Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Long-Awaited Sequel to $%*# the Heck!

Courtesy of your friend and mine, Ed Hardiman

I lied. Ed Hardiman is not my friend. He is a douche. He is a douche that should have all of his writings e-burned. He should have made like that mysterious 3rd sibling on Family Matters and disappeared into the pornography business after several seasons of providing absolutely no value to anyone. But no, he writes on. And therefore, so do I. I apologize, but this post is a little outdated (let's pretend the World Series hasn't happened yet! shhhhh).

Look the simple fact is nobody really knows who will win the World Series though the bookies pretty much say it will be the Red Sox faster than you can say Yorvit Torrealba.

Because the bookies have absolutely no interest in preventing their gamblers from making abnormal returns on their bets, I'm going to assume that their belief was completely arbitrary.

While slobbering SABR devotees are busy rounding up archaic theorems and equations to hyper-complicate the observable we can dispense with all that twaddle by pointing out when you call inaccurate predictions "over or under performance" you've essentially found a harder way to avoid admitting you were flat out wrong.

I'm starting to think Hardiman is aware of this blog somehow. He fixed his problem of spelling it "SABER", and I remember deriding him for that when he said some really stupid things about sabermetrics.

Spot on again, Ed. Over and under performance are completely illegitimate concepts, because there is absolutely no luck whatsoever in determining where a ball lands when someone swings a bat at a very fast speed trying to hit a ball traveling at a very fast speed, often with unexpected movement.

Nope here at the Fowl Line we use the soundest of all predictors, SWAG. Scientific Wild BLEEP Guessing is the bedrock of advancement in all fields of human endeavor. Considered only slightly less accurate than currency flipping, SWAG allows us to synthesize all the available data into an actionable conclusion.

I can only assume that the "A" stands for "Ass". Shouldn't it be hyphenated to "Wild", or like, attached to the end of it a la "wildass" or something? You know what, fuck it. No benefit of the doubt. It's tied to "guessing". Ed is describing a new thing called "Ass-Guessing". Wild Ass Guessing.....just doesn't click, does it?

What happens next, I have no answer for. It makes less sense than anything I've ever read in my life.

Take for example milk. At some point somebody asked the question, what would happen if we BLEEP ed on one of those udders? Their dumb as a bag of flint arrowheads buddy ended up getting gored by a bull after filling his mouth with warm milk. The bull of course was the 1st example of "cannot be determined from evidence given" which is a whole other blog.

Anyone want to try to decipher that? Anyone?

The World Series comes down to one simple question. Can a team playing at sea level beat a team that doesn't? Thanks to the All Star game we can answer that question in the affirmative. Yep, that useless as a third pinkie exercise in mid-season dullness provides us with all the information we need to have a 50% chance of being correct. The Red Sox will prevail by winning four games and the Rockies will win slightly less. This of course doesn't preclude the Rockies from winning the Series.

There are two options here.

1) Ed is being serious, and really feels like the winner of the All-Star Game has a bearing on the World Series. If this is the case, he's excited to announce that if we take it into consideration, we now have a 50% chance of being correct, or the same as just flipping a coin.
2) (more likely) Ed is joking about the All-Star Game being important, and claiming that using it we can have a 50% chance of being right, or no improvement over a random guess. Wasn't there some sort of big deal about the All-Star Game starting to count for something at some point in recent years?

That's the beauty of SWAG it leaves loopholes big enough to drive a Hummer through. Plus you can run other SWAG simulations like; who has the most foreign born players, the Red Sox have 9, the Rockies 7. Or you can do it by coolest name and there the Rockies Yorvit Torrealba edges Daisuke Matsuzaka by a hair.

Now I'm positive that Ed has no clue the All-Star game affects the World Series. He just compared it to picking a favorite by counting foreign-born players. Also Daisuke Matsuzaka has a better name than Torrealba.

There's also a SWAG cuisine angle you could use, unfortunately Rocky Mountain Oysters will never be as tasty as Boston's Oyster House Clam Chowder. You could go by mascots, the Rockies mascot is a dinosaur named "Dinger" while Boston's mascot is the cryogenically frozen head of Ted Williams, once again its advantage Sox…

Is there a SWAG Team OPS+/ERA+ angle or SWAG league-translated record angle or SWAG Pythagenport record angle we could use? I mean clearly, like those other methods, we're just ass-guessing here, and wildly so. I just like them better because they sound outrageously cool. There's no way to actually pick a favorite.

No matter how you slice it SWAG will get you to as a good a guess as any other system.

It will get you just as good a guess as:

1) Sleeping
2) Eating a Hamburger
3) Watching that episode of Home Improvement where the boys have to stay overnight at Al's house.
4) Playing a pickup basketball game.
5) Reading Lord of the Flies

Things it will not get you just as good a guess as:

1) Knowing one random stat about a player on either team
or
2) Vaguely paying attention to the game of baseball. My mother, who in November is still rooting for the Chicago Cubs to lose baseball games they aren't even playing, could tell you that the Red Sox were favored. People who hate baseball, and don't pay attention to it at all knew.

So drop the slide rules, break out an ice cold Bladderweiser® and enjoy the Series. I'll be covering the game from the press box and you know what? When the Series is over I'll mumble to myself, "I knew it all along…"

Nope. Fuck you. I sat through the World Series recalculating the odds on my computer of each team winning it all after every pitch. I ate prunes and listened to "White and Nerdy" on repeat thanks to YouTube during the games. It was one of the saddest times of my life seeing that 99.99834% chance for the Red Sox turn to 100%.

19 comments:

Jeff said...

"While slobbering SABR devotees are busy rounding up archaic theorems and equations "

Sabermetrics = archaic? Vorp = archaic. What is RBI? New age?

That makes zero fucking sense.

pnoles said...

True! Very nice catch.

Ed Hardiman said...

This is your best yet, keep up the good work. I'll bet you guys would be really good at running one of those conspiracy websites...

eriz said...

you dorks are headed WARP speed to nerd zone. Put down your FRAApuccinos and realize that math geeks like you will never bag the hotties (like I do) with your VORPs and OPS.

Jeff said...

Holy shit this is terrible:

http://community.foxsports.com/blogs/edhardiman/2007/11/07/Schillings_Other_Bonuses_Stun_MLB2

Wow.

pnoles said...

1) True, Jeff. That is a very miserable thing.

pnoles said...

Not sure why I numbered that comment 1)

Ed Hardiman said...

Jeff said...

Holy shit this is terrible:

pnoles said...

1) True, Jeff. That is a very miserable thing.

Not sure why I numbered that comment 1)

I've read just about everything you've scribbled and quite frankly this is a letdown, no vitriol, rage, or fury, come on guys, don't dial it in -your fans deserve better. I'm also surprised you don't answer your email.

larry b said...

Relax, Edward. Give us more than 9 hours in the middle of the night to do so. You'll get a response. Go keep yourself busy by coming up with some more clever acronyms and maybe the next time you check your email we'll have put something in there.

Ed Hardiman said...

Thanks Lawrence, you do that. Of course other than crass invective what would you really have to say? There's the rub when dealing with a one-trick pony. What I have noticed is all of you have a penchant for envious pissing and moaning about something none of you do very well and certainly aren't paid to do. Then again for your ilk obscene ranting might pass as genuine criticism. I believe none of you could withstand any criticism whatsoever because you are spoiled, immature, arrogant whelps. Do you need me to acronymize this? While I've thoroughly enjoyed my last visit to your deservedly obscure blog I would encourage all of you to read Lord of the Flies and see if it doesn't resonate...

pnoles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pnoles said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that last comment wasn't the REAL Hardy-man

larry b said...

I'm 99% sure that was my roommate. Ardy, stop impersonating bad quasi-journalists.

Ed Hardiman said...

Now I'm being cloned in the comments column? If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

I replied to your email Larry, like I said I take no prisoners with the targets I choose why should you guys be any different. Best of luck.

dan-bob said...

What is going on here?

pnoles said...

Ed, I think you should hear a few things. In that prior comment, there should be a sentence break after "Larry", a comma after "said", a transition word between "choose" and "why" (perhaps something like the word "so" would fit the bill), and a question mark, not a period, after "different".

I actually figured all of that out by submitting your sentence into this grammar program I created on my computer which I worked for 10 straight Friday and Saturday nights.

Welcome to the blog dan-bob! We here at Fire Jay Mariotti specialize in angrily criticizing bad members of the sports media!

pnoles said...

Ugh, pnoles, take a bite of your own medicine and put the word "on" between "worked" and "for".

larry b said...

Dan is our own little Matthew Murbles.

Ed Hardiman said...

pnoles,
At least you call the same strike zone for yourself. Keep up the good work.