Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a lot of work on my Retrosheet Scorecard project, and I’m pleased to announce that Version 2 is ready. There are a lot of improvements in Version 2, but the most exciting is that games can now be exported AND imported. One of the coolest things with this new version is that I can take any event file from Retrosheet’s game file library, import it into the spreadsheet, and I can see a scorecard of the game. I was checking out the 1979 World Series last night.

Here is the listing of changes in Version 2.

  • Event files can be imported
  • When you import an event file, you can populate the rosters from either a ROS file or that game’s event file.
  • Fixed an error that occurred with a game ended after midnight
  • Earned runs are automatically set to 0, when left blank
  • If you have an error on your scoresheet, a message appears, and the program does not attempt to generate a box score.
  • Umpires are not input by their real names, not a Retrosheet ID
  • x and X are no longer case sensitive. 3xH works the same as 3XH.

    The one improvement that didn’t make it into this version involves the positioning of substitutes. When a substitute enters the game, his name is written on the top-most available line on the scorecard. Ideally, I’d like to see the player’s name entered closer to his position in the batting order. I plan to make this change in the near future, but I wanted to release this version first.

    As always, let me know if you have any questions.

    Enjoy!
    Ben

It’s officially baseball season!

Phillies @ Pirates – 1:05 P.M.

This was a nice game and a great start to the 2009 season for the Pirates.  Shelby Ford hit a 3-run home run in his first MLB outing.  The Pirates threw nine different pitchers in the game.  The “Mad Capper,” Matt Capps struggled in the second inning when he walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches.  Still, he escaped with a scoreless inning.  

I scored this game using FixedIt.  Here is the completed scorecard.  There are a lot of aspects of this program that I really enjoy, but other aspects can be frustrating.  I’ve found that you need to be very careful when entering substitutions, as it is very difficult to undo mistakes.

I plan to experiment with several different scoring methods throughout Spring Training, but I plan to stick with Project Scoresheet once the regular season begins.

Recently, when I’ve been scoring baseball games, I’ve preferred to use the Project Scoresheet notation.  Like just about any scoring system, Project Scoresheet has its pros and cons, but I like the way that score cards in this notation can be easily input and analyzed by a computer.  The tradeoff is that it can be difficult, at times, to look at the score card and get a quick idea of the current state of the game.  At first, the notation can be a bit difficult to learn, but once you get the hang of it, you can score games quite efficiently.

I won’t even try to do as good (or as thorough) of a job describing this scoring notation as Alex Reisner.  Check out his description of Project Scoresheet and example score card here.  Alex Reisner’s Introduction to Project Scoresheet Scoring (PDF)Alex Reisner’s Project Scoresheet score card (PDF). Also,  check out his website at http://alexreisner.com/baseball.  He has some pretty interesting scorecards and player performance graphs on there. 

To give a quick overview: a Project Scoresheet score card has three lines for each at-bat.  The top line is for anything that happened “before the play” (stolen bases, wild pitches, passed balls).  The middle line is for what happened during the play itself (single, double, strike out, ground out, etc.).  The bottom line is for the actions following the play (base runner advancements).

All on-field actions are abbreviated by short codes.

Single, Double, Triple, Home Run, Strikeout = S, D, T, HR, K

To code outs where the ball was put into play, you record the fielders who touched the ball.

A flyout to center = 8/F

A groundout to the shortstop = 63/G

Again, the main advantage to this type of scoring is that the score card can quickly be entered into a computer for analysis.  All of the game files at http://www.retrosheet.org use this notation.

This afternoon I made some modifications to the script that automatically generates the .ROS files so that the script also generates .CSV files for use with the FixedIt scoring software.  See the link above to access the .CSV files.

Also, check out http://www.fixedit.com for more information on their software.

I purchased FixedIt’s baseball scoring software, and I plan to write more about FixedIt in the future.  There are some aspects of the software that I’ve really enjoyed.  In particular, I purchased the software at a time when I was using a Palm handheld.  FixedIt has a module for Palm so I could score games live at the ballpark directly on my Palm Pilot.  Also, the graphical user interface makes it quite easy to score games using a desktop/laptop computer.

There are also several aspects of FixedIt that I dislike.  First and foremost, the program creates a gamefile that cannot be read by any piece of software except for FixedIt.  So, if you make a mistake and try to correct the mistake, but the software misinterprets your correction (which does happen a lot!), you can easily corrupt your entire game file.  My desire is for a piece of scoring software to generate a text file (preferably in Project Scoresheet format!) that can easily be decrypted by a human or any piece of Project Scoresheet compatible software.  Additonally, one of the key reasons that I purchased FixedIt was because they promised free upgrades for life.  I’ve seen very few upgrades in the four years that I’ve owned FixedIt.

Still, I do like the software, and I score games with it every now and then.  So, I like to keep the MLB rosters active so that anybody else who uses FixedIt has them at easy access.  Enjoy!

FixedIt .CSV files contain generally the same information as the .ROS files, just in a different format.  Below is an excerpt of the current .CSV roster file for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Arizona Diamondbacks,,,,,
Manager,Bob Melvin,,,,
#,Name,Pos,BO,Bats,Throws
0,Travis Blackley,P,0,LH,LH
33,Billy Buckner,P,0,RH,RH
0,Jonathan Coutlangus,P,0,LH,LH
49,Doug Davis,P,0,RH,LH
58,Juan Gutierrez,P,0,RH,RH

The first row lists the team name.  The second row lists the manager.  The third row lists the column headers: #, Name, Position, Batting Order, Batting Hand, and Throwing Hand.  Each of the players are listed in the remaining rows.