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April 27, 2010

No Pepper

Against the Fence

by Tommy Bennett

Everyone repeat after me: sports are not deterministic with respect to outcomes.
In perhaps no area of human life is it harder to maintain fidelity to probabilistic thinking than in sports. But, as Andrew Bernardin puts it, "[t]here is always a degree of imprecision — and thus randomness — in how we perform."

Did this AP article cause the recent spate of rain-outs?
It seems to me that since it was published just before three recent rain-outs, it only stands to reason that the article jinxed the good run.

Finally, a fascinating model and quantification of catcher defense.
The first researcher to put together a comprehensive--and accurate--model will have done the baseball fan community a great service. This fan eagerly awaits that day.

Colby Rasmus is the youngest inductee to the three true outcomes club.
Of course, the real question is how much those rates ought to be regressed to the mean to account for random variation...

Cyril Morong asks how much team consistency (both on offense and defense) matters.
He concludes that, while it is of course most important to score and prevent more runs on average, an extra standard deviation of hitting consistency adds an extra win over the course of a season.

Phil Birnbaum parallels Matt's ongoing MORP series and develops a model of marginal wins.
Birnbaum suggests that there is a discontinuity for small market teams; in other words, small market teams ought only to spend up to about the 70-win level most of the time. Sound?

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