Oh, do I love baseball stats.
Not just Ribbies, Twobees, Beebees and I guess, Esbees, but all the stats in baseball. If you have any affinity to math, the Stats listing on the Boston Red Sox web site is a great place to lose an hour. Today brought about the realization that with the season close to over, and the magic number pointing the way to the postseason, it’s time to figure out who the best Red Sox players are this year, based solely on statistics.
Well, let’s look. You can also play this game at home.
The first thing we need to do is to sort by games in descending order. No offense, Quintin Berry, I know your .667 batting average is the club leader, but you’ve played only eight games. Re-sorting by games played, we find Dustin Pedroia as the current leader with 151 games.
This is where I reached a pinnacle of every sports stats fan. I made up my own stat! Similar to the Mendoza Line, here’s the “Allen Line.” Woody Allen once said, “80 percent of life is showing up.” As of today, Pedroia has played 151 of the 152 games completed, or a .993 Allen. The next closest Red Sox competitor is Mike Napoli, with .875. Other Red Sox players who are above the .800 percentage are Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava. Starting with Stephen Drew (.756), everyone else is below the Woody Line. I need to keep repeating this name to you so it will catch on. “Allen Line.”
By the way, a special shoutout to David Ortiz, who still has a phenomenal .842 Allen Line, when all of his other original teammates are eating at their desk in the broadcast booth.
So, how does Pedroia stack up to the rest of the MLB? His .993 Allen ties with the Kansas City Royal‘s Billy Butler, Detroit Tigers‘ Prince Fielder and Hunter Pence from the San Francisco Giants. As a DH, Butler’s percentage isn’t really as impressive as being a second baseman or first baseman, but I wouldn’t go as far as putting an asterisk on his “Allen Line” stat.
At the top of MLB right now is Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. The first baseman has a perfect “Allen Line” of 1.000, playing every single game this year. That’s rare nowadays, as Votto’s the only MLB player to do so, but also because the days of Cal Ripken Jr. and iron men like him are over. The days of platoons, simple rest and healing banged-up injuries are upon MLB, but there’s still value in the “Allen Line.”