It’s no secret that baseball is a sport that is deeply intertwined with numbers and statistics. They are almost like the game’s DNA that tell the stories of the past and predict the future.
From the crack of the bat to the roar of the crowd, everything that happens on the diamond can be quantified, analyzed, and then distilled into a vast array of numbers that reveal baseball's beloved (and sometimes annoying) intricacies.
Whether it's the batting averages of legendary hitters, the earned run averages of dominant pitchers, or the defensive metrics that capture the prowess of fielders, baseball statistics have become an integral part of the sport's narrative.
Personally, I’ve never been a math guy. And while I follow my favourite players' stats and use them to draft my cellar-dwelling fantasy baseball teams, advanced statistics and their calculations often confuse and confound me.
But as a student of the game, I’m always trying to learn more and delve deeper into the hidden language that is statistics.
Today, I’d like to go a little further and offer up some actual ideas for the discourse. I thought it might be fun to think up a few new stats that can be added to the pile. A few new ways to quantify how our beloved C’s play the game. Join me as I do my best Bill James impression.
1. SLGMGAVG or Slug Mug Average.
The abbreviation might need a little work but this is an important stat unique to Nat Bailey Stadium. If you don’t know, the outfield of Rogers Field sports two huge cutouts of mugs of root beer. If a player slugs a home run that hits (or gets very very close to hitting) one of those cutouts, everyone in the ballpark gets a coupon for a burger from a fast food company that shall remain nameless. This stat would tell you how often an individual player slugs the mug. Its calculation is simple as well. You take their total home runs and divide it by the number of times they slug a mug. Boom, new stat.
2. SPT. This would be a simple counting stat.
Love it or hate it, a lot of baseball players spend a good deal of their time during a ballgame spitting. A trait that is learned in little league and never goes away. The SPT statistic would show how many times a given ball player spits during a season. I realize it might be hard to ultimately keep track but I’m confident we have the technology in place to at least give it a try.
3. WUSRC. Or, Walk Up Song Runs Created.
When you go to a game at the Nat, you might notice that all the players have unique pump-up songs that play when they come up to bat. These songs are chosen by the players to give them some extra adrenaline as they move from the on-deck circle to the batters' box. WUSRC would seek to measure how much offense is created by these songs. Admittedly, I don’t have a math equation figured out for this one yet. But basically, you’d factor in the RBIs (Runs Batted In) and Runs that a player tallies after a specific walk-up song is played. And then at the end of the season, we could finally know which songs are helpful and which ones are duds.
Do you have any stats you’d like to add to the baseball zeitgeist? Or can you help me improve mine? Let me know. As always, you can find me at The Nat.