Finally, evidence suggests that police are more likely to rate themselves highly in terms of their ability to read people’s body language *and* more likely to be wrong when they do.
In sum, the eye test, if you will, has been central to police interrogations for decades and it is badly flawed.
In the never-ending (and yes, tiresome) debate between “traditional scouting” and “analytics” the point that is most often missed, in my humble opinion, is that we humans allow our eyes to deceive us all the time. Properly used, actual empirical data isn’t an arrogant assertion of intellectual superiority. It’s an acknowledgment of our inescapable limitations. Of course, we also misuse data all the time, because our flaws and biases don’t only inhere in what we see with our eyes.
In sports analysis, however, the “eye test” in all too many cases has just become lazy short hand for “I don’t need to learn anything new – I know what I see and my judgment is not really subject to challenge.”
2) Cal Ripken, Jr. was on set with the Mikes this morning and was thoughtful and enjoyable to listen to. Greenie asked Ripken at one point what was the secret to longevity – to being a really productive player after the age of 34 or 35.
The premise, of course, was that Ripken was such a player. I am not ripping on the guy – in his prime years, Cal was great and all respect to the Streak.
But he did, indeed, experience a precipitous dropoff well before the age of 35. In 1991, his second MVP season, Cal had an OPS+ of 162, where 100 is the league average. Combine that with gold glove play at shortstop and you’re talking about a really terrific season. 1991 was Cal’s age 30 season. In his remaining decade in the bigs (dude played a long time), Ripken managed to top an OPS+ of 100 just three times. He was slightly above average in 1994 and 1996 and had a spike in production at age 38, in 1999 (though he missed about half the season). His power numbers and walk totals all fell off significantly after 1991. Once he moved to third base full time at age 36, he really wasn’t helping the team much at all, at least in terms of on-field production.
In case you were wondering – major league baseball does not limit the number of 6′ 4″ player who can suit up for a game.