Early Days: Using A Made Up Stat to Make Silly Predictions

So there's a down side to the start of the baseball season, as fun and exciting and thrilling as it is to watch baseball games be played, live and in your home town and with actual meaning associated with their outcome, it's also a reminder that you have a long, looong way to go until the season ends.

And as a Twins fan who has to expect mathematical elimination from the playoffs around the same time your tax returns are being mailed in, it's a very, very loooong time.

So, you'll forgive me if I spend a little bit of this time doing something silly. Instead of breaking down failures with runners in scoring position, or obsessing over arm slot, I prefer to just be an idiot. Baseball is there to entertain us, and when the product is a little less than riveting you have to make your own entertainment.

That's why I introduced a totally made up and completely subjective statistic: Amusement Above Replacement Player or AARP. This is a statistic of my own invention quantifying several unquantifiable things about players: performance, nickname, physical/personality traits, attitude/demeanor, and oddities.

AARP is fundamentally a way of quantifying just how much fun I personally feel while watching players or teams. You can certainly disagree with them, but good luck proving that I'm wrong because--as I mentioned before--it's all made up.

They could probably still beat the T-Wolves
Since this is the time of year for baseball bloggers to make rash and unfounded predictions prior to any kind of justifiable proof, it seems like an ideal opportunity to use a fictitious stat to make facetious predictions!

But how? After all the most amusing players are not always the best performers, nor are the teams with the most entertaining teams the eventual World Champions (sorry Harlem Globetrotters). So how can I use a stat about amusement to predict anything (even sarcastically)?

Like this, dear reader, like this: say that an average contending team would have a host of average AARP performers (.5-2.0) and a few players who are closer to transcendent talents who can capture the public interest/media spotlight (5.0 or better). I'll identify a few likely candidates in my next post and from that pool pick a preferred winner (again totally subjectively)

Meanwhile for individual players it's instructive to look at those who are either high on the performance metric, but low on experience (meaning they're about to get attention and grow into an interesting personality); or those who are high on the attitude/demeanor but low on talent (meaning that a good run of performance can make them more interesting). I'll take a look at some Twins players and assess how likely they are to curry public favor in the last post.

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