Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Kenny! You bastards!
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DUBNER: Thank you — to you as well. Today, big news: the baseball Hall of Fame voting was announced — I don’t know if you caught that — and a grand total of zero people were elected to the Hall of Fame this year.
RYSSDAL: Now, were you surprised?
DUBNER: I was a little bit surprised. It’s the first time since 1996. You know, all the talk was about the fact that because the steroid age is happening now and guys like Clemens and Bonds, who deserved to be in, but won’t be elected …
RYSSDAL: Oh, oh! Wait a minute. Are we going to have to have that conversation? You think they deserve to be in?
DUBNER: Well, no. I’m not having that conversation — that’s another conversation. But the argument was that because those guys are not going to get elected, it would free up a little bit more space, potentially. But, as it turns out, nobody got in. And, I gotta tell ya – this is what I’m here to talk about today – this is bad news. If you get nominated to a Hall of Fame and don’t get in — not only do you not get in, but I hate to tell you this, Kai, you actually might die a little bit sooner.
RYSSDAL: Ow! Because? Because? Why?
DUBNER: Well, there’s a growing body of research that looks at the relationship between what we call “status,” generally, and life expectancy. So the economist David Becker – he looked at Baseball Hall of Fame data and he found that while a player who gets elected to the Hall of Fame doesn’t necessarily outlive the average baseball player, he does live a couple years longer than a player who gets nominated for the Hall of Fame but, year after year, gets rejected. Here’s David Becker:
David BECKER: “This seems to suggest to us that it’s really the story that getting close but not winning is what’s really bad for health, which we think is potentially a really profound point about the nature of status competition more broadly in our society.”
RYSSDAL: So actually it’s not “an honor just to be nominated.”
Oh my god, they killed Kenny! You bastards!
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