Rare Events at Fenway Park

My thesis dataset includes the 3,231 games played at Fenway Park from 1970 to 2009.  While doing exploratory analysis it got me wondering about what are the rarest events that have happened at Fenway in 40 years.  Intuitively, I thought Catcher Interference or Balks, but once again intuition is wrong:

Play Count Avg
Triple Plays                       9         0.003
Catcher Interference                    19         0.006
Balk                  245         0.076
Passed Balls                  657         0.203
Triples              1,251         0.387
Caught Stealing              1,675         0.518
Sac Hit              1,725         0.534
Hit by Pitch              1,843         0.570
Wild Pitch              1,860         0.576
Sac Fly              2,017         0.624
HR              6,197         1.918
Hits            62,130      19.229
Total Putouts          171,677      53.134

I’ve seen at least 2-3 triple plays that I can remember.  And I don’t think I remember any catcher interference (there was a play during the 1975 World Series between Carlton Fisk and Ed Armbrister, but that wasn’t catcher interference, or any interference officially for that matter).  But I think the key word is remember.  Catcher Interference just isn’t that memorable of a play I guess – or of course I just haven’t ever seen one.

Incidently, I included Total Putouts as a sanity check – something we can calculate in our heads.  3,231 games * 27 putouts * 2 teams = 174,474.  Pretty close to the actual number of 171,677.  In fact since the home team doesn’t always bat in the 9th inning, you would guesstimate something less than 174,474 as the result was.  Sanity checks like this are often left out of presented data, yet are critical in helping grok and feel comfortable with stats.


Speak business

This Raconteur piece mentions learning to “speak business” as a critical skill for the data scientist.  For most I would recommend first just learning to speak.  Regardless of the domain, business is about being an informative, convincing, and entertaining speaker.  Yeah, I said entertaining – sue me.  The best model in the world is useless if you can’t convince the business line to use it and if your presentation is boring as sh*t, you’re not going to convince anyone!

You don’t need to be a life long Toastmasters member – just work thru the first ten speeches.  It’ll probably chance your business life.