## Monday, September 07, 2009

### When Sid was not the kid

If the Pirates achieved the lofty status of being an 'average' baseball team, what would be the statistical probability of 17 consecutive losing seasons?  The answer is too painful to calculate.  My homophonic cousin defines the last time Pirates baseball mattered and the beginning of the end of my real (in-law at least) cousin's tenure managing the Pirates.  This is Pittsburgh and we are all related one way or another.  That is a corollary to the two degrees rule.

But Sid was out.

MH said...

Using a simplifying assumption, that a losing season means finishing at the 50th percentile or below, then an average team would have a 50% probability of a losing season. So, .5 to the 17th power or .000008. Of course, if you phrase it as .0008%, it sounds better.

Monday, September 07, 2009 7:43:00 PM
johnnyg said...

I don't know if you're right MH, but Pirates fans should know that the the team they just overtook--the Phillies--for the most consecutive losing seasons ever had that one winning season after 16 losing seasons, then proceeded to have 15 MORE consecutive losing seasons. Little of this has been mentioned in the press.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:10:00 PM
C. Briem said...

calls for a full monte carlo bayesian simulation

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:27:00 PM
MH said...

I'm not sure how correct my assumption is, but I don't doubt that p < .05 for any test where the hypothesis is 'The Pirates are an average team.'

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 2:00:00 PM