Have you heard of “TOOTBLAN” when watching baseball? Chances are you have not heard of the phrase, but you have seen TOOTBLAN plays on the field. So what exactly does TOOTBLAN baseball mean? Find out more below.
What Does TOOTBLAN Mean?
TOOTBLAN is an acronym, which stands for Thrown Out on the Basepaths like a Nincompoops. The expression describes poor baseball baserunning where a player records an out via a non-force out play. Most of the time, TOOTBLAN takes place when a baserunner takes an extra base and doesn’t come close to being safe, but there other examples to know.
TOOTBLAN Examples in Major League Baseball
There are many examples of TOOTBLAN blunders that fans have seen when watching a game. Some include recording an out at home by a mile, while others make careless mistakes while running. Here are some of the most common examples of TOOTBLAN baseball below.
- Recording an out at 2nd base when trying to stretch a single into a double
- Recoding an out after trying to take the next base on a wild pitch
- When you are trying to score from 2nd base on a single and then get thrown out easily at home
- Getting thrown out at while trying to advance a base via a pickoff
- Recording an out via a pickoff attempt
- Forgetting how many outs they were and running straight on contact. Another example of forgetting how many outs there are is if you run off the field after an out because you think there are three outs.
- When you incorrectly run the bases as a baserunner. An example of this is if you think someone caught the ball and you head back to your original base.
- Getting out at a base with an open base via a fielder’s choice. For example, you are on 2nd base without nobody on at first and get thrown out the third base on a ground out.
- As a baserunner, you can collect a TOOTBLAN if you create interference on a play. An example of an interference play can be slapping the ball out of a pitcher’s hand while running to first base. That slapping of the ball belongs to Alex Rodriquez in 2004 with the New York Yankees. Another example of this play is bush league, so there can be multiple meanings of a single play.
Getting hit by a baseball by the hitter while running the base paths is why baserunners will jump over a ball on the ground.
- Forgetting to touch a base as you are running the bases
What are Not Examples of TOOTBLAN?
The main difference between TOOTBLAN and being out on a close play is subjective at times. If you are trying to score from 2nd base to home and get thrown out on a bang-bang play, that’s baseball. However, if you are thrown out by a mile and not remotely close to being a play, you fit the TOOTBLAN role.
When Did the Acronym Come to Be?
Back in 2008, Chicago Cubs blogger of Wrigleyville23, Tony Jewell, came up with the idea. The idea behind the acronym was to measure the poor baserunning of Ryan Theriot (Chicago Cubs player) that took place in MLB games. The concept was to take a traditional OBP (on-base percentage) and take away caught stealing, and TOOTBLAN plays. The formula, RTAOBP, stands for Ryan Theriot Adjusted On-Base Percentage.
What is the Formula for RTAOBP?
RTAOBP = ((Hits + HBP + Walks + International Walks) – (Caught Stealing + TOOTBLAN) / Plate Appearances))
Why is TOOTBLAN and The Ryan Theriot Formula Important?
TOOTBLAN is part of the new age of sabermetric baseball that fans are familiar with today. While most traditional sabermetrics review hitters and pitchers, this metric evaluates how effective baserunning is. Getting thrown out on the basepaths severely cuts your chances of scoring dramatically, so teams can determine how effective a player is in eventually reaching home to score.
Sabermetrics and mathematicians run the sport of baseball today. When you plug data into a simulator, you can better predict outcomes on how well your team will do. TOOTBLAN is just one aspect of sabermetric baseball, but it becomes powerful when you apply that thinking to other areas of the game. For example, baseball WAR was something that only a few teams would look at, but now all teams use that metric as a way to quantify the effectiveness of a player via wins.