Sunday, August 07, 2005

Humility and Sabermetrics: Underestimating the Fog (pdf)

Bill James, the Godfather of Moneyball types, realized that some of their community's methodology (including his) was incorrect. They assumed that any behavior that couldn't be replicated with certain players from year to year, like clutch hitting, was just a product of luck. Well, James realized that there is so much randomness, that assumption just doesn't work. He said it was like asking a VW to pull a tractor trailer.

He discusses the methodology previously used and then revists some of the conclusions. At the end of the day, a baseball player has a lot of dependencies on other players, situations, etc. In other words, the fog is very thick. Which means sabermetrics still has a long way to go.

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