Bases empty, two outs, a 3-1 game, #8 hitter up. Nothing comes down to this.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Baseball-Reference Shakes "Indispensable" Label, Now Available in Vending Machines

PHILADELPHIA (Bottom of the Fourth) - For years, Baseball Reference has been the go-to source for reams of historical and present-day baseball data. The website boasts an impressive array of statistics from the game's beginnings to the current day on an easily-navigable platform, in the process earning the "indispensable" title from fans and industry types alike.

But BBRef, as it is colloquially known, isn't happy with this description.

"Why shouldn't we be dispensable?" That's Sean Forman, a former math professor and the founder of Baseball Reference. "Nobody can tell me what the site can and can't be, and I'm sick of people giving it labels that imply some sort of failing."

Just a few hours after speaking with the media, Forman released a post on BBRef's blog stating plans to launch a vending machine version of the site. "We're on the internet, tablets and mobile, who says we can't go further?" fumed Forman, "we're gonna have a dispensable version in every vending machine in America by the end of the week. Just you fucking watch."

Little detail was provided regarding the nature of this version, whether it's on a small device, an enormous paper volume or something else entirely. It was also unclear what the purpose of such an implementation would be, given that BBRef is available from most-anywhere.

Regardless, Forman went on to outline plans for other versions of the enormous data store, including a Tagalog translation, a Stay-At-Home-Mom Edition and BBRef "Red" and "Blue", each of which will only contain statistics for certain players, necessitating swaps between owners to collect the complete data set.

Media analyst Lord Byron dismissed the idea as "just another one of Forman's crazy crusades", akin to the "Angels in the Outfield Fiasco". But while the site's founder's hot-headedness leads to the occasional financial setback, Byron says the core service of BBRef is strong enough to soldier on nearly unaffected.

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