Mariners Analysis

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How many players does it take?

The team actually wins two games in a row (gasp!) and the optimists are already stirring the pot by wondering aloud how many players it would take to turn this around.

Of course during the off season we heard Bedard was that one player, so you'll to excuse our pessimism on the subject. If a team is one player away, and then discover they are 2-3 players away, how far away were they in the first place... sounds like something you'd see on your SAT test in high school.

The key term we keep hearing repeated over and over is "regression to the mean"
Statistical tendency of a data series to gravitate towards the center of a distribution, provided it starts on the either end of the distribution and is free to fluctuate.

In other words, what comes around goes around. Just like Silva was not going to win the Cy Young after having a great start, we shouldn't be shocked to see the team win games from time to time. They are likely a .500 capable team like many suspected who are flawed but always have a chance when a Bedard or Fernandez take the hill. The fact they are so much worse is not shocking, as this is still a game played by humans.

Before the season, here's what a computer thought of the M's chances- link

You'll notice Diamond Mind's projections have the M's winning the division 6% of the time. You'll also notice some seasons the team wins 70 games.

The point is plenty of people and systems thought the M's would struggle this year. This particular projection was done for the AL East, meaning they weren't Mariner fans who were looking through rose colored glasses. An independent observer if you will.

We are now coming up on one third of the season. There's no more "its early" to point too. The scary part for me as a fan right now-
  • Bavasi is in charge of the draft
  • Bavasi is in charge of this team at the trading deadline
  • Bavasi is trying to save his job and will do anything he thinks might work, no matter the risk
This team will win some series. This team won't finish with 100 losses. But it's a lot more than one player away from competing in this division. Don't read too much into a 1-0 win at home...