If the Chicago Cubs do win the 2009 World Series, it might have been predicted by a computer simulation which explores baseball strategies and their effect on the game’s outcome. In 1958 a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed a program to investigate whether the sacrifice bunt was a wise play. At the time the program required a huge IBM 704 mainframe to run.
Advances in technology have come so far that there is now a simulator available to the public called Diamond Mind that runs on only a laptop and can even consider the affects of wind on plays at individual ballparks. Other possible simulations include whether stealing a base would increase or decrease the chance of scoring, or if a sacrifice bunt gives your team an advantage. A computer program is ideal for working out these sort of problems that involve millions of fact items; the program smooths out the peeks and random valleys to come up with a reliable approximation.
Known among formal statisticians as the Monte Carlo method, the approach takes spectacularly complex phenomena like weather patterns and stock performance and allows their behavior to be approximated, if not determined.
Diamond Mind is designed to allow fans to play fictional games and explore various what if scenarios that would be too slow and controversial to follow in real life. For example, let’s take the age-old question of whether a team’s line up order makes a difference in the game’s outcome. Diamond Mind can simulate the advantages or disadvantages of putting a particular hitter in the fourth position or the ninth position of a lineup.
But Diamond Mind isn’t just for zealous sport fans; some professional teams are exploring the possibilities through its simulations. General managers and managers want to know the differences their strategy might make in the outcome of games. In major league baseball each game is an important step in advancing a team in a run for the pennant.
Maybe with the use of this new computer technology, the Chicago Cubs can finally be baseball’s world champions at the end of this season and put an end to their 101 year drought.
Kreisman Law Offices is a Chicago law firm specializing in Illinois personal injury law and Cook County medical malpractice case. For over 30 years Kreisman Law Offices has been serving clients in and around Cook County, in areas such as Skokie, Lombard, Chicago Ridge, and Wrigleyville.