Zuo: The irrationalities of baseball fandom

From Miriam Zuo at The Hardball Times on July 19, 2019:

Discussions of the modern game of baseball can appear sort of like alphabet soup with numbers mixed in. The delights and discoveries of advanced statistics have irreversibly revolutionized baseball, transforming the mentalities of baseball teams and the composition of their staffs. Still, the heart of the game beats for its players, and much of baseball’s lasting appeal lies in the relationship between fans and their favorite players and teams. With games virtually every day during the regular season, baseball cements itself into a permanent fixture of your life. Being a baseball fan – even a casual one – is a part of your lifestyle, and thus, the irrationalities that are innately human travel over into our perceptions of the sport.

Since the 1970s, there’s been substantive development of behavioral sciences, brought on by the ground-breaking research of Daniel Kahneman, who won a Nobel prize for his work, and his late colleague Amos Tversky. In his monumental book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman offers a comprehensive view of the cognitive fallacies and rules of thumb, known as heuristics, that affect our everyday lives. But, since baseball isn’t mentioned in the nearly 500 pages of his book, let’s look at how the heuristics apply to fans of the game.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-irrationalities-of-baseball-fandom/

Originally published: July 25, 2019. Last Updated: July 25, 2019.