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April 28, 2015


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Remember that managers and players do face incentives that cause them to deviate from maximizing runs/wins. As Keynes said, "Worldly wisdom teaches us that it is far better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally."

Being thrown out at the plate means facing a press conference where you are grilled at why you didn't "follow the book," and even if you do score, most people will think you just got lucky.

But it would be nice if they did properly play the percentages and also helped educate the public about them.

As for economics, I'm a Hayak/Friedman guy myself. But I like that quote. It also explains why managers always go to their closer when there might be a more optimal alternative.

I actually am a Friedman guy myself, but I try to draw from everybody.

I have to say that I used to believe in closer-by-committee, but after seeing the SF Giants a few years ago try it out but get much better results designating one of their very average relievers as the closer, I think there's a lot of human psychology at play there. I think bullpens work better when there's a pecking order and everybody understands what will be expected of them and can mentally prepare.

This still means you're better off designating your best reliever as the fireman with an average guy as the closer racking up the saves.

BTW, perfectlyGoodInk derives from a Friedman quote, "Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink, and make the combination worthless." :)

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