Thursday, August 11, 2011


A popular but especially erroneous stat about Rivera durability in 2010

"Understanding that you can make any point you like with statistics..." Wallace Matthews, ESPN NY, 11/4/2010 (para. 16)

People don't have time to double check everything they read. As a result, misperceptions go viral, like the one that says Rivera only pitched 60 innings in 2010, and that this is proof of something.
Over time you can get people to believe anything. (82% of Muslims in Egypt believe you should be stoned to death for adultery). A national publication, GQ (among others) cited the '60 inning' stat as proof of Rivera's diminished durability. The stat was erroneous to start with because it left out Rivera's post season innings. If they don't count for durability what does?

April 2011, GQ: "Those days are coming to an end. Mariano remains one of the best closers in the game, but he spends ever less time sawing off hitters' bats with his cut fastball: With the exception of his injury-plagued 2002, the sixty innings Rivera pitched last year
It's especially dishonest to make a statement about a pitcher's durability then leave out the post season. In the 2010 regular season he had three 6 out appearances. 2 of them within 5 days, June 23 and June 27 and he got the Win for both.
Quote above from GQ article about Derek Jeter, "Derek Jeter's Swinging Years" April 2011, Seth Mnookin (page 3 paragraph 10).

Rivera's three 2 inning appearances in the 2010 regular season weren't recorded as "Saves" although they were more difficult because all 3 were tie innings in 'away' games. He received the Win for 2 of them:
no decision for the third, Sept. 10 at Texas. Because they weren't 'saves' someone at ESPN will say Rivera's not as good as so-and-so because he didn't have a "2 inning Save." I've seen this done by Tim Kurkjian. He and fellow ESPN guy Wallace Matthews have one job--translating certain players' careers into versions Bud Selig prefers them to be.

It should be mentioned that
No one pitches forever but that's a separate subject.


P.S. Nice to see someone bring up Mo's post season efforts when discussing durability:

8/12/11, "(Mariano's) had a couple days in a row where he's given up runs. I remember in 2009 he kind of got off to that slow start and people were saying is this the beginning of the end?," Girardi said. "And let's not forget, I think he threw two innings in Game 6 against the Phillies. He might have given us five outs against the Angels.""...


Citation about Egypt: 2/11/11, "Pew Global Attitudes Project" conducted 4/12/10-5/7/10, released 12/2/10 (scroll down)


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