Hitman23 is the newest of our contributors here at TFB. When he isn't pleasuring himself to pictures of Don Mattingly's moustache, you can most likely find him with his nose buried in a Bill James book. Enjoy.
I am a Sabermetrician. I once wasn’t, but I’ve seen the light and realized that everyone else is just stupid. You know how some people keep bibles by their bed? I keep a copy of Moneyball by mine. I read one chapter a week and then sermonize every Thursday (the official Sabermetrician Sabbath, bitches). Just in case you were wondering, my favorite chapter is ‘Scott Hatteberg, Pickin’ Machine’, but I’ll save that discussion for another day.
It is my sincere belief that we are on the brink of a major breakthrough in Sabermetric analysis. There is room for so much more. For example – just humor me here – if these Harvard MBAs running the show are so smart, why haven’t they figured out that they don’t even need to pay actual people to play baseball? Hello? They can just assign values to make-believe players and simulate the games in computer models. Clearly, the lights are on but there is nobody home. Sure, the MLBPA might have a problem with it, but other unions have been busted before. So these front office idiots would save a fortune – think about it, no shiny new venues to pay for and argue over, no outlandish contracts, no flights and travel arrangements, basically no overhead, save for a few guys with crusty Cheetos-orange fingers and their PCs. Anyway, I digress.
Now that I’ve converted to the one True Faith, I wanted to get in on the action and make my own mark on Sabermetrics (in case you haven’t noticed, Sabermetrics should always be capitalized, just like the word God – it would be an insult to our god, Bill James, if it wasn’t. He reads all, just like that other God). It all began as a discussion over Kei Igawa and Carl Pavano, when I was momentarily blinded and the voice of His Statiness, Bill James, inspired me. I don’t remember much about the ordeal but when I came to, I, along with the rest of my brethren at Yankeeist and the Yankee Google Group, developed a new advanced statistic:
That’s right. DTPIF, or Desire to Punch In Face, is the new “it” stat. WHIP? That’s so 2000. FIP? BLOP. VORP? Been there, done that. WAR? Don’t even want to hear the word unless it is preceded by “The U.S. declared” and followed by “on Mexico because it’s awesome and we want a 51st state.”
Yes, DTPIF. DTPIF is scaled from -10.0 to 10.0, with zero being neutral (credit goes to Dr. Skip for the scale). The dual directionality from zero allows one to better understand the reasons behind a player’s rating. Allow me to explain. Alex Rodriguez is one of the most polarizing personalities to ever grace a baseball diamond. However, he isn’t despised for his performance. It’s just his being that bothers everyone. His DTPIF is a whopping 9.1. So a DTPIF over zero indicates a sheer dislike for the human being. Now, Yuniesky Betancourt has a -8.9 DTPIF. This is attributable to his sucking and has little to do with him as a person. The fact that he is a nice guy is actually what keeps him from busting past the dreaded 9.0/-9.0 barrier. Getting back to the conversation that sparked it all, Carl Pavano has a DTPIF of -9.8, while Kei Igawa’s is a smaller yet still-too-high -7.4. DTPIF is an extremely complicated statistic that took many, many minutes to develop. But as you can see, the scale allows the user to understand if the player sucks as an athlete or as a person. If you don’t fully understand the situation behind the DTFIP you can delve a bit deeper and find out about things like Pavano’s “injury” history and his “desire” to play baseball, or that Igawa is the not even the best pitcher on his AAA team but will earn a lot more yen in his career than any of them.
So where do others rank? Only four players have ever achieved an imperfect DTPIF (10.0/-10.0) and they all happen to be currently active and play on the same team. Impossible, you say? Remember, complicated models. Check this out:
Dustin “I Even Want to Punch Myself in My Bald Head” Pedroia 10.0
Kevin “Arrrrr, Matey” Youkilis 10.0
Jonathan “Papelsmear” Papelbon 10.0
Jason “The Mariners Didn’t Even Want Me” Varitek 10.0
Tyrus Raymond Cobb 9.6
Theodore “Ted Theodore Logan” Williams 9.5
So there you have it, folks. The Red Sox have a long and proud history of putting a product on the field that is as dislikable as the locals. Oh yeah? Well, fack you too, fackers !!!