Off-season viewing

Every season I have the same idea that I singularly fail to act upon.

One of the many benefits of the annual MLB.TV subscription is that, as the name suggests, it lasts for the full year rather than just the season. Whilst live baseball may be thin on the ground over the winter months, MLB.TV allows you to go back in time and watch any game from the 2012 season that you like.

The only difficultly is knowing which of the 2430 regular season games, plus the postseason games, to watch next.

This is where my unactioned idea comes in. My plan is always to keep a running log of exciting games – those that go back and forth and provide plenty of drama – so that I can pick them out over the offseason without needing to do any research that would then probably jog my memory as to why the game was added onto the list (memorable moments, which team won etc).

Those exciting games can then be added to the ‘obvious’ highlights (no-hitters etc) to create a schedule of great baseball to enjoy until Spring Training comes around again.

I never end up making this list and it’s only when I get to the end of November every year and have watched the most notable stand-out games that I wish I had done it yet again.

Thankfully, this year Dave Studeman at the Hardball Times website has come to the rescue. He has put together a list of the 150 most exciting games of the 2012 season. As you would expect from the Hardball Times, this isn’t a list put together haphazardly.

Studeman has created an ‘excitability score’ “derived by combining the average swing in Win Expectancy per inning (times nine innings) plus the average leverage index of each play”. As he explains, “by combining action (swings in WPA) with intensity (average leverage index), we were able to identify the games that are most likely to keep you on the edge of your seat this offseason”.

That’s my offseason viewing sorted then!

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