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Archive of posts filed under the Sports category.

Some open questions in chess

– When played optimally, is pawn race a win for white, black, or a draw? – Could I beat a grandmaster if he was down a queen? I tried playing Stockfish with it down a Q and a R, and I won easily. (Yeah!) I suspect I could beat it just starting up a queen. […]

A regression puzzle . . . and its solution

Alex Tabarrok writes: Here’s a regression puzzle courtesy of Advanced NFL Stats from a few years ago and pointed to recently by Holden Karnofsky from his interesting new blog, ColdTakes. The nominal issue is how to figure our whether Aaron Rodgers is underpaid or overpaid given data on salaries and expected points added per game. […]

What is a “woman”?

This post is by Phil Price, not Andrew. As we approach the Olympic Games, this seems like a good time to think about the rules for deciding whether a person is a “woman” when it comes to athletic competition. As I was doing some searches to find some information for the post, I found an […]

The Tampa Bay Rays baseball team is looking to hire a Stan user

Andrew and I have blogged before about job opportunities in baseball for Stan users (e.g., here and here) and here’s a new one. This time it’s the Tampa Bay Rays who are hiring. The job title is “Analyst, Baseball Research & Development” and here are the responsibilities and qualifications: Responsibilities: * Build customized statistical modeling […]

Short course on football (soccer) analytics using Stan

From Ioannis Ntzoufras, Dimitrios Karlis, and Leonardo Egidi. I haven’t looked at the course myself but I like the idea!

The insider-outsider perspective (Jim Bouton example)

One theme that’s come up often here over the years is what the late Seth Roberts called the insider-outsider perspective of “people who have the knowledge of insiders but the freedom of outsiders,” and here’s one of many examples. I thought about this again after reading this interview by Steven Goldleaf on Bill James Online […]

Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science gets results!

A few months ago, we posted this job ad from Des McGowan: We are looking to hire multiple full time analysts/senior analysts to join the Baseball Analytics department at the New York Mets. The roles will involve building, testing, and presenting statistical models that inform decision-making in all facets of Baseball Operations. These positions require […] cheater-detection bot pisses someone off

Justin Horton writes: Of course are a private company. They have the right, within the law, to have who they want on their site and to ban who they want from their site. What they don’t have the right to do is to call somebody a cheat without backing it up. But that is […]

The Mets are hiring

Des McGowan writes: We are looking to hire multiple full time analysts/senior analysts to join the Baseball Analytics department at the New York Mets. The roles will involve building, testing, and presenting statistical models that inform decision-making in all facets of Baseball Operations. These positions require a strong background in complex statistics and data analytics, […]

Who are the culture heroes of today?

When I was a kid, the culture heroes were Hollywood and TV actors, pop musicians, athletes and coaches, historical political and military figures, then I guess you could go down the list of fame and consider authors, artists, scientists and inventors . . . . that’s about it, I think. Nowadays, we still have actors, […]

“Maybe the better analogy is that these people are museum curators and we’re telling them that their precious collection of Leonardos, which they have been augmenting at a rate of about one per month, include some fakes.”

Someone sent me a link to a recently published research paper and wrote: As far as any possible coverage on your blog goes, this one didn’t come from me, please. It just looks… baffling in a lot of different ways. OK, so it didn’t come from that person. I read the paper and replied: Oh, […]

I ain’t the lotus

Some people wanted me to resolve this Minecraft dispute. But it’s so far outside my areas of expertise and interest that I have no plans to look into it. My reason for posting was that I thought it could interest some of the blog readership, not necessarily the same readers who are interested in posts […]

“Dream Investigation Results: Official Report by the Minecraft Speedrunning Team”

It’s almost Christmas, which makes us think of toys and presents, like . . . videogames for the kids and young adults in your life. And we have a story for you, all about ethics in video game speedrunning. Matt Drury writes: Recently a top player of Minecraft has been exposed as a cheater using […]

A new hot hand paradox

1. Effect sizes of just about everything are overestimated. Selection on statistical significance, motivation to find big effects to support favorite theories, researcher degrees of freedom, looking under the lamp-post, and various other biases. The Edlin factor is usually less than 1. (See here for a recent example.) 2. For the hot hand, it’s the […]

What happens to the median voter when the electoral median is at 52/48 rather than 50/50?

Here’s a political science research project for you. Joe Biden got about 52 or 53% of the two-party vote, which was enough for him to get a pretty close win in the electoral college. As we’ve discussed, 52-48 is a close win by historical or international standards but a reasonably big win in the context […]

My theory of why TV sports have become less popular

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about declining viewership for TV sports. Below I’ll link to a news article discussing various possible explanations, but first I want to share my theory, which is that we’re watching less sports because we’re talking about sports less, and we’re talking about sports less because we’re mixing with […]

Bill James is back

I checked Bill James Online the other day and it’s full of baseball articles! I guess now that he’s retired from the Red Sox, he’s free to share his baseball thoughts to all. Cool! He has 8 posts in the past week or so, which is pretty impressive given that each post has some mixture […]

Why we kept the trig in golf: Mathematical simplicity is not always the same as conceptual simplicity

Someone read the golf example and asked: You define the threshold angle as arcsin((R – r)/x), but shouldn’t it be arctan((R – r)/x) instead? Is it just that it does not matter with these small angles, where sine and tangent are about the same, or am I missing something? My reply: This sin vs tan […]

53 fever!

One thing statisticians love is a story about people acting foolish around probability . . . Paul Alper points us to this news article by David Robson: Fifteen years ago, the people of Italy experienced a strange kind of mass hysteria known as “53 fever”. The madness centred on the country’s lottery. Players can choose […]

The U.S. high school math olympiad champions of the 1970s and 1980s: Where were they then?

George Berzsenyi writes: Here is the last issue of the USAMO [math olympiad] Newsletter that was edited by Nura Turner and Tsz-Mei Ko along with a couple of additional summaries about the IMO participants. Concerning the Newsletter, I [Berzsenyi] just learned from Tsz-Mei Ko that it was the last issue. At the time, I really […]

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