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Numbers Vs. Heart

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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#1

Posted: August 15, 2005, 6:10 PM Post
Posts: 2
Lurker for a while but I can't stand it anymore.
The Brewers aren't a bad team because they don't have heart and they aren't a bad team because they don't have talent. I don't even know how you would quantify talent but it isn't the Brewers and anyone who has gone to any games or even looked at a lineup would see that.
But anyone who thinks statistics are the end of all of baseball discussions are ridiculous, that is like saying you can figure out wall street by figuring out stats. It is bigger than that. Yes it is important but it doesn't tell the whole story.
Has anyone hear of the Efficient Market Hypothesis? The EMH says that the market immediately takes all public information into account and all public companies are correctly valued. Many, many smart people have believed this and still do. If it were true, how could the stock market crash like it did in 1987? How could tech stocks crash like in 2002 and how could men like Warren Buffett consistently beat the market year after year? Because stats aren't all there is. The EMH works most of the time and so does OPS but it doesn't work all the time.
Stats can never compensate for human emotion and error. Emotion might mean getting kicked out of a game or emotion in being clutch. When people just look at stats the entire human element is taken out and what fun is that? If that were the case than there would be no reason to have a season. Everyone could just look at the stats from the year before and fire out what is gonna happen.
If you believe in the EMH, than momentum doesn't ever count. In general, stocks rise when people think they are rising. Why? Because people want to get on board, people aren't rational investors and similarly, baseball players don't play rationally. Sometimes they play better when teamates are playing better and I'd like to see a stat showing that.
Why is it that there are so few people that beat the indices while investing? Why do you think there are so few GMs that make it to the playoffs? Because there are more elements than stats.
Stats count and they are important but they will never tell the whole story.


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#2

Posted: August 15, 2005, 6:40 PM Post
Posts: 595
Well we can all only agree on one thing:

There is SOMETHING out there. But no one knows what it is.


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#3

Posted: August 15, 2005, 6:55 PM Post
Posts: 2
Too true. There is probably something out there but it can't be quantified.
I'd like to see how someone can quantify how the sox can come back against the yanks? I guess a bloody sock doesn't show up in numbers but it shows up in a locker room. I think those who have played in team sports understand what it means to play as a team even though it measured on a stat sheet.
If you look at the numbers, of course the sox had better numbers, they won but who would have thougth it looking at the numbers after game 3?
I think that people who thinks numbers are the end of everything are a bit off and should open to things that aren't quantifiable.


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#4

Posted: August 15, 2005, 10:52 PM Post
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Posts: 854
OK.....so there's something out there, we don't know what it is, and it can't be quantified...hmmm...interesting...(insert awkward silence here)...and now back to things we can quantify.


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#5

Posted: August 15, 2005, 11:25 PM Post
Posts: 9293
Even the staunchest of SABR-followers would (or SHOULD) admit that the statistical models they've developed doesn't account for EVERYTHING that goes on.

As an engineer all my analysis of steel structures are based on MODELS, not the real thing. While I recognize that my models aren't the real thing, they close enough to make meaningful conclusions from (the crane won't collapse at full load).

Statistical analysis of baseball is the same thing. The best run estimators come very close to estimating the amount of runs a team produces in a year, but they will ALWAYS have an error associated with it. The model simply can't take into account every variable; Some variables are just too random (how many suicide sqeezes will result in a run? How many will even be attempted in a year?) or unquantifiable (fundamentally sound teams stealing a win here and there).

That's not to say we can't extract meaningful conclusions from that run estimation model, however. If the run estimator can consistantly predict the amount of runs scored for a team over a season to within 5%, then we KNOW we've accurately modeled about 95% of what makes a team score runs. We can then begin weighing the things we CAN quantify to the things we can't.

All mathematical models of complex events WILL have an error, ESPECIALLY when something like people are involved. Provided a person doesn't overstate the accuracy of their model, though, they can give valuable insite on whatever phenomina is being modeled.

The most simple run estimating formula:

runs = AB * OBP * SLG

That can predict runs scored over a season to within 95% accuracy. If that can't convince people how powerful stats are in baseball, nothing will.


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#6

Posted: August 15, 2005, 11:30 PM Post
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Posts: 3195
Is this substantially different from what's going on here?


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Offline  Numbers Vs. Heart
#7

Posted: August 15, 2005, 11:33 PM Post
Posts: 9293
Bill James:

"The data is a limited way of explaining life. The essential property of the data is that it?s not real. It is an image of a reality that is always something else and in the same way as one can define poverty in different ways in the statistics, or anything in baseball, what you have in essence is a picture and you could take a picture of me from the front and a picture of me from the left and a picture of me from the back and you?d have very, very different pictures. The statistics are not ? they?re a real thing; they are just a picture of something else. There is always a lot that?s left out of the picture and the biggest mistake that people who try to study baseball through the stats make is thinking that they ? it?s confusing them with the real event. There?s always a tremendous amount that?s left out. What a lot of people don?t understand is that there are also things that you can see in the statistics that you can?t really see in any other way. So you have - you just have to balance those."


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