PDA

View Full Version : The Ultimate in Propeller Head Idiocy


SSN721
10-27-2005, 12:44 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9833787/ I dont even have words. This is one of the dumbest articles I have ever seen. Maybe we need JeremyB1 to break this down for us.

EastCoastSoxFan
10-27-2005, 01:01 PM
For centuries the most brilliant minds in the world believed that the earth was flat.
Their problem was not lack of intelligence, just a lack of information.
Likewise, these so-called "sabermetricians" don't suffer from a lack of intelligence, just a lack of information (or, more specifically, an over-reliance on their own incompletely reasoned conclusions).
For example, when I was reading "Moneyball" the other night I literally laughed out loud at the patently absurd assertion that (paraphrased): "...far and away the most important number in baseball is 3 -- the number of outs in an inning...anything that causes an out to happen is bad and anything that prevents an out is good..."
Wrong, Einstein. The most important number in baseball is 1 -- the number of runs by which one team must exceed the other in order to win a game.
That article is just further proof of how far the sabermetricians have to go in their quest for understanding the game of baseball...

Clembasbal
10-27-2005, 01:04 PM
Oh man do I feel sorry for all those mathheads right now, gee wish we could have pleased them.

Argalarga
10-27-2005, 01:08 PM
So the opposite of Ozzieball is Moneyball, right?

And how many championships have Moneyball teams won?

Oh, right, none.

Carry on.

Hendu
10-27-2005, 01:21 PM
The propellerheads are taking a major hit and they feel cornered. But watch as future GMs start to get away from all of the math and build old school 25-man ball clubs, which seemed to work splendidly for about 100 years before all of these designer stats became en vogue.

The 2005 White Sox are a reminder that, despite what FOBB say, pitching, defense and timely hitting still win championships. Surprise, surprise.

ilsox7
10-27-2005, 01:31 PM
I thought the article was terrific. It basically said everything the statheads believe in was just proven wrong by a dominant World Champion.

SSN721
10-27-2005, 01:36 PM
I thought the article was terrific. It basically said everything the statheads believe in was just proven wrong by a dominant World Champion.

I think the math and equations would tell you the Sox were anything but dominant. And that even though MLB recognizes the Sox as World Champions BP still probably tells you they only have an 88.8% chance of winning the World Series. Wait, why is that in teal?:D:

Ol' No. 2
10-27-2005, 01:40 PM
If you don't want to waste two minutes of your life, here's a short summary:

When the facts don't match our theories, the facts must be wrong.

JoeyCora28
10-27-2005, 01:40 PM
I thought the article was terrific. It basically said everything the statheads believe in was just proven wrong by a dominant World Champion.

But instead of doing what real science does (scrapping/modifying your model or theory) they just say we got lucky. What a bunch of ****ing tools...

ilsox7
10-27-2005, 01:44 PM
But instead of doing what real science does (scrapping/modifying your model or theory) they just say we got lucky. What a bunch of ****ing tools...

It's never been more obvious how idiotic these people are. And it was pretty ****ing obvious before to begin with.

FarWestChicago
10-27-2005, 01:47 PM
But instead of doing what real science does (scrapping/modifying your model or theory) they just say we got lucky. What a bunch of ****ing tools...You hit that nail squarely on the head. It's bull**** pseudoscience. :thumbsup:

credefan24
10-27-2005, 01:48 PM
I stopped reading after the "Sox got lucky" part.

Does anyone else here think these sabermaticians or whatever, probably look like Comic Book Store Guy from the Simpsons?
Hey fellas, keep doing your math and staring at your calculators. I'm to busy looking at the World Series trophy!!!
One thing I doubt was accounted for was the cohesiveness and sense of togetherness this team has. There is no mathamtical formula for that.

hose
10-27-2005, 01:55 PM
PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm tired off these people, go play your fantasy football already......scheeeeschhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

itsnotrequired
10-27-2005, 01:58 PM
I like the tag under the title:

"By the numbers, Chicago never should have even been in playoffs."

That's funny, I was just looking at some numbers:

Sox 99-63
Indians 93-69
Twins 83-79
Tigers 71-91
Royals 56-106

:rolleyes:

fquaye149
10-27-2005, 02:02 PM
here's the thing - a guy like Dayn Perry at FS.com continues to harp that this series continues to highlight that we dont' win because of small ball, we win because of our home run ability.

This is, of course twice wrong. First of all, we win because of our pitching. But beyond that, last night's game is a prime example of how small ball CAN work, and the difference between our offense lsat year and this year:

Willie singles. Pods gets an almost impossible pitch down for a sacrifice bunt. Carl drives it to the right side advancing Willie to third, important because at second he might not have scored on that seeing eye single by Dye...furthermore, it might not have been a single because of the middle infielders holding Willie on second.

So basically we won that game on the strength of our pitching and our ability to manufacture runs. I credit statisticians for realizing we are a better hitting team than the label "small ball" gives us credit for...but you can't measure an offensive game last night statistically and you can't understand how we WOULD NOT have scored that run last year, most likely, given the kinds of power hitting teams we trotted out.

That is where statistical guys are lacking...and when they don't recognize that, stubbornly saying "THE WHITE SOX DON'T WIN BECAUSE OF SMALL BALL...THEY WIN BECAUSE OF HOME RUNS" I dont' feel like they are doing a very good job.

Flight #24
10-27-2005, 03:07 PM
You hit that nail squarely on the head. It's bull**** pseudoscience. :thumbsup:

IMO the pendulum swung pretty far to the stathead side as people began to realize that that can be useful, but took it waaaay to far. Now it'll swing back towards the median, as it should be - with a number of various perspectives & datapoint ALL being used to make an assessment.

But that said - BP is still a bunch of arrogant pricks who blindly follow their models despite repeated evidence that it's nowhere near as useful as they like to believe it is.

1951Campbell
10-27-2005, 03:16 PM
I stopped reading after the "Sox got lucky" part.

Does anyone else here think these sabermaticians or whatever, probably look like Comic Book Store Guy from the Simpsons?


Worst. World Series. EVAR!

1951Campbell
10-27-2005, 03:20 PM
I like the tag under the title:

"By the numbers, Chicago never should have even been in playoffs."

That's funny, I was just looking at some numbers:

Sox 99-63
Indians 93-69
Twins 83-79
Tigers 71-91
Royals 56-106

:rolleyes:

But those numbers are arrived at by having subjective beings play on fields that all have different dimensions. That is highly illogical and unscientific, and therefore the numbers must be discounted.

Argalarga
10-27-2005, 05:05 PM
Reading BP is like trying to read a foreign language.

VORP? ERA+? Expected Value? OPS? Win Shares?

I thought the only number that mattered was wins.

ma-gaga
10-27-2005, 06:39 PM
I feel like I'm trying to stop a boulder already rolling downhill, but most statistical sites credit pitching and defense for the Championship, not the offense.

I can't defend all the BP stuff. They clearly goofed on their 88% division champ program. Blaming MLB's tie-breaking rules was stupid. Man up. But they try to analyze what is happening in the game. Some of it is in the numbers, some of it isn't.

So they goof up. Or someone exceeds everyones expectations. Or **** happens.

All I know is that I'm much more likely to see a "my bad, I goofed" from BP, than 90% of the rest of the crowd. But maybe that's just the way life is.

:gulp: sigh.

2005WorldChamps
10-27-2005, 09:01 PM
I like the tag under the title:

"By the numbers, Chicago never should have even been in playoffs."

That's funny, I was just looking at some numbers:

Sox 99-63
Indians 93-69
Twins 83-79
Tigers 71-91
Royals 56-106

:rolleyes:

Some quotes from the article

"(A more accurate formula has those numbers being taken to the 1.83 power, but my cheap calculator won't let me make that calculation.)
"

The guy who did these equations doesn't have a calculator that processes exponents? Does he have a computer? Can't he use Excel? How about calc.exe? Online calculator?

"Worse yet, the White Sox offended sabermetricians with their style of play."

No! The temerity! Obviously the White Sox need to consider the feelings of sabermetricians at all times, regardless of how it affects their play.

"Forget for a moment that the deal also brought the Sox middle-relief workhorse at least in the regular season Luis Vizcaino, and freed up money to sign free agents such as World Series MVP Jermaine Dye."

Why? Doesn't that still count?

"Bob Cook is a contributor to NBCSports.com and a free-lance writer based in Chicago."

There ya go. He's a Cubs fan.

This one was laughable.

Banix12
10-28-2005, 12:51 AM
I seem to recall that a couple of years ago when the sox lost to the twins, the sox had a Pythagorean record higher than the Twins. So that little stat really doesn't prove anything and I wish a lot of the sabremetricians would stop carting that one out. It seems that basing your assumptions on averages doesn't seem to work.

I don't blame BP and a lot of the Sabremetricians who run sites like theirs when they make these weird predictions and analysis. My favorite still being Iguchi was going to be a disapointment because he was 30 and Ray Durham had his best season at age 29. Frankly though, they found a way to make money by analyzing baseball and selling it to people as the answer to all uncertainty in baseball.

I don't agree with a lot of it but I have to admire the sales job.

voodoochile
10-28-2005, 02:13 AM
You hit that nail squarely on the head. It's bull**** pseudoscience. :thumbsup:

Actually, stats aren't a bad thing to look at to figure out why certain things happened in the baseball season, but the problem is Baseball has a lot of factors - probably too many to simplify down to a few things like VORP and Pythagorean win totals.

Weather, stadium size, injuries, blowouts (which skew the run differential stats) and many other factors all factor into a season. Given the number of people involved, the number of games played, the number of pitches thrown, the model probably requires some pretty complex math to accurately forecast.

They might want to dump classic math analysis and start using some chaos theory to more accurately predict what is going to happen. I mean how the heck to you predict how a given pitcher is going to react when he gives up a leadoff bunt single to a guy like Pods in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game? What if said pitcher starts to sweat a bit and his palms get damp and he cannot grasp the ball as well as he did prior to giving up the single?

That's why this simplistic crap doesn't work well. That's why we play the games ON the field. It's something they cannot grasp and it's killing them. This isn't chess with a limited number of moves and possibilities. Each and every pitch is different - a snapshot of the game. Each and every game is different - a snapshot of the season. What you did last pitch, last at bat, last inning, last game has no bearing on what is going to happen next, other than in how it effects the people playing the game. Once you can model the human factor into the equation, you might have a better understanding, but that's not going to happen for a long long long time.

ma-gaga
10-28-2005, 11:39 AM
My favorite still being Iguchi was going to be a disapointment because he was 30

Yeah see, I remember them praising this move, comparing Iguchi to Orlando Hudson but cheaper. [edit. Ahh, J.S. dumped on the move]

However, there are two spots where the Sox clearly helped themselves, at second base and behind the plate. Picking up Iguchi might give the Sox a player roughly akin to Orlando Hudson

Actually, that shorts the pickup of Tadahito Iguchi (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/IGUCHI00000000A.php), who was kind of a Japanese Ray Durham (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/durhara01.php). Keep in mind that Durham had his last healthy, effective season at 29; Iguchi turned 30 in December

Using Iguchi's statistics through 2003, Davenport translated Iguchi to a .269/.337/.446 hitter stateside--essentially Orlando Hudson (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/hudsoor01.shtml) (who hit .270/.339/.438 in 2004). Like Hudson, Iguchi also has a golden defensive reputation, and in addition he also steals 30-40 bases a season.

So yeah. They had three articles discussing the Iguchi signing. The main BP staff rated him as a solid acquisition, and Sheehan attempted to bash it. But it was a fairly weak argument, all things considered.

I mean how the heck to you predict how a given pitcher is going to react when he gives up a leadoff bunt single to a guy like Pods in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game?
...
That's why this simplistic crap doesn't work well. That's why we play the games ON the field

I think you are mis-representing what they say. They clearly state that there are times in a baseball game that a sacrifice bunt MAKES SENSE. Exactly the scenario that you laid out is one of those times. In the second inning in a 0-0 game is NOT the time to start sacrificing and playing for one run.

Here's the article: LINK (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4003)

There are some situations in which the decision to play for one run or multiple runs is straightforward. With the score tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, for example, one run will make all the difference, and teams are correct to employ strategies like the stolen base, sacrifice bunt and intentional walk very liberally. Most of the time, though, the situation is much more ambiguous. To take a couple of examples:

This is the kind of stuff I like. It's like those 'cheatsheet' cards that they sell at casinos for blackjack. This is the kind of strategy you employ if you want to create the best odds for yourself to win. You can hit on a 18 if the dealer is showing a 7, but you'll lose more often than not.

But that's why they play the game on the field. To prove stat heads wrong. :cool:

PaulDrake
10-28-2005, 01:33 PM
Actually, stats aren't a bad thing to look at to figure out why certain things happened in the baseball season, but the problem is Baseball has a lot of factors - probably too many to simplify down to a few things like VORP and Pythagorean win totals.

Weather, stadium size, injuries, blowouts (which skew the run differential stats) and many other factors all factor into a season. Given the number of people involved, the number of games played, the number of pitches thrown, the model probably requires some pretty complex math to accurately forecast.

They might want to dump classic math analysis and start using some chaos theory to more accurately predict what is going to happen. I mean how the heck to you predict how a given pitcher is going to react when he gives up a leadoff bunt single to a guy like Pods in the bottom of the ninth of a tied game? What if said pitcher starts to sweat a bit and his palms get damp and he cannot grasp the ball as well as he did prior to giving up the single?

That's why this simplistic crap doesn't work well. That's why we play the games ON the field. It's something they cannot grasp and it's killing them. This isn't chess with a limited number of moves and possibilities. Each and every pitch is different - a snapshot of the game. Each and every game is different - a snapshot of the season. What you did last pitch, last at bat, last inning, last game has no bearing on what is going to happen next, other than in how it effects the people playing the game. Once you can model the human factor into the equation, you might have a better understanding, but that's not going to happen for a long long long time. Sensational. I'm jealous that I didn't expound in the manner you did. To all the statheads out there, I love stats too. It's one of the things that makes the game great. The misuse use of such until one is stuck in the cement of unprovable dogma hurts the cause. In the meantime again Voodoo that was excellent.

Ol' No. 2
10-28-2005, 01:57 PM
I think you are mis-representing what they say. They clearly state that there are times in a baseball game that a sacrifice bunt MAKES SENSE. Exactly the scenario that you laid out is one of those times. In the second inning in a 0-0 game is NOT the time to start sacrificing and playing for one run.

Here's the article: LINK (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4003)

This is the kind of stuff I like. It's like those 'cheatsheet' cards that they sell at casinos for blackjack. This is the kind of strategy you employ if you want to create the best odds for yourself to win. You can hit on a 18 if the dealer is showing a 7, but you'll lose more often than not.

But that's why they play the game on the field. To prove stat heads wrong. :cool:Except they fall into the same old trap of using averages to predict outcomes. It's funny you should mention blackjack cheatsheets because it points out the difference rather clearly. Every blackjack hand is a totally independant event. The odds of busting when drawing on 16 are exactly the same every time. But in baseball, events are never totally independant. And when the events aren't independant, the use of averages is wrong.

Furthermore, the use of averages ignores the almost infinite variety of circumstances, all of which will have an impact on the possible outcomes. Who's playing 3B? How good is he at covering bunts? What runners do you have on base? How fast are they? How good is the batter at getting down a bunt? Who's on deck and what are his abilities? Is a straight steal a better choice? I could go on and on, but all these other factors enter into it and NONE of them are factored into BP's analysis.

ma-gaga
10-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Furthermore, the use of averages ignores the almost infinite variety of circumstances, all of which will have an impact on the possible outcomes. Who's playing 3B? How good is he at covering bunts? What runners do you have on base? How fast are they? How good is the batter at getting down a bunt? Who's on deck and what are his abilities? Is a straight steal a better choice? I could go on and on, but all these other factors enter into it and NONE of them are factored into BP's analysis.


BP uses averages, but they continuously try and narrow down the 'situational use', of these averages (number of outs, how many runners, what inning). So you are wrong to include these items on your "BP doesn't consider this" list.

Speed and defense are always going to be the biggest dividing line. I can't argue this, and I feel like I'm up against a strawman arguement here. I cannot subjectively define defense. BP doesn't accurately define it. Most managers/tv talking heads don't really have any idea beyond "good defender"/"bad defender".

Anyways, I'm getting off-track... IMO averages CAN be used. If your guy can beat the average, you take a shot.

Ol' No. 2
10-28-2005, 04:44 PM
BP uses averages, but they continuously try and narrow down the 'situational use', of these averages (number of outs, how many runners, what inning). So you are wrong to include these items on your "BP doesn't consider this" list.

Speed and defense are always going to be the biggest dividing line. I can't argue this, and I feel like I'm up against a strawman arguement here. I cannot subjectively define defense. BP doesn't accurately define it. Most managers/tv talking heads don't really have any idea beyond "good defender"/"bad defender".

Anyways, I'm getting off-track... IMO averages CAN be used. If your guy can beat the average, you take a shot.But there are a HUGE number of other circumstances besides number of outs, runners on and inning. Until you account for these, it's BS. It's exactly the same situation with their "calculation" of the percentage of times one needs to be successful in stealing a base. They just ignore all the subtleties and assume they average out. They don't. There's no reason to assume they should. They're not independent events.

ma-gaga
10-28-2005, 06:37 PM
But there are a HUGE number of other circumstances besides number of outs, runners on and inning. Until you account for these, it's BS. It's exactly the same situation with their "calculation" of the percentage of times one needs to be successful in stealing a base. They just ignore all the subtleties and assume they average out. They don't. There's no reason to assume they should. They're not independent events.

Nothing is absolute. :cool:

I think I see what you're saying. Having Pods steal second base on a 2-2 count with one out in the 5th inning and nobody on vs Konerko in the same situation is a completely unique situation, despite the "numbers" saying that they are similar. But thats my point as well. If you think that Pods steals the base 80% of the time in that situation, it's a good gamble. Whereas Konerko's 40% success rate is a terrible gamble.

I think my only real "problem" is that people assume that BP NEVER advocates the stolen base. Or they never endorse the sacrifice hit. Yeah, over the course of a season, it's wasted outs, but in a tight playoff game you HAVE to do these things.

You bring up some great points, and you can continue this if you want, but I think I've said my peace.

:gulp:

Ol' No. 2
10-28-2005, 11:49 PM
Nothing is absolute. :cool:

I think I see what you're saying. Having Pods steal second base on a 2-2 count with one out in the 5th inning and nobody on vs Konerko in the same situation is a completely unique situation, despite the "numbers" saying that they are similar. But thats my point as well. If you think that Pods steals the base 80% of the time in that situation, it's a good gamble. Whereas Konerko's 40% success rate is a terrible gamble.

I think my only real "problem" is that people assume that BP NEVER advocates the stolen base. Or they never endorse the sacrifice hit. Yeah, over the course of a season, it's wasted outs, but in a tight playoff game you HAVE to do these things.

You bring up some great points, and you can continue this if you want, but I think I've said my peace.

:gulp:That's not quite the point. Even with the same number of outs, the same inning, the same score and the same runner on 1st, consider these factors:

1. Who's at the plate? What are his chances of getting a hit/bunting/hitting behind the runner/hitting one out of the park?

2. Who's on deck? Who's in the hole? Even if you sacrifice Pods to 2B, he still has to get knocked in by somebody.

3. Who's pitching? Does he get rattled easily? How many pitches has he thrown? Can you draw a bunch of throws to 1B to tire him out?

4. What is the count? Certain counts are more favorable than others.

5. How good is the defense? What are their chances of throwing him out or possibly making an error that will get him to 3rd?

6. How good is the other team's offense? Is one run likely to matter?

I could probably list several more, but you get the idea. None of these factors ever appear in BP's simplistic analysis.