Wednesday, September 18, 2013

AIM Chat with 12-Year-Old Self: Sabermetrics

I found some sort of wormhole or black hole or something and I was able to have an AIM chat with my 12-year-old self.  Since I wasn't sure how much time I would have and whether or not this would become a recurring featu... I mean event, I decided to focus our chat on Sabermetrics.  I figured, I like it now, so young me would love it.  Right?  Well, let's see...

    BSwanson0928:  Hey Brad.
    KPuckFan34123456:  who is this?  a/s/l?  pics?
    BSwanson0928:  Stop that.  Don't do that.  No one has pics.
    This is your future self.  We need to talk about some stuff.
    KPuckFan34123456:  how?
    BSwanson0928:  In 2000, you're going to see a movie called
    Frequency.  It will all make sense then.  For now, you'll just
    have to trust me.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  ok.  i still don't believe you.  prove 
    you are me?
    BSwanson0928:  Well, you have way too many baseball cards.
    Which is something we need to talk about.  Those things take 
    up a lot of space.  You're going to buy a house in the future and
    it's going to have a lot of living space, but little storage space.  
    Therefore, your cards are in a pretty dank closet where some 
    pipes are close to bursting.  Just an FYI.  Stop buying 1991
    Topps please.  Newsflash:  They don't go up in value!
    KPuckFan34123456:  it's 1993.........
    BSwanson0928:  An ellipsis has just three dots.  Please use 
    capital letters; you're better than this.
    KPuckFan34123456:  If you're me in the future, why is your 
    name different?
    BSwanson0928:  AIM goes out of style shortly after Frequency
    comes out.  I don't think the two events are related, more just
    KPuckFan34123456:  ok...
    BSwanson0928:  Better.  You don't seem very excited to talk 
    with me. This is a good thing.  I have information that will help you 
    as you get older.  Information that will help you be a better baseball 
    KPuckFan34123456:  I'm a great baseball fan.  I have tons of 
    baseball cards.  I have posters.  I read Matt Christopher books.  
    I know a ton about baseball!
    BSwanson0928:  Then why are you collecting Pedro Munoz and 
    Gary Wayne baseball cards?
    KPuckFan34123456:  Those guys are awesome!  Munoz had 71
    RBI and Wayne's ERA was under 3!  
    BSwanson0928:  Well, the Wayne cards are going to help you in
    the future, but not because you're going to sell them.  
    BSwanson0928:  Actually, that statement makes your future 
    seem a bit bleak, so ignore that.  Those guys aren't that good.
    KPuckFan34123456:  No way!  They are awes!  What do you
    know anyway?  
    BSwanson0928:  I know that we shouldn't say "awes" anymore.  
    Look, we're going to read a book called Moneyball when you're 
    older.  You're going to learn things you can unlearn.  You're going
    to see the movie a few years after that.  You're going to like it, but 
    it's going to seem like no one else did.  That's fine.  Be you.
    KPuckFan34123456:  What are you talking about?
    BSwanson0928:  Be You is a Lil' Wayne thing.  You're going 
    to like him as a kid and then he'll be really popular when you're
    too old to understand hip hop music.
    KPuckFan34123456:  This is really confusing.  I meant the 
    baseball stuff.
    BSwanson0928:  Right.  Baseball.  Basically, you're not 
    understanding how to value players properly.  You're looking
    at baseball card stats, instead of what actually makes a player
    good.  You're terribly ignorant to WAR.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Like the Gulf War?  We learn about
    that in Social Studies.  Social Studies is really boring.  I hope 
    we don't have that in the future.  
    BSwanson0928:  Let's stay on topic.  I'm talking about WAR
    not war.  WAR is wins above replacement.  It's a way to value
    players based on how well they perform above a player who 
    could be called up from AAA.  It incorporates all elements of
    what makes a baseball player good.
    KPuckFan34123456:  You mean like clutch and team 
    BSwanson0928:  No, I mean like offense and defense?  Can 
    you measure clutch?  Should we be trying to see how good 
    players are at smiling?  How do you quantify that?  Huh?  Have
    you even used Excel yet?
    KPuckFan34123456:  Sheesh, what's your problem?  Is our
    future really bad or something?
    BSwanson0928:  Ok, that was harsh.  Moneyball and 
    Sabermetrics are all about understanding the true value of a 
    player.  That's what I want you to understand, so that I can 
    understand it better at my age.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  How old are you anyway?  
    BSwanson0928:  30
    KPuckFan34123456:  Whoa!  You're old.  Do you have a car?
    BSwanson0928:  We have a Nissan Sentra.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  So our future is kinda bad, right?
    BSwanson0928:  It gets great gas mileage and never needs 
    maintenance.  It was a smart buy, and I'm sick of... 
    Ok, look, we can talk about how a car loses half it's value 
    when you drive it off the lot during another Frequency chat.   
    We need to focus on baseball right now.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Fine, what is Sabermetrics?
    BSwanson0928:  Sabermetrics is baseball analysis.  It's looking
    at baseball in a new way.  It's trying to understand why things
    happen they way they happen.
    KPuckFan34123456:  That sounds fun.  Not!  Why can't we
    just watch baseball?
    BSwanson0928:  This is better.  You get to be right about things.
    More importantly, it will help your future blog.  I'm running out of 
    ideas at this point.  I'm resorting to really odd gimmicks involving
    putting Twins player heads on bird bodies.
    KPuckFan34123456:  That sounds hilarious!
    BSwanson0928:  Well, at least I found my target audience. 
    You need to embrace sabermetrics.  I'm going to email you 
    some books to read.  Try to get them read by next week so 
    we can chat again.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Cool, homework.  Did we become a 
    teacher or something?  
    BSwanson0928:  Yep, a social studies teacher in fact.  So there.
    Maybe if you embrace this new idea before anyone else, we can 
    avoid this "horrible" fate.  So yeah, homework.  Take notes too.
    You suck at taking notes.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Ugh.  How am I going to have time to 
    read a bunch of books?  I've got stuff to do.
    BSwanson0928:  Well first, you can just go ahead and stop playing
    the trumpet.  You're awful.  Sorry, but it's true.  Also, you don't 
    need to play Sonic as much as you are.  Believe me, you're going
    to play plenty of video games in your life.  That full season of World
    Series Baseball that you played?  Come on.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Hey, I broke Roger Maris' home run record
    with Frank Thomas.  It was awesome, no one will ever do that!
    BSwanson0928:  Look, just read the books and learn.  If you have 
    time, try to learn HTML too.  I can't figure it out for the life of me.
    They say you need to learn a language young.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  What's HTML?  Is that another thing that 
    makes baseball boring?
    BSwanson0928:  AH!  Sabermetrics makes baseball better.  You 
    get to predict things and you're usually right!  One day, you're going 
    use Sabermetrics to explain things to others.  You're going to make 
    a ton of accurate predictions in your blog.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  I don't know what a blog is, but it sounds 
    BSwanson0928:  It kind of is, but you really enjoy it.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Hmm, it must be fun to always be right about
    everything.  I'm sure that never gets old to people you hang out with.
    BSwanson0928:  Hey, that sarcasm isn't as awesome as you think it
    is.  But, I appreciate your insightful observation.  This wit will take you
    a long way. 
    KPuckFan34123456:  Really?  
    BSwanson0928:  Nah, not really.  But you're happy.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Ok.  Well, I'll try to read your books.  NBA 
    Jam comes out this week and I think I'm going to ask Dad to take 
    me to Best Buy to get it.  Is it worth it?
    BSwanson0928:  Oh goodness, yes.  Ignore everything we talked 
    about and just play NBA Jam non-stop.  I'll email you some codes
    to unlock special players.  You can play as Bill Clinton and Crunch.
    KPuckFan34123456:  Nice!  I can't wait to get on fire and do a 
    bunch of dunks.
    BSwanson0928:  You're going to love it.  Just save the game this time.  
    You sell it for store credit at FuncoLand when you're older and it's one
    of your greatest regrets.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  I'll try to remember.  Ok, I gotta go eat.  Mom
    made dinner.
    BSwanson0928:  Eat your dinner and tell Mom you like it.  
    KPuckFan34123456:  Ok.  Bye.
    BSwanson0928:  Bye.  

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