Yesterday I linked John Tomase’s dire warning about what the future may hold for Josh Beckett. Today Bill at The Platoon Advantage picks Tomase’s analysis apart. Setting aside the notion that Tomase could have used more refined metrics with which to analyze Beckett, Bill observes that Tomase unwittingly stacked the deck against him:
Even assuming plain old unadjusted ERA is the way to go, though, Tomase went about it all wrong. His cutoffs were 125 IP, 5.75 ERA, and age 30-39; Beckett had a 5.78 ERA, 127.2 IP and was 30 years old. By creating a set with lower limits at almost exactly Beckett’s numbers and with no upper limit, you’re capturing only a few who are Beckett’s age, almost none who were as good as Beckett and many who were much, much worse and/or much, much older. What happened to Jack Morris at age 39, David Cone at 38 and Dave Stewart at 38 — and those three guys are actually mentioned in Tomase’s article — has absolutely no bearing at all on what’s going to happen to Beckett at age 31, even if their previous seasons’ numbers were superficially similar.
Unless you’re really happy with the notion that Beckett is going to crash and burn next year, you should read Bill’s entire analysis.
And remember, kids: stats are dangerous things, so be careful with them. With my family history and tendencies for abuse, I never touch the stuff.