Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kidding around: the three levels of Rock

I first really got to know Kid Rock on a random weekend during my junior year of college in Madison. It was Saturday, there was weather, and we didn’t have anything better more fun to do so me and my roommates were drinking beer and grilling brats in the backyard we shared with our neighbors. I don’t really remember who, why, or how it happened, but “Cowboy” came over the iPod that was furnishing the soundtrack to our cookout. It’s not like everything stopped, but I think we all had a moment not unlike the first time you drink a beer out of a pink lawn flamingo. It might not make a lick of sense, but it’s awesome nonetheless. For the rest of college that song remained our anthem. It had all the right ingredients: it was badass, it sounded good, and we were the only ones on the block that knew it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

More fun with binomial stats: Dunn, Davis, and Anderson

I mentioned in my last post that it is possible to use binomial theorem to compare player statistics year-to-year (between any two samples actually) and assess whether a player’s current numbers are in line with previous performance or well beyond our expectations, indicating that something – a new mental approach, a lingering injury, a mechanical adjustment – has changed and substantially affected his or her abilities.

Since it’s fun* and easy,** let's apply this to a few more cases and see what we can see.

*You bet your sweet ass it’s fun.
**Again, see my previous post for a slightly more detailed explanation of just what we’re up to here.

The new Gordon Beckham: binomial statistics for baseball

Watching the White Sox this year has been awful.* I have to imagine Robin Ventura wants to do this pretty much every  night. Through the end of May the Sox were hanging around .500 and then the wheels just fell off. It’s ok to lose to Detroit or Texas, but to get swept by the Cubs and Twins or drop three of four to the 4A team that is Houston** is just…ugh.

*In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve stopped watching.
** Seriously, a league-average major league player puts up about 2 WAR in a given year. The Astros have 6 players total (4 position, 2 pitchers) on pace to even sniff that mark this year. That team is baaaaaaad.