Salsametrics Still Shrouded In Mystery

Perhaps we should get Bill James, the father of Sabermetrics, to weigh in on this phenomenon. Or, since James keeps a low profile these days, maybe Brian Kenny, the MLB analyst who is always citing wRC+, bWAR, OPS+, and so on, could do a video primer on salsametrics.

Truth is, there are just too many unknowns and too much proprietary information when it comes to the salsa factor. Take, for instance 8/26/18. Matt Carpenter is on all the highlight reels after cranking 4 doubles, and he is out there making that rotary motion with his hand. Now, casual fans of other teams are beside themselves thinking, "what the heck is he doing?" So MLB & others feel compelled to do the post-game interview that features some probing of the influence of salsa.

Now, here is where the salsa mystique gets real murky. Carpenter says that he opened a fresh jar and it tasted so good that he knew it was going to be a good game. Really? Now we know he has a slump-busting formula, because before that he was not trending too well. Did he cook up that batch on the road (awkward), or was he carrying around a whole suitcase of salsa with different recipes? That would not make sense. Why would he stray from the recipe that carried him from well below the Mendoza line in May to a career high OPS north of .990 in early August? It is a well-known fact that players are always tinkering with their swings. Remember when Yadier Molina used to sport a different stance just about every day? Maybe Carpenter was guilty of tinkering just a little too much with his salsa formula.

I believe Carpenter shared on his verified Twitter account, that, he could not provide Matt Adams any salsa, and any competitive advantage it might induce, while he was Nats property. However, after the Cardinals reacquired Adams, Carpenter welcomed him to bathe in it. Well, what happened? Does Carpenter need to get cooking now that he is back from the road trip and find the personal recipe that will unlock Adams’ potential. Surely he wouldn’t do something subversive like give Adams the placebo batch … they do both play 1B. Maybe some people are just impervious to the effects of salsa. Also, with so many wondering why the Cards stood pat when Daniel Murphy was on the waiver wire, maybe he just doesn’t like salsa.

Finally, what are the far-ranging effects of Carpenter’s salsa? Does it have a pungent odor like Tabasco that makes the catcher swoon a bit? Does the umpire’s eyes water and make it hard to call balls and strikes? Like I said earlier in this piece, there is just too much we don’t know about salsa effects to start citing it routinely with the other advanced metrics in baseball.