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Archive of posts filed under the Sports category.

As if the 2010s never happened

E. J. writes: I’m sure I’m not the first to send you this beauty. Actually, E. J., you’re the only one who sent me this! It’s a news article, “Can the fear of death instantly make you a better athlete?”, reporting on a psychology experiment: For the first study, 31 male undergraduates who liked basketball […]

SCANDAL: Florida State University football players held to the same low standards as George Mason University statistics faculty

Paul Alper points us to this news report: As the Florida State University football team was marching to a national title in the fall of 2013, the school was investigating allegations of academic favoritism involving a half-dozen of its leading players . . . The inquiry, previously unreported, stemmed from a complaint by a teaching […]

Chris Moore, Guy Molyneux, Etan Green, and David Daniels on Bayesian umpires

Kevin Lewis points us to a paper by Etan Green and David Daniels, who conclude that “decisions of [baseball] umpires reflect an accurate, probabilistic, and state-specific understanding of their rational expectations—as well as an ability to integrate those prior beliefs in a manner that approximates Bayes rule.” This is similar to what was found in […]

Publish your raw data and your speculations, then let other people do the analysis: track and field edition

There seems to be an expectation in science that the people who gather a dataset should also be the ones who analyze it. But often that doesn’t make sense: what it takes to gather relevant data has little to do with what it takes to perform a reasonable analysis. Indeed, the imperatives of analysis can […]

I don’t like discrete models (hot hand in baseball edition)

Bill Jefferys points us to this article, “Baseball’s ‘Hot Hand’ Is Real,” in which Rob Arthur and Greg Matthews analyze a year of pitch-by-pitch data from Major League Baseball. There are some good things in their analysis, and I think a lot can be learned from these data using what Arthur and Matthews did, so […]

PPNAS again: If it hadn’t been for the jet lag, would Junior have banged out 756 HRs in his career?

In an email with subject line, “Difference between “significant” and “not significant”: baseball edition?”, Greg Distelhorst writes: I think it’s important to improve statistical practice in the social sciences. I also care about baseball. In this PNAS article, Table 1 and the discussion of differences between east vs. west and home vs. away effects do […]

His concern is that the authors don’t control for the position of games within a season.

Chris Glynn wrote last year: I read your blog post about middle brow literature and PPNAS the other day. Today, a friend forwarded me this article in The Atlantic that (in my opinion) is another example of what you’ve recently been talking about. The research in question is focused on Major League Baseball and the […]

The upcoming NBA hackathon: You’ll never guess the top 10 topics . . .

Jason Rosenfeld writes: We’re hosting our second annual NBA Hackathon this September. This year, there will be two tracks, basketball analytics and business analytics. Prizes include a trip to NBA All-Star 2018 in Los Angeles and a lunch with NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver. Any help spreading the word among your students and beyond is greatly […]

A collection of quotes from William James that all could’ve come from . . . Bill James!

From a few years ago, some quotes from the classic psychologist that fit within the worldview of the classic sabermetrician: Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible. A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain. A great many people think they are thinking […]

Using Stan for week-by-week updating of estimated soccer team abilites

Milad Kharratzadeh shares this analysis of the English Premier League during last year’s famous season. He fit a Bayesian model using Stan, and the R markdown file is here. The analysis has three interesting features: 1. Team ability is allowed to continuously vary throughout the season; thus, once the season is over, you can see […]

Molyneux expresses skepticism on hot hand

image Guy Molyneux writes: I saw your latest post on the hot hand too late to contribute to the discussion there. While I don’t disagree with your critique of Gilovich and his reluctance to acknowledge past errors, I do think you underestimate the power of the evidence against a meaningful hot hand effect in sports. […]

The Las Vegas Odds

Kevin Lewis suggests the above name for pro football’s newest team, after hearing that “The NFL is letting the Oakland Raiders move to Las Vegas, a move once nearly unthinkable due to its opposition to sports gambling.” Is there anyone good at graphic design who’d like to design a logo? I’m not sure what images […]

Time Inc. stoops to the level of the American Society of Human Genetics and PPNAS?

Do anyone out there know anyone at Time Inc? If so, I have a question for you. But first the story: Mark Palko linked to an item from Barry Petchesky pointing out this article at the online site of Sports Illustrated Magazine. Here’s Petchesky: Over at Sports Illustrated, you can read an article about Tom […]

You Won’t BELIEVE How Trump Broke Up This Celebrity Couple!

[cat picture] A few months ago I asked if it was splitsville for tech zillionaire Peter Thiel and chess champion Garry Kasparov, after seeing this quote from Kasparov in April: Trump sells the myth of American success instead of the real thing. . . . It’s tempting to rally behind him-but we should resist. Because […]

Low correlation of predictions and outcomes is no evidence against hot hand

link Josh Miller (of Miller & Sanjurjo) writes: On correlations, you know, the original Gilovich, Vallone, and Tversky paper found that the Cornell players’ “predictions” of their teammates’ shots correlated 0.04, on average. No evidence they can see the hot hand, right? Here is an easy correlation question: suppose Bob shoots with probability ph=.55 when […]

a2

Wow. P.S. In the comment thread, Peter Dorman has an interesting discussion of Carlsen’s errors so far during the tournament.

Josh Miller hot hand talks in NYC and Pittsburgh this week

Joshua Miller (the person who, with Adam Sanjurjo, discovered why the so-called “hot hand fallacy” is not really a fallacy) will be speaking on the topic this week. In New York, Thurs 17 Nov, 12:30pm, 19 W 4th St, room 517, Center for Experimental Social Science seminar. In Pittsburgh, Fri 18 Nov, 12pm, 4716 Posvsar […]

“The Warriors suck”: A Bayesian exploration

A basketball fan of my close acquaintance woke up Wednesday morning and, upon learning the outcome of the first games of the NBA season, announced that “The Warriors suck.” Can we answer this question? To put it more precisely, how much information is supplied by that first-game-of-season blowout? Speaking Bayesianly, who much should we adjust […]

Some people are so easy to contact and some people aren’t.

I was reading Cowboys Full, James McManus’s entertaining history of poker (but way too much on the so-called World Series of Poker), and I skimmed the index to look up some of my favorite poker writers. Frank Wallace and David Spanier were both there but only got brief mentions in the text, I was disappointed […]

No, I don’t think the Super Bowl is lowering birth weights

In a news article entitled, “Inequality might start before we’re even born,” Carolyn Johnson reports: Another study, forthcoming in the Journal of Human Resources, analyzed birth outcomes in counties where the home team goes to the Super Bowl. . . . The researchers found that women in their first trimester whose home team played in […]