I've been thinking a lot about stats latley. If you don't like posts that are train of thought type disertations then save yourself the two minutes and move on.
These are just some of my thoughts about stats. It's not a rant against stats, an argument that we should ignore stats or an attept to put them down. If you are going to read this and then tell me how unobjective I am and I don't understand how probablity works then you've missed the point I'm trying to make.
I've been thinking latley why my hackles are raised when someone rips off a list of stats about baseball. Why does that bug me? There's nothing wrong with stats...in fact, it's an important part of achiving baseball sucess.
I think part of my resistance to "stats" is rooted in a desire to maintain the magic of the game. I don't want to boil it all down to a mechanincal explination of "1 + 1 = 2". I don't want to spend hours pouring over an array of numbers that explain why player A is sucessfull and player B isn't. I don't want to try to put the game in a neat and tidy box with a bow on top. I don't want the game to be cut and dried.
I spend every day of my working existance trying to boil complex sales situations into mechanical expliantions, pouring over an array of numbers to explain why sales are doing A,B and/or C and tying to sum up my profession in a neat and tidy box. Baseball is....a form of entertainment and the greatest game on the planet.
I want to watch a baseball game and feal that the batter can launch a fastball into the RF seats for a game winning homer and I don't want someone to rattle off that the probability of this happening, durring the day, against lefthanders on teams that start with the letter C is only 13.48%.
I want to absorb the magic of a double play without having to do the mental gymnastics to calucate whether if the 2B was moved to SS if it would increase the percentage chances for double plays to increase by 3.4%.
I want to see a pitcher reach back for a little extra something and fool the batter and make them look silly. I don't care that their K/9 has increased over the past week and their VORP is up .34%.
I want to shut my eyes and imagine what it would be like if Koufax was on the mound instead of Milton and how amazing it would be to see just one pitch of his. I don't care that the current batter has a 27.56% OPS vs righthanders.
When I walk into the ballpark I want to leave the cut and dried business of life behind and be absorbed in baseball. It's entertainment that I enjoy. Stats are a tool I use in my working life. Never shall the two meet.
I took 5 quarters of stats at university. I use them daily in my working life. They are a great tool for understanding baseball and achieving more success if used properally. I'm glad we have tallented people like Cyclone here to do the hard work of crunching numbers and presenting the data. But when I watch baseball I want to feel like a little kid at the ballpark with my father for the first time enjoying the wonder of the sport, not be trying to break it down to it's last mathmatical equations.
Just some crazy ramblings of the weird stuff that goes on in my brain.