The standard TV introduction of a player at bat.
I was watching a playoff game the other day and the introduction of a Dodgers hitter caught my eye. The standard AVG/HR/RBI numbers were displayed, but only for the series. I believe it said .222 (2 for 9), 0 HR, 1 RBI. The particulars aren't all that important.
I wondered how many people found that graphic useful. It does give a quick snapshot of that player's performance in the postseason so far, so that's a point in its favor. In fact, that's the probably the point of postseason player graphics. During the season, however, the same AVG/HR/RBI graphic is ubiquitous. Some broadcasts throw a curve and include such new-age stats as OBP, but chances are you're stuck with the good old Triple Crown components.
I'm going to go out on a limb and assume we can agree there are better ways to describe a player's offense than using batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. This is hardly a new exercise, but my challenge to you is to create a new player graphic that includes the information you think the average fan watching should have. Your graphic will debut on Opening Day next year, so there isn't time for fans to hit the books over the winter like Ned Yost. As you might expect, there are some ground rules:
- You must have at least three and at most four statistics. After all, even big HDTV screens can only fit so much.
- The statistics have to be easily explained and understood just through relatively brief spoken explanation. There isn't time to explain in depth or show formulas. Assume it's a perfect world and all broadcasters are competent enough to explain statistical things.
- The same categories have to be shown for all players. It would be nice to show speed-oriented stats for fast guys and power-oriented stats for sluggers, but it's not allowed. Life isn't fair and your bosses want you to keep it simple for the production truck.
Will you stick with AVG/HR/RBI because they're widely understood and easy to grasp? Will you shake things up and add a relatively simple stat like OPS even though it has flaws? Will you add something less well known that you really like? Make your case...