When I was growing up I was taught two lessons about baseball by my father. First, since we both grew up in Detroit, we root for the Tigers. Second, we hate the Yankees. My father’s hatred went all the way back to the 1930s and continued all his life. My dislike only extends back to the 1970s.
Yesterday when the Tigers defeated the Yankees I once again noted my love of the Tigers and dislike of the Yankees. Today, though, I am singing a different tune.
This morning Martin Schmidt has once again authored a Keeping Score column – this one entitled “Success in September is Key to Winning in October” — in The New York Times. This is the fifth column authored by one of us to appear in the nation’s leading newspaper. Coupled with Malcolm Gladwell’s wonderful review of our work in The New Yorker, we have every reason in the world to love New York. And we certainly do. Just not the part of New York associated with the Yankees.
By the way, Martin’s column examines the impact momentum plays in determining playoff outcomes. As he notes, the data indicates that teams that are playing well heading into the playoffs are more likely to win the World Series.
The Tigers were playing very badly heading into the post-season. So I am hoping that this particular column by Marty proves to be incorrect. At least with respect to the Tigers.