the piece goes to the New Yorker.

March Madness

It’s March Madness. And I know not a thing about basketball. But I do know a thing (maybe even two) about infographics and data visualization. I also that Nate Silver pretty much rocks. So when he releases odds for different teams to progress throughout this year’s tournament, you basketball/infographic/data viz-loving folks should pay attention.

The 538 Forecast Bracket
The 538 Forecast Bracket

I of course had to go with Villanova. If only because I have to represent the Main Line. I mean really, it was down to Nova or Temple, which do you think I would pick?

Credit for the piece goes to Nate Silver (definitely for the data, not so sure for the design/interaction/build of the piece).

NFL Teams by the Numbers

While the Superbowl was two weekends ago, I have been sitting on this post for a little while. Probably because I really just don’t understand the sport. But over at the Guardian, the interactive team put together an interactive infographic that looked at payroll spending for each team by position and by overall position, i.e. offence vs. defence.

Admittedly I found the position part not as interesting, probably because of my aforementioned lack of understanding of the game. But the small-multiples-based exploration of the offence vs. defence numbers was quite interesting. It allows the user to highlight their preferred team and then sort the view by offence, defence, or special teams.

The overview shows the breakdown of spending by team
The overview shows the breakdown of spending by team
Selecting a team highlights its data
Selecting a team highlights its data
Sorting the data by one of the four metrics atop the table, in this case offence
Sorting the data by one of the four metrics atop the table, in this case offence

Credit for the piece goes to the Guardian US interactive team and Harry J. Enten.

Super Bowl (Some Number)

If you didn’t know, the Super Bowl is Sunday. I admit, I forgot it was this Sunday. But you probably know that’s because I’m more of a baseball guy, specifically a Red Sox guy. Prior to forgetting I had been looking for a nice infographic on either the 49ers or the Ravens, the two teams involved. I forgot because I didn’t find any. Until this morning.

It’s not very large, nor very detailed, but it’s about football. And it’s about the 49ers. So it meets my requirements.

Frank Gore
Frank Gore

Photograph by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

Full disclaimer, despite being a Red Sox fan from Philly, I’m an Eagles fan. So I could care less who wins this match on Sunday.