Open Thread: Stats? Story? Both?

I’ll probably regret asking, but what’s life without a few regrets…

  1. Where do you stand on the stats vs story debate that refuses to die?
  2. Does this dichotomy exist in the corporeal world or only in the mind of the perceiver?
  3. Bonus points if you can:
    • Quantify your response (e.g., on a scale of pi to 42, with blue as the midpoint), and/or
    • Offer a compelling narrative to support your position

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9 Responses »

  1. The article you linked to is, at the very least, stats before story and I could barely read it.

    I guess that’s my answer.

  2. Is a populist story teller more compelling than a lecturing intellectual? The PT Barnum answer is yes: because you will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of your audience. The populist story teller will further argue that his common sense beats out intelligence every day of the week. While the intellectual just shrugs his shoulders and walks away.

    In the real world, if an intellectual wants to get a valid point across, he learns how to tell a story. If he cannot do that, he will forever remain on the fringes.

  3. OT – I don’t like this story …;_ylt=ApAqmtoxM02ftkXIMEeNA.wRvLYF?slug=ap-padres-latos

    … much prefer the (2010) stats.

    (Padres RHP Mat Latos has sore right shoulder)

  4. On another note, Tango has a per team playing time survey. Only three people have filled out the Padres survey – maybe the Ducksnorts community can help add to that number.

  5. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you your 2011 Padres Opening Day Starter, Tim Stauffer!

    Who’da thunk it? :-) Good for Tim!

  6. very happy for Tim.

  7. and by that last comment, i supposed i like story but with supporting numbers.
    though, i don’t see why both has to be exclusive from each other.

    if some numbers are interesting, it’ll make a good story provided the writer has the chop to weave the tale. but, then, isn’t that what good writers do, make uninteresting subjects into compelling narratives.

  8. somehow, i got up this morning and i just can’t wait for the season to start even though march madness isn’t over yet. wow.

    Go Padres!

  9. I think the answer lies somewhere in between.
    I disagree with Field39′s view that the “story” is just a dumbed-down, entertaining version designed to appeal to the masses. That can be true in some cases, but there are shortcomings with the “stats” version as well: often the “stats” version is void of proper context.
    I can memorize every stat available concerning the 1964 World Series, but I would learn a great deal more by reading “October 1964″. Should Halberstam be viewed as a carnival huckster who was peddling lowbrow schlock, while the true intellectuals are the bloggers posting WAR and BABIP on their website?