Your verification ID is: guDlT7MCuIOFFHSbB3jPFN5QLaQ Big Computing: 1918 Cubs have the real Curse from 1918

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1918 Cubs have the real Curse from 1918

So I guess it is not even a new story that the 1918 Cubs may have thrown the World Series. I had wondered in a previous article if predictive analytics would have spotted a fixed game as an outlier and therefore possibly fixed. The great thing about baseball is there is so much data and people have studied it all. The answer seems to be that there is nothing in the overall performance or individual numbers of the cubs players that indicate a problem. I guess there were a couple of plays that were questionable, but most believe not enough to prove a fixed Series. One of the players is pitcher Phil Douglas who is later banned from baseball for life in 1922 for seeking to get paid to lose the pennant. Also I love that Douglas was one of 17 pitchers allowed to continue to throw the spitball after it was banned in 1920. The other player is Max Flack who is better known for being traded to the other team after the first game of a double header.

I took a brief look at the box scores yesterday, and I agree there is nothing that stands out. It looks like a good low scoring series. I do not believe these Cubs would have gotten caught by the numbers even now if they did in fact throw the series. The funny thing is that this is the last World Series that the Red Sox won before "the Curse" that resulted from trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees.  Given that the Cubs still have not won a World Series since they lost the 1918 World Series maybe there is Karma in baseball.

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