A Baseball Blog Attempting To Balance Rationality, Basic Logic, And Statistical Analysis With Rabid Yankee Homerism
Saturday, January 26, 2013
People Know What "Chance" Means, Right?
I mean, I thought everybody knew the definition of the word, but I guess not after the immediate reaction and subsequent over-dramatization and over-coverage of this harmless quote that Cash dropped yesterday when asked about the possibility of A-Rod missing the entire 2013 season:
“I think because (of) the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”
Chance noun /'chan(t)s - the possibility of a particular outcome in an uncertain situation.
Everybody ready for a quick lesson?
The key words there are "uncertain situation" and "possibility." If you focus on those words, you'll realize that what Cash said is perfectly appropriate, perfectly true, and nothing that you didn't already know, or at least should have already known if you are reasonably intelligent. A-Rod just had major surgery, the results and comeback from which are always an uncertain situation. And as the great American philosopher Kevin Garnett taught us, anything is possible, especially in an uncertain situation. There could be an infection from the surgery, A-Rod could suffer a setback in his rehab, he could injure himself again trying to rehab, he could get in a car accident driving to rehab and suffer a different injury that could keep him out for the season.
Anything COULD happen, there's always a chance. But that doesn't mean that something WILL happen, and that's what everybody panicking right now or trying to turn this into a story needs to remember. Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire 2013 season just like Michael Pineda could miss the entire 2013 season. And just like Derek Jeter could miss the beginning of the 2013 season. And just like Andy Pettitte could get hurt again and miss parts of the 2013 season. And just like CC could suffer another problem with his elbow and miss the 2013 season. And just like Chris Stewart could actually be a passable option as an everyday catcher in the 2013 season.
That last one obviously isn't true, but you get the picture. Cash has to say there's a chance that it could happen because to not say it would be a lie. And Cash isn't a doctor. Dr. Bryan Kelly is and he's the one who told us the surgery was successful and that there actually wasn't as much damage to the hip as he first thought. He's the one setting the recovery timetable for after the All Star break and he's the one whose words we should be listening to, not Cash being honest about common knowledge.