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Why Do Baseball Announcers and Analysts Not Understand Stats?

June 29, 2013

I’m watching the Fox game (Yanks/Orioles–yeah, now it’s OK for me to see the O’s), and Joe Buck is saying his usual silly stuff. Just now: “Lots of people said it was a fluke last year when the Orioles went 29-9 in one-run games, and 16-2 in extra inning games, but they’ve shown that’s not true. Their bullpen is good.”

So I went here, and this year the O’s are 12-11 in one-run games, and 5-3 in extras. So yeah, Joe, last year was a total fluke. They still have a good record, but their bullpen is 14th in ERA and batting average alllowed, and 18th in on-base-plus-slugging allowed. Mediocre at best; not hurting the team, but not a key to their success.

I don’t watch a ton of football or basketball games, but the announcers don’t often strike me as guys who don’t get stats, or who misuse stats. But some baseball announcers seem proud of their inability to understand stats.

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