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In keeping with the sabermetrician's goal to quantify everything, I have spent this past weekend coming up with a new metric to measure the immeasurable.  It will tell us the intangible difference between Bobby Abreu and Aaron Rowand; it will discern the true guts of a Chase Utley while show us the plasticity of a Pat Burrell; it will villify Mike Lieberthal and raise Jimmy Rollins to god-like status.

I give you:  Chemistry Runs Above rePlacement or, in its shortened form, CRAP.

The metric is quite simple.  In line with the best of Baseball Prospectus's "above replacement" statistics, CRAP starts with the number of runs a player's chemistry produces and then subtracts from that number a replacement level of chemistry runs.

Let's parse the stat a bit more closely.

First, we have to come up with the number of runs attributed to a player's chemistry.  We exclude from this value the number of runs as a result of a player's hitting, fielding, or pitching. In other words, we exclude runs that any nerd on his computer can discern while watching ESPN Gamecast in his mother's basement.

For CRAP, we're talking pure chemistry, leadership, and what we previously believed were intangibles. These are the things that people who have played team sports and watched the game know truly matter.

I can't give away my entire proprietary formula, but the following events contribute to a positive chemistry runs value:

BS:  Butt-Slaps (of teammates)
SHIT:  Showing Heart In front of Teammates
DUH:  Dirty Uniforms from Headslides
RUSES:  Rowsing Uplifting Speeches for Every Situation
WHITE: This is actually not an abbreviation, but simply gives chemistry points for having white skin

On the flipside, the following stats contribute to a negative chemistry runs value:

WIMP:  Walking Instead of Motoring on the basePaths
FAKE: Failure to Agonize over Key Errors
SLOW: Slowly Loping toward Outfield Walls

With a mix of advanced math and gutty willpower, these and other measures are converted into the countable stat of chemistry runs. As with other run-based measures, roughly 10 chemistry runs are the equivalent of one win.

The second part of CRAP is subtracting the chemistry runs of a replacement level player. With most of Baseball Prospectus's stats, replacement level is a tricky concept to explain by virtue of a particular player (who exactly is a replacement level player?) but easy to understand conceptually: a player of the level that is freely available.

With CRAP, we don't have this problem. The baseline replacement level for CRAP is, as any fan knows, Bobby Abreu. At any given time, any team can acquire a player who has as little chemistry-based production as Bobby Abreu.

Let's look at the top-3 CRAP producers for the past several years:

Aaron Rowand 2007: 47.3 CRAP
David Eckstein 2006: 43.1 CRAP
Adam Kennedy 2005: 32.9 CRAP

On the flipside, the bottom-3 CRAP producers for the past few years:

Manny Ramirez 2007: -5.6 CRAP
Pat Burrell 2006: -7.2 CRAP
Bobby Abreu 2006: -8.5 CRAP

Abreu's 2006 was particularly shocking because he managed to have a lower CR than the statistically-determined theoretical Bobby Abreu replacement level. Pat Gillick was a very smart man to trade away Abreu's deceptive on-field production for four worthless minor leaguers.

For the Phillies, Rowand's 2007 CRAP production is very problematic as it will certainly factor into his contract negotiations. Now that his MLB-leading CRAP can be quantified, there's no way he won't get an A-Rod-esque contract. With Gillick's stated aversion to long-term contracts, Phillies fans will have to get used to not seeing Aaron Rowand and his CRAP on the field next year.