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An OBP Memo

An intercepted memo from Dayton Moore to David Glass

OK Dayton - I will think about this new-fangled OBP thing you are telling me about
OK Dayton - I will think about this new-fangled OBP thing you are telling me about
Ed Zurga

TO: David Glass, Chief Executive Officer, Kansas City Royals Baseball Club

FROM: Dayton Moore, General Manager, Kansas City Royals

SUBJECT: Response to your OBP Question

First off, I apologize for the insult you had to endure from a Royals fan the last time you were at a game here in Kansas City. Our offense is not falling apart faster than a cheap Walmart suit. Whenever I buy suits from your fine establishment, they usually last several weeks before any problems show up. You can be proud of your merchandise.

In regard to your question, "What's with our offense and this OBP thing I keep hearing about?" I want to assure that our offense is on the right track. We don't need any new-fangled advanced statistic to know that. Use your eyeballs the next time a Royals game is shown on TV in Arkansas. We will have lots and lots of runners on base. As the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." Well, I can get the guys who get on base, but it's up to them to score runs. Just have patience, Mr. Glass. Soon this high-powered offense will be running more efficiently than a Walmart clothing factory in rural China.

As far as this OBP thing, I want to assure you as well that we are very good at it. Since this is a newer advanced stat, I wasn't sure at first what it was, so I asked my friend Billy in Oakland, and he explained it to me. It stands for Over-inning Baserunning Possibilities (hence the OBP). It is used to measure the ratio of innings that you have at least one baserunner. So, as you can see, it is good to have a high OBP. Baserunners are good. They lead to disruption in the pitcher's routine, they lead to bunting opportunities, and they ultimately lead to runs.

This stat is calculated by taking the number of innings the team had a baserunner divided by the number of innings a team plays. So, if you play a 9 inning game, and in 7 of those innings you have a baserunner, the OBP will be 7 / 9, or .778. (Incidently, a home run is not counted as a baserunner, since that player doesn't stay on a base, and he only jogs around the bases, not runs. For the same reason, a walk doesn't count, as the batter jogs to first base, not runs.)

From what I can tell from the stat-nerds web sites, a .400 OBP is considered very good. When I calculate our OBP, we are currently at a .764 OBP. This is very, very good.

So, why aren't we scoring that many runs? Have patience, my dear Mr. Glass. We will. We will score runs. Hold the course, and our high OBP and many baserunners will inevitably lead to a great many more runs scored.

Professionally yours,

Dayton Moore