Dan Sanchez wrote a column a day or two ago. Great read
I woke up this morning to find the article I’d been hoping to avoid for some time now.
In his guest column for Baseball Prospectus, The Agony of Rational Rooting, Nick Piecoro gives voice to a nagging feeling he’s had – that, despite how enjoyable it may be to see a struggling team’s fanbase re-energized, the Baltimore Orioles’ 2012 season doesn’t seem earned.
I’ve been fearing this article not because I thought it would anger me, but because I knew it would force me to confront the same unconscious debate I’ve been having with myself.
On this website I’ve discussed the role of randomness in baseball in a column called “O Fortuna.” In it, I’ve analyzed small sample sizes, the unsustainable trends that result from them, and the expected regression to the mean. It’s a topic that’s long been a favorite of those interested in objective analysis of the game.
My purpose in writing the column was neither to castigate nor praise teams benefiting from unsustainable trends, but to acknowledge what a large role randomness plays in the game. The conclusion was always that unsustainable trends should tend to buck over time, but the truth is, sometimes they don’t. Not for a while, at least.