Ken Rosenthal threw down an interesting glove in his column today predicting who will win it all in 2008. Here is what he said:
Bloggers, it’s your lucky day.
Not that you ever need prompting to rip apart the latest ill-informed splattering from the mainstream media, but here’s an invitation on a gold-engraved, all-but-autographed platter:
Embarrassing as it is to admit, my annual column predicting which team will win the World Series often defies sabermetric orthodoxy, not to mention conventional logic. Sort of like baseball itself.
Statistical analysis is an invaluable tool; that discussion is over. But we’ve gotten to the point where everyone from the casual fantasy player to the shrewdest GM wants to know the end of the story before Chapter One is written.
Mercifully, that’s not how the game works.
Phil Allard, for one, is already on Rosenthal for this statement.
It’s an interesting debate. When it comes to making declarations like these, do you go with your head or your heart? Or, do you combine the two and use the “Part Art, Part Science” approach?
I have to confess, for me, it’s the combination thing. But, it’s not a 50-50 deal. Actually, most times, I’ll go with my feelings and then see if the numbers back it up.
Truly, there were many things that I intended on publishing here, at one time or another – but, once I looked at the numbers behind what I felt, and realized that I was wrong, I ditched them.
Sure, that makes it sound like I live and die by the stats. But, it’s not true. I don’t let the stats drive me towards my thoughts – I only use them to prove them out (after my gut gets me there).
Well, at least, that’s most times. There are still some things out there where I cannot turn my back on what my sixth-sense tells me. So, I somewhat understand Rosenthal here in that, at times, you have to let the force be your guide…
Speaking of space, there’s a line from the very first episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine entitled “Emissary” where the character Benjamin Sisko uses the game of baseball to explain the concept of linear time and essentially how humans experience life:
“The rules aren’t important. . . .what’s important is – it’s linear. Every time I throw this ball a hundred different things can happen in a game. . . . He might swing and miss, he might hit it. . . .The point is you never know. . . . You try to anticipate, set a strategy for all the possibilities as best you can. . . . but in the end it come down to throwing one pitch after another. . . . and seeing what happens. With each new consequence, the game begins to take shape. . . .”
It’s that “you never know” thing that made me fall in love with baseball. And, since “you never know,” why not follow your gut once in a while instead of letting the math dictate your moves?