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That's Why They Play The Games

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You know I love projections. I love projections as much as - or more than - most anybody else. Projections are how we get some idea of what we can expect from the season ahead. But one of the problems with talking about projections in February and March is that we have so little to discuss that we end up taking them a little too seriously.

Look at this

Now look at this, and this, and this

None of this is new. Everybody who's ever played with PECOTA or another, actually legitimate projection system for five minutes knows that projections can and do often come out looking ridiculous. This is just a reminder to take them like a salted pretzel. On more than one occasion last spring, I said that the Cardinals could probably win the NL Central even after benching Albert Pujols. Now I look retarded. That's not the Cardinals' fault, or the Reds' fault. It's mine.

Of course, one need look no further than the Mariners to understand just how poorly these things can go. I didn't want to bring that up. But here I am, bringing it up like a sucker.

Projections are great. We'll spend all offseason making them, and linking them, and discussing them. Then the games start and we get to spend all year seeing the things we didn't expect. It's a lovely little cycle we have.

Note now that I'm back from errands: I wrote this very quickly and, looking back, I wish that I would've gone about it differently. This isn't about criticizing the projections. It's about criticizing how we interpret them, and talk about them. The projections, for example, didn't get the NL Central "wrong". I was wrong for acting too confident about the averaged-out outcomes.