There’s just no comparison (that Rohan Connolly won’t irrelevantly make)

Factually, you can’t fault Rohan Connolly’s article in this morning’s Age, drawn fastidiously from the genre: “here are the random stats that turned last year’s ordinary team into this year’s amazing team”. His key points, summarised and / or (sometimes ironically) rebutted:

Connolly: “Last season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 41 players. This year, it has used 38, and five have played three games or less… Five players have played every game this season. Significantly, all of them have been defenders.”

Statsman: “This season, as injuries cut a swath through the list, Carlton was forced to call on 38 players. Last year, it used 41, but five played two games or less… Three Blues played every game last season. Significantly two of them were gun super-barometer excitement machines Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett.”

Connolly:  “But a major tenet of Malthouse’s brief has been about flattening out the Blues’ performance graph, removing some of the shocking lows that accompanied the highs. About greater stability.”

Statsman: “Malthouse was asked not to win by as much or lose by as much?”

Connolly: “Two of the more telling statistics of Carlton’s season relate to personnel and consistency of performance, even in defeat. In 2012, the Blues lost as many games as this year, but there were far more stinkers among the losses. There were four beltings of 50 points or more, the worst a 69-point thumping to Adelaide, and Carlton’s average losing margin was just on 32 points. In 2013, even the Blues’ bad days have been, by comparison, not nearly as nightmarish. The average losing margin is just 18 points. The heaviest defeat has been by 41 points, and seven have been by 17 points or less.”

Statsman: “I agree. Based on the 2012 and 2013 averages and standard deviations for losses and wins (see below), you can say with 99% confidence that the 2013 loss average is lower (96% confidence of a lower win average). Do you wash your hands after picking all those cherries?”


Connolly: “I probably didn’t have anything to do with this graph but someone put it at the bottom of my article.”

rohans graph

Statsman: “This graph makes 23 irrelevant comparisons of data points.”

Statsman supplementary comment: completely opposite view from Robert Walls a few weeks earlier (with his own smaller selection of cherry-picked stats).

As always, reading Connolly in the morning is like… [in comments, feel free to insert your favourite irrelevant comparison].

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