Henry Chadwick would not approve

Just because I no longer write the box score tonight segment does not mean that I no longer study the box scores. Today I noticed something quirky about them. A new category was added to the ESPN box scores that I have never seen before, anywhere. It is #P, which I presume means the total number of pitches seen by every batter in the game. I understand the purpose behind it, players who see a lot of pitches tend to have higher OBP and wear down the pitcher quicker, but I absolutely do not to see this stat every single day. A day by day sample is nearly meaningless as a player could see 25 pitches on game and 5 the next. If I really care, I will simply look up the players P/PA and that will give me a much better understanding of a players plate discipline. In fact, o-swing and z-contact data gives me a much better vision of the players "eye". I truly hope ESPN notices how pointless and inconvenient this stat is and goes back to the original format.

Actually there are several modifications that I would like to see on the ESPN box. First and foremost, we do not need to know the inning, pitcher, count, baserunners of every homerun ever hit. Same goes for stolen bases. We dont need to know which bag was stolen, what catcher, what pitcher. Also, why are homeruns, steals, and RBIs constantly cumulated but runs are not. They need to tell us how many runs all these players have on a daily basis. I couldnt even tell you who leads the league in runs, I would guess Crawford, but I really have no clue. (Ibanez, Scutaro, Roberts are ties for 1st but how the fuck would I know that without looking up the leaderboard every single day). I know Longoria leads in RBIs cause I see it added up every day.

This reminds me of when ESPN added the +/- feature for basketball last season. The difference is that +/- is a very significant stat that actually has significant meaning for every game. I cant say the same about pitches seen. If they want to be super hip and add a new catagory, it should be wOBA

In case anyone is interested, Brandon Morrow leads the league in P/PA among pitchers and Jayson Werth leads in P/PA among hitters

2 comments:

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

Actually, i want to know what base the player stole. that way i can throw a shoe at my computer when Jayson Werth steals home while on my bench

Sexy Rexy said...

I understand you're frustration but I think you need to take a step back and look at #P for what it is and not what it should be.

A lot of stats ESPN accumulates and tells the general public are crap. Despite my post about the USEFULNESS of these stats, they really could be eliminated. Stats like wOBA, obP, SLG, FIP, or anything on the advanced statistics pages on fangraphs are MORE useful and should be used more than stats like RBI, R, BA, W and such.

But you have to realize that the vast majority of people who follow and like baseball do not know or understand these stats. So if ESPN immediately changes to the stats that WE like and ones that should be used, these other people will be confused and probably pissed. These people need to be gradually introduced these stats that we know and love.

DME can probably best attest to this trying to teach his dad these advanced stats over the traditional ones he grew up with. TBO, remember those old businessmen we were sitting in front of at the Sox game this Monday, talking about bunting? Yeah, there's a shit ton of people who share this view, probably more people who share THEIR pov than OUR pov.

So while the authors of this blog can easily look up guys with better patience and eye and whatnot, old school baseball guys can not or just do not. So this new added "stat" on box scores is a good step in right direction.

I agree with you that taken within a vacuum, on its own, this #P is pretty silly, but I look at it as a step in the right direction for the baseball world sees the world through our eyes