Thursday, November 13, 2008

lungfish > Nate Silver

I feel liked chopped liver.

It seems that all sorts of various media outlets have been singing the virtues of Nate Silver. For those of you unaware, Nate Silver was a baseball stathead that worked for Baseball Prospectus. He took his statistical analysis to the political arena, and more recently created of a website,, that featured his state by state election projections. Anyway, Newsweek called him "the political arena's next big draw". The New York Times dubbed him a "breakout online star". What's the reason for all this lavished praise?

"Mr. Silver... had forecast that Senator Obama would beat Senator John McCain back in March. "
"And for the season that just concluded, he predicted the longtime basement-dwelling Tampa Bay Rays would be a top team. "

Gee, that's pretty impressive right? I mean, back on March of this year, most people had Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, and the Rays in the cellar of the A.L. East.

Well, let me just point out that this genius, yours truly, was on record having Obama as the next U.S. president back all the way back in April of 2005! Not only did I top Mr. Silver by predicting the 2008 presidential election outcome 3 years before him, need I remind you that I was the first one on the Tampa Bay Rays bandwagon back in December of 2007. I also went a step further than Mr. Silver's nebulous the "Rays would be a top team" pronouncement. After all, who's to say what defines being a top team- were the New York Yankees a top team by being an outside contender for a playoff spot? Well, I figuratively put my money where my mouth was and predicted the Rays would make it to the World Series with a futures bet placed at 100-1 odds (I should get extra credit leaving it just at that and not taking it a step further and have them winning the World Series).

Listen, I'm a big Nate Silver fan. For this past season's fantasy baseball draft, I didn't have any player's stats from the prior season at my fingertips (much less a fantasy baseball magazine). The first player that we drafted was Hanley Ramirez, who we paid $39 for. My co-owner asked me to see Hanley's stats from last year, and I told him I didn't have any 2007 stats, just projections for 2008. He had a look on his face like I had gone off the deep end, despite my reassurances that we were not about the past, we're about the future. Well those projections were the Nate Silver's own PECOTA projections... and using those as a blueprint, we finished in 2nd place out of 14 teams... by 1 measley strikeout. I have much love for Nate, he's a good prognosticator, but I'm like Nostradamus, knowwhati'msayin'?

Let me conclude by saying: Nate=Silver, Lungfish=Gold.