Tipping Pitches: The Rebirth of Suckball


Friday, April 2, 2010

The Rebirth of Suckball

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Several years ago -- eight maybe -- I "invented" a little something called Suckball. I use the quotes here because I realize there are no true inventions anymore. It was somewhat original, but something that I'm sure was done before. In fact, it's been done several times since then (I'll secretly take undeserved credit).

Of course, I did this while writing for Rotoworld, and our friends there loved that article so much that it no longer exists. Thanks, fellas. So there's no proof. You'll just have to believe me. Or humor me -- nod your head and smile, act like you read it.

The premise is simple: Pick the suckiest team possible. I know what you're thinking. "Just pick a bunch of tool boxes who never play!" You aren't the brightest, my friend. Of course we wouldn't do something like that. You want players who suck, but the "best" player to own would be one who sucks most often.

Think the Milwaukee Brewers' starting rotation in 2009, minus Yovani Gallardo. Suckball Kings. For offense, think Bill Hall.

In fact, I used Bill Hall as the gauge for determining when the scoring system was just right. If he was ranked anywhere outside of the top five, the scoring needed tweaking. What I finally came up with makes Bill Hall's 2009 season (334 AB, 8 HR, 120 SO, 11 GIDP, .201 AVG, .258 OBP) the second best offensive Suckball performance of the year.

The scoring system? Well, here it is for the hitters:

AB = 2
R = -2
H = -2
HR = -20
RBI = -2
SH = 2
SF = -2
SB = -6
CS = 2
BB = -2
SO = 2
GIDP = 2
Error = 2

Play Suckball!

Go here
League ID#: 626264
Password: suckball

Here are the 10 suckiest hitters last season:

1. Emilio Bonifacio
2. Bill Hall
3. Jason Kendall
4. Koyie Hill
5. Willy Taveras
6. Rob Johnson
7. Gerald Laird
8. Yuniesky Betancourt
9. Adam Everett
10. Joe Thurston

Let me be clear that the process for finding this scoring system was far from scientific. It ain't no Sabermetrics. I essentially used a lot of trial and error and the famous "smell test."

Now, I'm still tweaking the pitching points, but this is what I have so far:

Wins = -20
Losses = 10
Saves = -10
Outs = -1
Hits = 3
Earned Runs = 1
Home Runs = 10
Walks = 2
Hit Batters = 5
Strikeouts = -5
Wild Pitches = 5
Balks = 5
Holds = -10
Blown Saves = 20

As a result, here are the 10 suckiest pitchers from a year ago:

1. Jeff Suppan
2. Josh Greer
3. Jason Berken
4. Daniel Cabrera
5. Tomo Ohka
6. David Hernandez
7. Fausto Carmona
8. Logan Kensing
9. Sidney Ponson
10. Carlos Carrasco

I can get behind any Suckball rating that puts Jeff Suppan at the top.

I reserve the right to adjust these points a bit. In particular, the highest point scorer got about 300 a year ago, so I may just want to bump everything up a bit. Chicks love points.

So who wants in? Go here. If it asks for any info, here it is:

League ID#: 626264
Password: suckball


Cohen said...

"You" invented it? Are you sure nobody else was involved?

Jon Loomer on April 02, 2010 said...

My memory is very hazy. It's been so many years.

Ladies and gentlemen, the man who provided some thought on this subject in its infancy, before it was copied and after it had already become a not-so-successful-and-probably-not-very-original phenomenon!


[Crowd goes wild]

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