Getaway Day [noun] 1) The final day of a regular season series in baseball in which the game is often played during the day so that the visiting team may catch a flight home, or to the next city on their road trip; 2) A day on which the Tampa Bay Rays suck.

The Rays lost yesterday in Seattle on Getaway Day. This is not unusual. In their last 17 road series, the Rays are now 4-13 on Getaway Day. They are 21-19 in all other road games.

So, are the Rays having trouble waking up for these day games? Are they carousing a bit too much the night before on their final night in each city?

Well, not all of these Getaway games are day games and some day games are not the final game of the series. On the road, the Rays are 7-12 in day games. Not good, but not as bad as 4-13.

So what is the answer? We have no idea, but this is no longer an interesting coincidence or a small sample size. This is 17 games of sucktitude with a clear pattern. If the goal is to win series, this is difficult to accomplish on the road if the final game of each series is almost certainly a loss.

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12 Comments

  1. Don says:

    You have to remember...most of the Rays are in their 20's, and in the first year or two playing in the Majors...
    The opportunities are unlimited away from home and families...By the time the last game comes around after 2/3 days in the "big city" they ARE tired...They have the "look" on the last day.... esp a day game...
    Call me crazy but I think they are getting their "oil changed" too often on the road! Would still like to ask Kalas...he's prob in on the deal...

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  2. Amanda says:

    Immaturity, immaturity, immaturity. Period. What's the point of having veterans like Floyd and Henske come in if the younger leaders of this team don't take up the mantle when they're gone? At this point, in essence, they were no more than babysitters, because this team isn't mature enough yet to handle situations like showing up prepared on getaway days.

    I'm not saying all is lost. There is still a damn good chance for this team to make it to the playoffs, and that's still saying something for this once downtrodden team. But there have been enough signs throughout the year to show that there is a lack of focus on this team.

    Here's hoping that a few more games with Zaun on the field or on the bench will get these guys right. But more importantly, I hope they learn from this veteran this time instead of just doing what he says.

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  3. bobrittner says:

    "So what is the answer? We have no idea, but this is no longer an interesting coincidence or a small sample size."

    It is a provocative pattern, but remains a very small sample and should not be overanalyzed, or at least no conclusions should be drawn from it. For comparison sake, the Red Sox are 8-11 in getaway games on the road and the White Sox are 6-11. Not as bad as the Rays, but pretty bad for teams with good records and filled with veteran and playoff experienced players.

    I think it is interesting and agree it merits looking at to see whether it really is a pattern rather than a coincidence, but a record over a random 17 games is meaningless in itself even if there is some common thread running through them. Suppose we discovered a similar record for games that start at 6:00 rather than 7:00 or for road games with high attendance vs, those with low attendance? Would we think there was necessarily a relationship between the won-lost record and those facts?

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    • The Professor says:

      Actually this gets in to the very complicated matter of what a "small sample size" is. If only 2 options are possible research has shown that we can show a statistically significant pattern with just 5 samples.

      In this case it is a bit more complicated than that but really we have 2 possible outcomes, win or lose.

      Based on the Rays overall road record, the Rays would be expected to be 7.5-9.5 in these 17 Getaway games. Using a basic statistical deviation test the difference between observed and expected would give a p-value of .08. That just misses the usual cutoff of .05 that defines statistical significance. But as we know, there is not some magical line between what is significant and what is not. I would argue that .08 is very significant in this case given the sample size. And most likely we are only 1 game away from being truly statistically significant.

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      • bobrittner says:

        I cannot argue the statistical issues; that takes me way out of my depth. My question is whether there is some necessary or even probably cause and effect between getaway road games and won-lost record. It may be statistically significant that in 17 games of that sort the Rays have such a terrible record, but does that mean that we are matching the proper cause to that result?

        I recognize that you dismiss the day game/night game issue, which seems reasonable, and I do not know why the "problem" seems to exist this year. I can speculate, but without any evidence beyond the record itself, I hesitate to credit my speculation as anything more than ill-informed guess work. For example, maybe the poor record reflects coincidentally bad pitching matchups for the Rays. Have we looked at the different ways the Rays have lost these games? Is it generally a lack of hitting? of pitching? of defensive play? of all those things? Is there no pattern beyond the record?

        Don is wrong about most things as far as I can tell, but although he likely has no idea why, he does indirectly reflect on a problem with statistical analysis. That problem is that it often becomes reductionist, seeking to understand complicated factors by isolating single ones. Statistical analysis is tremendously valuable to understand specific factors or to undercut many rather silly traditional cliched analyses, but they are not (yet?) able to integrate everything that goes on in an organic way to explicate the full game.

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    • Don says:

      Must be a rather boring existance to TRY to explain all human bevaior with statistics..as I have said before to observe things happening and to determine that something must be done to correct them is a learned skill....
      Let me try to explain...When I was a sales manager I could tell if my people working hard every day and sales were coming in...I didn't have to wait till the end of the year to see figures if we were up or down!
      Baseball is about performance..if players are not performing ...someone has to make chances to correct the situation...

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  4. David says:

    The Rays are still a young team. Most of them are as old as each other. Maybe they'll all decide when to grow up as a unit so they'll once again learn to play baseball as a unit. I depend on Andrew Friedman to use every cent possible to keep our young guys together so they can mature together and mend together to become a perfect ball team.

    P.S.
    I went to the St. Pete Time website and noticed a lot of fans on Joe Maddon's back. Dissing his managing skills. I ask those who say this is to weigh in on the pros and cons of Joe Maddon, and then compare them to the pros and cons of other managers. I guarantee you Joe wont have as many cons as other managers.

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  5. Maybe Zaun and Springer need to organize a "game night" in the evening. They can all sit around and play scrabble together.

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