SABR-L Moderator's Note


All list subscribers are welcome to submit posts any time. Just because you don't see the list talking about subjects that are of special interest to you doesn't mean the list isn't interested. But this list is for people who are serious about their baseball research; it's not a place for fan talk. See the SABR-L Policy Statement for more information about the appropriate - and inappropriate - use of SABR-L.

Here are some things that will NOT be approved on SABR-L:

  • so called 'me too' posts.

When a question is answered, it only needs to be answered once. So, for example, when one asks why the Yankees don't put names on the uniform, we only need one post to remind us that the Yanks were the first with uniform numbers and the numbers were set to align with the batting order and that's why Ruth was 3 and Gehrig 4.

  • requests for information that indicate the poster has done no legwork

For example, we will not allow posts like:

"Hey, I was thinking that players who play in games their team wins should be credited with a win and those who play in losses should be credited with a loss. On that basis Derek Jeter went something like 92-69 last year (I'm just typing away and don't want to go on the internet and look it up). Maybe one of you guys with those databases could look up this stuff for me and tell me the answer to that and many other questions I have. For example, did Carl Yaztremski really have a winning season in 1969? "

but we will allow:

"I'm trying to develop a metric for measuring what I call Winning Innings. A player gets credited with one winning inning if he's in the lineup at the conclusion of an inning and his team is ahead. I find that this is very difficult to do by hand and I'm wondering if anyone can direct me to data sources that would permit me to accomplish this task. Suggestions for which software to use would also be appreciated."

Further to this, consider these examples from esteemed SABR member David M. Nieporent: "If it's research to ask for the information, then isn't it research to find it out and post the information? Would anybody want to see a post that said, "Hey everyone, guess what? I just did some research and Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs"? I don't think so. So by the same token, "How many home runs did Babe Ruth hit?" isn't a research question. "The first game of the season is X" wouldn't be a research post, so "What's the first game of the season?" isn't a research question. On the other hand, "Everyone, I was surfing the web and noticed that had a lot of useful information about home runs" would be a useful post, so a question like, "Where can I find out more about Babe Ruth's home runs?" would be a reasonable request.

  • unrealized Trivia ideas

By this we mean posts that are structured like this:

"Hey, let's talk about Fat Ballplayers. I think the fattest ballplayer I ever saw was Kirby Puckett."

What will be approved is:

"I am compiling a list of Fat Ballplayers. So far I have:
Kirby Puckett Smokey Burgess Babe Ruth Yogi Berra
Please email me privately with any other fatties you can think of. I will update the list periodically."

  • responses to questions that should more appropriately go to the original poster

For example, we're going to cut off replies like:

"Fat? Puckett wasn't fat. That was all muscle. What are your definitions of fat?"

but we will allow:

"When constructing a list of fat ballplayers it would be prudent to classify the precise qualities that make a player 'fat.' I believe this is a complete list of the metrics identifying fat:

1. Appearance. Strictly judgment based on observation. Exclude unless based on consensus of multiple observers. 2. Height/Weight ratio 3. Comparison to AMA guidelines

Perhaps other list participants would have suggestions for additional metrics. We should get them all on the table before we see another list of 'fatties.'"

  • diatribes about current events

We will not allow posts like "I'm glad Cone and Glavine did poorly because it serves them right after leading the player strike of 94/95!" On the other hand, a post that would be OK might be:

"I am working on correlating player performance with their activities as union reps. Here is a table I have under construction:

Name Team Year TPR Cone Tor 1993 20 Cone Tor 1994 18 Cone Tor 1995 14 Cone NYY 1996 12 etc

"So far it seems that becoming a player rep has a negative impact on playing ability. Is there anything wrong with my methodology?"

There are many more examples that might be created, but I think you all get the idea.


Arguments and disputation are essential in the quest for knowledge. Just bear in mind that it is possible to argue and dispute without showing your anger. If you want to call someone names, send them an email directly; don't share it with the list. In other words, compartmentalize.

**Words and phrases the moderators don't like to see**

"Politically correct," "Elitism," "$50 and a pulse."

**Email habits that bug the moderators** 1. Including mail headers (From: To: etc) in quoted replies. Please learn how your email software works when you click on reply or forward.

2. Quoting the whole message (or digest) when you are responding. Instead make sure your subject is Re: which makes it easy to find the post you're writing about, and then quote a line or two. **Hint** If you're quoting more than 3 lines you're quoting excessively.

3. Including long signatures, extensive quotes and corporate boilerplate. Please, turn it off when posting here, if you can.


If you post a particular request to the list and nobody responds, repost it two weeks later, and keep posting. Try a different subject line. Keep in mind that all 1200+ subscribers don't read every message every day, so repetition may be the key to success. Use the SABR Forums, too. If your request doesn't appear, re-read the SABR-L Policy Statement and the material above on what doesn't get posted, and consider rewriting your request to conform to the list's editorial policies. Keep in mind that the list moderators are volunteers, who have other priorities besides SABR-L, so please be considerate and don't take it personally if a post of yours does not appear.

ABOUT --embedded Mime-- AND AND end of line= GOBBLEDYGOOK

Because there are so many different email clients, some of which do not like messages that aren't sent as plain-text, please set your email software so that messages sent to SABR-L are sent as plain-text only. If you need help in doing this, please write us at - do not write directly to the list.

AOL users - we are aware that AOL has changed its default mail setting for the mail client in AOL 6.0 and later to HTML-format. Fortunately, even though you don't see it, your messages are sent in a format that contains both a plain-text version and an HTML-formatted version, and we have configured the list to accept the plain-text version and to strip out the HTML-formatted version. Thus you don't need to do anything special to force your system to send plain-text mail - although we wouldn't mind if you brought this lack of a desirable feature to the attention of AOL technical support.


If you are participating in an ongoing discussion - especially if you are receiving the messages in digest mode - strive mightily to make your subject line Re: <> Doing this makes researching the archives (see below) a lot easier.


From time to time members will post tables or lists consisting of two or more columns of related data items. Because of the many different e-mail clients in use (Outlook, Eudora, pine, Netscape, AOL, CompuServe, and so on), to say nothing of their many different generations (release 7.0, 8.03, version 3 for Windows 95, and so forth), it is a certainty that the tables you make up will look great to you and terribly jumbled to another member.

What to do?

1) Make sure your E-mail client is set to post messages in plain-text if possible (see above).

2) Make sure you use spaces and not tabs to separate the columns. Cutting and pasting from a spreadsheet puts tabs into the text. A better strategy is to print the spreadsheet to a text file, then cut and paste from the text file.

3) If you work in a graphical environment such as Windows, Macintosh, or any of the X-Windows Unix variants, create and review your tabular post in a monospaced font. A monospaced font is a font that gives each character the same amount of horizontal space. Courier is a common example. Most graphical e-mail clients use typesetting fonts like Times Roman or Arial or Helvetica. Using these fonts and making them align is possible only by introducing tabs, which don't reproduce the same amount of space on your fellow member's readers. On the other hand, a space is a space is a space.

As Cliff Otto suggests,

"I might add to them by saying that columns containing data of varying size, like names, causes problems. I've found that putting the names in the right-most column helps. Also, if you have a column of hits, for instance, which range from one to four digits per entry, you might considering adding asterisks (or something) as padding. Be careful with columns headings, too; they should be about the sane length as the data contained in the related column."

Sometimes you just have to experiment to get the best presentation.

Hits BA Name

100 300 Lu Blue **1

200 Stuckenschneider, Eric

4) Keep in mind that many older email clients and some new ones automatically (by default -- always remember "de fault is yours") add a carriage return every 76 or 80 characters. If your rows exceed 75 characters in length, someone will be unhappy with your post, guaranteed.

5) If you get a post that includes a table and it is jumbled, and you are in a graphical environment, try the following:

a. Select the entire text of the message. Invoking the command (Edit, Select All) or (CTRL-A) while your cursor is in the body of the message usually accomplishes this feat.

b. Now that the entire message text is selected, use your Font command to change the font to Courier 10.

If we all make small efforts in this respect we shouldn't have any problems with tables.


We continue to seek assistant list moderators. Please volunteer by emailing


From your original/current address send

a message with no subject that reads as follows


where "Your Name" is your existing email name that you get mail under (not your email address). For example, consider a list member who has set his email name to be Nolan Ryan. From his email account, which has the address:

he would send a message reading:


Then, from his new account, he would send a message reading:


and the list server would automatically associate "Nolan Ryan" with whatever his new email address happened to be.

You can also do this on the Web, by going to

and selecting the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)". On the next screen, select the link "login with your LISTSERV password". The first time that you do this from a new address, you will need to request a LISTSERV password. Follow the "get a new LISTSERV password" link on the login screen, follow the instructions that appear on the next screen, and follow the instructions in the confirmation E-mail that you will receive shortly thereafter to register your password. Once you have registered a LISTSERV password, you enter your new E-mail address and the password on the login screen, and you will be taken to a screen that allows you to change your current settings, including the E-mail address from which you originally subscribed.

If you have canceled the account you were subscribed under, your address has probably been deleted by us anyway, but you can visit the Web site and follow the procedure described above to resubscribe to the list. If all else fails, you can always send us email at, explaining which addresses and features you need. Having to do this is the equivalent of forgetting to cover first on a grounder down the right field line. The manager is very unhappy with you, but you probably get another start anyway.


You can get the list in the form of individual messages, a digest of all the day's messages, or an index list of the day's topics.

By default, all subscribers get the digest.

To switch from the digest to individual messages send

a message with no subject that reads as follows


To switch from individual messages to the digest send

a message with no subject that reads as follows


To switch to the index,


Back to individual messages


To stop your mail but remain subscribed (PLEASE do this if you are going to be away for an extended vacation or business trip)


To restart your mail


You can also change these settings at the Web site, following the steps laid out above under HOW TO CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS; the screen from which you change your E-mail address also contains options for changing your settings.

To read the documentation for yourself and learn about all the cool stuff I've left out:


Tom Ruane, Most Valuable Poster 1998 - 1999 reminds us:

The SABR-L Index contains an alphabetized listing of all the subjects discussed on SABR-L. This subject is taken directly from the "Subject:" line of the post. (This is one reason the moderators want us to pay some attention to what we put there.) Next to the subject is a LOG ID. For example, next to "Years Between Accomplishments" is "LOG9809D". All of the posts to SABR-L are lumped together into logs. Usually there are about 4 to 5 logs created per month. If you wanted to get that particular log, you'd send a note to "LISTSERV@APPLE.EASE.LSOFT.COM", leaving the Subject line empty and putting "GET SABR-L LOG9809D" in the message text. A short time later after you send that note, you'll receive the log in your mail."

The SABR archive can be searched by SABR-L subscribers who have registered a LISTSERV password at the Web site (see above under HOW TO CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS for instructions on how to register a password). If you go to and select the link "Search the archives", you will be taken to a search screen. If you want to find all messages posted to SABR-L about Willie Mays, you can simply type "Willie Mays" (without the quotes) into the "Search for" box and click on the Submit button. You will then be asked to login with your E-mail address and password; when you do that you'll get a screen that looks something like this one:

004483 97/04/18 20:36 19 Re: SABR-L Digest - 16 Apr 1997 to 17 Apr 1997
004443 97/04/17 01:23 64 Re: Jackie Robinson Fast Facts
004427 97/04/16 07:24 35 Jackie Robinson Fast Facts
004210 97/04/01 09:58 41 Re: SABR-L Digest - 30 Mar 1997 to 31 Mar 1997

etc. etc. etc.

Clicking on the numbered link next to each post will bring up the contents of that post. The Search screen also allows you to search by message title, author/poster, and/or date range.

If you go to, you can also post messages to the list or read messages to the list that were posted during a given week. These are useful options when you happen to be away from your E-mail but can access a Web browser somewhere. Again, you must be a subscriber to the list and have a registered LISTSERV password to access these functions.


If you are having problems with the list itself ("hey, I've haven't gotten SABR-L mail for a week! What gives?") or have a question about a particular post (after re-reading the SABR-L Policy Statement and the information above, of course), you can write us with your question to us at and we will do our best to resolve your problem.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

F. X. Flinn
Chair, SABR Internet Committee

Revised 29 August 2002 (Mike Emeigh, SABR-L List Adminstrator)
13 July 2006 (FXF)

Special thanks to members Paul Taylor, Chip Hart, Tom Ruane, Cliff Otto, Paul Wendt, Daniel Levine, Gary Collard, Tom Davis, Rod Nelson, Ken Carrano, Paul Gregory, Ted Hathaway, Paul Andressen and Seamus Kearney for their contributions to this document.

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