Monthly Archives: February 2011

What’s the opposite of double whammy?

Having moved marginally away from the EPL to other sports, I am now taking the leap to non-sport related stats. First off a look at just how relatively cheap US house prices are now for potential Canadian purchasers

As pretty well everyone knows, the US housing market has gone from boom to bust over the past decade. However, for many foreign nationals the situation is even bustier(?) as the dollar has also declined against many currencies

For no other reason than that I have a property in Toronto and am thinking of buying in Surprise- a city in Greater Phoenix -, I have used these cities as examples. Arizona is one of the most extreme examples of swift rise followed by swifter fall but Toronto’s steady appreciation falls behind someother Canadian locations, especially Vancouver. Obviously, property styles are markedly different between the two cities but this is a look at relative values so is a fair comparison

Get Adobe Flash player

The price of Surprise houses in US$ virtually doubled from $140,000 to $260,000 before collapsing back to the values at the beginning of the century. Taking the exchange rate into account however, the price has moved from $C218,000 to more than $C300,000 in early 2006 before plunging to $C135,000 – a plummet of 56% in just 5 years. After taking inflation into account, prices in Canadian terms are barely 40% of the peak value.
Meanwhile, Toronto’s market has shown steady year to year increases over the past 10 years. In Canadian dollars, what was a mere 16% markup in 2001 now stands at around 230%!

Baseball Analysis – First step

With the baseball season about to start, Toronto Blue Jay fans have more to look forward to – at least in the medium term – than for many seasons. With Vernon Wells’s contract off the book and a vastly improved farm system the outlook for 2012 onwards is looking rosy
This has ‘inspired’ me to look at some historic draft information possibly pouring some cold water on the impression given by some bloggers that the BJs have scores of genuine MLB prospects about to hit ‘The Show’ and a World Series title or more is a virtual lock

A full site is planned but I will cover data as analysed in the blog. The first tables show how successful drafts have been in terms of career WAR* produced by the players. I have taken the BJ inaugural season as a start point for the data

Select year range as required and click on team row to get individual players who have made the majors

Get Adobe Flash player

The default table highlights how drafting is not a panacea for success
The BJ’s were world series champs in 92 (repeating the following season) and in the following five years made the best overall selections in the majors. And yet they have not made the playoffs in the subsequent 17 seasons.

None of the top six (5 still active) most successful players drafted over that time period are still with the club

Halladay – traded to Phillies for three top prospects
Carpenter – released after injury
Wells – traded to Dodgers mainly as salary dump
Kent – traded to Mets for David Cone
Blake – waived
Hudson – traded for Troy Glaus

* Data is based on the Baseball Reference definition of WAR A full description of the slightly different Fangraphs version can be found here

End of an era?

A wild Saturday in the EPL culminated in a victory for bottom club Wolves over leaders, Man Utd. The Wanderers victory may spur them off the basement but,if not, at least they will have the satisfaction of knowledge that they have been the first bottom club to beat the champions (if Man U hold on) since the Premier League went to a 20 club format. Only Sunderland (with the help of a Roy Keane dismissal) and Crystal Palace(outshot 16-2) have even achieved draws in the 30 contests between top and bottom over that time period

This season as a whole has seen a more competitive league than for some time such that even if Manchester United should win all their remaining fixtures they would still fall short of the total Chelsea achieved in 2004/5 . In addition, the bottom clubs are all just shy of averaging a point a game. No bottom club in past 15 years has averaged as much as 0.9 / game

The table below shows the statistical variation in average points by season. To date, this season has shown the most bunching up this century and is more typical of a period before the arrival of the big money and domination by a few clubs

Click on a season to see League Table

Get Adobe Flash player