Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins told reporters that he is retiring today, having spent most of last night reading Nate Silver's political blog FiveThirtyEight.
"My wife was telling me about this stats guy who nailed the whole election," said Rollins. "So I check out his site, and this dude got, like, every single electoral vote right."
Rollins proceeded to read as many of Silver's posts as he could, until hitting what he described as a "bullshit New York Times paywall". So the 2007 NL MVP went ahead and Googled "Nate Silver stats genius", wondering how the pollster expertly predicted Obama's razor-thin win in Florida, but instead discovered Silver's PECOTA projection system for baseball players' career trajectories.
"Apparently [Silver's] numbers say I'm gonna turn into Alan Trammell, but with less range. Which seems crazy, but that guy got 31 out of 33 Senate races right, so…yeah, I'm gonna call that ESPN guy back about the color commentator job."
Trammell, riddled with late-career leg injuries, played an average of just 71.4 games per season from age 34 on. Rollins turns 34 this month, and according to his wife he's called off their plans for a birthday celebration.
"I asked Jimmy what kind of cake he wanted, but he just kept staring at the computer," said Johari Rollins the shortstop's wife. "Then he muttered something about quitting now if he's gonna become the no-power version of Jay Bell."
Approached for comment, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro praised Nate Silver for predicting Obama's share of the popular vote within 0.3%, then begged reporters not to tell Ryan Howard about PECOTA matching up the first baseman's remaining years with the post-age 32 seasons of Mo Vaughn and Richie Sexson.