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10.18.2005

Fooled by randomness 

In NLCS game 4, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa gets tossed from the game. People wonder if this is (a) him attempting to get his team fired up, or (b) indicative of a loss of team focus and eventual meltdown. After Cardinals CF Jim Edmonds gets tossed for arguing balls and strikes, Albert Pujols blunders into an out at home, and the Astros win game 4 to go up 3-1, people conclude (b).

In Game 5, Pujols hits a go-ahead 3-run HR off Astros closer Brad Lidge to win the game. No doubt people will wonder if this moment will propel St. Louis to a sweep of the remaining two games.

Sometimes teams go on winning streaks. Fans and writers are always trying to find some structure in the pattern of wins and losses of an exciting playoff series, and it's usually explained in terms of psychological momentum. More likely, it's the case that a series has two excellent teams playing hard, and the team that wins a given game is the one that randomly happened to play better that day.

Comments:

the team that wins a given game is the one that randomly happened to play better that day.

I thought the team that wins a given game is the one that the Mob put the fix on.
 


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I think they gave up on fixing baseball back in the early 1900s. But the Yakuza is still very involved in sumo wrestling, or so I've heard from reading Freakonomics.
 


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