Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hopping Along

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Little B-Ball

Friday, April 10, 2009

Counfounding Factors in Baseball

Yesterday my oldest son Grant had his first baseball game. He did a great job and was fun to watch and gave me a nice excuse to spend some time outside doing nothing on a nice spring day.

In keeping with the theme here - there are many confounds in baseball. One I thought of was the relationship between leaving men on base and winning the game. In browsing the MLB boxscores from yesterday, in 5 of the 7 games, the team that left the most runners on base without scoring won the game. But - that's generally not a good thing, so why would that be related to wining the game? Here the real factor is hits as 4 or those 5 games the wining team also had more hits, and it makes sense that the more hits you get the more likely you will win, and as a side effect will also likely leave more runners on base, but leaving runners on base does not make you win the game. But - next time your team leaves the bases loaded don't feel so bad they will likely win the game anyway (unless its the Cubs in the playoffs - there are factors at work there that defy all sound theories)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Using Confounds As a Last Resort to Help Our Case

Properly understanding confounding factors can help us understand things better. And sometimes, we can make up or exaggerate the presence of certain counfounding factors to help our case. However, unless we have data to back up out claims, this isn't often successful. For example, I could never quite convince my Statistics professors to better my grades, even I when tried to make the case that my poor study habits and arithmetic errors were counfounding my abilty to demonstrate my grasp of the material, which I really thought was quite good.

The Confound of Genetic Factors in Using Height as a predictor of Age

Once I understood this common confound - it helped me growing up - as I was short for my age.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"Dad, a confounding factor has prohibited me from cleaning my room today"

"Hmm. I see. What confounding factor was it?"

"The wind was blowing from the East."