Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Case 11: The Baseball Offensive Performance Analysis
11
THE BASEBALL OFFENSIVE
PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
CASE
Decision Support with Access and Excel
PREVIEW
At the beginning of this baseball season, a semipro league ordered its home-plate umpires to call a greater
percentage of pitches as strikes. This change was expected to reduce offensive performance during the
season. Offensive performance data is now available for the season just ended and for the prior season. In
this case, you will use Access and Excel to compare offensive performance in the past two baseball seasons
and to answer other questions about this season
s offensive performance.
PREPARATION
￿
Review database and spreadsheet concepts discussed in class and in your textbook.
￿
Complete any exercises that your instructor assigns.
￿
Complete any parts of Tutorials B, C, and D that your instructor assigns, or refer to them as
necessary.
￿
Review file-saving procedures for Windows programs, as discussed in Tutorial C.
￿
Refer to Tutorial E as necessary.
BACKGROUND
In baseball, a pitch at which a batter swings and misses is a strike. If the batter does not swing at a pitch, the
home-plate umpire must rule it a strike or a ball. By rule, a pitch that passes over the plate at a height
between the batter
should be called a ball.
A batter has three strikes to reach base safely; if the pitcher throws four balls in the same at-bat, the batter is
awarded a “walk” to first base.
Several years ago, umpires appeared to change the definition of the strike zone. Pitches thrown over the
plate at chest height were being called balls, not strikes. In effect, the upper limit of the strike zone became a
point just above the batter’s belt line. This change helped hitters in two ways. First, more pitches were called
balls, so the number of walks increased. Second, most batters find a high strike harder to hit than a low
strike, so batters had a better chance to hit the ball and reach base safely.
With the smaller strike zone, then, more batters reached base via both walks and base hits. The increase
in base runners led to more offense—in other words, more runs scored per game. Also, the increased
numbers of pitches, walks, and base runners made the average game noticeably longer, to the annoyance of
many fans.
At the start of the season that just ended, league officials ordered umpires to call pitches strictly by the
rules: pitches that passed over the plate at a height between the batter
s knees and chest is a strike. A pitch outside this
strike zone
s knees and chest should be called
strikes. This change was expected to speed up the game and to reduce offensive performance. Fewer walks
and hits were expected, and therefore fewer runs. More strikeouts were expected. Now that the season is
over, league officials want to know if offensive performance actually did decrease significantly. League
officials have other questions about offensive performance as well.
 
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