Drays Bay would like you to think that championships mean nothing.
Apparently, some people are saying this season possesses no positive aspect due to the World Series results. This is irrational and frankly embarrassing to the fan base. Few teams improve by 31 games and even fewer teams do it with the second lowest payroll in the league.
Being outstanding for 162 games is a far greater challenge than being outstanding for three five-to-seven game series. In any given set of ~20 games you’re going to have random variance play a huge role in the outcomes, much larger than during the regular season because usually random variance doesn’t even out in the post-season. Throw in awful umpiring; a typhoon, and a two-day half-inning and you have three variables that the Rays had zero control over.
The Phillies were better for five games than the Rays were, the Rays were better than most of the league for 162 games. Tell me the former eclipses the latter and I’m going to have to question your thinking. I’m going to write this up to some people trying to be radicals, but ending up as perfect squares.
We have yet to read a single item that says the Rays’ season has “no positive aspect”. Since Drays Bay failed to list any sources or tell us exactly who “some people” are, we can only assume they are referring to sentiments like our “Hangover” post from last night, in which we stated the following:
We don’t want to hear about what a great season it was. We don’t want to hear about how the Rays exceeded all expectations. None of that matters today. There are no excuses. There are no silver linings. Maybe in a couple of days we will be able to reflect on what happened in 2008, but not today.
Apparently we have to explain what “today” means. For the slower people, that means the day between yesterday and tomorrow. We never said that the regular season accomplishments were meaningless. Quite the opposite. But when the Rays are in the World Series, they mean squat.
We are well-aware that chance plays a role in small sample sizes. We have written papers on the subject. But if the Red Sox played the Nationals in a best-of-seven under the same conditions as the Phillies and Rays, the Red Sox would win that series 9 out of every 10 times. Why? Because they are a better team, weather be damned. However, if the gap between two teams is small, the significance of chance increases.
Either way, you can’t all of the sudden say winning the World Series means less than the regular season. Otherwise you are going to be “questioning the thinking” of a lot of people.
We beg Drays Bay to find a single Phillies fan that thinks the World Series title means less than being “better than most of the league for 162 games.”
We beg Drays Bay to find a single Red Sox fan that cares more about how many seasons the Red Sox were “better than most of the league for 162 games,” than the two World Championships they won in recent years.
A Yankees fan can tell you that the Bombers have won 26 world titles. Do you think they give a hoot how many times the Yankees were “better than most of the league for 162 games?”
Do you think the Mariners and their fans would trade some of the 116 regular season wins in 2001 for 7 more wins in the postseason?
To think the regular season somehow means more than the World Series is pure idiocy.
We appreciate what the Rays did the season. Nothing will ever take away what they accomplished. But that is little consolation the day after losing the World Series. Tomorrow? Now that is a different story. And if that makes somebody a “square”, then we guess the Phillies will be the biggest squares of them all next year when they raise the pennant and receive their rings.
Professing My Love of Probability [Drays Bay]