STATISTICS -- HOW CAN YOU DENY THEM?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

In a follow-up of sorts to my Why Stat-Heads Are Hated article, I thought it'd be humorous to take a look at how those anti-statistics people handle other situations in life.

You're probably aware that Barry Bonds was voted into the All-Star Game with a late burst of votes, however legally or illegally it was done. And you probably heard the boos and jeers not just for his alleged use of steroids, but because he, apparently, doesn't deserve that All-Star spot in left-field for the National League.

Despite being the National League leader in Value Over Replacement Player (VORP). Despite having the highest Runs Above Replacement Player and the highest equivalent average (EqA) in the entire Major Leagues. Despite leading the National League in on-base percentage by 77 points, and is tied for fourth in the Majors in slugging percentage (and subsequently leads the Major Leagues in OPS).

Yeah, he didn't earn his spot in left field.

Oh, don't you know? They watch the games. They watch it. They don't need statistics, they say. They have eyes! Who needs fancy computer numbers that are bad at predicting things (note: irony, for the humor-challenged). So, if numbers that can be crunched in an Excel spreadsheet are so worthless, let's see how these anti-statistic people handle some situations that arise in other areas of life.

Supermarket

Anti-Stathead's Wife: Which line should we check out in?

Anti-Stathead: How about #9?

Wife: But that's the longest line out of all 10 of them. Looks like 6 check-outs.

A-S: The cashier looks like he checks out the items really fast, though.

Wife: Lines 5 and 6 have two check-outs apiece. Why do you have to make this so difficult?

A-S: Just trust me and we'll be out of here in no-time.

They wait, while watching customers who arrived at the check-out counters after them leave the store for their cars.

Wife: This is the last time I'll listen to your opinion on anything.

A-S: You probably counted wrong.

Houses

Wife: Which house do you want to buy? I think this one has a bigger yard.

A-S: Yeah, right. I saw the yards when we went to see the houses. The other one is definitely bigger.

Wife: Well, I have the information right here... this one has 0.08 acres, and the other one has 0.05.

A-S: Screw that information. Where'd you get it from? Wikipedia? I barely had room to stretch my arms out in that back yard. We're not getting that one. The other one definitely looks bigger. Trust me.

At the Hospital

Doctor: I'm sorry to inform you, but you've got cancer.

A-S: You've got to be kidding me, doc'. I look fine.

Dr.: Your body probably won't start to deteriorate unless the cancer grows and spreads. Fortunately, we caught it just in time.

A-S: I'm going to call B.S. on this one. I feel fine, I'll see you next month.

Dr.: I've got your charts right here... you clearly have cancer.

A-S: No need for your fancy-schmancy charts, I know my own body.

Mutters to self while walking out of the hospital to his car

A-S: Worst doctor ever.

Dieting

A-S: Oh man, this diet is so easy. I can eat whatever I want and still get healthy.

Anti-Stathead's Friend: How many calories have you consumed today?

A-S: Calories? Whatever. That stuff they print on the boxes is just a bunch of liberal nonsense. It's simple. The bigger the food, the more calories it has.

Friend: What have you eaten today?

A-S: Everything! I found a loophole. I just cut my food up into little pieces and the amount of calories it has gets lower.

Anti-Stathead has a heart attack.

Giving Testimony

Attorney: Can you give us an accurate recap of what happened?

A-S: Sure. The guy was wearing a black ski mask and a heavy coat, and quickly walked into the convenience store.

Attorney: Did you see him pull out the gun or anything that would indicate that he was the one who held up the register?

A-S: He wasn't smiling when he was walking up to the place. He looks like a guy who would rob a convenience store.

Attorney: But you didn't actually see him do it.

A-S: No, but he totally did it, though.

Attorney: No futher questioning... please get off the stand.

Watching TV

A-S: Who the heck is that guy?

Anti-Stathead's Son: That's Stephen Hawking.

A-S: Hah, that guy looks like a total retard.

Son: He's an expert in quantum physics and mathematics...

A-S: But he can't even dress himself.

Son: Changes the channel to Nickelodeon

A-S: All right! Spongebob Squarepants!

Getting A Paycheck

A-S: There's something wrong with my paycheck... it's a little light.

Boss of A-S: You worked 40 hours last week, didn't you?

A-S: Yeah, but it definitely didn't feel like it. The days were so long!

Boss: Your hours last week were exactly as long as the hours last week.

A-S: But you have to pay me for the extra minutes it felt like I worked.

Boss: You're fired.

Testing

Son: Dad, I got an A on my math test! All that studying really paid off!

A-S: You didn't get no A on no math test. I didn't even see you study.

Son: I was at the library...

A-S: Yeah, probably playing Gameboy. Go to your room, you're grounded for two weeks. Make it three for lying to me.

Crumples up test with a big, red A on it and throws it in the trash can

Voting

Friend: Who are you going to vote for President?

A-S: Mitt Romney.

Friend: Really? Why?

A-S: He doesn't believe in evolution and he looks like he can get stuff done.

Friend: You don't believe in evolution? And Romney's a hypocrite.

A-S: I've never seen a monkey evolve into a human. That's so dumb.

Friend: Humans just shared an ancestor with monkeys.

A-S: How come monkeys are still around if we came from them?

Friend: How are your parents still around if you came from them?

A-S: That has nothing to do with what we're talking about.

Gritty Baseball Players

A-S: David Eckstein is the best shortstop in the National League.

Stat-Head: He's only had one year where he had an OPS+ over 100 -- he had a 103 in 2002.

A-S: Yeah, but he's gritty, though. And he's got heart. That matters so much.

S-H: His highest EQA is .267, and .260 is league-average. He's terrible.

A-S: Statistics lie. The Cardinals won the World Series because of him.

S-H: No, they won because they had great starting pitching in the World Series. They gave up a total of 11 runs in 44 innings, an ERA of 2.25.

A-S: But if Eckstein hadn't been at shortstop leading them with his heart, the pitchers wouldn't have pitched so well.

S-H: Yadier Molina and Scott Rolen had a better overall World Series than Eckstein. Molina had a .500 on-base percentage and a .529 slugging percentage; Rolen had a .476 on-base percentage and a .737 slugging percentage; Eckstein only had a .391 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.

A-S: David Eckstein rules, dude. And so does Darin Erstad.

S-H: Why does Darin Erstad rule? He's a mediocre player who had one good year and cashed in on it.

A-S: He was a punter at the University of Nebraska. He's an athlete.

S-H: An athlete with a lifetime OPS+ of 96. That means he's 4% worse than your average outfielder.

A-S: But he hustles, and has a will to win. He's much better than Barry Bonds ever was.