Friday, September 21, 2007

A rich source of awful logic

One of the places that tends to be rich in logical fallacies is the sports world. I don't know if anyone at WEEI knows what post hoc ergo propter hoc means, but that's what they're spending their time doing the past couple of days. The entire focus is how the play-offs will determine the rightness or wrongness of the September approach.

I've got news for you, guys. They may play badly leading into the play-offs and get swept out. That will prove nothing about whether resting players was the right approach. There's just far too much timing and luck involved in baseball for 3-10 games to mean anything. The fact that Boston just lost three in a row to Toronto does not mean that Toronto's a better team than Boston. If Boston coasts into the play-offs as the Wild Card, and loses in the first round, that doesn't mean that coasting in was a mistake. If they play the next week as if they were play-off games and hold off the Yankees to win the division, and then lose in the first round, that doesn't mean that playing all out was a mistake. They'll win in the playoffs, or they'll lose, and their record in September will have NOTHING to do with it.

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