[sumo] [spoilers]Takanohana and steroid abuse

Joshua Maciel joshua.maciel at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 20:58:52 EST 2007


No, I've chosen to actually speak with facts rather than idle speculation
with no statistical/factual grounding.

Up until 2002 by the source I earlier posted, steroids were a minor topic in
regards to baseball, if at all. Only in recent years has it really exploded
to the degree it was. There was very little concern/interest in the 'steroid
era' until 2002.

Furthermore, the correlation between the amount of home runs in the past
year, and the home runs in the current year has an r-squared of 0.3 -- not
so lofty correlation. Since 1996 the greatest amount of home runs was in
2000, with approximately 3% of all plate appearances resulting in a home
run. 1999, 2001, 2004, and 2006 -- after steroid testing mind you -- were
very close at over 2.9% of all plate appearances.

In fact, the biggest correlation with run scoring is base on balls, with a
correlation over 80% over the time period, while home runs only have a 52%
correlation. For counting stats at least. When you get deeper into it, OBP
shows a 95% (!!!) correlation with run scoring.

The point here is that home runs -- while visible -- were not the source of
the increase in baseball skill, or what's perceived as the high run-scoring
'juiced' era. To suggest that the home runs were the sole change, or even
the primary vector for change wouldn't match the numbers.

Armchair critics like you say "Hey, here's this study, it says the ball's
the same -- it must be the players" because the media parrots it constantly.
Yet the study compares two high scoring/high homerun years (1999 and 2000),
and doesn't mention anything about how those balls were stored before games.

As we all know, storing the balls in a humidor reduces offense as evidenced
by Coors field. It is quite possible that the reverse was done during the
post-strike era.

But even more simple would be that expansion diluted the talent pool for
pitchers, allowing greater variation in the performance of the best and
worst players, which would be expected.

Perhaps you should stop being condescending, and actually look at the wealth
of facts available before accusing athletes of steroids on the basis of
hearsay, assumption and misinformation.

- Josh

On Dec 11, 2007 10:04 AM, Scott M. Kahn <smk1 at columbia.edu> wrote:

> I see that you have chosen to attack the debater, by intentionally
> mischaracterizing my points and putting your own incorrect time
> frame on the period that I was referring to.  It is too bad that
> you need to resort to such petty attacks, you lose all perspective
> by trying to make an issue out of something that is not there.
>
> So let me make it a little clearer for you.  "That era" does not
> specifically mean 1996.  I fail to see how you can so badly
> misinterpret such a statement.  I was referring to the general
> period during which home runs went up drastically.
>
> For an example of a report on the baseballs of the time, 1999 vs
> 2000, see-
>
> http://webusers.npl.uiuc.edu/~a-nathan/pob/baseball-study-report.doc<http://webusers.npl.uiuc.edu/%7Ea-nathan/pob/baseball-study-report.doc>
>
> If I remember correctly, studies were also performed on balls from
> before 1996, and these led to the conclusion that the balls were
> not juiced.  I am sure that others can come up with the direct
> citations.
>
> Following these reports, it was then speculated that the players
> were juiced instead of the ball.
>
> No misinformation given.  Your own timeline supports what I posted.
> I suggest that you take a breath to understand the meaning of the
> posts that you read with opposing opinions before replying with
> such a vengence.
>
> Respectfully,
> Sukubidubidu
>
> Quoting Joshua Maciel <joshua.maciel at gmail.com>:
>
> > To be quite clear, there was NOT discussion of steroid abuse in
> > 1996 when
> > Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs.
> >
> > Number of articles citing 'steroids' by year (post
> >
> 20<
> http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/oberjuerge_q_a_with_bill_james_baseball_analyst/
> >
> > ):
> > 1997--0
> > 1998--1
> > 1999--8
> > 2000--8
> > 2001--3
> > 2002--358
> > 2003--135
> > 2004--510
> > 2005--934
> > 2006--387
> >
> > You are making yourself look ignorant about this issue and
> > spreading
> > disinformation in the process. I'd also love to see this
> > information about
> > the 'physics' of doctored balls, as I'd love to know how they
> > controlled for
> > all factors when they didn't have access, I'd assume, to the
> > actual game
> > balls used by year (let alone kept under the same conditions).
> >
> > As we all know from the recent addition of a humidor at Coors
> > Field that the
> > conditions the balls are kept in change the behavior of the ball
> > quite a
> > bit.
> >
> > For more information on this stuff, I recommend 'Cheater's Guide
> > to
> > Baseball' by Derek Zumsteg (sp?), as well as the Baseball
> > Economist by J.C.
> > Bradbury (author of sabernomics.com).
> >
> > What I don't recommend is stating this as if they are true
> > without proof to
> > back it up.
> >
> > - Josh
> >
> > On Dec 11, 2007 1:59 AM, Scott M. Kahn <smk1 at columbia.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > As for the home run race, there was talk of a "juiced ball"at
> > the
> > > time, but physics studies showed that not to be the case.  But
> > when
> > > the likes of Brady Anderson were hitting 50 home runs, there
> > was
> > > talk of players being juiced.  At that time, steroid abuse was
> > not
> > > the topic it is today.  But at least baseball is now revisiting
> > > that era.  Mark McGwire was most likely abusing steroids, this
> > > might come out in the soon to be released Mitchell report.  He
> > will
> > > be denied election to the Hall of Fame in his first year of
> > > eligibility because of the questions.  The public would
> > eventually
> > > forgive him if he owned up to cheating, they will not forgive
> > him
> > > if it is shown in other ways that he cheated.  Lying is worse
> > than
> > > the crime.
> > >
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