Not sure you heard. The Nats' playoffs start today. No time for new stuff. Ok some new stuff but mostly nonsense.
The final roster is set. I predicted this :
Stras, Gio, ZNN, Fister
Storen, Clippard, Stammen, Soriano, Barrett, Thorton, Roark, Blevins
Ramos, LaRoche, Cabrera, Desmond, Rendon, Werth, Span, Bryce
Frandsen, Hairston, Zimm, Lobaton, Espinosa
and I was almost 100% right. Schierholtz for Hairston. I don't like the roster. I'd rather see Det than Soriano. I'd rather see anyone than Schierholtz. Hairston, Souza, or Taylor. But for Soriano they weren't going to bite that bullet for the sake of a better last pitcher in the pen, and for Scheirholtz, they wanted a lefty bat on the bench regardless of if he was a good one or not. Fringes but fringes can matter in the playoffs.
I did a series of chats with Chris Needham and Basil Tsimpris. Newer Nats fans might know Chris from Twitter and Basil I suppose if you work with him or are related to him. Older Nats fans may remember them as the guys behind Capitol Punishment and Federal Baseball. Anyway I chatted with them and posted it to my extremely rarely used but hanging on to it because I do like the name so blog Nats of the Roundtable.
JW is dying for a statistical analysis of this. It's not a stats problem though. It's economics. At it's simplest it a trade of ~$700 (roughly the going rate for 2 Diamond Club tickets on Stub Hub) vs the act, which is worth more to the man. But you can get much more complex, say trying to add in the negative cost of setting these things up, or the possibility of selling the tickets and getting what he wants cheaper than cost, or factoring the chances of him getting what he wants without any exchange of goods based on age, desire, and current sexual trends. Not to mention the flip side of analyzing the choice of the people receiving the tickets. What's it worth to them? Is this the going rate for their services? Can they barter up or barter the act down? It's a rabbit hole, JW, with no definitive answers. Any final conclusion would be more variable than a year of defensive statistics.
Was Boz unlucky? I've thought about this alot. Boswell believed he should have seen a no-hitter before ZNN's gem by now and that he was a jinx of sorts. Normally I'd just dismiss that, no-hitters are rare, but Boswell has seen a lot of baseball. Can we quanitfy exactly how unlucky he has been?
First - what's the odds of Boz seeing a no-hitter? Well first we have to get a handle on Boz's baseball time frame. He defines himself thusly
"has covered baseball for 40 years, including a decade on the
100-plus-games-a-year beat, plus close to 20 years of attending games as
a fan from the age of eight on up"
Rough guess (which is good enough) 8 + 18 (close to 20 but not) + 40 yrs = 66 years old. Ok assuming this is his 66th year that would put his 8 year old year as 1956. How many games and how many no-hitters have their been since 1956?
Games isn't straight forward (stupid expansions) but it's easy enough. Factoring season expansion, team expansion, a strike here or there - I get about 119,153 games. As for the no-hitters that's just a counting thing. 154 starting in 1956. That puts a person's odds of seeing a no-hitter from 1956 to the end of 2014 at .00129 or 0.13%. That's about one every 773 games, assuming completely random distribution of these things.
Right now you should think - Boz is probably going to be unlucky because he's seen a lot more than 773 games but lets find out how unlucky. We have to make guesses on the number of games Boz has seen. From 8 to 25, 18 seasons - let's say he saw... I don't know 20 games a year. That's a lot. Granted it could have been more but unless his parents had season tickets that's unlikely. Then he's on the 100+ games beat. Since he says 100+ and not "full-season" I'm going to assume he didn't go to enough where he felt he had to make that distinction. So instead of 162, let's say 120 a year for those 10 years. The remainder of time left, 30 years, we'll shift back down. He's a man of means and he loves baseball, and is covering it but he also has other jobs to do. I'll say 60 games a year? Sound ok?
So we get (18*20)+(10*120)+(30*60) = 3,360 games.
Ok now that we have an estimate on his chances to see a no-hitter and the number of games he's seen we can simply take the chances he doesn't see a no-hitter (99.87%) to the power of the games he saw. For example if you saw 100 games the chances none of them would be no-hitters would be 99.87 to the 100th power or around 87.9%. Chances are pretty good at 100 games that you still wouldn't see a no-hitter. What about for Boz?
Basically there was over a 98% chance that one of the games he would have seen by now would have been a no-hitter. He certainly was unlucky. And even if I was way off in the number of games he's seen it would still be true. If he saw 1000 fewer games than I estimated his chances of not seeing a no-hitter would only rise to 4.7%. Unlucky
For what it's worth. I have seen a no-hitter live. This one. I'm not quite at 3360 games yet, so I'm probably lucky.