Chemistry, Technology, Baseball, Swimming
Attending a baseball game can have everything from lip-biting excitement to numbing boredom. There are many who have no use for its pace or its controversies. And baseball seems to lag behind football and basketball in apparent appeal. Yet baseball absolutely dominates in the way that it generates data. Damn!
I am late in coming to the sabermetric party so none of this is news to anyone paying attention. Yet being a science teacher and a baseball fan converges two passions that find common ground in data collection.
The sheer volume of data is staggering. Every pitch, every pitch speed, every swing, every location of ball in play – every everything is observed and catalogued for analysis. What I enjoy about data is the objective look it brings to the observed.
As written by my favorite writer, among others, the goal of this data is to make sense of large groups of data and not to draw conclusions based upon small sample sizes. This brings me to my focus here: coaching students on the importance of more data as a way of getting at answers. “Is one trial enough?”
I think my response should be, “Only if you think the first at bat is predictive of the next.”