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]



  1. WiNKy Oconklin says:

    draysbay = fucking busch league.

    & if this means war... i for one welcome it.

  2. Jeff Seymour says:


  3. Possum Avenger says:

    well said

  4. Michael says:

    Well said once again, Professor.

    Having moved from SE Ohio to the Tampa area in 1984, I vividly remember the Reds winning the World Series in 1990 despite being by all accounts the 'inferior team' to LaRussa's A's. I don't care what the A's had for EQA, WPA, tRA, wins over replacement, zone rating, etc.... I'll take the four games to zero ass whipping and the banner currently flying over Great American Ballpark over the knowledge A's fans have 'knowing' they were the better team. And this comes from a guy that's still bitter because he knows the 1988 Bengals were better than the 1989 49ers.

    Anyway, this World Series loss is hugely disappointing for Rays fans. The Phillies beat us (with help from the umps) at what had been our strengths all year -- their bullpen was better than ours, their defense outplayed ours, and their timely hits were timelier than ours. Tip your hats to the Phillies, they played their asses off when they had to and came out on top. I wish we got another crack at it for all the marbles but we don't. Congratulations Phillies.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Best example ever, Patriots loss to the Giants in the Superbowl.

    Haha... suck that Brady!

  6. The Professor says:

    michael, that Bengals team was indeed better. that was one of teh first Super Bowls that i remember vivdly and paid close attention to.

    speaking of luck. i might be off on exactly when this happened. i think it was that last TD drive. on the first or second play, Montana threw a ball that basically hit the hands of a Bengal and was dropped. if the Bengal catches it, game over and Montana is not nearly as revered as he is now and the Bengals have a title. a 49ers friend of mine thinks it happened on the drive before, but would have been just as devastating (Bengals ball on 49er 30ish).

    anyway. 49ers and Montana definitely got lucky on that play and in the game and yet, all anybody remembers is that they won.

  7. Steve Slowinski says:

    Okay, DRaysBay's article was not in any way a direct attack on you guys. There were many, many people last not in the comments sections on some of the articles on DRaysBay that were professing disdane about our team and trash talking our entire season. It was rather pathetic and really sad, so RJ wanted to counter it.

    As a reader on both of your blogs, I just don't get why you guys at Rays Index seems to be so hostile towards DRaysBay. As far as I have seen, and I have been reading both of your blogs since around Christmas last year, DRaysBay has never said anything disparaging about you guys unless you first provoked them.

    Also, with this post today, you automatically assumed that the DRaysBay staff was talking about you specifically instead of thinking maybe they were talking to some of their own readers out there. Why assume that they're being assholes? Like I said, they've never taken a cheap potshot against you guys that I am aware of.

    That said, though, I am still a reader at both your blogs because I feel like you both bring something new and interesting to the table. Maybe you have different opinions and different interests (like how they're so stats heavy), but that's what makes it interesting. It provides for a new take on things. So why can't you just get along? Even if you don't like each other, you don't have to come out and attack each other. Just ignore the other person and be done with it.

  8. The Professor says:

    steve, I don't know who the post was directed at bc DraysBay does not say.

    As for the relationship between the two sites. You are more than welcome to contact me directly (using the Tips link on the main page) and I will be glad to provide several examples in which Drays Bay attacked me and this site unprovoked.

    If i was still allowed to comment at Draysbay i might not have ever written this post. but this it my only outlet now.

    And I do NOT hate statheads. I read the stats and the new-age stats as much as anybody.

    A large portion of my day job is stats and probabilities. I AM A STATHEAD. for example, we hear a lot about "small sample sizes". but has anybody ever defined what a small sample size is in baseball? what is the cutoff. I am not sure. but I can tell you that in situations with only 2 possible outcomes, you can get a reasonable predictor model with as few as 5 samples.

    I LOVE stats. I love baseball more.

  9. Ghost of Quinton McCracken says:

    steve, i tried to post a link to Rays Index in the comments of a fan post on DRB a while back. It was about the White Stripes song played during pitching changes at the Trop. all i did was point out that it was started here. they deleted my comment and said it was some policy or something about no longer posting links to this blog and apparently, even if you just mention the name of this blog in their comments it gets deleted.

    that is why RJ says "some people" and doesn't provide any links. if it was commenters, he would have said so.

    personally i think the tension between the two sites is hilarious. my eyes always light up when I see a DRB link on this blog.

  10. Steve Slowinski says:

    Hmm...number one, sorry for randomly posting the same thing twice. I thought my first response had gotten deleted by my computer when the page refreshed, but it'd actually posted it. Whoopsies...

    Personally, I think the tension is rather stupid and it's just creating needless drama. We're all Rays fans, right? We're all on the same side. There were so many different people out there bashing Rays fans all year and bashing our team, I find it rather silly that there are internal squabbles like this going on. Obviously, everyone is going to have different opinions about some players and whatnot, but that doesn't mean we can't be decent about it.

    And I'm sorry if it came off like I was attacking you guys specifically. I do feel like there are people at DRaysBay that probably haven't helped matters. Things got blown out of proportions from the very beginning, so it seems.

    So I've gone back and looked over the times you mentioned I should look up: the article with the title in response to your post, your reasoned comments on their site about Joel Guzman about a month ago, and a couple of other times that you posted on their site. After looking at all of this, though, I don't think my opinion has changed much. Yes, you started off not saying anything inflamatory during your comments about Guzman. You and RJ got into an argument, which is fine and both of you seemed to stick with the issue at hand. It was a disagreement, but those happen all the time. Then you guys both started going downhill and taking potshots at each other, though I do believe that started with you making a comment about GMs. RJ reacted hostily (though you had egged him on), but then you went and posted disparaging comments about DRaysBay on Rays Index. In my mind, both are to blame for acting rather immaturely, though I think posting articles blasting another website is a bit more immature. Besides that one perceived slight with the "Jealous" title (which RJ apologized for and changed), DRaysBay has never directed an article attacking you guys. So I ask, why would they start now?

    But anyway, I probably shouldn't have opened this whole bag of fish. Sorry for stirring up hostilities...I was just trying to understand what was going on here. This thing runs deeper than I thought. All I have to say, though, is that I find the whole thing rather childish. I love this blog, but this is the one thing that can annoy me at times about it. The bantering strikes me as pointless.

  11. The Professor says:

    Steve, these posts are not without reason. If they are going to write a post calling Rays fans "morons", i am going to respond. if they are going "to question the thinking" and say people are just "trying to be radicals, but ending up as perfect squares" all because a lot of us are not ready to find consolation in the regular season success after losing the world series...I am going to write why they are wrong.

    i have been critical of a thousand sites on Rays Index and have attacked some sites quite vehemently. once every couple of months i find a post on drays bay that that I feel needs a response. there are literally hundreds of posts that i have either positively or neutrally linked to. one time i even defended RJ from some negative comments in the mainstream media. hell I even helped RJ not that long ago with some graphs on BTB.

    there was never any animosity from me directed at them. i treated them the same way i treat every other baseball website or blog. it just stands out more because they are also a Rays website. and just bc they are a Rays site doesn't mean i going to hold them any less accountable than any other site.

  12. Steve Slowinski says:

    Fair enough...I can respect that. You guys just tend to have very different viewpoints a lot of the time and with the bent of this website, I suppose it makes sense if you comment on their articles here and there. Thanks for the insight.

  13. Diana says:

    Draysbay is impossible to comment on as well, it is like MLBTR in that sense. You give a simple opinion (i.e.. Delmon Young likes to swing at balls) and while you do occasionally get a response to the substance of your comment it is usually tainted with out of no where attacks and some sort of nerd blogger cockiness, or if you offend one of the draysbay gatekeepers you get real nerdy talk like their TRA is better than your BABIP.


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