Friday, April 22, 2011

Should FIELDf/x Go Public?

Albert Lyu has an article up on Fangraphs about whether or not FIELDf/x will be available to the public and even if it will should it be within the reach of all of us.

I believe that the answer should be yes to both of these.

Lyu's argument why it might not be available to the average Joe is threefold.
  1. Stat savvy team will want a competitive advantage and keeping it exclusive will stop lazy teams from using free analysis from us hard working bloggers.
  2. There is too much data. Keeping track of every single player over the course of a game throws off tons of data and the everyday guy who does this for a hobby will not have the expertise or space to handle this.
  3. Fans don't care and don't need this information. 
Of these arguments the only one I am buying is number 1. There would be some teams that really are interested in this data while others could probably care less, or at least not care so much if it isn't given away for free like PITCHf/x currently is.

For the data deluge, this might be a problem in the short term but as storage and processing costs fall this will be less and less of an issue. This also ties in with number 3, those that want this information will find a way to use it if it is available. This isn't going to be a mainstream product but neither is PITCHf/x, but there is a nice community around it that absolutely loves it.

If I had a vote in the matter I want this to be available to the widest amount of people and be able to harness the collective knowledge of the widest set of people. This has great potential and I would hate to see it crippled.

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