Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Slippery Slope

One of the ways I got through my career as a pipe fitter was to do trend analyses for the company.

Working with my hands and arms, simply wasn't going to make it, long term.  So I took out the text book on quantitative analysis and began reviewing formulas.

I won't bore you with the details, but when you want to get a sense of what is " happening," it is not enough to look at today's results, you have to look at, " what is in motion."

In the Yankee's case, one can easily be deceived if a static view is taken, and we simply compare 2017 YTD numbers to the equivalent performance of, "same store sales," ( the text book term ) of previous years.  Granted, it is tempting to do that, and the comparisons leave one with a far more positive feeling than my approach demonstrates.

What I focus on is trend data.  Where did we begin and where are we now?  What is the current pace of our acceleration, stagnancy, or decline?  How do those measures compare to " similar segments" of performance in this ( albeit young ) season?  How do those patterns compare to those of our competitors?

There is a ratio called ( in the pipe fitters game ) the " co-efficient of achievement," which allows one to read performance data of recent experience and compare them to the market, on a " moving average."  This is the key number, if only one performance measure can be tracked (due to time demands, usually)in any given industry.

Okay, enough with the boring textbook crap.

 Basically, the Yankees are on a precipitous decline, as measured by their (to-date) co-efficient of achievement ( calculated by random three game cycles over the course of the season ) , a performance that exceeds "normative standards" ( expected performance ) by well more than two standard deviations.  In other words, at the present moment, this team is repeating ( actually underperforming ) those patterns of play which described the failures of previous years.

Translation;  when this Yankee team gets behind early, the game is practically lost.  If the "surface number of deficit" reaches 2 runs or more ( the key performance indicator in baseball ) , the probability of loss exceeds 95%.  Last night, for example, once we were down 1-0 in the first
inning ( the timing of the deficit represents an exponential indicator of loss ), there was only a 63% probability that the Yankees could equal or exceed that total with the 27 at bats remaining to them.  The previous night, the trend showed a net neutrality until CC got hammered.  At that point, that late in the game (reflecting the exaggerated influence the timing factor ) the run deficit influence on the Yankee's probability to recover ( the recovery rate, actually ) became only 7.7 %, to be precise.

The problem I see is that this team has somehow fallen off the cliff.  Like a climber getting hit with a mud slide and disappearing over the edge of the mountain, losing much of the altitude he had previously achieved, and not being able to find proper footing to recover on that chosen route.

So, as Duque has pointed out, unless this team changes course, it's loss column will continue to grow at a faster rate than it's win column.  Worse, by the laws of probability, some other team in the AL East will do the opposite.  It is a zero sum game.

So those of you who are beginning to feel the same sense of hopelessness we felt in previous years, have got it right.  The illusion of the early season results are looking like a one time " pattern aberration."  In other words, we have to make some serious adjustments to our direction, or we are going to repeat the mediocre end results of the last several seasons.

Bloody Mary anyone?


Anonymous said...






DutchFan said...

I'm having a Godfather.
3 parts Amaretto, 5 parts Scotch Single Malt Whiskey, ice
Sweet enough to make you feel good about everything and strong enough to go out in time.
I will top that off with a splendid Sauvignon Blanc from Chili.

I was so looking forward to this day game (prime time out here). Nothing left to but drink and sulk

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Saturday night.

Last night was martini night. Thank god I missed the carnage.

Let's hope the pink uni's help us out tomorrow.

13bit said...

Off days and rainouts are particularly brutal. The juju gods are out there, doing pushups and laughing about what they will to we mere mortals, and we fan only sit and think, which is a deadly pastime. I continue to have a low bar for the season, so any win is a good day. The main thing is that they do NOT trade the farm, no matter what kind of shape we are in come July. Get rid of the old lard, yes, but keep the young guys and bring up the young arms. We re fine if we keep our eyes on 2018 or 2019. Everything until then is gravy.

13bit said...

We need an edit button. I'm not gong to go line edit my previous post, but I will go to bed covered in shame at the typos and grammar flubs. The trash can is failing me. Is that the only recourse, to delete and re-post? Am I a baby? Do the juju gods care?

Anonymous said...


el duque said...

You are, like Comey, a showboater and a grandstander.

Anonymous said...

The orange blob has been rubbing off on you, Fonz - - but I will let you pull my leg all you want - - as long as you promise to pull the SHORTER one, only (and I do NOT mean that salaciously, I'll have ye' know!!) (God, I WISH I could compare "that" to a leg!!)

This is what these bleak, nasty, baseball-less days do to one - - Fonz starts sounding like an econ professor, and continues drinking - - and I, who generally drink next to nothing alcoholic, have no escape - - no recourse - - except to get out some old beta tapes of Gong Shows. LB (No J)

13bit said...

I lost my drinking privileges a long time ago. They do let me out once in a while to see a patch of sky near a corner of the yard. That being said, I don't miss it. The booze stopped working and it certainly would not have helped with the current incarnation of Alligator Arms and his Traveling Pinheads. Heroin and crack? Nah, they would not blot out the Yankees of the 21st Century's teenaged years. Where do I find solace? Certainly not in football, our great national disgrace. Nor with basketball. The last Knicks game I attended had Bernard King as a starter. Hockey? Not for me. So much for sports. TV? I only watch when I have a girlfriend, so it's been a long, long time. I bike ride and that helps a bit, except when I get near the Bronx and then the memories flood back in. Sometimes, the loud German couple that moved in above me distracts me with their loud stomping on their floor - my ceiling. That's a distraction, but far from pleasurable. No, the only reliable way to escape this long drought, this "between dynasties" valley, has been that which has worked since I was a young lad - military history, especially gulag and Eastern Front literature. Okay, I'm going to pretend it's snowing out in downtown Manhattan.

el duque said...

This is a community of people waiting for the Yankees to heal us.