Spring Training starts in just less than a month. I'll pause for the cheering to stop.
In honor of that, today we are starting a 4-part series, leading into Pitchers and Catchers reporting, that we are calling our 2011 Primer. Each Wednesday for the next 4 weeks we will be posting a new edition, focused on baseball's web presence and websites/blogs we think you should know.
Today's edition focuses on Baseball Websites (Non-Blog edition) which, in the course of our research/enjoyment we have stumbled upon. We hope that you will find these sites as infinitely valuable as we do; both in resources, hilarity, and enjoyment. As part of our ongoing support of all things baseball, we wanted to share these sites with you. Some of these sites you may know, some of these sites you may love, some of these sites you may hate, but either way, we would love to share these with you.
This is the Baseball Site (Non-Blog) edition.
This site is the be-all-end-all of baseball's presence on the web. Everything you could possibly want to find, ever, if it relates to baseball. Stats, box scores, award voting, Hall of Fame voting, standings for every year in the modern era, draft results, saber stats, minor league stats, attendance figures, similar players, streaks, you name it. If you haven't yet, bookmark this site.
Another stat focused website which also includes some original content. In addition to all of the traditional stats and splits, Fangraphs has much more of a focus on more modern stats in the Sabermetric ilk. The Sabermetric focus of this site is broken down further into specifics such as Fielding, Plate Discipline, Win Probability, and Value in addition to Batted Ball Percentages and Pitch Selection. One of the more fun features on this site is the Projections for future production.
MLB Trade Rumors
If you are looking for anything revolving around trades, contract extensions or draft possibilities this is the site for you. MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR) tracks every beat writer and columnist (and probably every player ex-girlfriend and clubhouse attendant as well) and conglomerates all news into their easy to read blog format. In addition to rumors and trades MLBTR also offers an Arbitration Tracker, Free Agent Tracker, Transaction Tracker, Future Free Agent Tracker, and an updated Draft Order. One of my favorite features is that they have an exclusive agreement with the Elias Sports Bureau to post an up-to-the-minute reverse engineered version of the Free Agent rankings; Type A, Type B, neither. And if you don't want to hear about anyone but our beloved Nats, MLBTR offers team specific Twitter/Facebook/RSS feeds updated only when that team is included in the post.
Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page
You can, and will, spend hours looking at this page. Chris Creamer's has every single logo you could possibly imagine, for every single major sport. Not every major sports league, every major sport. If you are looking for any current logo of the past or present, from every baseball league from here to Korea; 23 Baseball leagues in all. When you get a couple hours to kill on a Wednesday at work or on a lazy Saturday afternoon, go over to this site and just enjoy yourself.
Batting Stance Guy
Gar Ryness has what he calls the "least marketable skill in America", why is this relevant? Because he can emulate any batting stance from any major leaguer ever, in a very comically accurate way. Starting as a YouTube guy, he has since been written a book, runs his website, and visits ballparks all across MLB. On his website you can see his impressions of several Nats players as well, from when he visited Nats Park and presented the starting lineup (http://www.battingstanceguy.com/2010/07/29/the-nationals-starting-lineup). Be sure to note his Ian Desmond - just fantastic.
The place to go for prospect coverage. Their prospect handbook comes out once a year and immediately becomes a must read for any hardcore fan of High School, Junior College, NCAA, and Minor League baseball. Their website has content available to all users as well as premium content for subscribers, well worth the $66 a year if prospect talk is your thing. Each of their writers are considered industry insiders and are extremely knowlegable and well respected within all of baseball.
Are there any other sites that we should know about? Sound off in the comments!