Pessimist: "Ugh!!! That was awful – and by "that" I mean the entire month of May."
Optimist: "Yeah but its June now. Cheer up."
Pessimist: "Ha!!! You really think the Rockies are going to start playing better just because we flipped a calendar this morning?
Optimist: 'I actually flipped mine last night before I went to bed. I’ve been ready for this."
Pessimist: "Whatever. This team has been pretty terrible for a long time now – like 26-42 in their last 68 games terrible."
Optimist: "It will get better. Trust me."
/Optimist whips out his computer.
Optimist: "Here, take a look at this chart. It shows every month in Rockies’ history where they posted a winning percentage under .300 (as long as they played at least 22 games). It also shows their record during the month right after it. Look how much of an improvement we can expect this June. I bet we’re back on the other side of .500 by Father’s Day!!!"
Pessimist: "Oh look, its 1993, 1997, 2000, and 2001; four years we didn’t make the playoffs."
Optimist: "There’s a reason for that. Take a look at my next chart."
Pessimist: "This ought to be good"
Optimist: "Here I’ve expanded the data to include any month in Rockies’ history where they posted a winning percentage under .325. This gives us a little bigger sample size to negotiate. Now, if you-"
Pessimist: "Oh look! More years we didn’t make the playoffs."
/Optimist brings up the next chart.
|Year||Month||Record Through Bad Month||Games Back|
Optimist: "I’m not done yet. Now if you take those months and look at both the Rockies season total record to that point each season and how far the Rockies found themselves out of the division lead after playing that poor, you’ll see that the 2011 team is in by for the best shape to still capture the division crown. The only other teams who are close are the 1997 and 2000 squads – and they were that far back at the end of July, meaning they only had half the 108 games we have now to make up this deficit.
Pessimist: "We have to watch this team for another 108 games? You’ve got to be kidding me"
Optimist: "Nope. It’s gonna be awesome. Ubaldo will pitch better, Tulo and Cargo will break out of their slumps, and Seth Smith will ride his unicorn over rainbows leading us to victory.
Pessimist: "Uh Huh?"
/Pessimist rolls eyes
Optimist: "Okay, I’ll cut to the chase. Here we have two charts. The first shows the Rockies season total record at the end of each of these bad months along with their records in games after those months ended. The second chart breaks the same thing down by winning percentage so you can see just how much the Rockies improved. We can use this and average it to try and guess where the Rockies will finish this season.
|Year||Month||Record Through Bad Month||Record The Rest of the Season|
|Year||Month||WP Through Bad Month||WP After Bad Month||Change in WP Points|
Pessimist: "Why is there a "?" at the end of the "average/change in WP" column?"
Optimist: "Well, you see, it depends how you break it down. If you take the median number (the +152 WP from 2008), then we can expect the Rockies to improve .152 WP points on their current .463 mark; meaning they will play .615 baseball the rest of the way, go about 67-41, and end up with 92 wins."
Pessimist: "And if you use the mean?"
Optimist: "It’s still solid, but the number drops to a +103 WP. With that we can expect the Rockies to play .566 baseball the rest of the way, go 61-47, and end up with 86 wins."
Pessimist: "86 wins is not taking this division."
Optimist: "You never know, and also there’s another way to look at this. Since that -76 number in 2003 is A) an outlier and B) the smallest sample size, one could argue that the fairest way to do this is eliminate the best and worst seasons (1993’s +174 and 2003’s -76) and average the mean from there. If you do it that way, the Rockies will improve on their current .463 mark to .588 the rest of the way, go 64-44 in their last 108 games, and end the season with 89 wins"
Pessimist: "Yeah, you can’t do baseball that way. This team is not that good and you’re just going to have to deal with that. I’m headed out."