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Rex Argos
08-08-2006, 07:54 PM
Interesting tidbit I found on the 'net today. The writer's argument is that while Rose may be HOF worthy, he wasn't even the best player on the team. Haven't we heard that argument about Perez? Anyway, here's the link:

http://baseballguru.com/bbspot2.html

He even makes a mention of Ken, Sr. which I think was a nice touch.

redsmetz
08-08-2006, 09:14 PM
Not besmirch stats, but I think this shows how when stats are isolated, you lose much of what you have collectively as a team. I think everyone acknowledges that Rose's power numbers weren't equal to many of his teammates, but he had loads of hits and he played full barrelled. I think the squads that comprised the BRM are emblematic of how individual players made one another even better.

Does this make sense or am I blowing it out my tailend?

Crash Davis
08-08-2006, 09:33 PM
I wonder if he actually believes that garbage?

redsfanmia
08-08-2006, 09:34 PM
I wonder if he actually believes that garbage?
I hope not.

RedsBaron
08-08-2006, 09:56 PM
Poorly reasoned article that appeared to intentionally consider only those stats that made Rose look poor in comparsion. For example, why include RBI in the comparsion but not runs scored?
In the decade of the 1970s, Joe Morgan lead all of baseball in Win Shares with 315. Johnny Bench was third with 263. Sandwiched in between was Pete Rose with 288. Of other Reds mentioned, Tom Seaver ranked 11th with 230, Tony Perez ranked 20th with 217 and Ken Griffey 119th with 117.

SeeinRed
08-08-2006, 10:31 PM
Stats are used to support arguments. You can pick and choose and twist stats to make any argument you want. Thats just the way stats are, not only in baseball, but in everthing. As Mark Twain once said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Nobody, no matter how indifferent they claim to be, uses stats to take a stance, they use them to affirm their stance. All seriousness aside though, my favorite quote about statistics is "The average human has one breast and one testicle." A deeper favorite of mine "Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say." In case you couldn't tell, people using statistics excessively is a major pet peeve of mine. There is a point where people replace intellegent comments with Statistics so they can say, "here is proof you can't argue that" when in reality statistics at times are anything but solid proof.

gilpdawg
08-08-2006, 10:40 PM
The Big Red Machine was just that, a machine. If one of the parts was bad in the machine, the machine wouldn't run right. Pete was part of that machine, and he was the leader. On one hand, the dude is sort of right, in that Perez, Morgan, and Foster were probably better players during the BRM heyday, but Rose did it well for far longer than any of those guys.

Rex Argos
08-08-2006, 10:45 PM
OK--some of you have weighed in. Most of you have disagreed with the article to some extent. If you HAD to rank them--working in the BRM years (72-78) how would you rank them? I'll go first, and I'm working completely without the benefit of stats:

1. Morgan
2. Foster
3. Perez
4. Rose
5. Bench

Let the games begin!

IslandRed
08-08-2006, 10:51 PM
Rose obviously has everyone beat when factoring in career longevity, but if I could choose players for my team based on how good they were at their best, I'd go Morgan-Bench-Rose.

Handofdeath
08-08-2006, 10:57 PM
Poorly reasoned article that appeared to intentionally consider only those stats that made Rose look poor in comparsion. For example, why include RBI in the comparsion but not runs scored?
In the decade of the 1970s, Joe Morgan lead all of baseball in Win Shares with 315. Johnny Bench was third with 263. Sandwiched in between was Pete Rose with 288. Of other Reds mentioned, Tom Seaver ranked 11th with 230, Tony Perez ranked 20th with 217 and Ken Griffey 119th with 117.

But for most people what do win shares mean? The average fan doesn't care for any of that Bill James jazz.

gilpdawg
08-08-2006, 11:23 PM
But for most people what do win shares mean? The average fan doesn't care for any of that Bill James jazz.
That doesn't mean "that Bill James jazz" should be discarded either.

lo ryder
08-08-2006, 11:34 PM
Stats dont show a whole player. HOF'ers should be judged by several factors including production, leadership, fundamentals and love of the game. When you read between the lines Pete should be there representing the team of the 70's and one of the best for all time.

terminator
08-09-2006, 12:01 AM
That really misses the point of Pete. I can't imagine anyone not recognizing Pete as one of the top 10 players of all-time.

If someone told you that you could have ONE of the following rookies for their whole career -- Rose, Bench, Morgan, Perez, Griffey, etc. who would you take? To me, that's the better way to consider the question. And that's when Pete becomes a clearer winner. Plenty of guys had 3-5 year stretches better than Rose, but that doesn't mean that Dale Murphy was better than Pete.

It is also worth noting that Pete was a scrappy, older veteran most of his career -- and that is worth a lot. :laugh:

StillFunkyB
08-09-2006, 12:31 AM
OK--some of you have weighed in. Most of you have disagreed with the article to some extent. If you HAD to rank them--working in the BRM years (72-78) how would you rank them? I'll go first, and I'm working completely without the benefit of stats:

1. Morgan
2. Foster
3. Perez
4. Rose
5. Bench

Let the games begin!

If I'm building a team, and I had to pick:

Rose, Bench, Morgan, Doggie, Foster

But what do I know, I was born in 76 :)

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 01:07 AM
As Mark Twain once said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Mark Twain didn't say that. In his autobiography, published posthumously, Twain attributes the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, possibly in error.

The earliest record of the phrase is that of a 1895 speech by British economist and politician Leonard Henry Courtney (1832-1918) in which Courtney says the following:

"After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote to one another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, 'Lies- damn lies- and statistics', still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of."- Leonard Henry Courtney

Could the "Wise Statesman" have been Disraeli? Maybe, but even Disraeli's biographer (Lord Blake) thinks it unlikely that Disraeli originated the phrase.

What is clear, however, is that Courtney (later Lord Courtney) is mocking the "Wise Statesman" who, in error, dismisses offhand that which he either cannot comprehend or does not care to understand. He's also saying that some arguments are so strong that even the stupid and the sly must concede the point.

And here's the actual passage from Twain's autobiography- in context- that cites the phrase:

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

When viewed in proper context, Mark Twain is not using the "Lies- damned lies- statistics" argument to debase statistical analysis. What he's saying is that he is quite easily led astry by them, particularly when he tries to use them himself due to a lack of analytical ability. His own words tell us that he felt he wasn't any good at understanding and/or using statistics to draw sensible conclusions.

Twain was, in fact, poking fun at himself and Lord Courtney was poking fun at those who, without a second thought, would dismiss that which they could not and/or cared not to understand or accept.

As for the article? The writer's name might as well be Mark Twain.

solo-baric
08-09-2006, 01:50 AM
i'd never take morgan just because i listen to him now and he puts down the reds every chance he gets. you can put a crappy player in with a bunch of good players and they look great. That is how see joe morgan. Pete is on of the best players all time. He's in the top 10.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 01:53 AM
Stats are used to support arguments. You can pick and choose and twist stats to make any argument you want. Thats just the way stats are, not only in baseball, but in everthing. As Mark Twain once said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Nobody, no matter how indifferent they claim to be, uses stats to take a stance, they use them to affirm their stance. All seriousness aside though, my favorite quote about statistics is "The average human has one breast and one testicle." A deeper favorite of mine "Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say." In case you couldn't tell, people using statistics excessively is a major pet peeve of mine. There is a point where people replace intellegent comments with Statistics so they can say, "here is proof you can't argue that" when in reality statistics at times are anything but solid proof.

Sorry, but that's just plain wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, many of us actually check stats before forming an opinion. Many of us modify our opinions based on what the stats tell us.

While I do acknowledge that some people cherry pick stats to support their own position, it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 01:55 AM
Stats dont show a whole player. HOF'ers should be judged by several factors including production, leadership, fundamentals and love of the game. When you read between the lines Pete should be there representing the team of the 70's and one of the best for all time.

"Love of the game"?

How in the world do you propose judging a player based on his love of the game?

Wheelhouse
08-09-2006, 10:33 AM
1) Rose
2) Bench
3) Morgan
4) Perez
5) Concepcion

CySeymour
08-09-2006, 10:44 AM
1) Morgan
2) Bench
3) Rose
4) Foster
5) Perez

vic715
08-09-2006, 10:46 AM
It must show you what a great team the BRM was when on most of your top 5 picks you don't include Griffey and Concepcion.Those guys were damn good players themselves and if I'm not mistaken both were All-Star MVPS.How would you like to have Geronimo's defense in center right now.I still to this day don't believe the Reds have had an outfielder with an arm like that.

justincredible
08-09-2006, 10:52 AM
you can put a crappy player in with a bunch of good players and they look great. That is how see joe morgan. Pete is on of the best players all time. He's in the top 10.

So you are saying Joe Morgan was a crappy player? Yeah I would probably say the same thing about the 2nd best Second Basemen of all-time.:rolleyes:

Always Red
08-09-2006, 10:54 AM
i'd never take morgan just because i listen to him now and he puts down the reds every chance he gets. you can put a crappy player in with a bunch of good players and they look great. That is how see joe morgan. Pete is on of the best players all time. He's in the top 10.
and so is Joe...they're both in my top ten.

Joe Morgan was a good 2nd baseman when he came to the Reds, and once he was exposed to how Rose (and Bench and Perez) approached the game, Morgan became a great player. Morgan has mentioned this many times publicly.

The synergy among that group of players was amazing, and kudos to those posters above who pointed out that together that group were better players than they were apart.

In terms of sheer talent, I think John Bench blew all the rest away. It's a credit to those BRM players that they knew they were the best, and their desire to be champions, competitiveness with each other, and constantly urging each other to be the best (and professional pride) lifted them to the pinnacle.

To answer the very first question- after thinking about it, I agree, Rose may have been the 5th best player on that team, in terms of baseball talent. But without his competitiveness, the Big Red Machine never happens.

Cincinnati fans instinctively know that, and we've been looking for Pete Rose ever since, which is why we embrace guys like Chris Sabo, Chris Stynes and now, Ryan Freel- we see traces of Pete Rose in all of those hard nosed types.

EddieMilner
08-09-2006, 11:02 AM
Sorry, but that's just plain wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, many of us actually check stats before forming an opinion. Many of us modify our opinions based on what the stats tell us.

While I do acknowledge that some people cherry pick stats to support their own position, it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance.
While I do believe that stats can help you form an opinion. It is fairly obvious, to me at least, that the writer of the blog decided he wanted to prove that Rose was not one of the top 4 BRM members. He then found stats that showed he was right.

westofyou
08-09-2006, 11:51 AM
you can put a crappy player in with a bunch of good players and they look great. That is how see joe morgan.

I'd get my sight checked if I was you then. ;)

princeton
08-09-2006, 11:54 AM
1) Morgan
2) Bench
3) Rose
4) Foster
5) Perez

pretty good, especially on Astroturf. I would think that a baseball exec from that era would go Bench/Morgan/Foster/Rose/Perez. But in today's era, with more HRs and fewer SBs, then maybe it's Foster/Bench/Morgan/Perez/Rose.

dfs
08-09-2006, 12:03 PM
...I think the author has a point....He's misguided, but he has a point. If I have to chose and order the BRM players from the team in the mid-70's there simply isn't any way at all that Rose is in the top two. Morgan was godly and Bench was about as perfect as a catcher can be. That's two of the best players ever at the peak of their ability. I can understand arguements that other players were better than Pete during that stretch, but those miss the point.

There are too many internet writers out there who remember the aftershave ads or Pete as a bloated over-rated Phillies firstbasemen spiking the ball laughing into the dugout to watch Mike Schmitt hit another homer, but that was just a shell of the player he was. Notice the picture of Pete in the quoted article is indeed a Phillies picture.

Pete wasn't at his peak during the 1975-76 years with the BRM. Pete's peak was 8 years earlier. That's almost impossible for us to understand, because Pete was an effective (if overated) player for nearly 10 years after the BRM, but Pete's peak was certainly in 68 and 69. He was not just the best player on the team then, he was arguably the best player in the league.

His peak doesn't look like much because offense was seriously depressed in those years and his value was largely in the OPB portion of OPS instead of slugging, but once you adjust for era, Rose probably deserved the MVP in 1968, but well that Gibson fellow over there had a pitchers park and a pitchers era and he was pretty good too. Notice that the baseball guru doesn't include the 60's in his comparison. I'm sure he was daunted by the era adjustment. So, yeah, if you exclude Pete's peak he looks bad next to his younger team-mates. Well, there's a shocker.

You know how old junior looked last year? You know how you see his range vanishing and there are days when his bat looks slow and everything? Pete Rose in 1976 was as old as Junior was last year. Rose went on to play another 10 years. The breadth of Rose's career is just amazing.

Chris Sabo had a decent run. He was an allstar and an effective player. Make Sabo's peak twice as good as it was and then string THREE of his career's together and you have Pete Rose's career.

Johnny Footstool
08-09-2006, 12:06 PM
While I do believe that stats can help you form an opinion. It is fairly obvious, to me at least, that the writer of the blog decided he wanted to prove that Rose was not one of the top 4 BRM members. He then found stats that showed he was right.

Sure, in this particular case, the writer took a stance, then cherry picked stats to back up that stance.

The quote I was addressing insisted that *everybody* uses stats only to affirm their position. That's just not true.

Always Red
08-09-2006, 12:36 PM
...I think the author has a point....He's misguided, but he has a point. If I have to chose and order the BRM players from the team in the mid-70's there simply isn't any way at all that Rose is in the top two. Morgan was godly and Bench was about as perfect as a catcher can be. That's two of the best players ever at the peak of their ability. I can understand arguements that other players were better than Pete during that stretch, but those miss the point.

There are to many internet writers out there who remember the aftershave ads or Pete as a bloated over-rated Phillies firstbasemen spiking the ball laughing into the dugout to watch Mike Schmitt hit another homer, but that was just a shell of the player he was. Notice the picture of Pete in the quoted article is indeed a Phillies picture.

Pete wasn't at his peak during the 1975-76 years with the BRM. Pete's peak was 8 years earlier. That's almost impossible for us to understand, because Pete was an effective (if overated) player for nearly 10 years after the BRM, but Pete's peak was certainly in 68 and 69. He was not just the best player on the team then, he was arguably the best player in the league.

His peak doesn't look like much because offense was seriously depressed in those years and his value was largely in the OPB portion of OPS instead of slugging, but once you adjust for era, Rose probably deserved the MVP in 1968, but well that Gibson fellow over there had a pitchers park and a pitchers era and he was pretty good too. Notice that the baseball guru doesn't include the 60's in his comparison. I'm sure he was daunted by the era adjustment. So, yeah, if you exclude Pete's peak he looks bad next to his younger team-mates. Well, there's a shocker.

You know how old junior looked last year? You know how you see his range vanishing and there are days when his bat looks slow and everything? Pete Rose in 1976 was as old as Junior was last year. Rose went on to play another 10 years. The breadth of Rose's career is just amazing.

Chris Sabo had a decent run. He was an allstar and an effective player. Make Sabo's peak twice as good as it was and then string THREE of his career's together and you have Pete Rose's career.
great points, and a great post:thumbup:

Sea Ray
08-09-2006, 01:07 PM
While I do acknowledge that some people cherry pick stats to support their own position, it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance.

I disagree. There are Redszoners who affirm their stance on players they've never seen play. This is particularly true of judging minor leaguers or draft picks. These "scouting reports" are put together purely by statistical analysis.

princeton
08-09-2006, 01:16 PM
I disagree. There are Redszoners who affirm their stance on players they've never seen play. This is particularly true of judging minor leaguers or draft picks. These "scouting reports" are put together purely by statistical analysis.

princeton is outed

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 01:22 PM
I disagree. There are Redszoners who affirm their stance on players they've never seen play. This is particularly true of judging minor leaguers or draft picks. These "scouting reports" are put together purely by statistical analysis.

Illogical.

If someone has never seen a player play, and they have only that player's statistics in front of them, the data analysis is used to form an opinion about said player's projections.

You can't validate an opinion about something until you first form an opinion about something. That takes information. Good analysis uses information to form logical conclusions that can be supported by the very data used to create the conclusion in the first place.

dabvu2498
08-09-2006, 02:07 PM
dfs -- Good post!

Another way of looking at this might be: If we replaced Pete Rose on the BRM with another 3B who OPSed at .840-.850 and put up other similar numbers to Pete, without Pete's "intangibles," would the BRM have been as successful as they were? If you think so, I'd like to hear that argument.

Were Morgan, Bench, Perez, etc. better ballplayers? Statistics might show that they were. Were their statistical contributions more important than what Pete gave the team in stats and "intangibles." This particular example might be a tough one, since the other guys were discusssing have exceptional "intangibles" as well.

I just really get turned off when discussing ballplayers, especially "historical" ballpalyers, turns into a strictly statistical conversation. That's just me.

I also dislike spinach.

RichRed
08-09-2006, 02:20 PM
I just really get turned off when discussing ballplayers, especially "historical" ballpalyers, turns into a strictly statistical conversation. That's just me.

I also dislike spinach.

Spinach is awesome. So was Pete Rose. But if I had to "draft" players from the BRM, the order for me would be Morgan, Bench (he'd be #1A), Rose, Foster, Perez, Concepcion, Griffey.

Sea Ray
08-09-2006, 02:38 PM
Illogical.

If someone has never seen a player play, and they have only that player's statistics in front of them, the data analysis is used to form an opinion about said player's projections.

You can't validate an opinion about something until you first form an opinion about something. That takes information. Good analysis uses information to form logical conclusions that can be supported by the very data used to create the conclusion in the first place.

Very good. Then we are in agreement that the following is not true from Johnny F:


it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance.

My point is that many do use stats to affirm their stance and I simply used the example of never having seen a player play. As you state, if one has never seen player "A" play, then evaluation of said player is determined by that player's statistics and data analysis. What I don't see is what is illogical.

SeeinRed
08-09-2006, 05:43 PM
Sorry, but that's just plain wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, many of us actually check stats before forming an opinion. Many of us modify our opinions based on what the stats tell us.

While I do acknowledge that some people cherry pick stats to support their own position, it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance.


No, claiming to do the opposite is just plain wrong. BTW, It was error on my part to make it sound like everyone does it all the time, but everyone does it from time to time, even you. You don't always check stats before taking a position, and thats only natural. Human nature creates the bias wether you know its there or not, unless you want to argue that you can look at something with no bias what so ever. Nobody looks at something without a pre-concieved feeling. Nobody. As minimal as it may be, its there.


Mark Twain didn't say that. In his autobiography, published posthumously, Twain attributes the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, possibly in error.

The earliest record of the phrase is that of a 1895 speech by British economist and politician Leonard Henry Courtney (1832-1918) in which Courtney says the following:

"After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote to one another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, 'Lies- damn lies- and statistics', still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of."- Leonard Henry Courtney

Could the "Wise Statesman" have been Disraeli? Maybe, but even Disraeli's biographer (Lord Blake) thinks it unlikely that Disraeli originated the phrase.

What is clear, however, is that Courtney (later Lord Courtney) is mocking the "Wise Statesman" who, in error, dismisses offhand that which he either cannot comprehend or does not care to understand. He's also saying that some arguments are so strong that even the stupid and the sly must concede the point.

And here's the actual passage from Twain's autobiography- in context- that cites the phrase:

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."

When viewed in proper context, Mark Twain is not using the "Lies- damned lies- statistics" argument to debase statistical analysis. What he's saying is that he is quite easily led astry by them, particularly when he tries to use them himself due to a lack of analytical ability. His own words tell us that he felt he wasn't any good at understanding and/or using statistics to draw sensible conclusions.

Twain was, in fact, poking fun at himself and Lord Courtney was poking fun at those who, without a second thought, would dismiss that which they could not and/or cared not to understand or accept.

As for the article? The writer's name might as well be Mark Twain.
__________________

SteelSD, I'm guessing you did some internet checking to find that out. If not, I bow to your knowlege. Yeah, I might have been wrong about the origin of the quote, but the quote does hold true.

I'm also guessing you have some statistical training your background? I would love to hear about it. There is nothing that I enjoy more than Statistics. I'm in my 5th year of college, and I have taken a lot of statistical analysis classes. I'm thinking about going in that direction with my degree. The one thing that I'm absolutely puzzled by is you constantly defending statistics as being undeniably wrong. Every professor I have ever had has always stressed the improtance of not relying on statistics analysis as beein 100% true, and in many cases statistics are flatout misleading. Thats because you can twist statistics to work into your favor in most every case. Statistics can support an argument, but they are by no means the argument ending tool that some people would like you to believe.

vaticanplum
08-09-2006, 06:23 PM
Mark Twain didn't say that. In his autobiography, published posthumously, Twain attributes the phrase to Benjamin Disraeli, possibly in error.

"Ah, Hamlet didn't say that...I think I remember Mel Gibson accurately, and he didn't say that. That Polonius guy did."

(Many deep apologies...I just could not resist that...)

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 07:55 PM
Very good. Then we are in agreement that the following is not true from Johnny F:

No, we are decidedly not in agreement. Johnny said:

"...it's simply not true that people only use stats to affirm their stance."

And he's 100% correct. I'm beginning to think that you don't quite understand what "affirm" means.


My point is that many do use stats to affirm their stance and I simply used the example of never having seen a player play. As you state, if one has never seen player "A" play, then evaluation of said player is determined by that player's statistics and data analysis. What I don't see is what is illogical.

What's illogical is the concept that a statistics-only analysis begins as an affirmation of an opinion when said opinion cannot exist until after the data in analyzed.

SteelSD
08-09-2006, 08:18 PM
SteelSD, I'm guessing you did some internet checking to find that out. If not, I bow to your knowlege.

I knew of the origins of the phrase before yesterday, but why would recency be an issue? If you know something, you know something. When you learned it doesn't matter.


Yeah, I might have been wrong about the origin of the quote, but the quote does hold true.

No. The only truism related to those words is as to how ridiculous it is to carelessly cast aside that which one does not care to understand. The phrase of, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", is garbage logic.


I'm also guessing you have some statistical training your background? I would love to hear about it. There is nothing that I enjoy more than Statistics. I'm in my 5th year of college, and I have taken a lot of statistical analysis classes. I'm thinking about going in that direction with my degree. The one thing that I'm absolutely puzzled by is you constantly defending statistics as being undeniably wrong. Every professor I have ever had has always stressed the improtance of not relying on statistics analysis as beein 100% true, and in many cases statistics are flatout misleading. Thats because you can twist statistics to work into your favor in most every case. Statistics can support an argument, but they are by no means the argument ending tool that some people would like you to believe.

Your math professors and I would agree. Statistical analysis, while it may strive to be 100% accurate, will never actually be 100% accurate. But that's not the point. The point is that the world isn't black and white. 2% wrong is not "100% wrong". Neither is 10%, 20%, or 40%. There are degrees of right and wrong. What we look to be is more right more often. I'd suggest that you may be misinterpreting what your professors are telling you. They're warning you. It's a good warning. But it's not a blanket statement that any wrong equals 100% wrong.

People can use statistics to misrepresent truth. It's far better for one to know their stuff in order to avoid being duped. But the interesting thing is that the folks with the most analytical knowledge on this board are also the least likely to attempt snake oil sales. The folks most likely to mistake truth for fiction and pass it along to you are those who know enough to be dangerous but not enough that they're able to identify possible holes in their positions before they take them.

Stats don't lie unless we let them.

Sea Ray
08-10-2006, 01:13 AM
What's illogical is the concept that a statistics-only analysis begins as an affirmation of an opinion when said opinion cannot exist until after the data in analyzed.

Said opinion can definitely exist before the data is analyzed where sports are concerned. I can form an opinion of Ryan Freel as a player by watching him on TV, taking into account his hustle, foot speed, bat speed and defensive prowess. Then my opinion of him would be more complete if I also studied his stats.

SeeinRed
08-10-2006, 11:54 AM
I knew of the origins of the phrase before yesterday, but why would recency be an issue? If you know something, you know something. When you learned it doesn't matter.

It is the same as you attacking my original post by trying to undermine the validity of a quote. You tried to attack my credibility by showing something I said was not reasearched. Yeah, I didn't research it, I stated it like my professor did because I liked the quote. I contend that it is just as petty to do what I did, as it is to reasearch, or make a comment about a quote just to try and make me look like an idiot. I actually didn't, and still neccessarily believe you learned about that before it was brought up by me, or in a similar situation.



No. The only truism related to those words is as to how ridiculous it is to carelessly cast aside that which one does not care to understand. The phrase of, "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", is garbage logic. The earliest record of the phrase is that of a 1895 speech by British economist and politician Leonard Henry Courtney (1832-1918) in which Courtney says the following:

"After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote to one another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, 'Lies- damn lies- and statistics', still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of."- Leonard Henry Courtney

He is just sayin that all statistics are not lies. He doesn't say that all statistics are truth. Which is what I've been saying all along, even though my emphasis has been on them being wrong, or misused some of the time. Its funny how when I bring it up some people automatically take offense to it. Somebody always attacks what I say and defends their own usage of statistics. I never pointed anyone out, and to be quite truthful, I find most of your post quite logical, and quite informitive, even though I might not agree. Its the fact that you feel you have to defend yourself that bothers me. I understand statistics. I understand them well. Mostly what bothers me is the fact that people misuse them to prove a point. People think that they can use statistics to prove a point, but in reality, statistics are supposed to be used to form an opinion. Some people do that sometimes, but everyone misuses statistics from time to time. Even me, and even you. Its just human nature to try and argue the point you believe wether you are right or wrong.



Your math professors and I would agree. Statistical analysis, while it may strive to be 100% accurate, will never actually be 100% accurate. But that's not the point. The point is that the world isn't black and white. 2% wrong is not "100% wrong". Neither is 10%, 20%, or 40%. There are degrees of right and wrong. What we look to be is more right more often. I'd suggest that you may be misinterpreting what your professors are telling you. They're warning you. It's a good warning. But it's not a blanket statement that any wrong equals 100% wrong.

People can use statistics to misrepresent truth. It's far better for one to know their stuff in order to avoid being duped. But the interesting thing is that the folks with the most analytical knowledge on this board are also the least likely to attempt snake oil sales. The folks most likely to mistake truth for fiction and pass it along to you are those who know enough to be dangerous but not enough that they're able to identify possible holes in their positions before they take them.

Stats don't lie unless we let them.


Just so you know, I have had many discussions with many of my professors about just this. I don't think I've misunderstand the points of the argument. Your exact argument above is why the quote that you so enthusiastically protest exists. Statistics are a tool to find and answer, not an answer. Statistics give you a chance to find the outcome that is most likely to happen, not the outcome that will happen. That is where statistics are misused. That is where statistics lie. Statistics lie when used as the no questions asked end result, the end all answer. Some people know how to use them, and they use them right most of the time, like you. Other people don't know how to use them, but use them anyway. That is where I have a problem with statistics. Unless you have had a lot of training in statistics, or have studied them endlessly, you really shouldn't use them to make an argument. Statistics aren't simple. There is more than one way to interpret them.

You know, I fully expected you to be the one to argue this post SteelSD. I remember the Ups and Downs of Randomness thread. I have nothing but respect for you even though I disagree with you some of the time.I say that mainly for other people who think there may be hard feelings from this argument, but it is still truth. I would still like to know your statistics background. I'm not being sarcastic about that. I'm really interested in changing my direction in college to something more statistics based. You can message me if you don't want to put it here, but I would really like to hear.

Rex Argos
08-10-2006, 12:05 PM
I hate it when a thread gets started with a simple question, and it turns into a philosophical p!ssin' match. Why can't some of you simply rank your top five?

Always Red
08-10-2006, 12:41 PM
I hate it when a thread gets started with a simple question, and it turns into a philosophical p!ssin' match. Why can't some of you simply rank your top five?
Semper ubi sub ubi

What a great site!- yesterday we had a classical reference to Herculean labors, and today a Latin reference admonishing one to always wear underwear. Kind of Latin graffiti; I learned that one back in HS a long time ago; thanks for the memory!:D

You miss a day, you miss a lot around here!

OK: not may order of favorite BRM'ers, but the ones I think were the BEST:

1.Bench
2.Morgan
3.Rose
4.Perez
5.Concepcion

SteelSD
08-10-2006, 01:08 PM
It is the same as you attacking my original post by trying to undermine the validity of a quote. You tried to attack my credibility by showing something I said was not reasearched. Yeah, I didn't research it, I stated it like my professor did because I liked the quote. I contend that it is just as petty to do what I did, as it is to reasearch, or make a comment about a quote just to try and make me look like an idiot. I actually didn't, and still neccessarily believe you learned about that before it was brought up by me, or in a similar situation.

You're taking things too personally. And yes, I did research on that quote a while ago after a someone else used it. Other common mistruths I've argued somewhere at some point:

"Speed never slumps"
"Perception is reality"

I have extreme dislike for convenient absolutism positioned as intuitive truth. Everything's relative.


He is just sayin that all statistics are not lies. He doesn't say that all statistics are truth. Which is what I've been saying all along, even though my emphasis has been on them being wrong, or misused some of the time. Its funny how when I bring it up some people automatically take offense to it. Somebody always attacks what I say and defends their own usage of statistics. I never pointed anyone out, and to be quite truthful, I find most of your post quite logical, and quite informitive, even though I might not agree. Its the fact that you feel you have to defend yourself that bothers me. I understand statistics. I understand them well. Mostly what bothers me is the fact that people misuse them to prove a point. People think that they can use statistics to prove a point, but in reality, statistics are supposed to be used to form an opinion. Some people do that sometimes, but everyone misuses statistics from time to time. Even me, and even you. Its just human nature to try and argue the point you believe wether you are right or wrong.

Just so you know, I have had many discussions with many of my professors about just this. I don't think I've misunderstand the points of the argument. Your exact argument above is why the quote that you so enthusiastically protest exists. Statistics are a tool to find and answer, not an answer. Statistics give you a chance to find the outcome that is most likely to happen, not the outcome that will happen. That is where statistics are misused. That is where statistics lie. Statistics lie when used as the no questions asked end result, the end all answer. Some people know how to use them, and they use them right most of the time, like you. Other people don't know how to use them, but use them anyway. That is where I have a problem with statistics. Unless you have had a lot of training in statistics, or have studied them endlessly, you really shouldn't use them to make an argument. Statistics aren't simple. There is more than one way to interpret them.

Well, other than on rather large detail, we actually agree. The gap is that statistics don't lie, but poor analysis can trick us. And I believe we agree that understanding how to properly interpret the data is the key to not being tricked. The only shield we have against being tricked is our knowledge.

The best use of "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is as a constant reminder to not be tricked (i.e. "question everything"). But I think we both know that the most common use of the phrase, unfortunately, is anything but that.


You know, I fully expected you to be the one to argue this post SteelSD. I remember the Ups and Downs of Randomness thread. I have nothing but respect for you even though I disagree with you some of the time.I say that mainly for other people who think there may be hard feelings from this argument, but it is still truth. I would still like to know your statistics background. I'm not being sarcastic about that. I'm really interested in changing my direction in college to something more statistics based. You can message me if you don't want to put it here, but I would really like to hear.

Respect back at'cha. As for my background...

Like you, I was first exposed to statistical analysis in college. I've been using high-level statistical analysis for years in sales and marketing. I've also worked in risk management for a large financial institution and have developed high-level analytics to help keep the Federal Reserve off their back come audit time. The interesting thing is that I'm actually more creative than I am analytical in nature. That probably benefits me because it allows me to think globally while being able to to bring order to chaos. I'm actually more often asked to develop analytical systems than to simply analyze data at this point.

And I was a latecomer to statistical analysis as it relates to baseball. I began researching sabermetrics because I ended up on the wrong side of a lot of debates.

And math is probably in the genes. My ability to use metrics pales in comparison to my younger sister; who's studied in Budapest, Hungary multiple times and is currently being paid to go to grad school to study actuarial science and theoretical math. My younger brother is going to be starting medical school this fall and his primary interest is diagnostics.

If you're looking to swing more toward a statistical analysis discipline, I might suggest actuarial science. It's a solid field that also happens to pay exceptionally well. That's a bonus.