The Baseball Cube


TBC Philosophy

TBC Philosophy

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Our Philosophy
Over the years, the philosophy of The Baseball Cube has evolved several times with the site seekings its identity within the baseball world. Combining competing intereste such as revenue, usability, content, timeliness and site performance can be a challenge. Below is our philosophy as of late 2021 as it relates to the different identified categories of importance for a web site of this kind:

Content: Gather as much historical content as possible based on availability of datasets from the Internet or offline publications. The goal is to maintain the current content yearly, in a timely manner as well as seek out new datasets/content. In more recent years, the goal has been to gather more "exotic" datasets that no other site carries and to include this in our paid PREMIUM section.

Design: The site needs to be clean and easy to use. Feng Shui for baseball. The site will never be gorgeous because I am a data guy, not an interior designer, but it needs to be both desktop and mobile-friendly, something that has become a more recent philosophy. The site is not looking to be eye-catching. It is looking to be clean and useable. We prefer to impress you with the content as opposed to the design.

Performance: As the Internet matures and the general speed of processing increases, this is becoming less and less of an issue. The server has been improved over the years while the database has been optimized for quicker serving of data. Pages are expected to load quickly and where performance is an issue, a page is often scrapped or split into smaller pieces. I don't want you to wait long for the data. Note also that pages are designed for performance and so you won't see many "data dump" pages that will give you an entire dataset. (Example: Full draft, full historical team stats etc). All research applications have limits on the number of records displayed as well. To get full datasets, please visit our Data Store where you can get a full dataset in CSV format (loadable into any spreadsheet).

Organization: There is a lot more data on the site than what you see in the root level menus. It is very difficult to organize the history of baseball and so I have tried to create sections to give you an idea of what is available. Within each section, there are sub-sections that may have additional unlisted sections. An example of this would be a Team Draft class or Prospect List. Draft Picks by Round/year. Affiliate history for a team. Sometimes you may need to dig and follow links to find pages that are not listed on the main menus. The menus are designed to be clean and NOT overwhelming.

Profitability: The elephant in the room. The site needs to be profitable. As altruistic as we expect web site owners to be, we are mostly trying to make some money off of our "hobby". I am passionate about this site and have found various forms of revenue to both pay for the cost of the server AND to pay for the time I put into the site. (I won't tell you how many hours a week). Consider that the world's default state is chaos, to put into order all of this baseball data takes architecture, coding, storage and data collection. It includes creating processes, fixing bugs, researching new datasets and answering emails. The site is funded by advertising, the Data Store and the PREMIUM service which gives you access to additional features not available to the general public.

Maintainability: The site needs to be easy to update. ETL processes have been created to transform offline datasets into production data. Meaning that the time from completing a dataset to publishing to the site is a matter of minutes.

Responsive + Flexible: Believe it or not, the TBC Player Tracker was created after a fan of the site emailed me with a simple suggestion. The Data Store was born while I was brainstorming while jogging. Many datasets and projects were in response to user suggestions and random thoughts doing random things. The architecture is never set and is in a constant state of flux whether in design or content.