Daily Notes, Introducing WAWWA

In the interest of shaking up these electronic pages a bit, I’ve decided to dig into the old FanGraphs mailbag to answer some questions from questionable readers. Remember, if you are interested in asking a question of FanGraphs representatives, use the frequent chats that occur on this site, because that is a much better option. If you insist on emailing a question to the totally-not-made-up mailbag, send it to fangraphstotallyrealmailbag@reallyrealinternet.biz.

Question #1: Hey, who are you? – Stephen, Dallas, TX
Excellent question, Stephen. I’m David Temple. You may know me from my excellent work at NotGraphs, where I currently hold titles as Most Handsome and Best Writer. NotGraphs is that little purple section of this site. You should check it out — there’s a lot of really great work over there. Most of it comes from me.

Question #2: As the season winds down, I find it hard to pick which games I want to watch. My favorite team is out of it, so I’m just looking to watch some fun, meaningful baseball at a high efficiency. Any suggestions? – Melissa, Seattle, WA.
Well, Melissa, I’m assuming you’ve seen Cistulli’s NERD scores here, but perhaps you’re looking for a different approach. This is a common theme for people trying to negotiate Cistulli, so you’re in good company. As it happens, I’ve devised a method that may help. If you’re looking to maximize your Playoff Race Consumption Potential, the thing that can really kill it is slow play. While you’re waiting for the dumb pitcher to throw the dumb ball already, that really good guy just won the game on a five-run homer. AND YOU MISSED IT. You gotta be quick on that remote, and slow play does not make that easy. But how do we know which teams are the slowest? Introducing Wait Above Weighted Wait Average, or WAWWA. I took the pace numbers (from PITCHf/x) for every pitcher, and created an average weighted by innings pitched. If my calculations are correct — a bold assumption — the magic number here is 22.51 seconds. Below is a table of all the playoff-contention teams and their WAWWA+, which is based off a 100 average. Higher numbers denote more time between pitches.

Team Pace WAWWA+
Braves 22 97.73
Pirates 22.9 101.73
Dodgers 23 102.18
Reds 23.4 103.95
Royals 21.9 97.29
Cardinals 22.2 98.62
Athletics 22 97.73
Tigers 22.7 100.84
Nationals 21.2 94.18
Rangers 22.3 99.07
Red Sox 23.4 103.95
Rays 24.7 109.73
Indians 21.5 95.51
Yankees 22.4 99.51
Orioles 21.9 97.29

Question #3: I’m 42 years old, and was recently laid off from my job. I’m upside down on my mortgage and plan on declaring bankruptcy next week. I think I’m going to the library tonight — is there a MLB.TV game I can watch for free to distract myself for a few hours on the cheap? – Andre, San Diego, CA.
There is Andre, and you’re in luck because it feature your hometown Padres! See? Things aren’t all that bad after all. You’ll see Tyson Ross (98.62 WAWWA+) vs. Charlie Morton (91.96 WAWWA+) and the Pirates. It starts at 7:05 ET, approximately. **NOTE: As astute reader Ozzy points out, since you are in the San Diego area, this game will be blacked out, Andre. So, maybe things are exactly as bad as they seem. Readers low on cash and NOT in either the San Diego or Pittsburgh area are still free to enjoy this game.**

Question #4: Will you finish this up already? I can’t believe I actually miss Cistulli. – Dave, Winston-Salem, NC.
Oh, hi, Dave Cameron. I see you’ve been peaking peeking at my drafts here on the mother site. You’re the boss, so let’s bring this in for a landing. Below are the rest of today’s games featuring the starting pitcher’s and opposing team’s (batting) WAWAA+ based on their respective pace numbers. The game score is a simple average of the two. For those looking for NERD scores, feel free to read this list while listening to the song featured below by the band N.E.R.D. After you read the list, you can continue to listen while watching Spiderman dance. It’s the best I can do.

Away SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP Home Time (ET)
Scott Diamond MIN 97.73 98.62 96.5125 101.29 88.41 CHA John Danks 2:10
Jason Vargas ANA 97.73 102.62 96.29 103.07 81.74 OAK A.J. Griffin 3:35
Alex Wood ATL 90.18 97.73 98.1775 102.18 102.62 WAS R. Ohlendorf 7:05
Nathan Eovaldi MIA 91.96 95.96 95.2925 97.29 95.96 PHI Zach Miner 7:05
Tyson Ross SDG 98.62 98.62 97.6225 101.29 91.96 PIT C. Morton 7:05
Phil Hughes NYA 95.07 104.84 98.7325 95.51 99.51 TOR J.A. Happ 7:07
H. Iwakuma SEA 110.62 99.07 102.5125 101.29 99.07 DET J. Verlander 7:08
W. Chen BAL 96.40 99.07 98.7325 104.84 94.62 BOS Jake Peavy 7:10
Matt Cain SFN 99.96 98.62 97.9575 99.07 94.18 NYN A. Harang 7:10
D. Holland TEX 96.85 99.51 100.0675 99.51 104.40 TBA Chris Archer 7:10
Chris Rusin CHN 92.40 100.84 97.62 102.62 94.62 MIL T. Thornburg 8:10
Greg Reynolds CIN 109.73 101.29 105.51 102.18 108.84 HOU Brad Peacock 8:10
Danny Salazar CLE 95.51 97.73 93.625 96.85 84.41 KCA Bruce Chen 8:10
A. Wainwright SLN 103.95 100.84 99.7325 102.18 91.96 COL T. Chatwood 8:40
Stephen Fife LAN 98.18 101.73 98.955 101.73 94.18 ARI B. McCarthy 10:10


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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

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Poor Andre is going to go to the library, jazzed over the possibility of watching the free mlb.tv game. But little does he know, due to MLB’s blackout restrictions, he will not be able to.