Sports' statistical debris piling up
I was watching a regular-season baseball game on TV the other night -- granted, it was a stupid thing to do and I'm already paying the price -- when the following piece of data streamed across my screen:
You could've knocked my socks off with that one, except I was already barefoot and drinking PBR out of a can.
The Helton factoid is what I would call statistical debris.
In the old days, a garbage truck would come by twice a week to haul that stuff away, but nowadays this sporting trash is piled up so high so often, it's too costly to dispose of on a regular basis. And so it is heaped into our living rooms and we must learn to live with it, like an evil mother-in-law who's moved in indefinitely.
For years, ESPN has led the statistical avalanche. But it has plenty of company now. The
(I have another problem with the
Geez, using that theory, the Washington Nationals should be undefeated, no?
Baseball remains the biggest sports-by-numbers perpetrator. ESPN litters the baseball screen with updated, situational numbers on every pitch -- with a magnifying glass, you can figure out how a hitter does better when the count is 2-0 rather than 0-2. Speaking of which, I read the other day that the Dodgers have increased their "pitches per plate appearance" from 3.63 in 2007 to 3.81 in 2008 to 3.96 in 2009, which puts them second in the majors.
Here's an actual sentence from a recent
"...a low 5.2 strikeout rate and 1.6 K/BB ratio are worrisome. His .260 BA-BIP and 84 percent strand rate are both primed for regression. Jurrjens' 5.03 xERA is nearly three runs higher than his actual ERA, an ominous indicator."
Heck, I'm scared.
Okay, folks, here's a stat for you:
Nobody gets out alive. Nobody. So enjoy it while you can, and I'll see ya 6.0 feet under.