Mixing baseball and politics

Yankee news, brought to you by Captain Obvious
Much ado about Pavano

It takes quite the rumor or article for us to link to the dreaded New York tabloids. So you know that when we direct you to the Daily News, it’s for good reason. Reader Larry (whom you might remember from this guest post) sends in an article about Baseball Prospectus’s Nate Silver. It’s a nice look at the guy behind PECOTA projections, as well as the mastermind of FiveThirtyEight.com, a popular electoral projection site which gets a million visitors a day. Give it a read. It’s well worth the look at his theory of projection.

Yankee news, brought to you by Captain Obvious
Much ado about Pavano
  • http://salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    What I dont understand is that none of the polling agencies take into account the sample that they are using. I work in polling myself and I know firsthand that certain demographics/parties are more apt to complete surveys than others. Why is that not realized? You can guess who I’m eluding to.

    • radnom

      They do realize this and try to get more accurate demographics, but you just hit on one of the hardest aspects of polling.

      The emergence of new technologies (cell phones, internet) just further complicates things.

  • radnom

    In terms of statistics, advanced polling and baseball are both interesting cases, and both are areas statisticians are very interested in. Statistical analysis in both is still far from perfect which is why its such an interesting field.

    Five thirty eight is a great site by the way, i’ve been there a lot over the past few months.

    For another mix of sports and politics check out what the candidates had to say on Monday Night Football…

    I’ve always been in favor of a college football playoff system, and you really can’t argue against stopping performance enhancing drugs…even if that was a safe answer….

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      I thought McCain was going to say that he was going to do everything in his power to punish those boys from the White Sox who conspired with gamblers to throw the World Series…

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        John McCain is excellent at Rounders.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          John McCain was an all-star for the Sinaloa Tigers in Ulama. Before that he starred in an early version of the Mesoamerican Ballgame, playing for the Aztec Rebels.

  • steve (different one)

    Silver has been everywhere this election cycle. it’s very cool that someone from the insular world of internet SABR baseball analysis has gone mainstream and become widely recognized in a completely different field.

    i’ve been checking his site several times a day for the last few weeks. he does great work.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Agreed, 538 is amazing. I’ve actually been thinking we might see a little less “all VORPIES must die” drivel from the usual suspects than we’ve seen in the past, due to the attention and respect Silver has gained from many media outlets during this election cycle. Might be a little less fashionable to deride PECOTA as some computer geek’s wet dream when that computer geek is in Newsweek and on CNN and Colbert, getting respect.

      • steve (different one)

        also, PECOTA was the only system that saw the Rays emergence.

        i think he had them down for 88 or 89 wins.

        • radnom

          The only statistical system.
          He actually had them down for 90 wins, but the overall results were way off. For example Detroit dominated while the Twins were in last place, and the Rays were only in 3rd place. People seem to forget all that and just point out the rays.

          The thing is though, statistical analysis lends itself much more to aggregating polling (which is what the 538 does) than it does to predicting wins in baseball. One doesn’t legitimize the other.

          • steve (different one)

            all i meant was that predicting the Rays success is the type of thing that would garner mainstream attention.

            the only other time i saw PECOTA in the mainstream media, was when it correctly predicted 72 wins for the White Sox.

            that’s what i was referring to, the previous comment about mainstream recognition. no one cares if you predicted the Red Sox for 95 wins. to grab attention, you have to do something like predict the Rays.