The Week in Confirmation Bias, 6/3-6/9


Reminding us that the things our brain tells us seems true is sometimes super true.

Confirmation bias - "a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way." (Wikipedia)

You're probably not proud of it, but you've done it. In the heat of the moment, we say things without thinking. After a Rickie Weeks strikeout, we say Rickie Weeks always strikes out. When Corey Hart whiffs on a slider, we say Corey Hart never lays off the slider. When we give up after 6 innings and a 5-run deficit, mow the lawn, and flip the game back on to find the Brewers tied it up, we say the Brewers won't score until I stop watching.

Most of the time we don't care if these things are 100% true. They aren't. But we still say it.

Because sometimes, it's totally true. Even if it isn't - because in the game of baseball, 30% of the time counts as frequent. In last Thursday's Mug many of you shared your own maxims, and a few appear in the following list - the ways in which the Brewers enabled our tunnel vision in the past week:

Maxim: When you walk the pitcher, he always comes around to score. - Cheeseandcorn

Wily Peralta had his share of troubles commanding all parts of everything Thursday night in the Brewers' 5-1 loss to the Phillies. Clearly frightened by pitcher Tyler Cloyd's .125 OPS, Peralta took advantage of the open base at 1st, not taking a chance challenging the slugger with a 3-1 cakeball. Then he yelled something into his glove for some reason:


Probably because he knows a maxim is a maxim for a reason:



Maxim: The Brewers always get beat by rookie pitchers.

Tyler Cloyd continues to torture us, this time by simply showing up to the park on the day he's supposed to pitch and not yet having done much pitching at the major league level. Cloyd entered 2013 as an official rookie; if you aren't aware, to qualify as a rookie pitcher the player must not have exceeded 50 IP or 45 days on the active roster in the previous season(s). Cloyd was called up August 29th of 2012, and only managed 33 IP, to the chagrin of Brewers fans everywhere.

Strangely enough, the Brewers tyrannically willed themselves against the tilt of the universe and defeated Cloyd in his previous start. Of course, it's not as if they roughed him up - he worked his way through seven decent innings, and if not for a miraculous slight of hand by Jean Segura, the Brewers may have had one less win feather to stick in their record cap.

On Thursday, though, Cloyd pitched 6.2 shutout innings against a seemingly lifeless Brewers lineup that, to their credit, actually managed nine baserunners, including 5 walks. Of course, walks are only valuable if hits follow them (or if there's like, 15 walks), and the Brewers only scraped together 4 of those - all singles.

With last week's victory over the rookie Cloyd, my belief system was tearing at the seams, but with this week's loss, the Brewers sewed it up tidily.


Maxim: The contact play never works. - GoGregGo

Facing a 4-0 deficit, the Brewers made a rally in the bottom of the 4th Friday night against Cliff Lee. After plating two, leaving Yuniesky Betancourt at third with one out, all Brewers fans had the same thought: how will the Brewers not score that run this time?

The answer was, predictably, the contact play. As soon as Nori Aoki made contact with the baseball, shooting it directly to the third baseman - who was playing shallow in preparation for the squeeze (at least Roenicke didn't order that) - Yuni abandoned all rational instinct, faithfully followed orders, and broke for home.

Predictably, Yuni was out by a mile, and was forced into one of the longest rundowns in recent Brewers memory. Thanks to the Phillies' sterling effort, Aoki easily replaced Betancourt's spot at third base, making the whole exercise a big waste of time.

Here's footage of the Brewers mocking the coaching staff for instituting such an irresponsible strategy:


Well, that's what I hope it is.

By the way, don't mention the fact that Weeks scored on the previous AB because of the contact play. It would ruin the integrity of this article, and I just can't live with that.

Anyway -


Maxim: Cardinals fans are always complete morans. - Yar Nivek

I realize this was said ironically. You know. Moran...get it? But still (foulness ahead - NSFW, etc.):



If you have any more maxims in mind, post in the comments and I'll add them to the master list. So I can selectively choose them when they become relevant - for further virtuous analysis.

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