From the Bill Chuck Files

by BillChuck

Now the real New Year’s countdown begins …

There are 94 days until Sunday, April 4 at 8 p.m. when the Red Sox face the Yankees at Fenway Park to start the 2010 baseball season.

This will be the 1,000th meeting of these two teams since 1950:

Red Sox versus Yankees

  • Date: 1950-2009
  • Games: 999
  • Sox Wins: 468
  • Yanks Wins: 530
  • Pct.: .469
  • RF: 4,502
  • RA: 4,739
  • Home: 261-239
  • Away: 207-291

The one tie game occurred on Saturday, July 5, 1958 when the game between the host Yankees and the Red Sox was stopped by a midnight curfew that prevented games from being played into the Sabbath. Despite the fact that the Sox had scored twice in the 11th the game reverted to the 10th making the official score 3-3. It was the first time the 11:59 PM curfew had been invoked at the Stadium.

The game was sent into extra-innings as a result of a 9th inning Mickey Mantle homer. The Red Sox had the bases loaded with no one out in the 11th and at 11:47 Bob Sheppard announced that the game would be stopped at 11:59 unless the full inning was completed. The Yanks slowly changed pitchers and then made little effort to stop a ground ball to center and the game came to a halt.

Bill Chuck is the creator of ( and, with Jim Kaplan, is the author of, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales,” with a foreword by Jon Miller, published by ACTA Sports. He is a regular contributor to NESN and and is available at . For booking purposes please contact: Josh Boyle, Sports Identity, 617.268.0001, .

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21 Responses to “From the Bill Chuck Files”

  1. John Q Says:

    1,000th game since 1950?? that’s kind of arbitrary, who cares???

  2. brandon d Says:

    I wonder how many rivalries have played that many games against each other.

  3. Chuck Says:

    Now you know how we all feel reading your stuff, John.

  4. John Q Says:

    Wow, you really don’t like me chuck.

    I don’t know what I’ve done to make you dislike me that much.

  5. Chuck Says:

    Nothing, John, I just find it interesting you call someone out for posting an arbitrary stat when you’re the Dugout Central King of Arbitrary Stats.

  6. John Q Says:

    “King of the Arbitrary Stat”, do you have a specific example??

    I just find it odd that you have the need to make a disparaging remark after ever comment I post. Seriously, why do you care what I post? Usually it’s a 2-4 word ambiguous passive-aggresive comment.

    The 1000th game since 1950 is arbitrary. What’s the big deal. Last year at some time they played the 1000th game since 1949, etc.

  7. hossrex Says:

    John Q: ““King of the Arbitrary Stat”, do you have a specific example??”

    I also dislike Chucks glib non-committal replies, but you’re asking for trouble with that.

    Park Factors
    Hell… OPS+…

    There’s a bit of “arbitrary” in each one of them, the difference being they’re the arbitrary that you like, as opposed to the arbitrary other people like.

    The following is an excerpt from baseballreferenec ( ):

    Adjusted OPS+

    This value is calculated differently from the Total Baseball PRO+ statistic. I chose OPS+ to make this difference more clear. PRO+ as best I can tell is

    OPS+ = PRO+ = 100 * ( OBP/lgOBP + SLG/lgSLG – 1)/BPF

    Where lgOBP and lgSLG are the slugging and on-base percentage of a league-average player, and BPF is the batting park factor. This takes into account the difference in runs scored in a team’s home and road games, so it doesn’t depend on how good an offense or defense a team has.

    My method is slightly more complicated, but I think it is more correct. The BPF is set up for runs and the way it is implemented in PRO+ applies it to something other than runs.

    1. My method Compute the runs created for the league with pitchers removed (basic form) RC = (H + BB + HBP)*(TB)/(AB + BB + HBP + SF)
    2. Adjust this by the park factor RC’ = RC*BPF
    3. Assume that if hits increase in a park, that BB, HBP, TB increase at the some proportion.
    4. Assume that Outs = AB – H (more or less) do not change at all as outs are finite.
    5. Compute the number of H, BB, HBP, TB needed to produce RC’, involves the quadratic formula. The idea for this came from the Willie Davis player comment in the Bill James New Historical Baseball Abstract. I think some others, including Clay Davenport have done some similar things.
    6. Using these adjusted values compute what the league average player would have hit lgOBP*, lgSLG* in a park.
    7. Take OPS+ = 100 * (OBP/lgOBP* + SLG/lgSLG* – 1)
    8. Note, in my database, I don’t store lgSLG, but store lgTB and similarly for lgOBP and lg(Times on Base), this makes calculation of career OPS+ much easier.

    “This value is calculated differently from *some other source*”
    “as best I can tell”
    “My method”
    “I think it is more correct”
    “Assume” (again)
    “I think some others”

    That’s the top baseball statistical resource, talking about how it calculates OPS+… easily the most commonly used “new” statistic.

    In the interest of fairness… I’ve started having considerable doubts regarding OPS+… but regardless of that, it’s impossible to say it isn’t… in part… arbitrary.

  8. Jim Says:

    Hossrex: LOL. Goes to show you that there are damn lies and statistics.

  9. Chuck Says:

    “I also dislike Chuck’s glib, non-commital replies, but you’re asking for trouble with that.”

    John knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about Rex, as did you and everyone else who frequent this site, so providing examples is a redundant exercise, so while the comment may have been glib, it sure as hell wasn’t non-commital.

  10. John Q Says:

    My original point to Bill Chuck’s little article is that the Red Sox and Yankees have played at least 1300+ games against each other in their history so basically everytime they meet is their 1000th game from some “arbitrary” point in time. Therefore, what’s the significance of the 1950 date??

    As far as Chuck goes, it’s his glib non-committal responces that are usually abrasive that annoy me. Also, he has a tendency to phrase his comments in the first person plural “we” instead of singular “I” as if he’s speaking for everyone at the Dugout Central.

    He has an incessant need to make a disparaging remark after every comment I make regardless of its content.

    I could make an innocuous statement like “the sky is blue” and Chuck will usually comment derisively.

  11. John Q Says:

    As far as “Arbitrary” stats…Saber metric stats are no more arbitrary than traditional stats.

    RBI, Saves, Wins, HR, Batting Average, Runs Scored, Era, etc.

    Rbi is the most arbitrary stat. Tony Perez would have had far fewer RBI if he batted 8th, or batted at Shea Stadium or the Astrodome, or if he batted behind, Harrelson, Garrett, and Hahn, instead of Morgan, Rose and Griffey.

    Saves have more to do with opportunity and the strength of your team than overall pitching talent.

    It’s much easier to get wins pitching for the 1975 Reds than the 1979 Mets.

    A pitcher leaves a game with a 3-0 lead in the 8th and the Closer blows the lead and you don’t get a win.

    It’s easier to have a low ERA pitching in Baltimore in 1973 behind B. Robinson, Belanger and Grich, than it is pitching at Fenway Park on the 2000 Red Sox.

    It’s much easier to hit for a high batting average at Coors field in 2000 than the Astrodome in 1968. Or the Baker Bowl in 1932 than Dodger Stadium in 1967, etc.

    Pete Rose scored a lot more runs batting lead-off behind Morgan, Bench and Perez than if he had batted 8th on the 1970’s Astros.

    It’s much easier to have a higher slugging percentage at Citizen’s Bank Park than Petco Park.

    It’s easier to hit Home Runs at Citizen’s Bank Park than Petco Park.


  12. Chuck Says:

    “Also he has a tendency to phrase his comments in the first person plural “we” instead of “I” as if he’s speaking for everyone at Dugout Central.”

    Because I’m not the only person who feels that way?

  13. hossrex Says:

    John Q: “As far as “Arbitrary” stats…Saber metric stats are no more arbitrary than traditional stats.”

    But John… you can’t do that.

    You can’t blame someone for using an arbitrary stat… and when they say you’ve also used arbitrary statistics, you ask for “one example of where you’ve used an arbitrary statistic”, then when half a dozen are cited, loudly proclaim that those stats aren’t any more arbitrary than other stats.

    Well. No. They aren’t.

    But the degree of which they’re arbitrary in relation to other statistics doesn’t change the fact that you use arbitrary statistics.

    I *HATE* RBI. Hate it hate it hate it. I would rather we throw out all statistics, and literally just rate players on the games we’ve all seen, instead of accepting any merit in that statistic… but at least RBI doesn’t involve anyone looking at how much has been produced, and adjusting the statistic up or down simply based on what amounts to an arbitrary guess.

    Park factors literally do this, and they’re at least a corner stone for OPS+… and I’d guess several others.

  14. John Q Says:

    Why did you end that sentence with a question mark?? Are you asking me?

    That’s fine if other people feel that way, but they can address me directly, you don’t have to speak for them.

    I’ve never had a problem with any other person on the site other than you.

  15. John Q Says:


    I never blamed Bill for using an “arbitrary stat” he used an arbitrary cut/off. I never used the word “arbitrary stat” Chuck did, I meant his cut/off date (1950) was arbitrary.

  16. Chuck Says:

    “I’ve never had a problem with any other person on the site other than you.”

    And I’ve never had a problem with you, John, so it’s funny you would say that.

  17. John Q Says:

    O.K. sounds good. Truce. Let’s leave it at that.

  18. hossrex Says:

    Chuck called you the “King of the Arbitrary Stat”, to which you replied: “do you have a specific example??”

  19. deal Says:

    skipping all the way back to Brandon Ds comment, I imagine you would have to go less farther back for longstanding NL rivalries as they played the unbalanced schedule during the entire decade of the 80s while the AL did not. Giants/Dodgers – would be a good one. probably a couple of the NL Central teams that played in the same division historically Cubs/Cards The Pirates/Cubs and Pirates/Cards.

  20. david Says:

    Really, can we stop with the Red Sox-Yankees already???
    The “Onion” a great article entitled:
    “Team Besides Red Sox or Yankees Does Something Interesting”.

  21. KitchenSink Says:

    Wow – I thought there were petty disputes in the K-12 education world (where I usually read blogs). This is some petty stuff…you guys should take it offline to resolve it so it doesn’t bubble up again!

    I think the post was really interesting, especially since I’m a Yankee fan and it’s yet more (albeit arbitrary) evidence of the Yankees’ dominance over the Red Sox!

    Of course 1,000 games since 1950 is arbitrary. Of course! But so what? It’s neat. I’ll speak for myself when I say I love it when two round numbers come together (ie., 1950 and 1,000).

    Oh and to throw out one more arbitrary statistic: We’ve now arrived at the point where all 27 of the Yankees’ World Series wins have occurred in the past 86 World Series…

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