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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Statisticians strike out the Minnesota Twins baseball team :(

The May 15 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine passes along a prediction by statisticians that the Minnesota Twins have virtually no hope of winning this season, even though they've only played about one-fifth of the games. The team started the year with a 2 to 1 shot at achieving the playoffs in Major League Baseball, but after their 13-18 start, the odds are now 200 to 1 against this. These probabilities come from a Monte Carlo simulation done by Clay Davenport -- a statistician specializing on baseball, also known as a "sabermetrician". His latest stats can be seen in the Baseball Prospectus Odds Report, which touts that its analyses stem from "Playing the rest of the season a million times." Evidently the Minnesota Twins management read this report because local sports writers have been spreading rumors that the team will divest itself of highly-paid stars Tori Hunter and Shannon Stewart. Due to a rash of injuries, the New York Yankees need outfielders as soon as possible and they have the money and prospects to entice the small market Twins into giving up their season. As a Minnesota fan, I say that these statistics be damned!


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