The World Series as You’ve Never Seen It

DearFantastic Sports Network,

I’d like to thank you for choosing me to be your first-ever Master Black Belt. To start things off on a positive note, let me share some suggestions I have for the World Series broadcasts this week. These are all easy to implement and will make the show even more exciting for the average viewer.

First, let me say that batting averages are overrated. Really, you need the standard deviation displayed right up there, because the variation is just as important as the average. Also,when you show the differences between the regular season batting average and the playoff batting average, you need to find room to show the results of the t-test so viewers can tell whether the difference is significant. For the pitchers, I’d like to see an Analysis of Variation so we can tell whether there is a difference between starters, relief pitchers, and closers. (And, it will give new meaning to the word “error” for all the baseball fans out there.)

Now, for the proportion of balls vs strikes, let’s have the Chi Square results on the screen so we can tell who’s performing as expected. And for some extra excitement, we can use the Poisson Distribution to calculate the probability of a pitcher striking out the next slugger.

There are many opportunities to showcase these exciting newbaseball statistics, in ways that are sure to increase theratings. The possibilities areinfinite (the probabilities, maybe finite). For now, let me leave you with an idea for a commercial that would showcase the newFantastic Sports approach to baseball.

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Scene: An “average joe” standing near a water cooler, relating the facts about the previous night’s game including our new statistical information. Every time he relates something about a calculation, or distribution, all the female co-workers swoon. You know, kind of like themen’s body spraycommercial but with statistics instead. What do you think? It seems to be just the kind of advertising that would attract baseball fans toFantastic Sports.

I’ve got plenty of other ideas for you, but let’s just start off with these few, and we’ll take it from there!


Your NewFantastic Sports Master Black Belt,

Sue Kozlowski

Comments 2

  1. Keith Pincher

    Nice one Sue

    The problem you’ll have is depending on Six Sigma stats to tell you what happened in a game. In sport, as in business, context is everything. As somebody once said – all these stats are no use without a brain.

    A fine example comes from England’s Frank Lampard’s performance in the World Cup.

    "He had more touches of the ball than anyone else on the park, more passes than anyone else and his success rate was higher than anyone else," Team Manager McClaren insisted.

    His head said yes, but the heart of the footballing public said no. In fact, the head of the footballing public also said no, deploying its own crude but convincing benchmarking that says Lampard missed 100% of the crucial chances that came his way during the World Cup, and had a 0% success rate from the penalty spot.

  2. Sue Kozlowski

    Thanks Keith for your comments, and your interesting comments from the World Cup perspective!

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