Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What in tarnation is WHIP!!??

Baseball statistics are more in-depth than ever before. Everything is measured: a player's batting average against left handed pitching after the 7th inning in night games on the road with runners in scoring position and an 0-2 count (seriously, I bet you could find it), something called offensive win percentage, and then the acronyms: WAR, VORP, PETOCA, NERD, BABIP, DIPS, OPS, WPA, REW, and of course, WHIP (Yes these are all real - and there are many more!). If you are really curious about what these mean, I suggest an internet search. I could stumble my way through explaining some of them, but it would be rough.

I thought it would be interesting to put myself in the mind of an official scorer in 1897. At the time, the list of what was recorded was fairly basic (and not analyzed to death). At-bats, hits, runs, errors, assists, put outs, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, stolen bases, strikeouts, and hit-by-pitcher, and time of game. Honestly, when I first saw some box scores from the 1890s, I was impressed with the amount of detail I found.

Without further ado, an attempt at humor using some current "sabermetrics" and other statistics, as seen from the eyes of an 1897 official scorer:

BAA - Baseballers Arrested Annually
BS - Well...
ERA - Well, I think they call this the "Golden Age" or something like that.
GIDP - Guaranteed Instances of Dirty Players
IBB - Intentionally Bringing Booze (a player stat)
NERD - Those folks that waste time debating the gold standard
OBP - Other Booze-influenced Plays
RBI - Reasons Betting is Increasing
SV - Splendid Victory
WAR - I think it's about time. Spain has had it coming.
WHIP - That's what we do to the umpire when he gives us a bad call!

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