Posts filed under “Sports”

Asymmetrical Motivation & The .299 Hitter

There is a fun mathematical discussion in the NYT Sports section today worth looking at.

It turns out that major league hitters on the verge of a 3 handle batting average — .300 — hit an astounding .463 on their last at bat of the season:

“Two economists at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, while investigating how round numbers influence goals, examined the behavior of major league hitters from 1975 to 2008 who entered what became their final plate appearance of the season with a batting average of .299 or .300 (in at least 200 at-bats).

They found that the 127 hitters at .299 or .300 batted a whopping .463 in that final at-bat, demonstrating a motivation to succeed well beyond normal (and in what was usually an otherwise meaningless game).

Most deliciously, not one of the 61 hitters who entered at .299 drew a walk — which would have fired those ugly 9s into permanence because batting average considers bases on balls neither hit nor at-bat.”

Its fascinating, but certainly not surprising. The psychological motivations of the pitcher-batter confrontation are the major factor. The batter is extremely motivated, for reasons that are both professional (compensation) and personal (i.e, pride). The pitcher, on the other hand, just wants to get thought the end of season games (especially the ones that don’t matter) without incident, injury etc.

Hence the term, “Asymmetrical Motivation.”

Fun with Statistical Analysis: The .299 versus .300 Hitter:


Chart courtesy of NYT

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Fun stuff . . .

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See also:
Grunting and Tennis: It’s All Good
Paul Kedrosky
Infectious Greed, October 1, 2010
http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2010/10/grunting_and_te.html

Source:
Sniffing .300, Hitters Hunker Down on Last Chances
By ALAN SCHWARZ
NYT, October 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/sports/baseball/03hitters.html

Category: Mathematics, Sports

Steinbrenner Dead at 80

Category: Sports, Video

Congrats to Miami; About the NY Knicks . . .

Congratulations to Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. You have put together a very competitive team that should be fun to watch in the coming years. Lost in all the hype is the fact that The NY Knicks have been part of a public corporation — the incompetent Cablevision (CVC), an $8 billion dollar telecommunications…Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Sports

2010 World Cup Rankings

Terrific interactive data dump in the Sunday NYT, ranking various FIFA world cup teams by 10 separate metrics: FIFA world ranking Goals per game Goals allowed per game Shots per game Shots on goal per game Touches per game Touches allowed per game Touch difference per game Touches in attack Touches resulting in complete pass…Read More

Category: Digital Media, Sports, Weekend

Lakers: Back to Back Titles

Awesome game 7 of the NBA Finals – Got home from a Minyanville event around 10:15 pm. Watched the first half of the game on Tivo — by the the time the 2nd half started, I was caught up with the live game. Just a terrific series. ~~~ Of course, this means 4 hours sleep…Read More

Category: Sports

World Cup and Economics 2010

As much as I bust the chops of GS management for their gaffes and lack of judgment, I still have to admire Goldman for putting together this research report on World Cup and Economics 2010. Good stuff. > World Cup 2010 Doc

Category: Sports, Think Tank

US Entertainment Spending

Via Visual Economics, is this enormo info graphic showing how Americans spend their entertainment dollars:

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click for ginormous version

Embedded version after the jump

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Category: Digital Media, Film, Sports, Television, Weekend

Sports Heaven: Lakers/Celtics; World Cup

I rarely talk sports, but I am about to enter my own version of sports heaven. The Lakers vs. Celtics Finals are sure to be a blast. As a long suffering Knicks fan — a bud had season tickets during the Ewing-Oakley-Starks era — I appreciate good bball, and this is sure to deliver that….Read More

Category: Sports

The United Countries of Baseball

Since its Spring . . . via Sly Oyster

Category: Sports, Weekend

Olympic Pictograms Through the Ages

Steven Heller traces the evolution of the tiny symbols for each Olympic sport since their appearance in 1936. Source: NYT

Category: Sports, Weekend