“Why Ted Cruz is like the Atlanta Braves”

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I saw the headline from this Daniel Drezner column at the Washington Post and immediately thought “they both attract a lot of white dudes and have serious delusions about how good they’ll do in the long run.” But apparently it’s not about that.

Rather, it’s about how trying to form coherent, explanatory analysis in the early stages of political races is every bit the folly that it is to form coherent, explanatory analysis in the early stages of a baseball season. Small sample sizes, noises in data and the realization that the contest in question is marathon and not a spring render almost all early-going analysis dumb and/or empty.

Yet both baseball writers and political writers still do it. They try to tell us “what we’ve learned” after five games or one week’s worth of speeches. They try to frame the narrative now, before someone else does, when no narrative of any substance whatsoever could possibly have formed yet.

I’ll leave the political analysis to people who know it better than me. But I’ll offer that, in almost all cases, summaries of where teams stand and what we’ve all learned in the baseball season so far aren’t worth your time.