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  1. #1
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Guelph, ON


    A follow up to other discussion taking place:

    Regarding the whole intuition/opinion vs. stats/etc. discussion and how those sorts of topics can lead to tension and frustration, I think there's give on both sides. There's also an arrogance on both sides that can cause tension.

    It's important for the intuition/opinion side to understand that if they make claims of fact, that those things will likely be analyzed. Certain things are clearly opinion; "I like Narron", "I think we should trade Junior", etc. But if you post "Ryan Freel is more productive than Adam Dunn", you should understand that many people on the board are going to want to understand more clearly what you mean by production, how you measure it, and how you are making the assessment that Freel is better at it. Just because you honestly "feel" that there is a fire in the theater doesn't mean you are free from any repercussions of stating the claim. Yes, you shouldn't be called an idiot or treated with disrespect, but don't confuse disagreement (particularly disagreement backed with supporting evidence) as disrespect. Unfortunately I think these two are often confused.

    At the end of the day it's about intellectual honesty and the tone of presentation. Any stats reliant post/poster should clearly state the assumptions, limitations, etc. (if they are not widely understood already). The stats should not be presented as absoulute greater truth, but merely a presentation of evidence to a claim. I've found that people will often read statistical based arguments and perceive VERY different tones dependign on their experience and comfort. Some people need a clear presentation of the caveats, that the author doesn't think he/she is God, or else it comes across as snooty, arrogant and condescending. Others assume that the author is aware the limitations of the argument being presented and assume he's simply not going through the full process of spelling out every little assumption for the sake of time and being concise. Perhaps the stats crowd should be a bit more sensitive to this. Likewise, the stats crowd should let some sleeping dogs lie. Do we really need to prove that Adam Dunn is actually a quite productive every time somebody complains about a strikeout or his low batting average?

    The flip side of the coin is that the non-stats people should also understand that any claim of truth begs evidence beyond "I feel..." or "I think...". If you state "I feel like Ryan Freel is a more productive player than Adam Dunn", you should realize that you've stated an opinion about something which can be measured. That isn't to say than any given measurement technique is right. There are different definitions of "productive" and different ways of measuring it, but just as you are entitled to your own measurement technique, your gut, your eyes, or an opinion of somebody whom you trust, so the number crunchers are entitled to theirs.

    People define things differently. People have greater confidence in different systems of measurement. However, everybody is entitled to share their perspectives in a respectful environment. Disagreement is not disrespect. Go ahead and assume that every post you read starts with "I might be wrong, but..." People aren't going to caveat their opinion every time. A lot of the feelings of being condescended to are likely born out of a misinterpretation of tone rather than actual arrogance. A little benefit of the doubt goes a long way.

    Anyways, just trying to throw this out there. There's been a lot of talk about what we'd like this board to be from a 30,000 foot perspective. But it takes everybody's effort, one post at a time, to really create the sort of environment we want.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-17-2007 at 02:54 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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