Thursday, January 21, 2010

El Nino and the Sea Change

For no real reason, I got to thinking about baseball's Flat Earth Society and their ever-growing hatred of stats. Hardly new ground, but a decent analog for the stats revolution crept into my head. The giving guy that I am, I thought I'd share.

At the risk of meandering around and pointlessly wasting your time, I suggest this: think about the weather. Think about how weather is forecasted and broadcasted. Consider this, from Wikipedia.
In the past, the human forecaster was responsible for generating the entire weather forecast based upon available observations. Today, human input is generally confined to choosing a model based on various parameters, such as model biases and performance. Using a consensus of forecast models, as well as ensemble members of the various models, can help reduce forecast error.
The stat nerds have taken over the ever important world of weather forecasting. The similarities exist between changes in weather reporting and sports reporting. Were the Dave Duvall's of the world lamenting the rise of mathematical modeling and increased accuracy, steadfastly staring at the sky and reading their barometers? Probably not.

Sorry to waste your time with that digression. Here, a gift to you, from me. Randy Ruiz's swinging strikes from a still-small-but-not-worthless chunk of at bats. Dude likes the down and away dirt.

Update: Wooo. Look how much more garish that graph is now. Fancy! Thoughts?

Image here!


  1. I come for the laughs, and stay for the graphs.

  2. You can use stats to prove anything, 75% of people know that.

  3. Man, I haven't seen so many whiffs on down-and-out sliders since Alex Rios wasn't giving a fuck in Toronto... at least when Ruiz slowly runs out a dropped 3rd strike, I won't be yelling at (my TV for) him to run faster...

  4. Beautiful Drew, just plain beautiful.

    Randy Ruiz loves pitches down and away about as much as he loves Krispy Kreme for breakfast.

  5. the fancy graphs ae pure dope.


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