Thursday, July 26, 2007


I was just looking at this statistical breakdown, and it got me thinking about how uninteresting I find Alex Rodriguez, either because, in spite, or irrespective of his chancha.

A while back FreeDarko hypothesized a system of determining how exciting a player is to watch (rather than how effective). I thought I’d try this for baseball. I mean, how often have I had to argue that Curtis Granderson is more exciting than Manny Ramirez? What about A-Rod? Why have to guess at these things when we have so many statistics at our fingertips? In addition, owners and GMs may want to use this stat, which I’ll call Excitement Factor (ExFactor), when deciding how much money to offer free agents.

I’ll start with just hitting and baserunning, and we can work on fielding, pitching, personality, blogging, and funny body type later.

Worth Offensive Excitement Points: Inside-the-park home runs, triples, homers, doubles, stolen bases, caught stealing, thrown out on the basepaths, bunts, HBPs, lining into double plays, and ejections.

Worth Offensive Boredom Points: Walks (especially intentional), groundouts, flyouts, and high pitches-per-plate-appearance ratio.

So let’s start with this equation to determine Excitement Factor:

The exciting plays are worth even more when they take place at the ends of close games, with runners in scoring position, and/or with a full count. Let’s say each stat is further multiplied as follows:
Late & Close: *2
RISP: *1.5
FC: *1.1

After those adjustments, we divide by Games Played to determine a player’s Offensive Excitement Rate. This is how fun a player is to watch. The three players I bothered to calculate this for came out as follows (2007 stats, admittedly a down year for Manny):
Grandy ...... 1.49
A-Rod ........ 1.08
Manny ....... 0.33

Musa’s Challenge: Name a player whose OER is higher than Grandy’s.

Tie-Breaker: Name a player whose OER is lower than Sean Casey’s.


Hank Hulkum said...

Hi. Long-time reader, first-time commenter. Once I get home from my job helping people use Lexis Nexis in a law library, I will take you up on your challenge. Until then, I wanted to make on formula tweak suggestion and then make one observation:
1. My favorite hitters are ones that have high # of pitches per plate appearance. Each at bat feel like a true battle, and I get to ask myself questions like "how did he lay off that pitch?" and "how did he foul that pitch off?" I find it all very...exciting.
2. I'm guessing that you found Sean Casey very exciting when he was mashing in the playoffs last year! Plus, from all accounts he is a "good clubhouse guy," and knowing that he is a favorite among his teammates might somehow make him cooler and...more exciting!
When I get home I will try:
1. Jose Reyes
2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia
3. Ryan Braun
4. Endy Chavez

Captain Boring said...

I like long, slow games with lots of pitches.

I'm also a WWI enthusiast.

Hank Hulkum said...

Listen Musa. Don't get me angry. Grrr. And don't joke about WWI. Trench warfare is very exciting. I feel myself getting angry. Don't get me angry. GrrrrrRRRRRRAAAAH! [Sound of clothes ripping.]

angry! said...

Who-ho ho! I see we have our first all-caps title. Do you know what all-caps does for me? IT MAKES ME SEEM EVEN ANGRIER!

Hannah said...

Whoa, guys! Simmer down!

Okay, when this vicious tickle-fight is over, can we please address the fact that these stats are poorly designed and incorrectly calculated?

You guys aren't even good at being geeks.

Hank Hulkum said...

1. Jose Reyes.............1.53
2. Jarrod Saltalamacchia..1.06
3. Ryan Braun.............1.77
4. Endy Chavez..(amazing 2006 playoff catch but currently injured).