While this is not my typical subject matter I post about here, I do let the occasional sports post creep in. And this post I think shows a good example of not taking s0mething at face value, and taking the time to verify, validate, and (well I can’t think of a 3rd word that starts with v and would be appropriate here, so just pretend there were 3 v’s and the alliteration worked).
[Originally posted at: The Hardball Times]
“Home plate is 17 inches wide, but I ignore the middle 12 inches. I pitch to the two-and-a-half inches on each side.”
I love to dig into the detailed data we have today to test common beliefs or quotes like the one I just reported. Most times this kind of research ends up confirming what decades of baseball knowledge already tell us—and I strongly suspect I’m working on one of such cases. Nevertheless I like to perform analyses like this because they give us the opportunity to quantify more precisely something we already know.
Nobody would challenge the assumption that painting the corners leads to pitching success. I was willing to take the 2.5 inches offered by Spahn and use them for graphical representations in future posts. But I grew curious about how accurate Spahn’s estimate of the “pitcher’s zone” was. Here’s what happened after I put my “testing hat” on.
[Read the rest of this post at: The Hardball Times]