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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CStB: Warmowski: PECOTA Vs. The Chicago White Sox

Revenge is a dish best served Warmowski. As Pecota only hit .243 with zilchi taters against the White Sox…so there!

Silver’s Baseball Prospectus has published its 2009 edition, and its PECOTA team forecasts call for rain on the South Side once again. The system has has sold short the Sox three out of the last four seasons, but this year is truly inexplicable. PECOTA puts the division champ White Sox dead last in an AL Central that just hasn’t improved appreciably.

Silver knows it’s been tougher to figure out the White Sox than a presidential election.  PECOTA badly missed predicting the 2005 World Champs, forecasting a mere 80 wins.  Next, BP shorted the Sox in ‘06 before nailing their performance in ‘07 - a year everthing went horribly wrong.

Last season, the Sox again whipped PECOTA’s projections and contributed significantly to the system’s first historical increase in average error predicting team wins.  On average, PECOTA now blows its forecasts by an averge of 8.5 wins, ending a steady trend toward increasing accuracy with a rude blemish.

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2009 at 12:57 PM | 120 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, white sox

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   1. The Essex Snead Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:03 PM (#3085701)
Wow, fans disagreeing with a less-than-enthusiastic assessment of their team's chances this season. What's next -- crappy DirecTV reception? Fast food causing indigestion? Bill Plaschke writing sentence-long paragraphs?
   2. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:22 PM (#3085711)
I don't care what PECOTA predicts as long as the Sox beat the prediction by a significant margin.
   3. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:30 PM (#3085718)
Wow, fans disagreeing with a less-than-enthusiastic assessment of their team's chances this season. What's next -- crappy DirecTV reception? Fast food causing indigestion? Bill Plaschke writing sentence-long paragraphs?


Well, they do have a point. BPro has been wrong on the White Sox in the past, and wrong in a big way. You don't have to be a fan to see that.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:36 PM (#3085724)
Well, they do have a point. BPro has been wrong on the White Sox in the past, and wrong in a big way. You don't have to be a fan to see that.
This is true, and I don't know whether or not Nate has commented on it, but just ######## doesn't seem to have much point. I think it's pretty obvious Nate doesn't have some bias that he's rigging the numbers to make the White Sox look bad, and given that PECOTA is generally as reliable, if not more so, than the "average" projection system, I don't see what the point of these pieces are.

If someone could write a piece saying that PECOTA usually misses X or Y-type players, and the White Sox have typically filled themselves with those players, that'd be interesting. This is just moaning for moaning's sake.
   5. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:42 PM (#3085732)
If someone could write a piece saying that PECOTA usually misses X or Y-type players, and the White Sox have typically filled themselves with those players, that'd be interesting. This is just moaning for moaning's sake.

Yep. I tend to think Pecota struggles with weighting defense and, when the Sox have outperformed PECOTA, they've gotten breakout performances from pitchers PECOTA didn't foresee. That defense and the development of pitchers are ####### hard to predict, so I'm not surprised PECOTA struggles with these things.
   6. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:44 PM (#3085735)
If someone could write a piece saying that PECOTA usually misses X or Y-type players, and the White Sox have typically filled themselves with those players, that'd be interesting. This is just moaning for moaning's sake.

I don't agree. Systematic bias, even if unintentional, is a real problem. If a team substantially out-performs PECOTA three times in four years, it suggests that there may be something wrong the system, something that PECOTA isn't picking up on. Its possible that its random chance, but we shouldn't just dismiss it just because we don't have a player by player analysis of the problem.
   7. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:44 PM (#3085736)
At least Pecota got the White Sox right one of those years. A team that has a real case is the Angels. Pecota has been badly under on their win total every year since 2003. Pecota might not account for their baserunning, but that probably explains only 1-2 wins per year at most.
   8. The Essex Snead Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3085745)
Pecota might not account for their baserunning, but that probably explains only 1-2 wins per year at most.

I think BP's stated (somewhere) that PECOTA also has a bear of a time accounting for bullpen management (which has definitely been one of LAA's strengths).
   9. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:47 PM (#3085746)
That defense and the development of pitchers are ####### hard to predict, so I'm not surprised PECOTA struggles with these things.

I'm sure this is true, but it does raise the question why the White Sox have been beneficiaries of these things three times in four years, when other teams have not. And should we increase our expectations of the White Sox performance based on this record?

Out of curiosity, are there teams that PECOTA has consistently over estimated?
   10. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3085748)
So PECOTA misses by 8.5. Wonder if we took the average prediction from everyone here how much it would miss by.
   11. TDF, situational idiot Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:48 PM (#3085749)
If someone could write a piece saying that PECOTA usually misses X or Y-type players, and the White Sox have typically filled themselves with those players, that'd be interesting. This is just moaning for moaning's sake.

I don't agree. Systematic bias, even if unintentional, is a real problem. If a team substantially out-performs PECOTA three times in four years, it suggests that there may be something wrong the system, something that PECOTA isn't picking up on. Its possible that its random chance, but we shouldn't just dismiss it just because we don't have a player by player analysis of the problem.

But isn't that RB's point? There probably is some type of systematic error if the Sox and Angels are consistantly overperforming, but this article (which basically states "Silver must not like us") adds zero in finding that error.
   12. 1k5v3L Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:49 PM (#3085753)
The sad thing is, Pecota always likes the Dbacks so I have no reason to complain.
God knows I want ANY reason to rant and beyotch and moan with the White Sox fans.
Oh wait... Pecota thinks AZ will win 92 games this year? That's just ####-up...
   13. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:50 PM (#3085754)
Out of curiosity, are there teams that PECOTA has consistently over estimated?

Oakland? Health is another stickler, maybe?
   14. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3085758)
I think BP's stated (somewhere) that PECOTA also has a bear of a time accounting for bullpen management (which has definitely been one of LAA's strengths).


Sounds like there's plenty of room to design a better team projection system then.
   15. WillYoung Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:52 PM (#3085759)
For the life of me, I have no idea why PECOTA is so down on the White Sox. I look at them and see a pretty good, albeit aging, team. Does no one buy the improvements from Quentin, Floyd or Danks?
   16. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3085762)
So PECOTA misses by 8.5. Wonder if we took the average prediction from everyone here how much it would miss by.


I'd be curious what the median difference is. The mean is going to get driven pretty far from zero on just a couple of big misses (e.g. Twins/White Sox in 2008).
   17. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:55 PM (#3085767)
#11 sums up my point exactly. I don't have a problem with pointing out the PECOTA misses on the White Sox (and Angels) but everyone interested in this kind of thing knows that already. Clearly it's not some bizarre Nate Silver related bias, so unless you're putting forward a theory other than that for why this happens, it's just shouting at the wind.
   18. The Essex Snead Posted: February 25, 2009 at 02:56 PM (#3085770)
Maybe the LAA / CHW bias for PECOTA comes down to good old OBP? Obviously, they've been able to win w/out walking a whole lot (thanks to high BAA / SLG numbers, and fantastic pitching & defense), but maybe the team's lack in that one category skews everything down.
   19. The Essex Snead Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:00 PM (#3085774)
Sounds like there's plenty of room to design a better team projection system then.

Well, I guess it's just too bad that PECOTA's cornered the market and refuses to make any adjustments or changes to its formula and simultaneously prevents other people from doing their own thing. Damn them all to heck.

(I'd love if it I actually were street-teaming for BP, but I'm just amazed that folks are seriously griping because a prediction system isn't 100% accurate.)
   20. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3085780)
Does no one buy the improvements from Quentin, Floyd or Danks?


PECOTA does, if I'm remembering my bathroom reading from this morning correctly. I think its selling on Dye and several others, though.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:03 PM (#3085781)
I'm just amazed that folks are seriously griping because a prediction system isn't 100% accurate.
I think the claim is more complex than that. It seems that two of the teams that have articulated a sort of non-stathead method of constructing a baseball team are consistently under-projected by the projection engine generally most respected by statheads. That's interesting.
   22. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:06 PM (#3085785)
LAA and CHW also depend on veterans, as opposed to, say the Diamondbacks, which rely more on young players. Don't know if that has anything to do with it, but just a guess.

The point here isn't to gripe because a system isn't 100% accurate. Its to point out that there may be systematic bias (which is far worse than random error), and show which teams are affected, so that we can adjust for it in our own systems.

PECOTA is one of the more commonly cited sources for predictions around here, and if there is systematic bias, its relevant to the discussions. And contrary to RB's beliefs, I don't think everyone on this site is aware of which teams are consistently overrated or underrated by the system.
   23. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:07 PM (#3085786)
I think the claim is more complex than that. It seems that two of the teams that have articulated a sort of non-stathead method of constructing a baseball team are consistently under-projected by the projection engine generally most respected by statheads. That's interesting.

Agreed.
   24. jmurph Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:08 PM (#3085788)
I think the claim is more complex than that. It seems that two of the teams that have articulated a sort of non-stathead method of constructing a baseball team are consistently under-projected by the projection engine generally most respected by statheads. That's interesting.


I agree with MCoA, but I also find it interesting that fans of those teams tend to react negatively to this, rather than being proud/excited that their favorite team is somehow consistently outsmarting the smarties.
   25. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:20 PM (#3085796)
I agree with MCoA, but I also find it interesting that fans of those teams tend to react negatively to this, rather than being proud/excited that their favorite team is somehow consistently outsmarting the smarties.


Nobody likes people saying bad things about their team. That's why a lot of fans think Keith Law hates their GM.
   26. Randy Jones Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:23 PM (#3085805)
Has anyone looked at the individual player projections for the teams that PECOTA seems to consistently "miss" on and see if there is any pattern there? Does it miss on those players more than it does on others?
   27. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:35 PM (#3085813)
Is it an individual level issue, where the individual projections are more systematically off than other teams, or is it a more team-related phenomenon, where they score more runs and give up fewer runs than their individual stats would suggest? There could be all kinds of factors.

They may have already done this, but it would be interesting to see BPro do a series on teams they have trouble projecting, and see what is happening that their models may not be accounting for.
   28. jwb Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3085822)
Besides the breakout seasons from ChiSox starting pitchers, they have been a remarkably healthy group over the past few years. Giving only ten starts a year to pitchers beyond your top five is a huge advantage. It also helps that a lot of those starts went to a healthy Brandon McCarthy and Gavin Floyd, better than replacement level replacements.
   29. meatdox Posted: February 25, 2009 at 03:52 PM (#3085837)
Since 2003 PECOTA has cumulatively underpredicted wins by: 45 for the Angels, 41 for the White Sox, 29 for the Cards, 28 for the Twins, and 26 for the Marlins. Overpredictions: 33 for the Snakes, 28 for the Pirates, 21 for the Mariners, 21 for the Cubs, and 20 for the Red Sox. PECOTA missed the Indians by 0, the Brewers by 1, and the Rangers and A's by 2 games over 6 years.
   30. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3085845)
Yeah, I want to jump on the MCoA bandwagon here. My takeaway from this whole contretemps is that Ken Williams knows more about building a winning team than Nate Silver. I don't have a problem with that.
   31. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:01 PM (#3085847)


I agree with MCoA, but I also find it interesting that fans of those teams tend to react negatively to this, rather than being proud/excited that their favorite team is somehow consistently outsmarting the smarties.


Try reading some of Joe Sheehan's columns on the WS. Every possible flaw, he jumps on. Every possible strength, he downplays. IIRC, he even wrote a column criticising a banner that the WS put up in 2006. Yes, Sheehan didn't design PECOTA, but he's one of BPro's most prominent writers; when people think of BPro's views on the WS, his columns are going to bias how they view BPro's non-Sheehan evaluations of the WS.

No, I'm not a WS fan.
   32. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3085850)
My takeaway from this whole contretemps is that Ken Williams knows more about building a winning team than Nate Silver. I don't have a problem with that.
See, I don't necessarily agree with that. I mean, I agree with the idea that Kenny Williams knows more about building a winning team than Nate Silver (I think Nate would too) but I'm not sure that because Kenny Williams assembles a team that Nate's system can't project means that.

The same logic would seem to suggest that Nate Silver is better at building a team than Theo Epstein and just as good as Billy Beane.
   33. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:05 PM (#3085851)
I'm just amazed that folks are seriously griping because a prediction system isn't 100% accurate.


It's not griping, at least for me. Just an opportunity to develop a better system, which in my opinion I have. Not by much though, I think last year my standard error on the teams beat PECOTA by .03 wins or something as insignificant.

Improving the system by incorporating baserunning and bullpen management is something that I see as an opportunity. I'm sure there are plenty of other things that can be measured and used to improve forecasts. And there's certainly room for anybody out there who can beat me to it.

I've been a lot closer on the Angels, but have missed the White Sox by a similar magnitude. I wonder if being an Angels fan has something to do with it. I try my best to keep the forecasts unbiased, and when I don't see the Angels as the class of the division, as in 2006, I say so as much as it pains me. But by following the team more closely, maybe I do a better job with the Angels of projecting who is going to get playing time, or something like that.
   34. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3085857)
Agreed that Sheehan consistently bags on the White Sox. I think it's because a few years ago, he was banging on the drum that Kenny Williams was the worst GM in baseball and needed to be fired, and won't admit that he's wrong.

One thing that PECOTA seems to consistently miss on with the White Sox is their pitching. If anything, it overvalues the White Sox offense a lot of times. PECOTA seems to think that Mark Buehrle is a below-average pitcher who's been lucky most of the time. As noted, it missed out last year on the breakouts by Floyd and Danks. I think PECOTA struggles with the notion that any pitcher can succeed in that ballpark.

I also agree that whining about it isn't really that interesting, but that talking about why it might consistently miss is interesting.
   35. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3085858)
The games haven't started yet, so of course we're ######## about this. Give us something else to ##### about, and we'll do it. We're Chicago baseball fans.
   36. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:11 PM (#3085860)
My guess is that it is playing time that it is poorly accounted for in PECOTA - and, indeed, any projection system.

On average, PECOTA now blows its forecasts by an averge of 8.5 wins, ending a steady trend toward increasing accuracy with a rude blemish.

Over the last three years, I predicted every team to finish with 81 wins, and I was off by an average of ... 8.5 wins.
   37. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:17 PM (#3085866)
My guess is that it is playing time that it is poorly accounted for in PECOTA - and, indeed, any projection system.

Team health is a big question mark, and something else that the White Sox and Angels might be better about than other teams are. I know the White Sox use the DL a lot less than other teams.
   38. SG Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:18 PM (#3085868)
FWIW, PECOTA's not the only system that doesn't like the White Sox this year. I've been running a few of the different projections through Diamond Mind and here's what they say right now:

Chone: 73
Hardball Times: 72
Marcel: 71
Cairo: 77

One area that I am sure is a weakness is Mark Buehrle. He consistenly outperforms his peripherals. His ERA has generally been about 0.50 lower than his FIP. There's a skill component there IMO because Buehrle is outstanding at holding runners (average of 4 SB and 6 CS per season in his career) which makes a single or BB worth less against him. This also allows him to induce more DPs than a pitcher with his GB/FB ratio normally would. Most projection systems will look at his peripherals and probably not account for that and project him higher than he should be.

Still, that's probably not more than 1-2 wins a season.

I also think Don Cooper is often able to get more out of his pitchers than the projections expect, although I would really need to look at where the projection systems are missing with the White Sox. Are they underprojecting the offense and getting the pitching right, or are they getting the offense right and blowing the pitching, or is it a combination of both?

I also wonder if the high HR factor at US Cellular causes issues with the projections.
   39. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:22 PM (#3085872)
I would really need to look at where the projection systems are missing with the White Sox. Are they underprojecting the offense and getting the pitching right, or are they getting the offense right and blowing the pitching, or is it a combination of both?

I haven't looked at this years' numbers, but most of the time, they overestimate the White Sox offense by a bit and underestimate their pitching and defense by a lot.

Ken Williams has said many times that he scouts for pitchers with the right skill set to succeed in Comiskey Park II, and while my instinct tells me that that's just PR nonsense, he does tend to find guys who pitch better at that ballpark than one would expect.
   40. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:29 PM (#3085875)
I'm not surprised PECOTA struggles with these things.


Of course I'm never too concerned with surprises, they are overrated. The point is, PECOTA sucks balls at predicting the White Sox. I hope we aren't using PECOTA to predict global warming.
   41. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3085879)
I thought PECOTA tended to miss on the White Sox, Angels and Twins.....each franchise that tends to favor skill sets stats geeks don't respect very much yet.
   42. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:32 PM (#3085880)
I know the White Sox use the DL a lot less than other teams.


They do -- I was at a First Pitch Forum a year or two ago, and Rick Wilton put up DL days for each team. The White Sox had the fewest DL days in MLB over the previous 5 years.

I've heard that attributed to their trainer, Herm Schneider, and his staff. Who knows what the reason is? Maybe it's luck (I'm suspicious of any medical professional who's morbidly obese), or maybe it's skill. It certainly seems to me that, if a team was concerned with taking advantage of market inefficiencies, they'd put together an awesome training/injury center. Maybe some teams already do this? Maybe statistics can help in some analysis here, but the current relationship between sabermetrics and injury appears to be something like this:

"Theo just signed five injured guys -- great move! Certainly at least one of them won't be injured."

Agreed that Sheehan consistently bags on the White Sox. I think it's because a few years ago, he was banging on the drum that Kenny Williams was the worst GM in baseball and needed to be fired, and won't admit that he's wrong.


Well, they are a for-profit enterprise based on supposed expertise, so it doesn't do them any good to admit when they're wrong. It winds up being fairly amusing, though -- like in this Christina Kahrl piece, where she excuses '08's bad prediction by pointing to '07's "good" prediction and ignoring the bad predictions prior to '07. Note that, what she says here could all happen, but essentially she assumes the worst about everyone. Did a player perform well in 2008? He'll probably do less well this year. Did a player have a bad year in 2008? He'll probably be even worse this year. I can get that type of analysis from JRE for free -- why would I want to pay for it? :-)
   43. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:38 PM (#3085889)
FWIW, PECOTA's not the only system that doesn't like the White Sox this year.


Well, I presume that projections systems don't like uncertainty. And as it has been presented to us, the White Sox haven't settled on the following spots:

2B
3B
CF
fifth starter

My concern is that Kenny is doing the same thing with prospects that Theo is doing with injured guys: throwing them all against a wall and assuming someone will stick. He tried that in '07 with pitchers, bringing in a number of guys with talent that Cooper could easily fix, and pretty much ALL of them sucked.
   44. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:40 PM (#3085894)
I don't see anyone here saying Silver is biased, in fact, the only people here that have mentioned a Nate Silver systematic bias are the people that are screaming there is none.

Reminds me of the time the left was shouting to Bush, don't reinstitute the draft. Even though nobody mentioned it. PECOTA is probably the best offensive prediction system out there, maybe the best team predictor, nobody thinks PECOTA is sandbagging on the sox, we are only discussing real possibilities to this systemic miss or reasons as to what they might be.

Stop blocking the quest for knowledge, and being anti-science.
   45. SG Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:43 PM (#3085898)
FWIW, here are the projections for the White Sox from the Diamond Mind simulations I've run since 2005 compared to the actuals. These are the averages for however many projection systems I used in those years, not just PECOTA:

<u>2005</u>
Projected: 79-83, 797 RF, 823 RA
Actual: 99-63, 741 RF, 645 RA

<u>2006</u>
Projected: 82-80, 751 RF, 741 RA
Actual: 90-72, 868 RF, 794 RA

<u>2007</u>
Projected: 76-86, 782 RF, 840 RA
Actual: 72-90, 693 RF, 839 RA

<u>2008</u>
Projected: 74-88, 788 RF, 866 RA
Actual: 89-74, 811 RF, 729 RA

I don't see anything systemic on RF or RA as far as where they are missing, but they certainly have missed.
   46. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3085900)
And as it has been presented to us, the White Sox haven't settled on the following spots:

2B
3B
CF
fifth starter


Barring something unforseen, Josh Fields will be the third baseman. And the story right now out of Glendale is that Bartolo Colon and Jose Contreras will both be ready for Opening Day. I don't know how true that is (although the White Sox are usually pretty forthcoming when it comes to injury), but if it is, the rotation is set.

The competitions are at second base and in center field (and at backup catcher, but that doesn't really matter).
   47. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:44 PM (#3085901)
Excellent info #38. Are there other pitchers that are as good as M Buehrle holding runners?
   48. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:49 PM (#3085908)
I've heard that attributed to their trainer, Herm Schneider, and his staff. Who knows what the reason is? Maybe it's luck (I'm suspicious of any medical professional who's morbidly obese)

There was a White Sox-Red Sox game from 1981 on the MLB Network yesterday, and when Schneider came on the field, Harry Caray mentioned that he looked "relatively svelte-like [sic]."
   49. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:54 PM (#3085913)
but they never seem to understand that players don't rise and fall in a straight line.


They understand it perfectly, the problem is that it's impossible to tell exactly how a player will decline, so they try to follow the average of players of that type.
   50. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3085917)
Does no one buy the improvements from Quentin, Floyd or Danks?

No one buys Floyd. People buy Quentin being good, but he's not slugging .571 again. Although, getting September and October out of him should make up for that. Danks, PECOTA loves Danks.

The competitions are at second base and in center field (and at backup catcher, but that doesn't really matter).

At 2B, they're throwing everything up against the wall and seeing what sticks. I'd like to see Getz because I like the guys no one says are good, and I think he can put up a decent OBP which is what the White Sox need. CF is a hole right now with the "Death is not an option" choice of Owens, Anderson, and Wise.

Agreed that Sheehan consistently bags on the White Sox. I think it's because a few years ago, he was banging on the drum that Kenny Williams was the worst GM in baseball and needed to be fired, and won't admit that he's wrong.

This is a huge one. I believe he said Scott Podsednik was a 5th OF, then Podsednik goes to have his one great year, makes the All-Star team, and the Sox win the World Series. There's the "Fundamental Fan Deck" which Joe ripped on because he thought it was just a sign about fundamentals when it actuality it's just marketing and entertainment for kids. Plus, the one year they actually predicted the White Sox correctly, they celebrated like they won the World Series for the first time in 100 years even though they had been wrong the previous two. 1/3 gets you into the baseball hall of fame, but it doesn't do much else. So, yeah, White Sox fans are a little defensive. Mainly because Sheehan and Kahrl act like arrogant ####### pricks when it comes to the White Sox.

I thought PECOTA tended to miss on the White Sox, Angels and Twins.....each franchise that tends to favor skill sets stats geeks don't respect very much yet.

There's some merit to this. These teams like OBP, but they don't fall in love with it. The White Sox seem to like lowish OBP, high slug guys. That's a high reward offense that a computer doing 1000 simulations isn't going to love, but when you only do one simulation, it could work really really well. Plus, I think there is something to defense, playing to the park you have, and coaching. Those three teams always seem to be able to get good gains from young pitchers or from scrap heaps. No program will be able to account for that.
   51. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 25, 2009 at 04:59 PM (#3085918)
I don't know if PECOTA has systemic problems or not. But the complaints here are using a sample size of FOUR. C'mon. In a 30 team distribution, wouldn't you expect to have outliers on each side?
   52. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:00 PM (#3085923)
Mainly because Sheehan and Kahrl act like arrogant ####### pricks when it comes to the <s>White Sox</s> everything on earth.
   53. Danny Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3085931)
I think the claim is more complex than that. It seems that two of the teams that have articulated a sort of non-stathead method of constructing a baseball team are consistently under-projected by the projection engine generally most respected by statheads. That's interesting.


Have the White Sox articulated that? Or is it just internet fan backlash from Ken Williams being made fun of in Moneyball?

I think this is all very simple. No one (pundits, projection systems, fanalysts) projected the White Sox to be anywhere near as good as they were in 2005 or 2008. No one projected them to win 95+ games in 2005, and everyone had them behind the Tigers and Indians in 2008. Singling out PECOTA for being unable to understand Williams' awesomeness seems silly. I think the much simpler answer is that the White Sox have been much better than expected in two recent years. It should also be noted that the one year that PECOTA really deviated from other projections was in 2007, when they nailed the White Sox sucking.

That's not to say that Williams doesn't deserve credit for putting together very good teams in 2005 and 2008. Rather, there just doesn't seem to be any point in singling out PECOTA when everyone missed on them.
   54. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3085939)
That's not to say that Williams doesn't deserve credit for putting together very good teams in 2005 and 2008. Rather, there just doesn't seem to be any point in singling out PECOTA when everyone missed on them.

Except no one else trumpets themselves as "The Smartest People in Baseball, not to mention Earth" like the guys at Prospectus.
   55. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3085947)
I think the much simpler answer is that the White Sox have been much better than expected in two recent years.

The question is, though, why? The answer may well be random variation, or luck. But if nobody wants to even broach the question as to why the projection system missed in this case, then the projection system's never going to get any better.
   56. greenback has a multilingual iphone Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:14 PM (#3085949)
It's kinda hard to improve a projection system based on bad projections for one or two years for one or two teams.

Mainly because Sheehan and Kahrl act like arrogant ####### pricks when it comes to the <s>White Sox</s> everything on earth.

Yeah, it's not a secret. At this point the non-numbers guys at Baseball Prospectus aren't different enough from Mariotti or Bayless to merit any attention.
   57. The Essex Snead Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:15 PM (#3085952)
I was about to say that this thread needed less actual on-topic discussion & more unwarranted ad-hominem attacks -- thanks Jimmy P!
   58. Obama Bomaye Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3085957)
I believe he said Scott Podsednik was a 5th OF, then Podsednik goes to have his one great year, makes the All-Star team, and the Sox win the World Series.

I'm too lazy to check, but wasn't Podsednik in Milwaukee when he had his good year?
   59. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3085959)
I'll be honest that every year I want to avoid buying BPro due to them being a bunch of sanctimonious pricks. But then I buy it anyways.

Hows that, TES?
   60. SG Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:18 PM (#3085960)
Excellent info #38. Are there other pitchers that are as good as M Buehrle holding runners?


Off the top of my head, Kenny Rogers was even better. Jarrod Washburn's been pretty good as well. I'd have to run a search on BB Ref's PI to see who else may rank up there.
   61. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:21 PM (#3085970)
I seem to remember hearing something like that about Andy Pettitte, although whether it was an actual fact or just Michael Kay making #### up, who knows?
   62. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3085972)
The question is, though, why? The answer may well be random variation, or luck. But if nobody wants to even broach the question as to why the projection system missed in this case, then the projection system's never going to get any better.


I agree 100%. I am a lot more comfortable saying "the projections missed on team x" than saying "team x outplayed/underplayed their projection". As if the projection somehow represents truth, what should have happened.

As for accuracy, I looked at how CHONE did vs PECOTA last year:
Average error: CHONE 7.9 PECOTA 8.5 (CHONE had a few bad outliers, so looking at Avg squared error changes it to 9.5 to 9.7, in PECOTA's favor).

Another way to look at it is W-L records. Whichever system comes closer to actual team wins gets the W, whether it's closer by 1 or 20 wins.

In that one CHONE has a solid 18-10, Mike Witt 1986 season, with 2 ties (Tigers and Rays).
   63. SuperGrover Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:22 PM (#3085977)
There's the "Fundamental Fan Deck" which Joe ripped on because he thought it was just a sign about fundamentals when it actuality it's just marketing and entertainment for kids.

He really bagged on the Fundamental Fan Deck? Really? Wow.

I'm too lazy to check, but wasn't Podsednik in Milwaukee when he had his good year?

Pods was voted in 2005 as the extra all-star or whatever the fan gimmick is. He wasn't worth a damn (86 OPS+) but hit the home run in Game 2 so no one cares. Oh and his wife was all over the place which was a welcome bonus.
   64. Danny Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:24 PM (#3085980)
Off the top of my head, Kenny Rogers was even better. Jarrod Washburn's been pretty good as well. I'd have to run a search on BB Ref's PI to see who else may rank up there

Andy Pettitte and Greg Smith.
   65. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:26 PM (#3085985)
I'm too lazy to check, but wasn't Podsednik in Milwaukee when he had his good year?

His 2003 season in Mil: .314/.379/.443, 43 SB/10 CS
His 2005 season in Chi: .290/.351/.349, <strike>70 SB/13 CS</strike> 59 SB/23 CS (sorry)

He played LF in 2005, and CF in 2003. Considering that he always was an adventure in the field (along with having no arm), it's not a stretch to think that his defense was probably better. So, maybe I was wrong to say he had his one great year, I should have said "one of his two good years".

What's really ridiculous is how well he played in the first half of 2005. His OBP was .369 and he had 44 SB. He hit for almost the same average in the second half, but his OBP went down over 40 points. And, his SB% went from 83% to 50%.
   66. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:27 PM (#3085990)
Andy Pettitte and Greg Smith.

Sonnanstine might be the best: 2 SB, 11 CS in his career.

And he's right-handed.

EDIT: Opponents only attempted four steals on him over 193 1/3 innings last year.
   67. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3085996)
Kahrl act like arrogant ####### pricks when it comes to the White Sox.


Doesn't Kahrl usually praise the WS: whether Don Cooper, Herm Schneider, Ozzie, or KW?
   68. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:31 PM (#3085998)
Oh yes, and the 81 win hypothesis: Average error of 9.3, squared error of 10.9

PECOTA beats the 81W hyp 19-10-1, While CHONE beats it 20-10.
   69. wealz Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3086005)
For their own good, BP should have stopped using PECOTA to predict team finishes after 2005. They can never live the '05 Sox down.
   70. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3086007)

Yeah, it's not a secret. At this point the non-numbers guys at Baseball Prospectus aren't different enough from Mariotti or Bayless to merit any attention.


Kahrl usually is fairly measured, IME. And open to the idea that BPro's stats / evaluations might be flawed.

Also, I like Goldstein's balance of stats and scouting in his prospect columns.
   71. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:50 PM (#3086030)
I don't know if PECOTA has systemic problems or not. But the complaints here are using a sample size of FOUR. C'mon. In a 30 team distribution, wouldn't you expect to have outliers on each side?


I think this is a good point. But I have a serious question, if one of these 30 subjects has an established pattern of falling on one side of the tail, doesn't that indicate this is no longer a sample size issue? We have a small group of teams (subjects) that have repeatedly fallen to the same tail. I guess what I am saying is one year, yes, small sample size, but year 4, sample size getting bigger.
   72. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:51 PM (#3086032)
I think BP's stated (somewhere) that PECOTA also has a bear of a time accounting for bullpen management (which has definitely been one of LAA's strengths).

And just managing in general. If you look at teams that are mentioned as PECOTA's main misses, their teams with very well regarded managers (Scioscia, Guillen; somewhere upthread the '08 have also been mentioned and under Gardy they routinely do better than projected.
   73. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 05:52 PM (#3086035)
I don't know if PECOTA has systemic problems or not. But the complaints here are using a sample size of FOUR. C'mon. In a 30 team distribution, wouldn't you expect to have outliers on each side?

Yes. But this is also a problem that scientists and analysts can't fall into. Just labeling everything they don't agree with as "random" and "outlier" etc. Just because you don't agree with it or it wasn't what you wanted to see, doesn't mean it's not real.
   74. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3086061)
It should also be noted that the one year that PECOTA really deviated from other projections was in 2007, when they nailed the White Sox sucking.


Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure "nailed" isn't really the right term. That is to say that while they got the record correct, I think they got it wrong for the wrong reasons -- I'm pretty sure that year they completely missed on the White Sox pitching staff once again (they projected an awful pitching staff whereas the 2007 staff was league average).

----------------

The sweetest thing w/r/t to Sheehan (sweet in hindsight) was his mid-season article in 2005 about how the Sox were a fluke and that luck was the sole reason why they were sitting atop the Central in June (or July). I'm fairly certain that at season's end there was no article from him about how he (and his methods) were wrong.

----------------

My only issue (and it's not really an issue) is the Sox ranking below the Royals. It just seems like a whole lot would have to go wrong on the Sox end (with a whole lot going right on KC's end) for that to play out. Other than that, anybody (besides, obviously, KC) taking the division wouldn't shock me. Just like last year there isn't one dominant team and the AL Central winner will almost certainly be an underdog heading into the playoffs. If forced to pick a favorite I'd go with Minnesota -- they boast what looks like the 'surest' rotation in the Central. Their offense will probably regress a bit (BA with RISP has to go down, right?) but Mauer + Morneau combined with that quality rotation looks pretty damn good (at least in this division).

Edited for clarity.
   75. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:10 PM (#3086064)
Oh yes, and the 81 win hypothesis: Average error of 9.3, squared error of 10.9

Is that just for last year? I did it over the last three years and got an average error of 8.5, or I made a dumb mistake in the calculation.
   76. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:13 PM (#3086068)
I don't know if PECOTA has systemic problems or not. But the complaints here are using a sample size of FOUR. C'mon. In a 30 team distribution, wouldn't you expect to have outliers on each side?


Easy way to find out. See which teams they miss the most on for 2003-2005. Then look at how they do on these same teams for 2006-2008. If you take the 5 teams they underpredict the most from 03-05, and these teams are, as a group, projected correctly in 2006-2008 (and same thing for overpredictions) then the errors are random.

If they keep missing the same teams in the same direction for both samples, depending on how significant it is you may have found a systematic bias. The next step is to see what these teams do well that is not measured.
   77. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:19 PM (#3086076)
My only issue (and it's not really an issue) is the Sox ranking below the Royals. It just seems like a whole lot would have to go wrong on the Sox end (with a whole lot going right on KC's end) for that to play out.

I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm betting that PECOTA likes the Royals' fringy veterans (Jacobs, Grudzielanek, Guillen, Crisp) more than it likes the White Sox' complete question marks (Fields, Getz, Anderson). The White Sox also have more everyday players on the wrong side of 30, which PECOTA can't be too thrilled about.
   78. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3086085)
The next step is to see what these teams do well that is not measured.

I don't have any proof of this, but I've always believed that statheads underrate the importance of veterans who have established that they are both durable and relatively consistent. Conversely, there is an assumption that a)young players almost always improve (the Melky Cabrera train of thought), and b)that players who do well in the minors are extremely likely to translate that into major league success (Andy Marte?) Is it possible that BPro tends to overrate teams that rely too heavily on young, unproven talent (Arizona, Pittsburgh), while underrating teams that have a lot of known quantities in their lineups (Chicago, Anaheim)?

I'm not wedded to the idea, but I do wonder.
   79. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3086121)
Is it possible that BPro tends to overrate teams that rely too heavily on young, unproven talent (Arizona, Pittsburgh)

Or, possibly, there's something off about their system for projecting minor-league talent into the majors. The White Sox have a lot more unproven talent this season, and BPro still thinks they'll suck.
   80. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:45 PM (#3086131)
I don't have any proof of this, but I've always believed that statheads underrate the importance of veterans who have established that they are both durable and relatively consistent. Conversely, there is an assumption that a)young players almost always improve (the Melky Cabrera train of thought), and b)that players who do well in the minors are extremely likely to translate that into major league success (Andy Marte?) Is it possible that BPro tends to overrate teams that rely too heavily on young, unproven talent (Arizona, Pittsburgh), while underrating teams that have a lot of known quantities in their lineups (Chicago, Anaheim)?

I think this is true. I also think it doesn't rate "inning eater" pitchers well.
   81. HGM Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3086139)
The sweetest thing w/r/t to Sheehan (sweet in hindsight) was his mid-season article in 2005 about how the Sox were a fluke and that luck was the sole reason why they were sitting atop the Central in June (or July). I'm fairly certain that at season's end there was no article from him about how he (and his methods) were wrong.

Personally, I think it'd be incredibly boring to read a bunch of mea culpas come year's end from every writer about the multitude of predictions they had that turned out to be wrong. Do we really want every writer writing articles every time a prediction/opinion he gives turns out wrong? The fact is that every single person is going to have some predictions right and some wrong. I'd rather just accept that fact than expect everybody to issue apologies when they turn out wrong.
   82. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:55 PM (#3086153)
Personally, I think it'd be incredibly boring to read a bunch of mea culpas come year's end from every writer about the multitude of predictions they had that turned out to be wrong. Do we really want every writer writing articles every time a prediction/opinion he gives turns out wrong? The fact is that every single person is going to have some predictions right and some wrong. I'd rather just accept that fact than expect everybody to issue apologies when they turn out wrong.

Okay, but then I don't want to hear a peep out of them when they're right.

In any case, as I recall, Sheehan finally did write something about the 2005 White Sox, after they won the World Series. IIRC, it was short and prickly in tone, and basically said, "they got lucky".
   83. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:57 PM (#3086155)
Is that just for last year? I did it over the last three years and got an average error of 8.5, or I made a dumb mistake in the calculation.


Just last year.

Do we really want every writer writing articles every time a prediction/opinion he gives turns out wrong? The fact is that every single person is going to have some predictions right and some wrong.


I'd settle for having the predictors show a little more restraint, less of the pompous blowhard attitude seen so often. Recognize the fact that the guy who just says "81 wins" for every team will still beat you 1/3 of the time.
   84. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: February 25, 2009 at 06:57 PM (#3086157)
AROM, just out of curiosity, what is your average error?
   85. Jimmy P Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:03 PM (#3086169)
Okay, but then I don't want to hear a peep out of them when they're right.

I agree. That's not happening, though. They still crow about the 2007 White Sox, and they'll never let last year's Devil Rays go without mention.
   86. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:07 PM (#3086176)
Recognize the fact that the guy who just says "81 wins" for every team will still beat you 1/3 of the time.

Indeed.
   87. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 25, 2009 at 07:43 PM (#3086246)
But I have a serious question, if one of these 30 subjects has an established pattern of falling on one side of the tail, doesn't that indicate this is no longer a sample size issue? We have a small group of teams (subjects) that have repeatedly fallen to the same tail. I guess what I am saying is one year, yes, small sample size, but year 4, sample size getting bigger.

Maybe, but a) like BLB said, you're bound to have one or two teams that are outliers no matter what and b) four years still isn't enough to make any useful conclusion from.
   88. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:09 PM (#3086279)
I agree with HGM that sportswriters to an extent are going to get many predictions wrong and I would be bored, or lose interest, if they were always concerned with spending time apologizing for their misses.

Sheehan has an edge, and he certainly can come off as pompous. But as a person that also has an edge, or a bite, and is called pompous (among other things) I want that quality in the opinion leaders I like to read. In fact, I'm usually reading a sports writer for distinct or unique points of view (rare in sports) or because they have something to teach me (even more rare), Sheehan has been able to accomplish both in my view.
   89. Dizzypaco Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:09 PM (#3086280)
Maybe, but a) like BLB said, you're bound to have one or two teams that are outliers no matter what and b) four years still isn't enough to make any useful conclusion from.


If the system under predicts a team by three or four wins a year for four consecutive years, that's not enough to draw any useful conclusions. But when a system predicts a team to win about 75 games every year, and they win 90 or so three times in four years, its pretty good evidence something is awry. Not conclusive proof, but pretty good evidence, especially, when there's another team that it underpredicts consistently by a a large amount in the same direction.
   90. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:12 PM (#3086283)
I would be bored, or lose interest, if they were always concerned with spending time apologizing for their misses.

Again, I wouldn't mind that they don't apologize for their misses if they didn't spend so much time bragging about their hits.

If you're going to go around saying that you know more about baseball than anyone, be prepared to deal with people calling you out when you're blatantly wrong about something having to do with baseball.
   91. Obama Bomaye Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:13 PM (#3086285)
I seem to remember hearing something like that about Andy Pettitte, although whether it was an actual fact or just Michael Kay making #### up, who knows?

Pettitte is NOT that good at holding runners. He does get a lot of pickoffs, but if he doesn't pick you off, he can be run on. He is not comparable to Buehrle or Rogers or some of the others mentioned.
   92. Obama Bomaye Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:16 PM (#3086289)
In fact, of 26 LHP who have thrown >400 IP over the past 3 seasons, Pettitte has allowed the MOST SB. (I did not expect to see that.) 48 SB. Rogers has allowed 2 (albeit in almost 200 fewer IP). Buehrle 11. Pettitte does have the second most pickoffs in that period, after Buehrle.
   93. K-BAR, J-BAR (trhn) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:20 PM (#3086291)
There's too many sources of error for predictions to be anything closer than inexact: General error involved in projecting individual projections. Over/under performance of pitching peripherals. Over/under performance of peripherals on a team level. Errors or the inability to measure how offensive events are converted into runs. Sample size issues / other error involved in evaluating defense. Errors involved in converting RS and RA into wins. Some of this stuff isn't necessarily quantifiable or predictable, so with the huge error bars with team level projections, what might appear to be consistent flaws in a projection system could just be the errors we always associate with projecting team level performance.

My annoyance is that there's a tendency to use ancedotal evidence to confirm the efficacy of PECOTA. Tout crap like, "PECOTA nailed Wily Mo Pena," is weak. Real evidence, such as statistical analyses of PECOTA, seldom appears on the Prospectus site. They're salesmen, not scientists, so I don't blame them; I just don't respect what they do the way I respect what, say, AROM or Tango does.

To my mind, Nate Silver's work on 538 operates in the same way. Pointing to election results (or Oscar results, for that matter) doesn't prove that a system works. But, just like the back cover of Prospectus, ancedotal evidence does allow for a topline tout that can appear impressive.
   94. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:21 PM (#3086292)
Re: Holding runners: We all watch baseball a ton and I must say, whenever there is a major mismatch in the running game, either crappy throwing catcher, slow pitcher v speed or vice-versa, it sure does seem to influence the game in a major way. No?

Are we measuring non-events correctly? at all? is "non-event" even something you can measure? Am I asking this correctly?
   95. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:22 PM (#3086293)
In fact, of 26 LHP who have thrown >400 IP over the past 3 seasons, Pettitte has allowed the MOST SB. (I did not expect to see that.) 48 SB. Rogers has allowed 2 (albeit in almost 200 fewer IP). Buehrle 11. Pettitte does have the second most pickoffs in that period, after Buehrle.
I'd be curious to see that on a per-inning basis, because that's a strange stat. It suggests that Pettitte's move is easy to read (48 SB) except when it's not (second most PO). Bizarre.
   96. Obama Bomaye Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:26 PM (#3086298)
Here is a simple calculation of SB minus CS minus Pickoffs, per 9 IP, for those 26 LHP over the last three seasons.

Mark Buehrle....... -0.40
Tom Glavine........ -0.29
Kenny Rogers...... -0.27
Zach Duke......... -0.21
Wandy Rodriguez. -0.12
Jarrod Washburn.. -0.10
Paul Maholm....... -0.10
Johan Santana.... -0.07
Scott Olsen....... -0.05
Barry Zito......... -0.05
Jamie Moyer....... 0.03
Doug Davis......... 0.05
Dontrelle Willis.... 0.06
Nate Robertson... 0.11
Cliff Lee............ 0.14
Scott Kazmir...... 0.14
Andy Pettitte..... 0.16
Erik Bedard........ 0.18
C.C. Sabathia.... 0.21
Ted Lilly........... 0.24
Odalis Perez...... 0.28
Jeff Francis....... 0.31
Oliver Perez........ 0.32
Mark Hendrickson. 0.47
Cole Hamels........ 0.48
Randy Johnson.... 0.49

Surprised Hamels is so bad. He seems like the "type" of pitcher who should be better at that. Definite way for him to become even more effective.
   97. BeanoCook Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:28 PM (#3086299)
There's too many sources of error for predictions to be anything closer than inexact: General error involved in projecting individual projections. Over/under performance of pitching peripherals. Over/under performance of peripherals on a team level. Errors or the inability to measure how offensive events are converted into runs. Sample size issues / other error involved in evaluating defense. Errors involved in converting RS and RA into wins. Some of this stuff isn't necessarily quantifiable or predictable, so with the huge error bars with team level projections, what might appear to be consistent flaws in a projection system could just be the errors we always associate with projecting team level performance.


Wow, there sure is a lot of variables here. Thank god the weather and climate has fewer variables and thank god we have better climate records than MLB records. MLB records can't even tell me the batting leader on the Cincy Reds in 1880, but we know for sure the temp and wind and percep for Cincy on May 8th 1880.

Phewww....had me worried and lightheaded there for a minute, like I was sitting in the sun too long, you know, that weak power source in our solar system, the thing where nearly all of our energy originates from? Yes that.
   98. Rally Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:30 PM (#3086300)
AROM, just out of curiosity, what is your average error?


Last year it was 7.9, see post #62 above.
   99. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:33 PM (#3086305)
Wow, there sure is a lot of variables here. Thank god the weather and climate has fewer variables and thank god we have better climate records than MLB records. MLB records can't even tell me the batting leader on the Cincy Reds in 1880, but we know for sure the temp and wind and percep for Cincy on May 8th 1880.

Phewww....had me worried and lightheaded there for a minute, like I was sitting in the sun too long, you know, that weak power source in our solar system, the thing where nearly all of our energy originates from? Yes that.
This is one of the more impressively baffling posts in Primer history. I have absolutely no idea what conclusion I'm supposed to draw from it. Baseball is like the weather? The sun makes you a smartass? Sean Foreman could take lessons from the National Weather Bureau? It's like the last SAT question in a Reading Comp section.
   100. Obama Bomaye Posted: February 25, 2009 at 08:34 PM (#3086306)
Buehrle vs. Rogers: Nobody tries running on Rogers at all. Buehrle gets more CS but also allows some more SB. Maybe he gets more PO because nobody even takes a lead on Rogers. Maybe Rogers's advantage has just been I-Rod's presence (or reputation).

Pettitte allows the 2nd most SB attempts per inning. (Johnson is way in the lead.) He gets back toward the middle of the pack due to all the picks.
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