The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

I Suppose It's Asking too Much of the Press

To hope that sports journalists might bring a tad more discernment to their coverage of baseball than they do to everything elese.The AP (& Ronald Blum) via Yahoo News treats us to this gem: MLB Sees Fewer HRs Amid Steroid Crackdown:

Perhaps he could take a lesson in statistical analysis from
Florida Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell. 'I can't say it's steroids or the pitching. It might be a combination. If it was down 30 percent, I would say, `Whoa, we've got to look at something.' Nine percent is a minimal variation.'"

How minimal? It's the kind of question I ask my students. What is the probablity of observing 1.97 home runs a game or less if the number of home runs a game is purely random? Given an average of about 2.14 pergame, about 25%. Mike Lowell is right on the nose.


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