Landmark 100,000th Analytics vs. Gut Instinct Debate Fails to Resolve Argument
Image courtesy of Flickr/Josh MacDonaldIt started simply enough.
Greta Larson, a Minneapolis-based IT consultant, noted that she was “Bummed that the Twins weren’t in it, but she was pulling for the Rays to beat the Astros” on her Facebook page. This innocuous post led to a 116-comment debate between Mike Dwyer and Russ Gallatin, acquaintances of Larson from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The subject? The merits of analytics vs. “playing the game.” The result? Meandering, occasionally heated, and entirely unsatisfactory.
What makes this one different is that it’s believed to be the 100,000th debate on this shopworn topic.
“We keep track of everything, and I mean everything, so when this came across the wire at HQ, it was hard to miss,” said Scott Bush, CEO of SABR. “This was 100,000. It’s a milestone of sorts.
“I should emphasize it is not a good milestone. I hate it very much and it makes me yearn for the cold dark of the grave.”
Gallatin thought he had a shot at convince Dwyer of his profound ignorance.
“Any honest person knows that the analytics increase your odds for success, but they don’t guarantee it,” said the Duluth (MN) resident. “Then he asked me how many rings Billy Beane has. I mean, what do you do with that?”
For his part, Dwyer was taken aback by how his unassailable logic was so casually disregarded.
“Reggie Jackson didn’t hit three dingers in the Game 6 of the 1977 World Series because some Poindexter showed him a bar graph,” said the Wheaton (IL) native. “He just wanted it more than the opposing pitcher. It’s an open-and-shut case, but he refused to see it that way. I’m legitimately surprised.”
Larson says she has unfriended both men.
Image license here.
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