FanDuel - WFBC

October 14, 2005

Home Runs and Steroids: This guy's no Amateur: Art De Vany puts my recent column on the topic to shame and makes an even stronger conclusion: "Forty years of home run hitting in nearly 12,000 major league hitter years of chances have produced no change in annual home run production. The statistical law of home runs that held forty years ago still holds today. It follows that steroid use either is not wide-spread among MLB players or it is ineffective in increasing home run power." (via Transition Game)

Disclaimer: lots and lots of stats. You've been warned!

posted by Amateur to baseball at 08:26 PM - 7 comments

Wow, awesome. Poor Ronald Blum.

posted by justgary at 12:47 AM on October 15

too..many...numbers. should have heeded warning. I think the series NUMB3RS should find a way too take this on.

posted by roycedawg at 10:04 AM on October 15

That's a fantastic report. It gets a little crunchy in the middle (even for guy like myself who loves stats) but should be still readable for most people.

posted by grum@work at 11:17 AM on October 15

I stopped at the 2nd paragraph when the guy used the word "magical" to describe Sosa, Bonds and McGwire. If you can point me to the part where it explains how Barry couldn't drive a ball further than 450 feet for the first 16 years of his career and then magically started doing on a ho-hum routine manner the following 5 years, I'd be more than happy to take another look. Also, does the paper take into account that pitchers are taking 'roids too?

posted by the red terror at 12:16 PM on October 15

Sure does ramble alot. I like stats as much as the next guy but all those numbers and the general ramble makes the article boring. Can't help to think he could have said all that in 2 or 3 pages. Proves nothing though.

posted by tdheiland at 12:17 PM on October 15

It follows that steroid use either is not wide-spread among MLB players or it is ineffective in increasing home run power Yeah, it's interesting that home run rates haven't really changed at all except in the top percentile (which is where the bulk of the Sportscenter highlights distribution falls). As for the use of "magical", I think the author means it in the sense that the type of distribution he sees in home runs predicts hitters way above the norm like that. Pretty much any adjective to describe someone in the top of the top percentile in the acme of the sport is going to be excessive (and thus offensive to anyone who doesn't like those players).

posted by yerfatma at 01:32 PM on October 15

If you can point me to the part where it explains how Barry couldn't drive a ball further than 450 feet for the first 16 years of his career and then magically started doing on a ho-hum routine manner the following 5 years, I'd be more than happy to take another look. Like a dog with a bone, you just won't let go of that dubious "statistic". So you'd rather put all your faith in a single, stand-alone, unsupported "statistic", instead of a large comprehensive study of the matter? Oh wait. You didn't read beyond the second paragraph. Then I guess there really isn't that much else to talk about. Can't help to think he could have said all that in 2 or 3 pages. Proves nothing though. So if he dropped all the statistical stuff that supports his conclusion, and just stated that steroids don't make a difference, do you think anyone would have taken it seriously? Of course, it "proves" nothing. Same as stating meaningless "statistics" or making unsubstantiated statements ("He has a big head!"), you can only believe what you want. However, I tend to put more credence behind well though-out empirical studies that examine more than one piece of information, than I do other "evidence".

posted by grum@work at 03:36 PM on October 15

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