Over the off-season, I dipped a toe into the sabermetric waters and developed a new statistic to calculate the entertainment value of watching any individual player. It’s called the Subjective Triangle Of Originality Plus Irrationality Dividend, or STOOPID ranking. One of the unique aspects of this statistical metric is that it can be used not only to rank players but managers and owners as well, making it perhaps the only means of analyzing players and management on the same playing field.
We all have favorite players–the ones who are fun to watch or who make us wonder what they’ll do next regardless of the game at hand. The STOOPID Entertainment Ranking finally gives us a way to quantify what makes a player or manager fun to watch and compare him to other players or managers.
The STOOPID ranking is based on three base factors:
Name (worth 1.0)
Appearance (worth 1.5)
Quirks (worth 2.0)
Irrationality Dividend (0-3)
The values of each factor are weighted based on how much control the player has over the factor as well as how important it is to the overall enjoyment of watching him play. Thus Name, over which one has little control unless you go through the hassle of changing it, has a lower value than appearance. An added Irrationality Dividend calculates the added joy that comes from watching players who may or may not do something wonderfully absurd on the field. Once you get the hang of it, it’s one of the easier stats to run.
Below I’ve calculated the STOOPID ranking of some of Indians past and present to see how they compare.
Manny Ramirez 1(A) + 3(ID)= 5
Manny is a great place to start because although he’s one of the best hitters of his generation, his STOOPID ranking is lower than one might think. Once the dreads got long enough to bounce when he ran, he gained a 1 for Appearance. His playing quirks are negligible, but his Irrationality Dividend is off the charts.
Mike Hargrove 2(Q) = 2
Blessed with one of the most popular boys names for over the last 50 years and a sensible haircut, Hargrove doesn’t register on Name or Appearance, but his Human Rain Delay ritual before each pitch gives him a top Quirk ranking. One might think that his sudden retirement from his managerial position with the Seattle Mariners might give him a high Irrationality Dividend, but think about it–only an irrational person would want to manage the Mariners.
Coco Crisp 1(N) + .3(ID) = 1.3
Good name, no discernible personality quirks, but he did recently hit a home run sans batting gloves, which makes you wonder if age is making him a bit more entertaining.
EDIT: Coco’s afro was brought to my attention in the comments section. His new STOOPID ranking: 1(N) + 1.5(A) + .5(ID) = 3. Somewhere, Oscar Gamble is smiling.
Albert Belle 3(ID) = 3
As my statistically oriented colleague Ryan McCrystal notes, aside from the anger, he was really a boring guy.
John Rocker .5(N) + .5(Q) + 3(ID) = 4
The ratio the time Rocker spent in an Indians uniform to his STOOPID ranking is pretty spectacular. And because the Irrationality Dividend is the gift that keeps on giving, Rocker may cause the maximum ID rating to rise.
Shin-Soo Choo: 1(N) + .2(ID) = 1.4
Good name; an off-season DUI in 2011 gives him a small Irrationality Dividend
Vinnie Pestano .5(N) + .5(Q) = 1
The name makes you think of pesto (mmm… pesto…) and he sprints out of the bullpen.
One of the things you may notice from this sampling is that the current crop of Indians have comparatively low STOOPID rankings. This is kind of sad. Perhaps the bullpen could hire Rollie Fingers as a ‘Stache Coach or something.