There’s a Stat for That

“In college, Danny was an animal in the weight room, just like Tulo and Longoria. He’s really strong. He had the ability to drive the ball to the opposite field, but he didn’t do it.”

“Yes, I did,” retorted the switch-hitting Espinosa.

“No, he didn’t,’ said Weathers, aware that Espinosa has hit three of his six homers this month to the opposite field.

I love baseball. The home team plays its last home game tomorrow; the season ends Sunday.  The Won-Loss record isn’t great.  But I don’t care.  I still love baseball.

It’s a relaxing way to spend 2 or 3 hours either at the park, watching on television, or even listening to the play-by-play on the radio. It’s so different from football. The late George Carlin sums it up nicely here.

One of the many things I like about baseball is the way there is a statistic for literally everything (or anything you can think of).  The statistic quoted above (related by Tom Boswell in his column on September 29th) is quite banal; and even I could have divined that one. But the arcane, the little-known, the odd comparisons?  It takes a “figger filbert” to know that (or at least care enough to find out).

  • Arcane:  How many times did Player A get an extra-base hit off Pitcher B when Player A was in the home park?
  • Little-known: How many times did the KC Royals reach the playoffs?
  • Odd comparisons: Did 3rd basemen in 1976 have more home runs than 3rd basemen in 2009?

Yeah, that last example is arcane and maybe an unlikely question.  But the point of it all is this:  There are so many statistics in baseball that you can probably answer any question you can dream up.

I love baseball.

6 responses to “There’s a Stat for That

  1. I’m a baseball stats freak myself – they have a language all their own. I have stats for the UUCF Softball teams all the way back to the first year I managed, 2006 – I track things like OBP, Slugging Avg, Runs per AB, Runs Produced (RBI + Runs Scored), GWRBI – part of what makes it so interesting.

  2. Pete,
    Thank you for the comment! While researching this blog I found lots of information about BB statistics (& statisticians). I particularly like the Pythagorean expectation. The Pythagorean expectation is a formula invented by Bill James to estimate how many games a baseball team “should” have won based on the number of runs they scored and allowed.
    Baseball is cool.

  3. well, love the blog, but hate to say this, I do not like baseball, too boring for me. Give me football or hockey.
    Have a great day.

    • Thank you for the comment Debbie.

      Although I like football & hockey, my heart is really with baseball. I can remember listening to the Pirates (& Bob Prince) on KDKA waaaay back when. I was so happy when baseball finally came to Washington DC.

      So, in between the World Series and Opening Day, I get my sports fix from the Steelers, Redskins., Capitals, and Penguins.


  4. Baseball is awesome!

    I just love watching every pitch. The way the batter adjusts to the pitch before. The catcher adjusting behind the scenes then raising his mitt to trick the batter. Finally the pitcher throwing one of his very few specialties.

    Then wham! ball, strike, hit, out. The process starts over again but seems to build as the batters figure out the pitchers, the pitcher tires, and the game gets going 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Steve.
      Yeah, it won’t be long before pitchers & catchers report for Spring Training. That’s when it get’s goin’ as far as I’m concerned. I saw somewhere that Opening Day (for the Nats) will be last day of March. I’m really looking forward to the new season.

      I like the fact that the season is so long that one or two losses really don’t matter much (at least early on, anyway). There’s plenty of time for a team to hit its stride, and a 3- or 4- game slump mid-season is not a catastrophe. Those 16-game football seasons are always a crisis. I don’t much like football (‘cept my Steelers!).


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