Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun with numbers

There's a big sticker on the front of my dog Freddie's dry food that reads:
Dogs prefer our new formula by 2-1/2:1!

That half a dog really worries me.

4 comments: said...

A lot of baseball blogs have gotten into a habit that irritates me. One of stats getting new importance is the ratio of a pitcher's strikeouts to walks. But this gets reported as, for example, "a strikeout to walk ratio of 137/86."

That's not the ratio, or not a useful ratio, because it's not calibrated to be compared with other numbers. That's just the totals with a line between them. Why not just say "137 Ks and 86 BBs"? Or do the math and say a K/BB ratio of 1.59?

Jim Donahue said...

I often see constructions along the lines of "Three times less whatever!" Can you be multiple times less of something? That makes no sense to me.

A may have three times more of something that B, but B doesn't have three times less of something than A--right?

Jim Donahue said...

Well, the NY Times says I'm being picky: said...

I think the Times has 35 times less credibility.