While analytics have predicated the strategy of baseball over the last decade, normalizing the numbers has resulted in the unpredictable being banished to the hinterlands of the expected. Within the algorithms forged by math geniuses groomed at Cal Tech and MIT, the anomaly is notably absent from the formula, as the unlikely is not conducive to the probability of aesthetics. As humble pie is not in abundance amongst academics.
The 2022 Cincinnati Reds, a team that could challenge for one of the worst ever over a cumulative season in history, managed to toss a combined no hitter Sunday, and lost. The ugly defeat to the Pittsburg Pirates thanks to three walks and a fielder’s choice during the 8th inning resulted on the club being on the wrong side of 1-0. This was the 6th occurrence of this wild and zany instance throughout the vast lineage of the MLB.
Mathematical models are complex entities, however, they merely constitute a crude approximation of actual real life. For example, modeling humanity past the genetic level, would require computing powers accessible only to deity. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle and thermodynamics aside, the evolution of a data driven approach that questions urban legends and myths of the past, has produced some intriguing results. At best these are efficient tools in forging guidelines and enhancing performance, at worst, simply another fad that comes and goes considering the rich history of the sport that has transcended five generations.
If flipping a coin results heads or tails, clearly the quarter landing on its edge is not considered when processing odds tied with sabermetrics and advanced statistics. An oversight that was not taken into consideration, as one of the most unlikely in professional baseball transpired. While the Reds threaten crashing through the bounds of mediocrity to just plain historically bad, the team has employed innovative ways to lose. The painful experience of fandom spares not a soul from the humility of the unprecedented.
While the allure of sports lies within the unpredictable nature of the predictable being annihilated, the metaphors of incomplete, yet developing algorithms exist outside of the the sporting world in attempting to approximate real life. It is at this juncture and where platitudes are promoted and society is plagued by tiresome talking points and hyperbole. Within this context, evidence is not embraced, and misunderstandings are forged that are only applicable in forwarding an agenda, rather than pursuing truth. While mechanisms for predicting success on a baseball diamond are fun and are used for entertainment purposes by fans, mixing unproven models with traditional science is no laughing matter.
The most blatant example of automated processes being exploited is within the environmental movement industry, as climate researchers attempt to approximate billions of years of history in authoring a narrative which is lucrative from an individual and organizational perspective. Few are aware that the popular climate models, which the liberal media treats as fact, point to the world probably ending in the next century. Hence, the current state of hysteria as extremists have entered the climate crises zone. The propensity of such as an adherence to the emotional over the productive afflicts organizations that are tasked with making crucial and influential decisions affecting tax payers, private property owners, agriculture and industry.
Data scientists at the end of the day are human, and as creatures of habit lean towards normalizing the numbers. Whether it be an improbable loss by the Reds, or three straight Summers of a Seattle unseasonable heat dome, or a bitch slap on live television to a comedian during the Oscars, the perceived to be impossible is not included in data sets. Weighed against the scope of history, the staggering miniscule percentages make an electron seem like a humongous particle on a microscale.
While big data is still in its infancy due to the physical limits of computing power, conclusions drawn from processing the information are largely subjective, and open to interpretation. As the Red’s lineup over a 162 game season can be adequately quantified thanks to tangible observations, oceanic temperatures from 250 million years ago are mere estimates. However, climate radicals have convinced policy makers, or vise versa, that delving into the hypothetical is tantamount to truth. A truly dangerous precedent when winning or losing the game of life is at stake.