has some wrap-up thoughts on baseball, now that the World Series just finished the season.
This number, 13.3% is not a number that represents anything to an engineer, except frustration regarding the pure lack of logic of some baseball stats. While watching a playoff game recently, a player was batting and a guy was on second base. The announcers stated that this player got hits 13.3% of the time that a runner was in scoring position. That is all well and good, and, as an engineer, I appreciate statistics which break down the game and explore different facets of the odds. They could have broken that statistic down for the player to dissect his hitting percent against left- and right-handed pitchers, outdoors versus domed stadiums, at night or in day games, in his first or second or third at bat, if he had a fielding error in the previous ten games or not, or whether they were playing on real or artificial turf. That kind of examination is fascinating to explore.

However, the guy at second only got there after the count was 2-1, by stealing second. The announcers didn’t talk about that. They didn’t state was this guy’s hitting percent was with men in scoring position but only getting there by stealing a base part-way through the batter’s at-bat which would obviously skew the hitting percent seeing as that he would have less opportunities to get a hit.

Here they are, and by “they” I mean the baseball “people”, with all these statistics and they fail to completely inform us of the true odds of what will about to take place. Disappointing? Most definitely. But, I will be OK. Baseball season is over and now I watch football. Which brings me to some illogical statistics from this past weekend…