Torture by Numbers

Statistics — what are they good for? That is an interesting and loaded question. One that I think is worth a little discussion. Why? So many arguments, so many unhappy people, so much angst, all over a few numbers. Numbers that seem so important to so many softball people.

There is an old saying that if you torture the numbers, you can get them to tell you whatever you want. Softball statistics might be the most tortured thing in the history of the world. How many times have you been at the ballpark and heard about stats? Too many!

We have parents who spend more time looking at their phone to check out the GameChanger stats than they do watching the actual action on the field. There is so much hand wringing and arguing over whether a play was a hit or an error, whether a run was earned or unearned or how the scorekeepers decisions might impact my kids batting average or earned run average that it makes your head spin.

Unfortunately, this is an epidemic that I don’t see ending any time soon.

How important are the numbers, really? Only as important as you make them. For the concerned parent who thinks that their child’s statistics will impact their ability to play college softball I can tell you to relax.

College coaches are not at all concerned with a players stats when they make a decision. They know that the numbers are very subjective and are influenced by many factors so they don’t give them much credibility. For the parents who want to know how their kid stacks up compared to other kids on the team I have a suggestion. Trust what you see more than what the numbers say. You can see how the kids stack up and what the stats say isn’t important.

You have a choice: You can torture the numbers and thus torture yourself or you can just relax and more fun at the ballpark.

Seems like a pretty easy choice to me.