MESA, AZ – Theo Epstein is innovating baseball again. The Chicago Cubs mastermind announced today that he has hired baseball’s first TOOTBLAN Avoidance Coach, naming former major league outfielder Vince Coleman to the position.
“TOOTBLANs are a metric that has gain greater and greater traction in recent years and I wanted to make sure we cut them out with the Cubs as much as possible,” said Epstein. “The best way I knew how to do that was to hire someone to focus on TOOTBLANs specifically.”
The TOOTBLAN — short for Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop — was formulated in 2008 on the Cubs blog Wrigleyville23. Since then, the stat that tracks idiotic baserunning blunders it has been increasingly adopted among savvy baseball minds to the point of being held in the same esteem as WAR, VORP and other advanced metrics.
Coleman said he is honored to be baseball’s first official TOOTBLAN Avoidance Coach.
“I’ve worked as a baserunning coach for teams before, but this is a completely different approach and focus,” he said. “Baserunning coaches teach you about taking leads, and when to advance a base and running technique. It’s all basically positive stuff. TOOTBLAN advising is more about reminding guys not to be a complete dumbass out there.”
Epstein believes cutting out TOOTBLANs could add 20 runs to his team’s run total over the course of the season, earning his team several more wins in the process.
“I expect TOOTBLAN Avoidance Coaches to be the norm across baseball in a few years,” he said. “They’ll probably replace bullpen coaches. I’m still not sure what those guys really do other than answer a phone. We can get an intern to do that.”