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NY Times: The Bad Contract

Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 21, 2011

My latest offering to the New York Times:

Keeping Score: The Bad Contract

Look for it in the Friday print edition as well.

4 Responses to “NY Times: The Bad Contract”

  1. Mike Goodman Says:

    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 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.

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    In this case (and many others with the charts we post on the blog), it's all about a spreadsheet program not allowing you to display a decimal without that leading zero.

  3. Shaun Says:

    You could eat the Cheerios.

  4. Andre Says:

    If you are using Excel you could go to format cells>custom>, then type in the format you want (in this case .000) and then it should come out the way you want.