Mains: The golden age of TOOTBLAN

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on June 5, 2017:

Sabermetrics has given us several fun acronyms. If Christina Kahrl received royalty payments every time someone mentions Three True Outcomes, a term she coined, well, she’d have more money than she does today. Speaking of royalties, the backlash to WAR as an evaluative tool has probably generated payments for Edwin Starr’s estate. Minor league expert John Sickels gave us LOOGY. And Cubs blogger Tony Jewell, attempting to describe the baserunning exploits of Ryan Theriot in 2008, came up with TOOTBLAN.

TOOTBLAN, for the uninitiated, stands for Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop. It actually was part of a more elegant formula Jewell derived, the Ryan Theriot Adjusted On-Base Percentage (RTAOBP), defined as

RTAOBP = (Hits + Walks + HBPCS – TOOTBLANs) / Plate Appearances

Ryan The Riot’s last year in the majors was 2012. The RTAOBP ended with him. TOOTBLANs live on.

Defining a TOOTBLAN is discretionary. It’s intellectually lazy to append the LAN to every TOOTB. This play occurred during Yasiel Puig’s sixth game in the majors in 2013; how was Andrelton Simmons to have known not to run on him? TOOTB to be sure, LAN not so much.

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Originally published: June 5, 2017. Last Updated: June 5, 2017.