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Get It Right
Through two and a half weeks, my teams aren’t doing great — all are below average, though none are total disasters, and it’s still very early:
As I was walking back from the track today, I was thinking about the various managers of my teams and how every week the FAAB bids are diligently made, and the lineups are set. They’re doing what they promised, and I’m happy with them. I also thought about some of the errors they made, and what I’d have done differently, but realized the specifics were not only unknowable but didn’t matter.
What did matter, I realized (aside from the effort), was that they had the intention to get the moves right.
Isn’t that what everyone’s doing all the time, trying to get it right? No, I don’t think so. I think most people, in this and many other endeavors, are trying not to screw up, not to embarrass themselves, to do the most probabilistically defensible thing.
I want my managers to intend to get it right. To start the right guys every week, to make the right pickups, to win the league, to win the overall. I don’t care about what was “the best EV move” or what the “sharps” are thinking, I just want the result.
Of course, no one will get the right result every time. You will occasionally stream a starter, and he’ll get bombed. That’s okay. You can’t be afraid to make moves, to play aggressively. You have to move on completely from a bad result, like a cornerback who got beat for a long TD and then jumps the next route for a pick. You have to have no emotional memory of failure. You have to be like Tom Brady who never let a pick or a bad decision deter him for one second.
This is not my strength. I tend to stew over bad decisions, and when I played sports, I often let errors bother me. There is no good that comes from this.
Even so, I was resolute about intending to win, not just making the safest, most probabilistically sound decision every time. That was a strength. I trusted my judgment and instincts and incorporated mistakes into my baseline understanding. There’s nothing wrong with probabilistic reasoning when you have no feel — by all means go with the base rate if you don’t have any other basis for a decision. But that should be a last, rather than first, resort.
Bottom line — I want my guys to get it right. And when they get it wrong to forgive themselves completely, incorporate the bad result into their process and intend to get it right the next time. There are plenty of people training themselves to think like machines. That means thinking like a human is an edge.