Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Three Quick sports stories

Three sports stories of this week definitely had some overlap to business, economics, and Finance.

a. The first round of the NFL draft was the longest (measure by time) in history. Many announcers and reporters mentioned it but none (that I saw at least) correctly explained why-- you do not exercise an option early.

Why? Consider the following. Suppose you are drafting 12th and have your heart set on a running back from Cal. Your team in now on the clock meaning you have 15 minutes to select. Why wait until the last minute? Because some other team might make you a trade offer that is simply too good to pass up. If that offer does not come, you are still in the same position as you were. (In more academic speak waiting stochastically dominates selecting early).

b. By now I think the whole world has seen the NY Times story on white referees in the NBA calling more fouls in black ball players and vice versa (although more weakly). I'm Not really sure if it has much finance insight but it does use regression analysis and minimally is economic in the Freakonomics perspective. (in fact they have two articles about it!)

c. One tenet of labor markets is to reward good performance and punish bad performance. Thus it was with particular interest that I read that the Yankees fired their strength coach (presumably a fitness coach as I doubt he was hired merely to increase strength) after a string of injuries that have the Yankees floundering near the bottom of the AL East. While undoubtedly other things also played into their injuries, lifting at the expense of flexibility does seem to be something that might lead to these injuries. And from a personal perspective, I have to admit a bias as I do not think Joe Torre deserves to be fired.

back to proctoring an exam...

1 comment:

Biomed Tim said...

"...lifting at the expense of flexibility does seem to be something that might lead to these injuries..."

We have no way of knowing whether they did in fact "lifted at the expense of flexibility" (it'd be pretty hard to imagine that a top-notch strength coach would neglect stretching...because stretching promotes muscle growth) but even if they did, the current scientific literature says there's no convincing link between flexibility and injury.

I don't know the facts behind the firing of the coach but it'd be pretty stupid to blame the injuries on the strength coach. One would have to mistakenly assume:

1. Strength coach has total control over flexibility
2. flexibility prevents injuries
3. Injuries have no other cause beside lack of flexibility.

Come to think of it, someone should do a freakonomics study on the relationship between strength coach and injuries.