Even the most old-school baseball fans have probably come to realize the fact that advanced statistics are all the rage in baseball these days.
But without a shiny new sabermetric of their own, they'll never be able to decisively win baseball arguments against the new breed of fan. While the youngsters rely on their VORPs, their WARPs and their xFIPs, the old-timers can now silence them for good with these six even more obscure, yet totally accurate, sabermetric stats.
What it Stands for:Grittiness Over Replacement Eckstein
How It’s Calculated: [(OBP + SLG)/(Height in Centimeters)] x (Size of Player’s Heart in International Heart Units)
What It Means:Sure, your team could probably walk out on the street and find some random guy who doesn’t hit, throw, or run particularly well, but how muchgritwould he have? Would he have David Eckstein’s courage to only slug .358? Would he have the guts to reach a height of 5’7” and say, “That’s it! I’m done growing”? Doubtful. If you want a real gnome-sized winner, stick to this formula.
#2 Ultimate Fielding Stat for Now and Forever
How It’s Calculated: Do you remember ever seeing a player make a spectacular play in the field? Then that player gets a four-billion UFSNF. Do you remember ever seeing a player drop a pop fly? Negative 800,000 for him.
What It Means: A lot of statisticians will tell you that judging defensive performance is a particularly thorny part of statistical analysis. Whatever, nerds. Get out of your moms’ basements and watch some games. Or talk your mom into putting in another cable box in the basement. Either way, what are you going to trust: stupid comprehensive stats like Ultimate Zone Rating that meticulously measure the paths of batted balls or the collective wisdom you’ve gleaned from watching as many as 10 games a year? That’s what we thought.
#3 Erstad Index
How It’s Calculated: OPS x Net Punting Average While Playing for Nebraska
What It Means:Certain players bring something to the table that traditional statistics just can’t capture. Like the baseball-relevant experience of playing special teams for a Big 12 icon like Nebraska. Before you praise any player in print or on a broadcast, check his Erstad Index.
Critics will note that Darin Erstad is the only player in MLB history to have a positive score on this index. Smart baseball minds will note that this is because Darin Erstad is the greatest player of all time, and all other stats are flawed for not embracing this truth.
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#4 Yuni Quotient
How It’s Calculated:An easy binary variable: a player’s Yuni Quotient is 1 if that player is Yuniesky Betancourt. Otherwise the player’s Yuni Quotient is zero.
What It Means:Like ERA, this is a stat where a higher value indicates poorer performance. Decades of painstaking sabermetric work have determined that no team has ever made the playoffs, much less won the World Series, with a team Yuni Quotient greater than zero.
#5 McCarver Factor
How It’s Calculated: (Number of times Fox Sports color commentator Tim McCarver refers to a player by his full name during any given broadcast)/[(Length of Broadcast) – (Number of Minutes You Were Pretty Sure McCarver Was Asleep)]
What It Means:Although he may look and act like a doddering old man, McCarver holds the universe’s greatest stock of baseball wisdom. If he’s spending most of his coherent moments during a broadcast talking about a player, you know that player is a TRUE WINNER. Or he’s the only player on the field whose name McCarver remembers. Either way, thumbs up to that guy!
#6 Chemistry Score
How It’s Calculated:Team Chemistry Score = Number of Games Won By Team
What It Means:Forget everything you thought you knew about baseball. Games are not won and lost by the individual players on a team and their skill levels and performances. Nay, teams can only win by perfecting their chemistry. This is why teams that win are always composed solely of amazingly down-to-earth and nice players.
On-base ability, athleticism, and fielding instincts? Pish-posh. No team will win 95 games without chemistry, and any team that loses 90 games is undoubtedly composed almost solely of total jerkbags. Do you think the 2004 Red Sox seemed like a bunch of pricks? Nonsense! They were champions and just all-around swell folk. Use this stat when making predictions for the upcoming season; for example, with chemistry guys like Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mike Sweeney in the clubhouse, the Mariners are a lock to win no fewer than 140 games. Book it.