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Sunday, November 30, 2008

wOBA wOBA wOBA wOBA Woo Woo Woo

I've watched a lot of Sesame Street with my daughter. She's now moving on to Dora (who I wholeheartedly endorse), but I think Elmo will always be her first love. As a result, Sesame Street has influenced a lot of the language we've used around the house these first few years.

As it turns out, Sesame Street has also influenced how we talk about baseball. From Tango, in a response to a comment on Rob Neyer's blog:
wOBA, huh? Every time I see this stat, or even think about it, I will always think of this:

You are the first person to mention this to me. I watched alot of Sesame Street with my boy, and that song was *definitely* a reason that I named it wOBA. I wanted to give the name something light. I used to call it lwtsOBA or lwtsOBP (for linear weights), and I was thinking of also wOBP. But, wOBA worked for the name, and making it match to the song was my little secret.
wOBA's been getting some attention lately. I've been using it around here for a while, and over the past six months, even though I haven't really focused on it, it really has become my favorite rate stat. Accurate, easy to interpret, and immediately convertable into runs. The only issue is park adjustments, but that seems easy to fix and will likely be done soon.

You can now get your wOBA (wOBA wOBA) at both StatCorner and FanGraphs. Dave Cameron has a nice introduction to wOBA here. FanGraphs' versions include season- and league-appropriate weightings.

Anyway, here's the song that inspired it all...