A glossary of terms, features and acronyms on The Baseball Continuum that you might want to know:
Baseball Continuum: My personal pet-theory that everything in baseball is ultimately connected in some way, whether because of competition, transaction or other history.
Bizarre Baseball Culture: A semi-regular feature on baseball’s more unusual appearances in popular culture and not-so-popular culture. These usually focus on public domain stories.
Chinese Taipei: Name for Taiwan in international competitions, including the World Baseball Classic. It’s a result of the complicated political situation that surrounds the island.
CPBL: Chinese Professional Baseball League, Taiwan’s top baseball league, the league’s name comes from the fact that Taiwan’s official name remains the “Republic of China”. The league has four teams and has long been infested with gambling issues.
Cup of Coffee: Sometimes “cup of coffee” (no capitalization), this is a longtime baseball term to refer to a brief stint in the big leagues.
For Sale: An irregular and tongue-in-cheek feature where we see what the classified ad or sales pitch for a baseball team would be.
Game Score: A Bill James-created metric that measures how well-pitched a game is. The Wikipedia page on it is instructive.
Great Baseball Lies: A semi-regular feature about lies, misconceptions, mistakes and folly-filled ideas in baseball. Sometimes they are folk-wisdom, sometimes they are things that used to be true but aren’t anymore, and in some cases they are just superstitions or axioms that don’t hold up.
Great Predictions in History: A semi-regular feature about predictions about the future of baseball that, almost always (but not always), never ended up being true.
HOF: Stands for Hall of Fame.
Hoofdklasse: Dutch for “Major League”, it is the name of the baseball league located in Holland. It is sometimes called this on the Continuum, but also sometimes referred to as the Dutch League.
IBAF: International Baseball Federation. Baseball’s answer to Soccer’s FIFA, Basketball’s FIBA, etc. It’s sister federation is the ISF, the International Softball Federation. The two have semi-merged n an attempt to get the diamond-sports back into the Olympics.
Ichiro: It is common practice among baseball fans and even some organizations to refer to Ichiro Suzuki simply as “Ichiro”. It is also the policy of The Baseball Continuum to do this.
IL: Short of “International League”, one of the two affiliated AAA-level leagues.
Independent Leagues: AKA “Indy ball” or “The Indys”, or “The Indies” or similar monikers. These are professional baseball leagues in North America that aren’t affiliated with Major League Baseball.
KBO: Korea Baseball Organization, the organization that runs the Korean professional leagues. The top league, which is essentially synonymous with KBO, has eight teams, although expansion is coming.
MiLB: Stands for Minor League Baseball.
Moneyball: Book by Michael Lewis about Athletics’ GM Billy Beane, the willingness to find value where others overlook it and the rise of sabermetrics in baseball. Later made into a good movie starring Brad Pitt.
MVP Baseball: Great video game/computer baseball series of the mid 2000s produced by EA Sports. It’s MLB incarnation was cruelly forced into retirement in 2005 when a rival company with a sub-par baseball product acquired an exclusive third-party license to make Major League Baseball games. The return of MVP Baseball to the PC is hoped for to this day…
NPB: Nippon Pro Baseball, aka “The Japanese Leagues”. It is made up of the Central League (which doesn’t use the DH) and the Pacific League (which does). Both leagues have six teams each for a total of 12.
Off-Topic Thursday: Occasional in-season feature where I talk about something that isn’t connected to baseball. As the name suggests, it happens on Thursdays.
Off-Topic Tuesday: Occasional off-season feature where I talk about something that isn’t connected to baseball. As the name suggests, this happens on Tuesdays.
OPS: On-Base plus Slugging. Gained by adding together a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage, this statistic gives a good overall view of a batter’s ability at the plate, as it rewards not only power but also the ability to simply get on base. The top 10 single-season OPSes in history have all belonged to one of three men: Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
Out of the Park Baseball: A baseball simulation game that allows you to create, simulate and run an entire baseball world. OOTP, as it is often abbreviated, is sometimes used as to simulate possible games and events for the Continuum.
Picture of the Day: A rather self-explanatory feature that involves showing, well… a picture. In theory, it’s every day, but it really isn’t.
Random Video of the Undetermined Amount of Time: As the name suggests, a random video (usually baseball-related) that is put up whenever I feel like it.
Sabermetrics: Advanced statistics-based analysis of baseball. It takes it’s name from SABR, the Society of American Baseball Research.
Twitter: Micro-blogging (140 or so characters) service.
Tip Jar: Donation button to the right side of the main page for anybody who wants to send any money to the Continuum‘s operator.
WAR: Wins Above Replacement. A formula-based stat (there are several formulas that do it) that finds the number of wins a player would contribute to the team over what an average replacement called up from AAA could do.
WBC: World Baseball Classic. Baseball’s answer to the World Cup, and, with extremely rare exceptions, the only international event that MLB players take part in.
WHIP: Walks plus Hits per Innings Pitched. In other words, the number of walks and hits a pitcher gives up in the average inning. Pedro Martinez’s 2000 WHIP of 0.737 is the lowest in history.