This entry was posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 8:04 am and is filed under NY Times.
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Win Shares per 48 minutes is in many ways a wonderful statistic. But when I see it in a list of players and their numbers, and there's a mysterious leading zero, my brain feels compelled to wonder what else could be there but a zero. What player has anything but a zero before the decimal?
We don't see batting averages like 0.286, nor FT% like 0.857, unless someone has forgotten to format their display. Even TS%, which for a game or a spell can be over 1.000, is shown in the b-r.com tables without a leading zero.
Perhaps this custom harks back to an earlier stat that used a leading zero. But it hasn't really been around long enough to be permanently ingrained, has it?
If it's useless and uninformative, why not dispense with it?
If you had a map or a chart, or tables of statistics spread out on a desk, would they be any clearer with a bunch of cheerios thrown upon them? They don't add information; they're just clutter.