28 September 2010

The Red Sox have been mathematically eliminated

The Red Sox have been mathematically eliminated. For everyone who had earlier deemed them eliminated, congratualtions you're so fucking prescient and smart! You really did know that they were not going to make it when they lost that one particular game! You knew it, buddy!

This has been the single most frustrating thing this season. I can understand when a typical fan does this, but it's pretty infuriating when supposed experts--journalists, tv analysts, former players--do it. For everyone who made confident claims that the Red Sox were out of contention at point x in the season, no one offered a compelling reason of why they were sure of this. No one in the mainstream media did the simple analysis of looking historically at how many teams have come back from an n game deficit with m games remaining. Have only 5% of teams made it? Then maybe I can be confident about your confidence! Instead they tend to focus on the abstract and the unprovable: they just don't look like champions and they know this because they played the game.

These people are supposed to be experts, but an expert cannot just confidently make a claim and have it automatically be true. The statistical reasoning is neither difficult nor wacky, but the supposed experts would rather base their claims off of personal experience that is undoubtedly tinged by bias. It's obviously that these people are not the true experts, yet they're the voices you hear on the tv or the radio. They are hard to escape.

These sham experts and their under-supported claims really do make baseball hard to watch. At least to me, it's way more frustrating than the fact that the team I root for has been eliminated!

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