Adding A New Acronym to the Baseball Lexicon

Never before has baseball had so many acronyms to keep track of.  It's enough to give any  fan a brain cramp.

When I was young and baseball suffused my summer days,  I could rattle off  HR, SO, BB, IP,  RBI, ERA. 1B, 2B, 3B, E, and a handful of other statistical shortcuts. But nowadays, sabermetrics has spawned so many more.

Here's a few from About.com:

1 .IR: Inherited runs. The number of runners inherited by a relief pitcher that scored while the reliever was in the game.

2. ISO: A measure of the hitter's raw power---extra bases per at bat.

3. OPS: On-base plus slugging. A measurement of a batter's ability to get on base and hit for power.

4. QS: Quality start. A game in which a pitcher completes 6  innings and allows no more than 3 runs.

5. WAR: Wins above replacement player. The number of wins the player contributed above what a replacement level hitter, fielder, or pitcher would have done.

6. WHIP: Walks and hits per inning pitched. The average number of walks and hits allowed by a pitcher per inning (BB + H / IP).

This is only a sampling of the acronymic offspring of sabermetrics.  As I write,  some diamond quant is probably  concocting  new ones.

Which got me to think.  Maybe I could add another to the  abbreviation zoo.  How about QFB?  Quality foul balls.  Bill James, one of the progenitors of sabermetrics says that back in early days of our national pasttime, a fellow named Roy Thomas once fouled off 22 pitches at the plate.  White Sox immortal, Luke Appling,  around 1936,  fouled off 15 of Bob Feller's legendary fast balls.  There's even a story, apocryphal though  it might be, about Appling deliberately fouling off 14 pitches just to spite an owner who refused to give him extra Annie Oakleys for a game.   Luis Valbuena  of the Cubs has a knack at fouling pitches too.  At least six would be required to earn an  QFB.    That  number, not ordinarily reached, would absolutely  be a  positive contribution,  even if the hitter doesn't get on base..

Why, you ask?   FFF. Three good reasons:  Focus, Frustration, Fatigue.  The guy on the mound may lose focus and deliver one to  the hitter's sweet spot. Or get frustrated enough to  issue a walk. Or the effort may cause enough fatigue to break the camel's back.  And with the mediocre crop of  of middle and long reliefers nowadays, that's something to swing for.

Maybe another F would also result from the QFB.  Freedom for an older fan  to visit the men's room.

 

 

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  • I started or got into a discussion on Cubs Insider whether BABIP really meant anything.

    The thing rolling in my head is that the only noticeable negative stat is blown saves. I'm contemplating things like once there is an error on a play that should have ended the inning, it doesn't affect the ERA and the pitcher can end the inning, including ineffectively, with virtual impunity. Similar situation is that the pitcher who puts the batter on base gets stuck with the loss even though the reliever is ineffective. Maybe "inherited runners" is the converse of the necessary stat, although there is also "holds."

    The similar situation that I think is unfair is when the closer gets the blown save and the win. I don't think he deserves the win.

    While I don't understand the origins of many of the rules on foul balls, the QFB has the meaningful counterpart of "the pitch count is up to --- on this AB." Do it enough and the pitcher is out of there.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, I agree. BABIP doesn't add much to the traditional stats. It seems like the bean counters have come to dominate baseball thinking. I liked it better when the game was not so cerebral.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Barry Rozner had a similar take on Sunday. He pointed out that if Adam Eaton didn't hustle down the line to beat the double play, the game is over and Jose Abreu never gets to the plate to hit the grand slam, but Sabremetrics doesn't account for that.

    Since that was subject to a replay, one could have imagined the rhubarb if it were overturned. I believe enough that most plays in baseball are close, and the ump is usually on top of them. As in football, I think reply gives the officials more opportunity to be at least indecisive. Especially on the few baseball replays I have seen, either the angle is inconclusive or the ball is just a streak at the critical moment.

  • Inspiring post, AW. Here's some acronyms for you---

    SOB-----Strikes Out Blinking

    BS, WTF---Blown Save, Walks the Fourth

    HURT---Hits Until Rain and Thunder (or tornadoes)

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    So, then, what is The Big HURT (besides Big Frank)?

  • Hi, Jack. Yes, I was thinking of Big Frank--don't you think he deserves an acronym? Big HURT-- hailstones the size of baseballs!

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