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That's J.P. Ricciardi's winning percentage since he came on board according to The St Pete. Times. Have we reached a point in the newspaper game where the easiest of all fact-checking goes by the wayside? If you follow baseball, you know that it takes a special team to play .333 for one year. But for 3 years? In their chart right above, they show when J.P. became GM. That's 3 years and counting. 3 years is about 486 games. The W-L record they show is 131-254 (or 385 games). So, there's around 100 games unaccounted for, and we all know that it's darn near impossible to play .340 for 3 years under the radar. The biggest disappointment will be if someone actually quotes these numbers as fact. Let's wait and see...
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Mike Green - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:26 AM EST (#105106) #
Tango, I can't help it. I see ".340" and I see a batting champ. This is what happens to fans raised in the sixties.

As I understand it, the journalist, who wrote the piece adjacent to the chart, may not have seen the chart. Unfortunately, it reflects badly on the journalist. It's so far wrong that it should be obvious to a baseball writer.
Ducey - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:27 AM EST (#105107) #
Here are the actual winning percentages:

Under JP the Jays have gone:
2002 78-84
2003 86-76
2004 67-94

Winning percentage: .476
NDG - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:36 AM EST (#105109) #
It's so far wrong that it should be obvious to a baseball writer.

Especially when you consider it's coming from a Tampa newspaper. It'd be like us producing a chart showing how the Jays have been better than the Yankees.

Flex - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:42 AM EST (#105110) #
Somebody just dropped a 2. They give him 131 wins instead of 231. It's dumb, but it's easy to do.
Original Ryan - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#105111) #
.340 is the team's TSA* winning percentage.

*Toronto Star adjusted
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 11:56 AM EST (#105117) #
Flex, I don't see how it's easy to do, unless they do things by hand.

The process would be to put all the data into Excel first, and then let Excel add things up. So, they put in 78 86 67, and let Excel figure that to be 231. You let Excel figure out the win% to be .476 or whatever.

Then, you cut/paste the Excel results into Word or whatever.

Now, how can you have 131 in there to begin with? It's not like they would have put 78, 86, negative 33, right? The way I see the error happening is that someone actually did everything by hand (not even a calculator).

And, if you do everything by hand, you are bound to make a mistake. There needs to be a verification step somewhere. The way it was done here, there was a multitude of steps here where anything could have gone wrong.

It really puts into question the entire chart, which I myself was very happy to see, and it looked like a great piece of research.
Jordan - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 12:04 PM EST (#105119) #
Looking at that list of GMs, I would never have guessed that Terry Ryan was the second-most senior general manager in the game. And I am astonished to learn that Joe Gariagola Jr. and Chuck LaMar have been with the D'Backs and Rays, respectively, for almost ten years. At least the Diamondbacks won a World Series in there. How does Lamar still have his job?

I wonder who the next GM to be fired will be? Dan O'Dowd ought to be hanging by a thread in Colorado, though you can argue that Branch Rickey couldn't find a way to win a mile above sea level. And you'd figure that Ed Wade has maybe one more season, possibly two, to deliver a winner before getting the axe in Philly. Beyond that, though, this looks like a remarkably stable group of GMs.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 12:08 PM EST (#105120) #
Now, why would they take the time to do that in Excel when they could just add up the numbers on a calculator or with a piece of paper? Unless they're doing calculations or spreadsheets regularly, would they even have a copy of Excel? I don't.

I'm betting someone's fingers slipped when punching calculator buttons.
Rob - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 12:34 PM EST (#105128) #
I'm betting someone's fingers slipped when punching calculator buttons.

Or it could be the similarity of the numbers -- you have 6, 7 and 8 in both the tens and ones columns. The finger slippage is probably true, but I can't take any of those numbers in the GM WPct chart at face value now that I know one of them is wrong.

Did anyone else not really notice until now (or ten minutes ago) that calculator buttons go like this:
while phone and TV remote buttons are like this?

Zao - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 01:27 PM EST (#105156) #
hehe. you guys are funny.
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 01:35 PM EST (#105159) #
Hank: I'm guessing that if you work for a newspaper, they probably have a software office suite.
The Bone - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 01:51 PM EST (#105164) #
I admit I dont know a whole lot about newspaper publishing but isn't possible they did the chart with excel and then had to transfer it by end to a chart that was formatted for the newspaper and when they did that they mad an eyeballing error
Named For Hank - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 02:03 PM EST (#105172) #
While you may have one available to you, sure doesn't mean that you have it on your computer or even know how to use it.
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 02:30 PM EST (#105183) #
The Bone: no, because the winning percentage should have carried over fine then. What you are saying is that they carried over 131 instead of 231, and then someone recalculated the win% based on that data. The error happened no later than when the win% was calculated.

Hank: anything is possible I suppose. But I assume that newspaper offices are just like any other corporate office: every desk has a computer with some email, word processor and spreadsheet program installed, and that a user is expected to know minimal skills there.
Matthew E - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 02:42 PM EST (#105190) #
Of all the things to be arguing about. This is supposed to be a baseball website, and people are doing forensics on an arithmetic error?

I mean, if that's what you're really interested in, more power to you...
King Ryan - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 03:00 PM EST (#105196) #
Lay off guys, I find it interesting. The point is, simple math error or not, these things should really be double-checked in the editing process. And even if you don't feel like double checking your math, that number should really stand out to you if you follow baseball at all. I've been seeing this sort of thing (obvious factual errors) in newspapers a lot lately, and it's a shame.
binnister - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 03:27 PM EST (#105209) #
Hey, I think I know where a bunch of those 'lost' win's got to:

Check out Kevin Towers(SD) record/Win%

Talk about being under the radar.
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 03:32 PM EST (#105211) #
I agree with Ryan and disagree with Matthew. There's no reason that my interests have to intersect with anyone else's. The great thing about the internet is that there's something for everybody, and if you don't want to talk about something, just move on to something else, and let the party continue (or die) on its own.

The point isn't about a simple arithmetic error. It's the entire process that goes into allowing such a thing to happen. And it's not something simple like a .476 or .467 win percentage, but in an article that discusses the ranking of GMs, they put in last place someone with a winning percentage that was practically impossible if you followed baseball at all. Next thing you know, someone at ESPN will be quoting this as fact, just as they quote "Nomar no ring" stories as fact.
TangoTiger - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 03:38 PM EST (#105213) #
Good catch! Towers: 711 W, 474 L, .488 win%

Uhh... looks like they are about 300 losses short.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#105227) #
I wasn't being picky about Excel to discredit or try to put down the observation -- I think it's both funny and terrible, and I, too, fear that it'll end up quoted in other articles and become a "fact".
Anders - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 04:35 PM EST (#105228) #
This is something I expect from the Metro, not from a real newspaper.

yesterdays Metro had an enlightening tidbit:

Toronto is turning 70, after being founded in 1835.
Tyler - Tuesday, March 08 2005 @ 05:12 PM EST (#105231) #
If Productive Outs got published on a legitimate sports website, and it's author is still defended around here as credible, I can't see how anyone is surprised by this. The media, by and large, ain't so good with math.
Eric Purdy - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 02:37 AM EST (#105261) #
The article has an absolute gem of a quote from Lamar:

"the only thing that keeps this organization from being recognized as one of the finest in baseball is wins and losses at the major-league level."

Just, wow.
Jordan - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 09:33 AM EST (#105268) #
What was that old Ruben Sierra quote complaining about his lack of playing time with the A's? Something like "All they care about around here is winning."

Way to go, Chuck. Ruben would be proud. So would Yogi.
Craig B - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 10:31 AM EST (#105278) #
Well, I have to say, in some ways Chuck's actually right. The Devil Rays (bar one prominent, unfortunate and unforeseeable exception in Josh Hamilton) have done a pretty good job of drafting, they have developed their talent extremely well, and as a result they have had excellent prospects and minor league teams for a while now.

Of course, since they never give opportunities to their good young players, and have made terrible free agent signings and relatively poor trades, none of that has shown up at the major league level yet. Give them time; eventually the parade of Fred McGriffs and Roberto Alomars may stop, and some of their good young talent will get a chance. And they might start winning - and soon.

Will it happen on Chuck Lamar's watch? I'm increasingly doubtful, because while he's run a great player development program, he clearly has very little idea how to run a major league ballclub.

Eric Purdy - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 09:12 PM EST (#105372) #
Sure they've done well with their minor league system, but they have crappy ownership, poor attendance and zero mainstream marketability. Hell, the article even talks about how little agents, players and executives enjoy dealing with the Rays.

So even ignoring that winning and losing is ultimately how a baseball regime should be judged, they're still doing a horrible job in many other respects.
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