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.
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.
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.
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.
Credit for the piece goes to Shan Carter, Kevin Quealy and Joe Ward.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Credit for the piece goes to the Guardian US interactive team and Harry J. Enten.
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 RedSox 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.
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.
The Boston Red Sox hired John Farrell this weekend to be their manager just one season after hiring Bobby Valentine for the role. There is a lot to be said about just who is to blame about the Red Sox’ awful season. But it was pretty awful. How awful? The Boston Globe shows us in this interactive piece.
It’s a series of small multiples of line charts. However, one of the big problems with the infographic is that the labels are entirely absent. As best I can tell the line is the number of games over .500, i.e. an even split between wins and losses. But, it could be more clearly called out if not in the legend or on the axes than in the title.
But over all it does put this past season into a sober perspective.