Monday, April 7, 2008

Chance vrs. Skill


Much as I hate to bring up baseball, especially with the Tigers in a losing streak, but chance rules all short series.

According to baseball statistician Pete Palmer the average difference in major league baseball due to skill is about 1 run per game. This plays out against a background of 4 runs per game due to chance. Over time skill rules.

But oh, in a short series or a single game, well, anything can, and will happen.

In a 5 game series (again according to Palmer) the "worst" team in the major leagues will beat the "best" team 15% of the time.

So, in the playoffs, with two relatively evenly matched teams, well, superstition rules! May the luckiest team win.

Does this mean that the Patriots may have been better than the Giants after all?

(Yes, I used to be a baseball stat geek. I bought Bill James abstract every year. Note to Jamesian nay-sayers... It took Bill James joining the Red Sox organization to finally break the curse of the Bambino.)

So, I recommend trying new activities. You never know when chance may lead you straight into something wonderful.

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