I honestly don't know why I cause people to do what they do. Sure I'm schizo; sure I like to provoke; but what's the expression these days: asymmetrical warfare? Something like that. anyhow, the response is just way out of kilter to whatever the original offense may or may not have been.
To wit: Baseball girl jumped into the fray twice recently: yesterday and today. Yesterday she said that my belief is that randomness does not play "any" role in baseball results. her word, not mine. Today she said that I refuse to believe at all in standard deviation or randomness.
Both statements could not, of course, be further from the truth. But for some reason she felt obliged to participate and make this flat lie. I can only conclude that she really didn't pay attention to the debate and the many times I cited randomness as a factor; or that she did and either didn't understand it or chose to disregard it; or that she simply enjoys insulting me, whether being truthful or not.
This is the kind of pile-on behavior that makes this site so much less than it should. (She made one funny repast at how I was ignoring "hundreds and hundreds" of years of scientific analysis-- I am currently trying to contact the heirs of Newton, Galileo and Copernicus to make an appropriate apology)
Professor Nico-- our other mathametics emeritus professor-- of course,couldn't resist, so he weighed in with his own putdown. saying the reason I am not "ever" right (his word, not mine) was that I didn't understand "standard deviation" and that I simply looked at two weeks of performance then assumed something would change in the next two weeks. Again this insult could not be further from the truth-- since the entire debate that produced the various arguments concerned two months of Marco Scutaro results, not two weeks.
And as to the claim that I am not "ever" right, well again that's a flat out lie. I have been wrong plenty of times.. but just this year I have been right about Zito, about Scutaro, about the Minnesota Twins (check out what a bunch of folks said about their offense about a month ago or so, and what I said, and realize who has been right as the Twins offense continues to be the most prolific in the league for over two months now), and about the basic likelihood that the A's who weer badly slumping would, by and large, turn their seasons around.
But this is not surprising coming from someone who went out of his away to brand me idiotic, masochistic, etc... the other day (and when this time I, obviously partly in jest, called him a "Blowhard"-- wow is that a horrendous insult-- his partner in crime, baseball girl, immediately chimed in and said that was a CGV. What are these people thinking?? Wow, that is disoproportionate response if I've ever seen it!
Anyhow, again I assume Nico is either misinformed, has let his ardor to attack me get in the way of the facts, or, i fear more accurately, doesn't give a you-know-what about the truth and prefers to lead the charge against a familiar target.
So let me get us to the point, for one last time.
Does anyone here disagree that the most fundamental factor that drives baseball performance is baseball ability? If not, my grandmother could have hit .300 in the bigs.
Koufax is better than Jamie Moyer not because of standard deviation or randomness, but because of ability.
Now.... does anyone also challenge the view that players are not automatons? That sometimes in their careers-- like we in our jobs, or our personal lives-- they perform better or worse than their norm-- not mainly because of some mathematical theory or pure luck-- but because they are simply better or worse then.
Now.. if you accept the two premises above, then you must also recognize that the "esablished level of performance"-- the so-called "true" level-- of a given player in the major leagues has been the result of his own ability as well as luck, randomness, the opposition, etc. And that the impact his ability has had in determining that true level has not always been constant. In other words he has undoubtedly had slumps where his eyesight was off, his swing was screwed up, his approach was faulty, whatever. And streaks where he performed at or near his peak.
So all I have ever said is that given this element in a player's toolbox-- along with luck, randomness, etc..-- if he slumps again, which could be the product-- either partly or mostly-- of some failure on his part-- his track recoprd and indeed human nature suggests that it will be corrected at some point by a better stretch of ability. So it has been.. so it will be.
AND IF THAT IS TRUE THEN IT IS UNASSAILABLY LOGICAL TO ASSUME THAT WHEN A PLAYER HAS AN ABERRANT BEGINNING TO A SEASON-- LASTING TWO MONTHS OR MORE-- THAT THAT SAME PLAYER WILL IN FACT BE MORE LIKELY TO HIT "BETTER" OR "WORSE" THAN HIS "TRUE LEVEL" OF PERFORMANCE IN THE NEXT STRETCH OF GAMES THAN HE IS TO CONTINUE TO HIT IN THE ABERRANT DIRECTION.
this does not mean that I believe the 200 hitting will be followed by 400 hitting for a 300 hitter. But it does mean that I believe it more likely that the 200 hitting will be followed by 320 than 280. And this is not a one day, one week, two week thing-- but in fact a longer stretch vs. a longer stretch-- within a given season.
and i guarantee with as much power as I have in this world that if and when someone runs the numbers-- corrects for rookies and aging bets to whom "true levels" are hard to assess-- that I will be proved right.
That doesn't mean randomenss, standard deviation, or any other statistical factor doesn't play a role. Of course it does. But you can't take human performance out of the equation.
And of course it is entirely consistent with the dictum we all want Beane to follow and all of us who have played rotisserie baseball have learned to respect: "Buy Low / Sell High"