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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Resolving the Past

"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be" - Blaise Pascal

It's that time of year again when baseball minds start to think about next year and indulge in all manner of projections and forecasts. It is of course a perfect compliment to the hot stove talk as we imagine what this or that player might do for our favorite team. In my column on Baseball Prospectus today I take a historical look at projections by "projecting the past" using a simple but fairly effective algorithm for generating projections for every player in every season from 1903 through 2006, some 17,000 player seasons in all.

What I was looking for were the biggest booms and busts of all-time; in other words which players most exceeded a reasonable expectation and which ones went into the tank. Although ours (and our favorite front office's) expectations may not always be reasonable, the article talks about those using a couple different ways of comparing the projection to the reality and lists a top and bottom ten using those methods. Hope you enjoy it. The projections use normalized and park-adjusted OPS and are based on a three year weighted average that is regressed to the mean, age, and league adjusted.

So surf over and find out who was the biggest bust of all-time (a hint: he hit a few taters in his time) and the biggest boom (hint: my sister's favorite player and not a favorite of Mad Dog's)

1 comment:

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