Friday, May 29, 2009

Bad baseball

I'm not a sabermatrician by any stretch of the imagination. I think hardcore mathematical analysis of baseball can improve our understanding of the game, but most sabermetric analyses I see make the numerical fallacy, as I call it.

The fallacy is moving from the importance of numerical analysis to the belief that only things that can be analyzed numerically matter.

Watching the Nationals play against my Phillies reminds me of this

I don't know what numerical analysis can capture the sheer ineptitude of this team. They're just ugly to watch, and I don't mean they aren't handsome people. I mean the way they play baseball is aesthetically offensive. Seeing Adam Dunn throw an empty hand toward the infield after stumbling back to the wall and failing to make a catch. This is just not pretty, and there has to be an effect on the results. Even someone who knows nothing about baseball needes to watch only a few innings of this team before they realize that this is not a good ball club.

And until sabermatricians are able to capture these inherently non-numerical factors into consideration, their understanding of the game will always be incomplete.

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