Angry Ward: Baseball’s Newest Mind-Numbing Metrics


BRONX, NY – Guess what, everybody? Baseball season started this morning! Yep, as stupid as this always sounds, America’s Pastime started today, a full week ahead of everyone else, with the Oakland A’s taking on the Seattle Mariners in Japan. “Buy me some sushi and green tea ice cream, I don’t care if I’m watching Sid Bream.” Anyway, along with Mike Trout’s new contract making Manny and Bryce look like his little b!tches, this season also ushers in a whole new bunch of annoying-as-hell baseball metrics abbreviations and terminology. Yessir, if you can’t get enough of WAR and BABIP and exit velocity and spin rate (kill me now), you’re gonna love the new sh!t. Here’s your primer.

FUC. Short for Friggin’ Unavoidable Calamities, the Mets will once again crush the rest of the league in this category. Along with all of the usual Metropolitan DL frequent flyers, look for a mid-season appearance by Yoenis Cespedes derailed immediately in some freakish fashion, like maiming by driving range golf ball collector.

Black Hole Depression Index. Which team’s fans will bail on their season the fastest. There’s a real race this year in this hot new category. The odds on favorite coming out of the clubhouse are Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins. Even when this team is good they can’t draw fans. Baseball in Miami is where they send recovering coke addicts who need to get away from the action. You might also hear more chatter this summer in a Benedictine Monastery than you will at Detroit’s Comerica Park. Any team with a pronounced BH Depression Index would be smart to sign one Bartolo Colon asap. He’s baseball Prozac for this condition.

IBS. No, it’s not Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but the Inability to Beat the Shift is enough to make many fans lose control of their waste management systems. The acronym can also mean, Idiots who can’t Bunt for Sh!t. This particular metric has lots of overachievers.

Public Address Nausea Corollary. From Cotton Eye Joe to Everybody Clap Your Hands to the absolute BS that is the 7th inning God Bless America break, there’s a real arms race in MLB to see which teams can make which fans the sickest the fastest. Though it’s yet to be seen if anyone can eclipse the spectacularly embarrassing hot mess that the Yankees’ grounds crew YMCA dance has become. The bar has been set so impossibly low that even world-class limbo dancers or pond-scum Trump lawyers would be hard-pressed to shimmy under it.

WASTE. Wins Against Sh!tty Teams in the East is a stat that bounces back and forth between the AL and NL. This year it is residing squarely in the American League, where the Yankees and Red Sox will pick up countless easy Ws against the hapless likes of the Blue Jays and Orioles.

Face Punchability. For years Mark Teixeira had one of those faces you just wanted to punch right the hell in. He may be a great guy, it’s not his fault. But that face needed to get punched. Now we have many players who have that face punchability factor. Bryce Harper? Are you kidding me? Manny Machado? That guy’s smug mug is a knuckle sandwich parking lot waiting to happen. I’d add Justin Turner to the list, but he kinda looks like a feral animal who hasn’t had his shots.

MADS. Managing Above Decent Standards is something many baseball managers suffer from. Situational pitching moves are absolutely killing the pace of the game. Managing every game like it’s Game 7 of the Series is not something any right-minded baseball fan wants to see. Just as with officials and coaches in other sports, fans are NOT coming to see you guys. MADS numbers need to be brought way down.

OK, I’ve rambled way too long here. Come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle, whose Writing Above Replacement numbers are downright pathetic.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.

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