In the world of corporate finance there are some important tools that are used to run a business. Stockholders might expect the CEO of the company to know every detail about every job in the company, but the board members know better. They expect the CEO, CFO, COO and others to look at specific numbers and trends to identify problems and or opportunities. Hence, the tool known as the Scorecard.
This is a tool that many people have seen or have some experience with. In baseball a Scorecard keeps track of balls, strikes, outs, hits, etc. In business the Scorecard often tracks productivity, labor costs, expenses, and benchmark data. It is a one page summary of the important numbers and trends the team/company should be tracking.
So in using my background in finance and business I have designed a Scorecard for the New York Mets. In this we will track weekly, monthly and yearly statistics. I will identify certain baseball stats that the General Manager should be tracking as well as some financial stats that the President and CEO should be tracking.
As an introduction I will slowly build the Scorecard with you over the next few weeks/months. I want to be able to explain the need for each of the items we will be evaluating as well as the context we will be placing them. I will be evaluating the Mets versus the top five teams in the National League in each of the respective categories. I choose this metric because the goal for the Mets is to first make the playoffs, then progress to the World Series. After looking at a few different ways of evaluating the team, I settled on the top five teams in the NL. Success in those categories will most likely breed success in the standings and hopefully the progression into the playoffs.
Let’s start with hitting. This is by far the easiest group of statistics to evaluate but this does not mean they are not complex. I will select a handful of stats and we will begin to look at how the Mets fair against the top five teams in the League. We will look at year to date (YTD) stats since we are currently in the offseason, but going forward we will look at weekly and monthly stats during the season.
|Hitting||YTD||NL Top 5 Ave||Variance||% Variance|
So these are some of the easier stats to break down. The Mets finished with a meager 79-84 record this season, so do not be hopefully that these stats will look good compared to other National League teams. You will find that all of the stats have a direct effect on others. I will explain these correlations as we progress through the individual statistics.
Runs- This is a count of the number of runs scored by the team. This number includes all runs scored and not just “Earned Runs.” Since we all know how well the Mets did in the standings, it is no surprise they are under the Top 5 Average (t5a) With a variance of (-108) they are on average scoring .67 less runs per game then the t5a. The following stats all have a direct impact on the number of runs scored.
Hits- This is a count of the number of hits the team had throughout the course of the year. This count does not include runners that reached base by error. The variance here shows that the Mets averaged .67 less hits per game then the t5a. This is not a huge number when put into perspective, but this is also directly related to the poor number of runs the team put up this year. The fewer hits the team has, the fewer runners on base, and that lowers the opportunity to score runs.
2B- This is a count of the number of doubles the team had throughout the course of the year. This count does not include any singles with a one base error. The Mets ranked 13th in the National League in doubles this season. Though the small variance of (-33) seems like a small number, it is important to point out that doubles often lead to runs scored. For example, a runner on second base often scores on a hit to the outfield and it also creates a defensive shift of the shortstop and second baseman; thus creating gaps in the infield for the batter.
3B- This is a count of the number of triples the team had throughout the course of the year. This count does not include singles with two base errors or doubles with one base errors. This is the only positive variance the team has in this group of statistics. The Mets ranked 2nd in the National League in triples, behind only the Rockies. This number is significant in that a runner on third base with less than two outs is more likely to score than any other alternative. The runner often creates a change in the defense in a close game by bringing the defense in to attempt to hold the runner. Also most runners on third will easily score on a fly ball to the outfield for a variety of reasons. First the outfielder must catch the ball, then plant and throw all in the time the runner needs to cover 90 feet. The outfielder also must make an accurate throw to the catcher, who then must catch the ball, find the runner and make the tag. I personally consider triples the most exciting play in baseball.
HR- This is a count of the number of homeruns the team had throughout the course of the year. This count does include “in the park” home runs, but does not include any other hits with errors. This is a fan favorite. The Mets ranked 13th in the National League in triples this season. It should go without saying that this number directly affects the total number of runs scored. The homerun scores the batter and all runners on the base paths. It can singlehandedly change the course of a game as well as shift momentum from one team to the other.
TB- This is a count of the number of total bases the team had reached throughout the course of the year. This count does not include any bases acquired by error. The count is simple; a single is one base, a double is two bases, a triple is three bases, and a home run is four bases. Now that you understand how this is counted, it should be no surprise that the Mets ranked 12th in the National League in Total Bases. When looking at the previous stats the Mets had only one positive variance in any of the categories. The Mets averaged 1.58 bases less than the t5a. Total Bases shows how a team is moving runners as well as how the team is scoring runs. Example, A team with high total bases, but low run totals most likely is a team that always has runners on base, but often fails to score those runners. A team with high total bases and high total runs, most likely will be leading the league in doubles, and homeruns as well as RBIs.
Each of these items is important to the management of the team. The front office needs to be aware that the Mets are not keeping up with the best teams in terms of offense productivity. This should be a focus for the team going forward. As we all know, you need to score more than the other team to win the game.
That wraps up the first part of the Scorecard. We will continue to build this until we have a complete Scorecard.