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Friday, May 06, 2005

I do not come here to praise newspaper media. I come to bury it.

I've harped on the general shoddiness of professional sportswriting before, and I have a crystal clear example now.

Terry Foster's latest:

The Tigers dipped to 3-8 in one-run games following Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park. It is a disturbing trend considering they were 12-27 in one-run games last season. It is not a coincidence. It is a trend. And it is a trend that must stop.
This concludes Terry Foster's in-depth examination of the situation. But wait! Let's hear from The Detroit Tigers Weblog:
Using data from Retrosheet, I looked at every team's performance in one run games from 1970 to 1993. The result is 903 team-seasons of data to look at.... (extensive analysis) ... As you can see there is no correlation from one year to the next.... This leads me to believe that performance in one run games has more to do with luck and less to do with skill.

So what does this mean for the Tigers who's .325 one-run winning percentage was the 13th worst since 1970? Since it is pretty rare for a team to perform that badly once, chances are the Tigers will do better. Of the 83 teams who had a one-run winning percentage less than .400, only 4 were worse the following season. In fact, of those 83, forty of them posted a .500 or better winning percentage in one-run games the following year. Now the Tigers 0-5 start this season has put them in a hole for finishing over .500, but the Tigers stand a good chance of improving over last year. Furthermore, much of it will come down to luck as opposed to a failure of the offense, bulllpen, or the manager.

You got served, Terry Foster! YOU GOT SERVED!