Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nationals petition MLB to remove OBP as an official statistic

In a stunning move, the Washington Nationals have petitioned the offices of the MLB for the immediate removal of On Base Percentage (OBP) as an official stat kept by Major League Baseball.

“The more we thought about it, the less sense On Base Percentage made to our organization” said an unnamed source within the Nationals front office. “We feel that batting average and playing the game the right way is a much better way of evaluating talent.”

Many in the baseball industry believe the petition stems from the Nationals choice to play former pitcher Rick Ankiel in Center Field. Ankiel, the owner of a lifetime .312 OBP would only be the latest hitter in a lineup filled with batters that have lower than league average OBP’s.

“With the likes of Dessi, Espinosa, Pudge and now Rick in the lineup, we don’t want the fans focusing on OBP; we want our fans to focus on what’s really important, looking good in our brand new Curly W uniforms” said the source. “You can find them in our team shop; they’re on the shelf right behind the Philadelphia Phillies jerseys.”

As of press time, it is not yet known where Ankiel will hit in the batting order, but at least one rumor has the Nationals considering a deadly 1-2 punch of Ian Desmond and Rick Ankiel. Desmond, who posted the seventh lowest OBP (.308) in the National League in 2010, has said that one of his main influences as a hitter is former Nationals great Cristian Guzman. In what can only be described as a fitting tribute, Desmond has adopted Guzman’s approach at the plate and rejects the notion that OBP is what matters at the top of the lineup.

While it remains unclear if Major League Baseball will seriously pursue the Nationals petition to remove OBP, the club has found one big backer for their proposal, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker. Baker, a longtime believer in not “clogging the bases” is reported to be the first and only person to have signed the Nationals petition that was circulated around the leagues front offices Wednesday.

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