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Fearless Predictions…
2004-10-04 12:47
by Mike Carminati

…that are invariably wrong.

Weather abroad

and weather in the heart alike come on

Regardless of prediction.

— Adrienne Rich

Predictions usually deal with events—who will win an election, whether or not a country will go to war, the specification of a new invention; they center on decisions. Yet such predictions, while possible, cannot be formalized, i.e. made subject to rules. The prediction of events is inherently difficult. Events are the intersect of social vectors (interests, forces, pressures, and the like). While one can to some extent assess the strength of these vectors individually, one would need a “social physics” to predict the exact crosspoints where decisions and forces combine.... Forecasting is possible where there are regularities and recurrences of phenomena (these are rare), of where there are persisting trends whose direction, if not exact trajectory, can be plotted with statistical time-series or be formulated as historical tendencies. Necessarily, therefore, one deals with probabili ties and an array of possible projections. But the limitations of forecasting are also evident. The further one reaches ahead in time with a set of forecasts, the greater the margin for error, since the fan of the projections widens.

—Daniel Bell

That’s my built-in excuse when I pick every series incorrectly. Gotta cover the ol’ hinder. Well, here goes:

The Division Series:

Yankees in 5 (Johan Santana and Brad Radke beat the Yankees in games one and two. El Duque stops the bleeding. Twins go with Lohse in game 4. Yanks beat Santana game 5.)

Red Sox in 5 (Schilling wins games one and five, Angels pay for Guillen banishment with poor offense throughout.)

Astros in 3 (Another quick exit for Braves as the fairy dust that Leo Mazzone sprinkled on the rotation in April finally runs out.)

Cards in 5 (Tough series to pick. The team with the refurbished staff that performs better wins. Jeff Weaver?!? I’ll take the Cards.)

ALCS: Yankees in 6 (Pedro Martinez implodes as there are no sexagenarians to toss around this year.)

NLCS: Astros in 7 (Pixie dust again does in a staff.)

WS: Astros in 6 (What the hey? They are the hot team that snuck in. They should be huge favorites given the recent past.)

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