Comments of the day so far

DMZ · May 18, 2008 at 12:30 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

We racked up two great ones in under 20m.

Scraps, here:

The more of this I hear, the more it sounds like scapegoating. If the Mariners were winning, we wouldn’t be hearing it, and of all the reasons they’re losing, Johjima’s relationship with the pitchers can’t possibly be as important as team defense and the lack of hitting and the absurd levels of veteran entitlement and McLaren’s inability to manage a game.

Scapegoating always works like this. Things go bad, a little finger-pointing stars, and then it avalanches as the pent-up frustration gets focused on one target. And it’s usually an outsider.

Johjima is beginning [to] become the fall guy for this season. Is that really reasonable?

Steve T, here:

there is every reason to believe that that can effect performance

Bzzzt. Thanks for playing.

Yes, there are factors like this that affect performance. We can tell, because we can MEASURE THE PERFORMANCE.

Saying stuff like “Bedard wasn’t sharp today because he couldn’t get comfortable with his catcher” is ANTI-KNOWLEDGE. It’s not just untrue; it’s blocking the view of the truth. It steps in and “explains” an event with reference to stuff that’s completely unknowable (Bedard’s mental state) without first trying to establish whether the event even took place or not.

If you want to make a serious study of the results of pitchers working with different catchers, go ahead. But do it the right way: make sure you’ve got enough data, make sure you’re accounting for other factors, and make sure you’re asking the question in the right way and looking for an answer in a place where it is possible for answers to be found.

Grabbing a tiny handful of numbers from somewhere — ah, it doesn’t matter from where, we just want a number here, so it looks like we’re doing science, right? — tells you nothing. It tells you WORSE than nothing, because it shuts down your mind and stops you looking for other possible explanations — including what is always the most likely explanation in cases like this: random chance.

Your “robot” example doesn’t apply. If I’ve had conflict with my boss, there’s no numerical way to adjudge my performance as a result. With Bedard there is. How’s he doing at getting hitters out? Leaving aside the sample-size problem, I didn’t even see that number there. You rarely do, with pitchers — what IS Bedard’s out percentage, anyways? [hint: 1-OBP].

This kind of baloney statistic really gets my goat, and it makes real statistical analysis look bad.


One Response to “Comments of the day so far”

  1. galaxieboi on May 19th, 2008 8:19 am


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.