Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Glossary of Terms

Well, its winter... Eff! While I pretty much loathe everything about winter, here are the absolute worst things: it's cold, it snows, snow is cold, snow makes getting to work a bitch, the ladies don't look as skeazy in the cold, the sun goes down at 4 (well before I get out of work), I often have to scrape my windshields, it's cold, and THERE IS NO BASEBALL!

Without a steady stream of baseball hitting me every two seconds, I've decided to define some of the sabermetric terms I try to throw around the blog (Remember I told you I'd give you kick ass songs to listen to while you read). I feel this will make me better and more knowledgeable, and allow you to grasp what the fuck I'm talking about. Warning: there will be no order to the terms I define, and people who actually know sabermetrics will scoff at me frequently. Well, I don't care. It's the internet. I can't hear your feeble scoffs!

On Base Percentage

You all should know OBP by now. Hell, if you are reading this site, you probably know me in some way, and there is no way I would ever talk to someone who does not know what OBP is. OBP is simple, and really the first stat anyone should have created. It's easy to, On Base Percentage. Simply the amount of times that a player reaches base versus the amount of times a player does not reach base.

Simple right? Then how did it take baseball telecasts the better part of a trillion years to show On Base Percentage on a players stat line. If anyone was actually thinking, this should easily have been the first stat ever created. A batter either gets reaches base or gets out. A pitcher either allows a runner on base or gets them out. THIS IS THE POINT OF BASEBALL!!! Now that it has become widely accepted as a great stat, there is really no point of arguing the merits of the stat.

Instead, the much more interesting thing to do with OBP is to analyze how a lineup should be formed using it. I've already gone into how Leadoff men should have high OBP's. I've already talked about how Alfonso Soriano shouldn't be allowed to sniff the leadoff spot. Another interesting subject may be, where to place your poor OBP guys. If you are a good team, you have one or two. If you are a bad team (Pirates) you have 7. If you are the Yankees you have no one that has a bad OBP.

Where should these good teams be stashing away their low OBP guys? I have two options. One of these qualifies as a huge Sabermetric fopaux, the other is the easy answer.

1) Bat your Nick Punto's of the world second and last. This seems to be the "old" way of thinking. Because with this logic, you are willing to put a guy in the 2 hole that doesn't need to get on base, but can move the runners along. Placing them in the 9 hole is also an easy answer, as this is where your worst hitter should go.

2) What I would do is put my Nick Punto's as far away from my good hitters as possible. This includes before them and after them. If you are batting your Nick Punto's in the 2 spot, they are right next to your best two hitters in a conventional lineup. If you bat them last, they are right before the guy you never want making an out, with implications being an extended inning is in jeopardy. If you have your Nick Punto batting last he gets out, which means if either one of the leadoff or 2 hold gets out, your inning is basically shot, with your best hitters coming up.

My idea would be to bat your best hitters 2 and 3, instead of 3 and 4. I would also put my Nick Punto in the 7 hole. This gets your lineup's horseshit as far away from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau as possible. This means that your good players (Mauer and Morneau) will never have any RBI/Run scoring possibilities relying on Nick Punto to do something good.

I don't know if this segment was exactly what you were expecting, honestly it turned out nothing like I was picturing before I wrote it. I guess I'll just have to see where these take me in the future. And you are forced to read it.


  1. This blog may end up having a harder time than the Donner Party surviving the winter.

  2. We need more writers. Don't we have any friends

  3. No. As noted by the amount of comments we always get.