The Other Fifteen

Eighty-five percent of the f---in' world is working. The other fifteen come out here.

Science is a differential equation. Fielding is a boundary condition.

There are some things that computers are very good at doing:

Things computers cannot do, due to their innate complexity:

Oh-kay. Let's hear it from Cap'n Jetes himself:

"Maybe it was a computer glitch," the three-time Gold Glove winner said of the report. But Jeter just didn't laugh this one off. He defended himself, saying, "Every [shortstop] doesn't stay in the same spot, everyone doesn't have the same pitching. Everyone doesn't have the same hitters running, it's impossible to do that."

Jeter, 33, pointed out you can get the exact same ground ball off the exact same pitcher and there could be an average runner or there could be Ichiro running. "How can you compute that?" he asked.

That's an interesting question, Derek Jeter! Obviously there's no way that computers could know who the baserunners are on a batted ball! It's not as though a meticulous, play-by-play record of the events on a baseball field are kept.

Well, except for Retrosheet. And the BIS data and the STATS, Inc. data. And the MLB Gameday data you can download as XML files. So there's only several hundred ways we can compute all of the extra variables that Derek Jeter is talking about.

But still: Derek Jeter, more compicated than astrophysics or the human genome!

(Hat tip: Tango.)

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1 Responses to “Science is a differential equation. Fielding is a boundary condition.”

  1. # Anonymous Maddog

    Number 2 on the list of things computers cannot do is establish the value of good defense behind the plate (finger placement of the signs between the catcher's leg being the most important).  

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