Topic: Statistical Things

May 14, 2013

David Eckstein has been retired for years, and wasn't all that remarkable during his playing days. So why does he still stand for so much to both sides in baseball's long-running argument about numbers, heart and the relationship between the two?

January 17, 2013

Advanced NFL Stats' Win Probability is football's killer stat of the moment, for good reason. But while there's no reason to watch a graph instead of a game, there's an eloquence to Win Probability Graphs, especially during the game's most improbable moments.

November 1, 2012

ESPN's QBR may or may not take off as the next great advanced football metric. But the stat-heads who helped design the proprietary stat were very willing to explain its most controversial aspect, the much-debated (and confusingly named) "Clutch Index."

October 22, 2012

When it was launched late in 2011, ESPN's proprietary QBR passer rating was heralded as the rating that quantified the most complicated position in sports. Nothing could quite be or do that, but QBR has done a pretty solid job. So why has it more or less disappeared from ESPN and from the NFL discourse?

September 10, 2012

There's a difference between information and data, at least as the two make themselves felt in televised sports. The former helps you understand what's happening on the court or field or floor, and why. The latter is a burped-up number or acronym, free of context or anything else. Both are a big part of watching sports on TV. The latter, sadly, seems to be winning.

May 29, 2012

The NBA's best teams are, unsurprisingly, the best at executing out of timeouts. But given that offensive sets after timeouts are probably the most coach-dictated part of the NBA, what were Vinny Del Negro's Clippers doing among the NBA's most effective post-timeout teams?