Time to learn a new stat: VOTTO
Statistics have been made into Hollywood movies, they have their own conferences and they even predicted the presidential election. There are common stats and advanced stats, simple stats and complex stats. In This Week in Stats, we'll look at some of the lesser known stats around the sports world. Today, we'll investigate VOTTO.
VOTTO- Value Over Traditional Torontonian Occupation
VOTTO is an incredibly useful statistic for comparing people across eras, independent of park-factors and accent thickness. It's named, of course, after Joey Votto -- himself a natural born Torontonian. Similar to statistics like Ultimate Zone Rating, VOTTO can be prone to wild year-to-year fluctuations, so it's best to use a three-year sample when looking at the metric.
This statistic has a somewhat complex formula, but here's a simplified version:
Now, the first thing to understand is that each of these variables has a very complicated calculation associated with it, but we won't delve into that here.
O(f) - Occupational Frequency
This is adjusted to a scale from 1-10, with 10 representing the least common Torontonian occupation (Non-NHL athlete) and 1 the most common (comedian).
T(s) - Talent Scarcity
Again, set on a 1-10 scale, Talent Scarcity measures how many people worldwide have said occupation relative to how difficult the occupation is. So, for example, a nuclear physicist's T(s) would be higher than a writer's because, well, come on -- how hard is writing good?
A - Ability
This is measured on a scale of 0-2 including all non-imaginary numbers. Transcendental numbers count, as do numbers that can only be expressed in relation to the square root of two. Two is the highest talent. Zero is no talent.
P - Population Coefficient
This is a constant value representing Toronto's population as a percentage of the world's population. It's adjusted to provide us with a final VOTTO value on a scale from 0-100. Note that there is debate within the statistical community over whether VOTTO should be scaled to 1-100 or adjusted to align with wOBA (.320 is about average.)
The best way to understand a stat is to see it in practice. The top 5 Torontonians in VOTTO are as follows:
5) Drake - 94.33
Drizzy gets a major boost from the fact that there just aren't that many Canadian rappers. His impressive catalog and tabloid ubiquity also help to increase his overall VOTTO. If he wants to improve his position, he just needs to work a little bit on that talent level. On a related note, he leads all Canadians in YOLO.
4) Malcolm Gladwell - 95.40
This is a circumstance where ability outweighs the other variables. There are tons of writers -- that is not a unique skill. What is unique, however, is the cultural acceptance of Gladwell's ideas (outliers, tipping points, etc.) and the omnipresence of his voice. The guy is on the BS Report, for crying out loud. The logarithmic nature of VOTTO helps Mr. Gladwell significantly.
3) Deadmau5 - 97.98
This might be the biggest surprise on this list, but advanced stats, as you know, often buck the trend of conventional wisdom. Who is Deadmau5? He made that song that you hear every time your bro-y friend wants to get "pumped up" before his night out. You know, this one. The 5 in his name also affected his Talent rating. We'll let you guess if that improved it or not.
2) David Cronenberg - 98.13
Scanners. Videodrome. The Fly. Crash (the weird one with James Spader). Eastern Promises. The man has quite the impressive canon. Add to that a dearth of filmmakers hailing from Toronto and Cronenberg marches his way up the VOTTO leaderboard, largely based on his profession.
1) Joey Votto - 98.93
One of the best hitters in baseball, Votto tops the list due to across-the-board dominance. Not only are there few Canadian baseball players, but there just aren't that many baseball players period. Add utter dominance at his craft, and he's earned himself the spot atop the VOTTO charts.
Honorable Mentions: Peter Jennings, Alex Trebek, that band from the 90s that wrote this song, Russell Martin, Lorne Michaels, the band Rush.