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Thursday, July 17, 2014

WaPo: Research supports the notion of the ‘hot hand’

Green and Zwiebel studied two million MLB at-bats from 2000 to 2011. They neutralized for the abilities of the hitter and pitchers — such as lefty-on-lefty matchups and stadium sizes — and focused on 10 major statistical categories, such as batting averages, home run percentages and strikeout rates.

They found that a hitter’s past 25 at-bats were a significant predictor of his next at-bat. When a player is hot, they found his expected on-base percentage to be 25 to 30 points higher than it would if he were cold. Home run rates jumped 30 percent and strikeout rates dropped. For pitchers in hot streaks, future performance was improved, too.

“The effect is fairly large,” Zwiebel said. “It’s highly significant not just in the statistical sense but the strategic sense. The effect is large enough where it makes sense for managers to sit a cold hitter or play a hot hitter, or perhaps the strategical adjustments for a pitcher to pitch around a hot hitter.”

Chris Needham Posted: July 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM | 80 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics, statistics, stats

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   1. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4752865)
If the study didn't adjust for injuries -- and I'm not sure how it could have -- it's not very useful.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4752872)
If the study didn't adjust for injuries -- and I'm not sure how it could have -- it's not very useful.

I'm not sure that's true. If the past 25 PAs help a manager identify who has a minor injury that is hindering him, that's just as useful, unless the injury has just happened. It doesn't matter why the guy is hot or cold, just knowing it helps.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 17, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4752873)
I don't know. Wouldn't minor injuries be something every player deals with and thus would contribute to hot/cold streaks? I haven't read this yet but it's certainly an interesting notion to me.

In general I think it's undeniable that there are hot and cold streaks. Whether or not they are predictable is a separate issue but simply looking at players track records we can see that.
   4. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 01:59 PM (#4752876)

I'm not sure that's true. If the past 25 PAs help a manager identify who has a minor injury that is hindering him, that's just as useful, unless the injury has just happened. It doesn't matter why the guy is hot or cold, just knowing it helps.


Sure, but then he's not really "cold"; he's just injured.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4752880)
I don't know. Wouldn't minor injuries be something every player deals with and thus would contribute to hot/cold streaks?


Sure.

In general I think it's undeniable that there are hot and cold streaks. Whether or not they are predictable is a separate issue but simply looking at players track records we can see that.


Well, no, whether they are predictable is not a separate issue at all; it IS the issue. It pretty much defines what people are getting at when they say "hot and cold streaks."

Obviously players go 0-20 or whatever. The question is whether there's any predictive value in that.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4752882)
Sure, but then he's not really "cold"; he's just injured.

Sure, but the in-game effect is the same. Same thing if he sucks because he's up until 4 AM fighting with his wife, or chasing skirts in the bars.

The manager doesn't really care why he's below his normal ability level, just knowing he is, is valuable.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4752895)
double post
   8. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4752897)
didnt RTFA, but Zweibel misses the punch line. It's not significant just for strategic value its significant because the conventional academic wisdom has been that hot streaks dont exist. And the basic touch stone is some sort of basketball study (Tersky?).

That study has been referenced not only here but in various math related books I have come across. Also by goofy Stephen Gould IIRC. I thought that study was flawed, so now I feel somewhat vindicated.

They keep insisting that these outcomes are independent of one another, but one can make simply observations e.g. the difference between making the first foul shot and the second foul shot to see that there's some sort of relationship.

EDIT: the seminal study is by amos Tversky et al. I have no idea how they purported to take out the effect of changing the defense. This link is a pretty fair assessment of the original study as well as discussing the second foul shot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot-hand_fallacy

ALSO: it's not really an issue about injury. One of the main ideas is that you can look at a guys, say last 30 AB, and conclude that he is slumping and then remove him. The study by Tversky would say you cannot.

Similar reasoning would apply to aging. We all know that players get old and get worse, hence at some pt. they have to decline. Well wouldnt that have to show up at some pt. in the out puts they are producing?
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4752902)
the conventional academic wisdom has been that hot streaks dont exist.

Which should be absolutely laughable for anyone who has played sports.

Just last weekend, I played a round of golf after missing a couple of weeks. On the front 9 my touch on and around the greens was (understandably) off: 2 three puts, a 4 put (oof!) and no one puts. On the back, I had gotten my feel back, figured out the greens a bit, and started making some puts.

Anyone who tells you my putting "streaks" were random, is a fool.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4752908)
Stephen Jay Gould is goofy?


That study has been referenced not only here but in various math related books I have come across. Also by goofy Stephen Gould IIRC. I thought that study was flawed, so now I feel somewhat vindicated.


I don't see why one study would affect the validity of the other.


Just last weekend, I played a round of golf after missing a couple of weeks. On the front 9 my touch on and around the greens was (understandably) off: 2 three puts, a 4 put (oof!) and no one puts. On the back, I had gotten my feel back, figured out the greens a bit, and started making some puts.

Anyone who tells you my putting "streaks" were random, is a fool.


It is essentially impossible for a human being to detect whether a sequence is random or not by their own observation. What would a random putting sequence look like that you can tell the difference?
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4752909)
Maybe we should have a golf thread?

I caught some British Open championship coverage, and they were talking about the 2-iron. The deuce is my secret weapon, but most people don't use it.

I haven't tried using a hybrid or fairway wood in a long time, should I give them a chance again?
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:25 PM (#4752912)

It is essentially impossible for a human being to detect whether a sequence is random or not by their own observation.
But when you are the actor involved, isn't it more than mere observation?
   13. Lassus Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4752915)
2 three puts, a 4 put (oof!) and no one puts.

Have you ever played in a best-ball round?

No, I mean that.

- rim-shot -
   14. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4752919)
But when you are the actor involved, isn't it more than mere observation?


Almost all people tend to ignore the impact that randomness has on their lives, and ascribe personal virtue or shortcomings to things that were not under their control.
   15. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4752920)
Stephen Jay Gould is goofy?


yes. It was like he was sitting around in his PJs in bed and just making up stuff. What was that stuff about "punctuated equilibrium?" LIke that was a theory. That just follows naturally any time an organism has a competitive advantage because it will reproduce faster. It's not going to be linear it will be exponential.

It's not nice to speak ill of the dead. Sorry he died so young. He also was a very good writer.
   16. madvillain Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4752922)
I haven't tried using a hybrid or fairway wood in a long time, should I give them a chance again?


For the average 5-15 handicap, a hybrid is gonna cut a couple strokes off your game per round. You can hit it off the tee for better accuracy without sacrificing much distance, and it's infinitely easier to hit out of tough lies than a low iron. Most players in that range, including myself, can put good shots and holes together, but struggle in general with accuracy and or scoring on longer holes because they can't hit driver consistantly in the fairway when needed. The hybrid allows you to hit it 220-250 off the tee and put it in the fairway, and unlike a traditional 2 iron, it's also great out of the rough and in tight lies.
   17. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4752926)
What would a random putting sequence look like that you can tell the difference?


sometimes you feel that you are in a rut. Of course that could be psychological. But then you feel that way, and you keep missing and so it sort of reinforces itself.
   18. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4752929)
I don't see why one study would affect the validity of the other.


It's more the conclusion that hot streaks dont exist. I use the term vindicated to indicate I think the conclusion that they dont exist is just wonky.

I dont think i really said it invalidates the other study, did I? Just that i never trusted the other study, and it was often cited by everyone including primates. it was always the go to study. Perhaps the study itself was not flawed, and hence not invalidated, but using that study as the last word in every argument on the subject was annoying. I'm glad someone has a contra study.
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4752934)
it's also great out of the rough and in tight lies.

I think this is where I would get the most benefit. What degree of loft is typical for them?
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4752938)
Just last weekend, I played a round of golf after missing a couple of weeks. On the front 9 my touch on and around the greens was (understandably) off: 2 three puts, a 4 put (oof!) and no one puts. On the back, I had gotten my feel back, figured out the greens a bit, and started making some puts.

Anyone who tells you my putting "streaks" were random, is a fool.


It is essentially impossible for a human being to detect whether a sequence is random or not by their own observation. What would a random putting sequence look like that you can tell the difference?

But once snapper got his feel back, he could have told you himself.

Christ, I can go for hours without missing a makeable shot in pool when my stroke fundamentals are on, and then the next day not be able to run one rack of nine ball out of five. The pattern is pretty much always the same: First you concentrate on your stroke fundamentals on each shot, AKA "remembering what got you there". Gradually you see better and better results, and after a while you're in dead punch and you feel you can take on anyone. And then you get so damn loose you start foolishly thinking "this ####'s easy". You then get overconfident and forget one tiny little bit of the sequence in your muscle memory which makes all the difference in the world, and before you know it you feel like you'll never make another ball. This is pool, but the same pattern holds for hitters or golfers. Only the very top players in all of these highly individualistic sports have the consistent mental focus not to slip from confidence into overconfidence. And yes, once you're in either a hot or a cold streak, it's a very predictable pattern that can last for days at a stretch.
   21. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4752939)
Which should be absolutely laughable for anyone who has played sports.

Just last weekend, I played a round of golf after missing a couple of weeks. On the front 9 my touch on and around the greens was (understandably) off: 2 three puts, a 4 put (oof!) and no one puts. On the back, I had gotten my feel back, figured out the greens a bit, and started making some puts.

Anyone who tells you my putting "streaks" were random, is a fool.


Your weekly golf game to get out of the house hardly makes you a professional athlete, let alone a major league baseball player.

Your experiences quite frankly are not relevant to major league baseball.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4752944)
Stephen Jay Gould is goofy?


Well, was, at any rate.
   23. madvillain Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4752948)
You then get overconfident and forget one tiny little bit of the sequence in your muscle memory which makes all the difference in the world, and before you know it you feel like you'll never make another ball. This is pool, but the same pattern holds for hitters or golfers. Only the very top players in all of these highly individualistic sports have the consistent mental focus not to slip from confidence into overconfidence. And yes, once you're in either a hot or a cold streak, it's a very predictable pattern that can last for days at a stretch.


Tennis is the same way. Much like in Golf/Pool you're constantly tempted to go with the harder shot for more reward. Over-confidence leads to trying too hard of a shot, which leads to losing points and then losing confidence. It's a vicious feedback loop at times.

And of course when you're just vollying and nothing counts is immensely easier to hit 10 good shots in a row, just like shooting in an empty gym.
   24. Ziggy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4752950)
The question being investigated is whether recent performance has predictive value beyond the effect it has on our ordinary predictive models. Lets leave what it feels like to the side, since that's introducing an element beyond recent performance.

Fangraphs did a study recently, the conclusion of which was that recent performance has almost no additional predictive value. I doubt that they dealt with a sample of two million plate appearances, however, which is what these guys say they are working with.

And yes, I imagine that minor injuries are a large part of what we're talking about here. If a minor injury is one of the things that can reduce performance, one part of the question is whether you can tell that a player has a minor injury from his recent record. Now, it's tempting to infer from the Fangraphs result the implausible conclusion that minor injuries don't effect performance enough to be noticed, but I think they're doing better than that -- if you can't infer a minor injury from recent performance it could be that poor recent performance due to minor injury is just swamped by poor recent performance due to hitting line drives right at fielders, simple random variation, etc.
   25. BDC Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4752963)
There's two different things going on here. One is snapper's golf game or Andy's pool game, which is undeniably, over time, comprised of days when they're on and days when they're off. They know this because they're not robots.

The other is outside observation that determines, over a very large sample, that no matter what the last event was, the next one will gravitate to snapper's or Andy's or Joe DiMaggio's or whoever's true talent.

Both are really objective. snapper tells you he's on fire today, and you see him make the shots. Spreadsheet guy looks at snapper's collected lifetime scorecards and says "Every hole you played in your life, you had the same percentage of birdies no matter what happened the hole before."

Except that this new study would find that snapper or whoever actually had a better chance at a birdie if he'd just made one, and likewise for his bogeys. It is what it is from the inside or the outside.
   26. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4752971)
Your weekly golf game to get out of the house hardly makes you a professional athlete, let alone a major league baseball player.

Your experiences quite frankly are not relevant to major league baseball.


So then are hitting and pitching coaches little more than overpaid astrologers?

Of course I realize that Major League ballplayers have much better trained muscle memory than snapper or myself, but it's hard not to believe that the same pattern I described in #20 doesn't affect the pros at some point on a higher level, though it's much less likely to dog Wade Boggs as much as it's dogged Alfonso Soriano.
   27. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:14 PM (#4752980)
Good observations, Bob. (#25) I'm in dead punch today---barely missed a shot---but we'll see what that stroke looks like next Tuesday when I'm facing the Maryland state champ. (grimaces)
   28. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4752993)
is part of what makes this phenomenon hard to measure is the use of selective beginning and end points? I mean, to prove the hot hand exists, you have to take a selected end/start pt. But that introduces all sort of issues in bias, etc.

if snapper is only hot 10% of the time; and he's only really cold 10% of the time, then these minor, but real swings are being swamped by the random fluctuations occurring during the other 80%.

Then, on top of that, you have these statistical models that "say" that we expect so much random noise. I mean we have models based entirely on math that would say that hitting 5 shots in a row is going to happen 5% of the time.

So the cold streaks cancel out the hot streaks, over the long term, and it seems as if he never was hot or cold. something like that?
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4753026)
Your weekly golf game to get out of the house hardly makes you a professional athlete, let alone a major league baseball player.

Your experiences quite frankly are not relevant to major league baseball.


Yet we observe the same thing among professional golfers. The variation is the same, just around a much higher level.

It is essentially impossible for a human being to detect whether a sequence is random or not by their own observation. What would a random putting sequence look like that you can tell the difference?

It's not a question of a put lipping out or not, or being 6 inches right or left, that stuff is random.

But, when you're leaving putts 5 feet short, or blasting them five feet past, or sculling wedges, or not reaching the green, it's not random. Your feel or stroke is messed up.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4753028)
But once snapper got his feel back, he could have told you himself.

Christ, I can go for hours without missing a makeable shot in pool when my stroke fundamentals are on, and then the next day not be able to run one rack of nine ball out of five. The pattern is pretty much always the same: First you concentrate on your stroke fundamentals on each shot, AKA "remembering what got you there". Gradually you see better and better results, and after a while you're in dead punch and you feel you can take on anyone. And then you get so damn loose you start foolishly thinking "this ####'s easy". You then get overconfident and forget one tiny little bit of the sequence in your muscle memory which makes all the difference in the world, and before you know it you feel like you'll never make another ball. This is pool, but the same pattern holds for hitters or golfers. Only the very top players in all of these highly individualistic sports have the consistent mental focus not to slip from confidence into overconfidence. And yes, once you're in either a hot or a cold streak, it's a very predictable pattern that can last for days at a stretch.


Yes, exactly.

Standing over the putt you can actually feel; "yes I have a good idea how this putt is going to roll, and how hard to hit it". Other times, you're just guessing what to do.
   31. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4753057)
So then are hitting and pitching coaches little more than overpaid astrologers?


Yes, obviously. Is this a trick question?

There's a reason Sean doesn't put hitting/pitching coaches on baseball-reference next to a player's line.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4753063)
Yes, obviously. Is this a trick question?

There's a reason Sean doesn't put hitting/pitching coaches on baseball-reference next to a player's line.


You don't believe in mechanics, and the possibly of someone observing your mechanics and detecting flaws? Do you didmiss video analysis as well?

Now, it may be true that there's not a huge difference from one coach to another (i.e. the skills are fairly common) but that doesn't mean there's not a big difference between having a qualified coach, and not having one.
   33. The Good Face Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4753065)
Stephen Jay Gould is goofy?

Well, was, at any rate.


Yep. The guy was a charlatan who was full of crap on pretty much every subject he opined on other than snails. And possibly even snails, but really who could be bothered to check. Good writer though.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:30 PM (#4753076)
You don't believe in mechanics, and the possibly of someone observing your mechanics and detecting flaws? Do you didmiss video analysis as well?


Of course he doesn't. He believes the players are weighted random number generators.
   35. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4753098)
So then are hitting and pitching coaches little more than overpaid astrologers?

Yes, obviously. Is this a trick question?

There's a reason Sean doesn't put hitting/pitching coaches on baseball-reference next to a player's line.


Yes, and I'm sure that a genius like you can tell us what that reason might be, after you've finished firing all the managers** and GMs who don't make decisions that meet with your Divine Approval. Jesus, you sound more like a third rate parody of a Bizarro World Murray Chass every day.

**Like firing Farrell in the middle of the World Series for not pulling Lester for a pinch hitter in the 7th inning, when he had a pitch count in the 70's and was working on 3-hitter with a 2 run lead.
   36. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4753111)
Here's a pretty good article on Gould and just how both odd/infuriating/bizarro his ideas are to biologists. He basically makes up arguments that were thrashed out years ago and then takes them on. A selected quote:

Gould occupies a rather curious position, particularly on his side of the Atlantic. Because of the excellence of his essays, he has come to be seen by non-biologists as the preeminent evolutionary theorist. In contrast, the evolutionary biologists with whom I have discussed his work tend to see him as a man whose ideas are so confused as to be hardly worth bothering with, but as one who should not be publicly criticized because he is at least on our side against the creationists. All this would not matter, were it not that he is giving non-biologists a largely false picture of the state of evolutionary theory."


http://lesswrong.com/lw/kv/beware_of_stephen_j_gould/

I think one could easily say the same thing about "punctuated equilibrium."
   37. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4753117)

here's another comment (11.8.07) from the same article, regarding Gould's famous punctuated equilibrium after someone suggested Gould should have won a Nobel prize for it:

Punctuated Equilibrium is just placing an new buzzword on the common sense of of Gould's field, paleontology. Even if very broadly correct, it is not the single biggest idea in evolutionary theory of the last half century, not is it in the top ten. You don't find hints of it in Darwin and some others, you find it as essentially an implicit end of a continuum from completely uniform rates of change to completely discontinuous change. Most evolutionary biologists have assumed something closer to completely uniform change than Gould does, but he grossly exaggerates his differences from most biologists on this point.
   38. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4753123)
There's two different things going on here. One is snapper's golf game or Andy's pool game, which is undeniably, over time, comprised of days when they're on and days when they're off. They know this because they're not robots.


And the other is professional athletes, who are robots. Would a non-robot survive the sort of crucible of competition in the minor leagues, pitted against actual robots? The idea is silly.
   39. Ziggy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:14 PM (#4753125)
A "weighted" random number generator isn't a thing. Once it's weighted it's not random.

Ray, you went too far with the coaching thing. We could say that they are overpaid astrologers if we had a team that didn't use a hitting coach, and their results were indistinguishable from those of the other teams. (And we could control for other factors.) We really don't have the data to support a negative evaluation of hitting coaches in general.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4753131)
A "weighted" random number generator isn't a thing. Once it's weighted it's not random.

You can randomly pick numbers from different distributions with different probabilities. Any simulation does this, like DMB for baseball.

Results aren't purely random, but they are randomized.
   41. BDC Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4753143)
I dunno if a webpage titled bewareofstephenjaygould is the most objective assessment of his ideas :) Gould was opinionated and often a somewhat florid, excessive writer, but he absolutely knew his field inside and out, and his main ideas connect paleontology to the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory (Ernst Mayr and others) in very plausible ways. Of course other experts disagreed. It's what experts do. But most of the more extreme flak is as driven by politics as they say Gould was.
   42. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4753152)
You don't believe in mechanics, and the possibly of someone observing your mechanics and detecting flaws?


At the major league level? It seems far fetched.

We can look at players' careers and it's indistinguishable which hitting coaches they had. We can tell this by looking at players who change teams (and thus presumably hitting coaches) and there's no real pattern there. ARod hit well in Seattle. He hit well in Texas. He hit well in NY. Then eventually he aged.

Do you didmiss video analysis as well?


Not if we're talking about a hitter trying to get a read on how a particular pitcher approaches hitters and counts, or where his arm angle is coming from.

But "oh, look at this, Mark Teixeira, you're not shifting your weight properly"? Major league hitters by and large have the same stances year in, year out. And they know enough about what they are doing to not need the added "help" (which could be negative) that a hitting coach brings. Even hitting coaches (at the major league level) admit that they generally try to leave hitters alone unless the hitter asks for help. The last thing a team wants to do is to acquire a Jacoby Ellsbury and then the lowly hitting coach goes effing around with his swing.

(I love when ESPN or FOX shows a still of a hitter who just homered and draws a line on the screen. "See, he is straight up and down here. Now look at this other photo from last year. See how he is not straight up and down?" Well, yeah, but that was a different pitcher and pitch and location and count and base runner situation, and maybe he was fooled by the pitch and was protecting. But sure, tell us how his stance on the home run looks so much better than his stance on the pitch he was fooled on. Yeah, that's useful.)
   43. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:46 PM (#4753164)
There's a reason Sean doesn't put hitting/pitching coaches on baseball-reference next to a player's line.

Well that settles it then.
   44. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4753170)
It was very documented during the 1979 Pirate run, that Omar Moreno had taken hitting lessons from Harry Walker. He was pretty much hitting around 210 or 220 the years before this. That year he he flirted with 300 he may have finished at .290, but whatever he was a totaly different hitter. They claimed that Walker had taught him how to hit down on the ball and chop it to third or something. Then he was traded to NYY and he his average plummeted again.

Another: almost everyone who came in contact with Ted Williams said he was a wonderful coach of hitting. It would be hard to argue with that one.

It's hard to say if a Tony Gwynn could benefit from a coach; but a marginal player almost certainly with the right coach.
   45. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4753173)

Not if we're talking about a hitter trying to get a read on how a particular pitcher approaches hitters and counts, or where his arm angle is coming from.


where do you go with that argument? You can just as easily extrapolate that argument and say:

"...hitter trying to see where his own bat angle is coming from." or

"...where his weight shift is occurring." or "when it is occurring."

Can you just admit that video maybe useful? why do you have to put these odd caveats on everything? You quibble over every last syllable of an argument at the expense of appearing to obstinate and/or silly.

there's something to be said for conceding the obvious points and then trying to re affirm what you think is key.

   46. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4753177)
I love when ESPN or FOX shows a still of a hitter who just homered and draws a line on the screen. "See, he is straight up and down here. Now look at this other photo from last year. See how he is not straight up and down?" Well, yeah, but that was a different pitcher and pitch and location and count and base runner situation, and maybe he was fooled by the pitch and was protecting.


Right, yeah. I see that all the time such as on hitting instructional sites and this guy is saying Puig's back leg is bent, here on this swing from april and last year it wasnt.

So yeah, that sort of snapshot approach, is cherry picking, and doesnt account for the sorts of things you mentioned. I'm not sure this sort of point is all that relevant to the main argument.

You claim hittters only have one stance. I remember Carew saying he had like 4 or 5 different stances that he would use on any given occasion. Maybe Carew was just totally flakey but to say that "most players" have one stance.

That's like saying the average family has 3.5 people in it. It's true, its also totally misleading.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4753186)
If the study didn't adjust for injuries -- and I'm not sure how it could have -- it's not very useful.


Why? Isn't the point of any type of "hot" streak and cold streak study ultimately about the guy performing at peak ability or not, and that if he is "hot" it's an indicative that any nagging injury is not enough to hamper their ability?

Mind you, as we are now in July and August it reminds me, how often do these studies adjust for the higher offensive environment of the warm weather?

I do think it's funny that people debate hot or cold streaks, even at the major league level, it's something much more likely than clutch factor(although choke is something that more than likely exists...but clutch isn't remotely in the realm of possibility at the level we are talking about) Hot and cold streaks absolutely clearly do happen, it's the ability to use it as a barometer for future performance that the debate has been, and will always be about....and ignoring robots like MGL, who like to argue that hot and cold streaks are fully within the realm of statistical noise, when the new data becomes much more available and larger, we will see indications of hot and cold streaks (high line drive rates, higher ball speed off the bat, etc.)

   48. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:24 PM (#4753191)
Well, no, whether they are predictable is not a separate issue at all; it IS the issue. It pretty much defines what people are getting at when they say "hot and cold streaks."


No, it's what you define it...most humans see a hot or cold streak player and can intuitively see it if they have been exposed to the sport enough to recognize the signs. Baseball is a little more funny in that a guy might be "on" and lace 7 out of 10 balls but have the misfortune of having them go within the range of a fielder, or a guy could be off and weakly get 7 out of 10 to drop and people backwards looking at the data will make the wrong conclusion that the guy who was hot, was actually cold, while the guy who was cold, was actually hot. If you watch enough baseball, the announcers will pick up on the guy who is hot and is getting bad breaks...they may not pick up the guy who is cold but getting lucky breaks though, since people tend to want to put a positive spin on things.

A player on a hot streak is a guy who is going to be putting the ball in play more often than reasonable expectations and more than often with authority, whether it's line shot to the second baseman or a homerun isn't the determining factor of whether he is "on".


With the newer data that is available, even a study like this one won't be close to the definite answer on the subject. But yes, it's silly to think that hot streaks don't exists.... it's probably equally as silly to think that you can predict that a hot streak will continue through the next game or even the next at bat. Maybe the data eventually will confirm it's a predictable effect, but I'm thinking that more than likely the future data will confirm that if you have a guy on a hot streak, the next game is likely to be his established norm or another hot streak day...and a guy on a cold streak is more likely to be on a cold streak or his norm the next day, so you might as well stick with the hot guy, all other things being equal of course.

   49. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4753192)
You claim hittters only have one stance. I remember Carew saying he had like 4 or 5 different stances that he would use on any given occasion. Maybe Carew was just totally flakey but to say that "most players" have one stance.


That is an overstatement.... Hitters have one swing....take a video and break it down on any hitter from the moment they start the swing until they continue the swing, and through the season, and maybe even career, it's going to be nearly exactly alike every other swing they took....but their stance is absolutely flexible and it can make a huge difference on how well they are seeing the ball(lots of head movement), how fast they get their bat into position to start the swing etc.... Anyone that tells you a hitter has one stance is an idiot or conveying their message incorrectly.
   50. Sunday silence Posted: July 17, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4753201)
it's probably equally as silly to think that you can predict that a hot streak will continue through the next game or even the next at bat.


Concur with everything up to here. The predictive effect seems to be the issue at hand; it is the main question that study is addressing. You seem to acknowledge that at first, now you seem to back on the premise. Can you elaborate?

Just wanted to add: BIll James seemed to be noticeably agnostic on this issue, back a long time ago when I read his stuff. He seemed to get caught up in "clutch" vs "hot" vs perhaps RISP. I dont know if his views have changed over the years.

But it seemed evident to me that he should have been able to separate out the slight increase with RISP, and then look for hot streaks. I mean it seemed like he was positioned well intellectually to tackle this issue, but then he sort of backed off trying to make any strides. WHat was that all about?
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4753220)
Concur with everything up to here. The predictive effect seems to be the issue at hand; it is the main question that study is addressing. You seem to acknowledge that at first, now you seem to back on the premise. Can you elaborate?


Arguably hot streaks are a result of things going right for the player, his eyesight at the time of the game being optimum, nagging injuries not affecting his swing etc.... The ability to know how long a hot streak is going to last is nearly impossible.

For example, we have three batters.... after the fact we know that batter A hot streak was roughly 20 at bats, batter B 32 and batter C 40.... assuming 4 at bats per game for ease of argument.

We are following all three of these players, we perfect a model that gives us indicators of what a hot streak is and our model indicates that after 5 games all three of these guys are on a hot streak... yet if we use it as a predictor....the very next game player A is off his hot streak. After 8 games player B's hot streak ends, but player C goes for 10 games... I just find it hard to believe a system with anything over 50% certainty is able to predict a continuing hot streak (and the reason I use 50%, as I posted in my earlier post, generally speaking you are betting on the hot streak continuing or reversion to normal)


Again, maybe in the future all of these suppositions will be proven one way or another, but as it stands you have a ton of data out there, and a lot of it contradicts conventional wisdom, yet even there, it's pretty clear that the data is absolutely missing crucial information to say anything conclusive... in the meantime, it makes sense to go with the data available (which absolutely, beyond a doubt indicates that hot/cold streaks exist.... but also that it's not possible to predict it's continuation---and logically that sounds correct)
   52. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 17, 2014 at 07:02 PM (#4753221)
Haven't read the study itself, but article doesn't cover whether the study accounted for timing of streaks, which would seem to be a big deal.

If you have a cold 25 ABs, then your manager demotes you to minors, how does that affect study?

If you are brought up as rookie and struggle to hit at true talent level for half of season, then finally put together 25 good ABs as you make adjustments, and follow with 25 better ABs at your true talent level, how does that affect study?

In more general terms, isn't it more likely that batters who hit well for 25 ABs are rarely demoted during next 25 ABs, and those who hit worse are more likely to be demoted before finishing their second 25 ABs? Again how does this bias the sample?

More bluntly, in general players who hit more poorly than expected aren't given as many or as good as hitting opportunities as those who are perceived to hit well. They should be much more frequently DFAed, demoted, traded, or put on injured reserve.

The authors have long way to go to demonstrate they didn't compare Apples to Oranges
   53. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 17, 2014 at 07:27 PM (#4753233)

I took Gould's class in college. My sense is that he was an excellent guy to bring scientific ideas to the masses, but I felt like the class was too dumbed down to really be interesting. I wanted the detailed science behind the theories, not the version explained using baseball metaphors.
   54. bjhanke Posted: July 17, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4753235)
For me, the interesting question isn't whether there are hot and cold streaks, but if there are, how do they change? If your last 25 PA strongly affect your next PA's OBP, how does a streak ever end? How does a hot streak hitter go cold? Or a cold streak hitter hot? My guess is that this occupies a lot of the thinking time of hitting coaches. What they are doing is trying to keep the hot hitters hot, and find something to change in the cold hitters that will get them hot again. When I read hitting coaches talking about his, they generally say that, if a hitter is cold, you try to correct his mechanics back to what they were the last time he was hot, or, if the hitter is trying to change his general approach, you look at what you believe to be mechanical "best practices" and correct the hitter where he's most away from those practices. A study that says there are hot and cold streaks is just the beginning. The important thing is how those streaks change, when changing is against all the logic of there being streaks in the first place.

Harry Walker is an example of the "best practice" approach. His hitting coaching appears to have been nothing more than teaching hitters to train themselves into using Harry's personal idea of "best practices." Harry's best practices were designed to get a hitter to focus on placing the ball rather than hitting it hard. If the hitter had no power, like Omar Moreno or Matty Alou, this could really help, as he'd start hitting a lot of soft liners over the infield but in front of the outfield. But Walker had no successes that I know of with power hitters, because that's not what a power hitter needs to do. Power hitters want to hit the ball hard and high. Their dangers are the hard liner low enough that an outfielder catches it or a too-high can of corn. But they are not trying to slap singles over the shortstop. The interesting thing about Ted Williams was that he could help a large variety of hitters, whereas Walker only seemed to be able to help slap hitters like he had been. Williams gets credit from people like Pete Runnels. Runnels could not have hit any less like Ted Williams. But when Runnels moved from a large ballpark to Fenway, it got harder to find the area in between the infield and outfield, because Fenway is small. Williams had ways to counter that, and those ways worked for Runnels, who had no power. THAT is impressive, and I have no idea how he did it. If I did know how Williams did what he did, maybe I'd have some idea of how to stop a slump or prolong a hot streak. - Brock Hanke
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 17, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4753251)
For me, the interesting question isn't whether there are hot and cold streaks, but if there are, how do they change? If your last 25 PA strongly affect your next PA's OBP, how does a streak ever end? How does a hot streak hitter go cold? Or a cold streak hitter hot?

I addressed these questions indirectly in #20. Players snap out of slumps by re-focusing on fundamentals, and they enter them by forgetting those lessons. Muscle memory is extraordinarily high on the Major League level, but unlike pool or golf, you're not hitting a stationary object, and having to face a few really good pitchers in a row can sometimes mess up all but the very best hitters.

Harry Walker is an example of the "best practice" approach. His hitting coaching appears to have been nothing more than teaching hitters to train themselves into using Harry's personal idea of "best practices." Harry's best practices were designed to get a hitter to focus on placing the ball rather than hitting it hard. If the hitter had no power, like Omar Moreno or Matty Alou, this could really help, as he'd start hitting a lot of soft liners over the infield but in front of the outfield. But Walker had no successes that I know of with power hitters, because that's not what a power hitter needs to do. Power hitters want to hit the ball hard and high.

And then you had Charlie Lau and Walt Hrniak, who preached the slightly downward swing and the one handed follow through, but driving the ball and not slap hitting. I never understood how that one handed follow through generated any power at all, but there were plenty of power hitters (George Brett and Frank Thomas among them) who used it with great success.
   56. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 17, 2014 at 09:01 PM (#4753270)
Hot and cold streaks don't amount to a hill of beans if the manager ignores what even the *career* record of a hitter tells him quite loudly.
   57. cardsfanboy Posted: July 17, 2014 at 09:03 PM (#4753271)
I never understood how that one handed follow through generated any power at all,


Power is generated by the bottom hand, the second hand doesn't help that much after the initial contact with the bat/ball...in fact after the contact the top hand might be slowing the bat speed down. (at the point of contact the top hand is preventing the ball from deflecting the bat and reducing energy, but once the bat has full forward momentum, then the top hand could conceivably be slowing it down)
   58. jacjacatk Posted: July 17, 2014 at 11:42 PM (#4753338)
That's not how it works.

http://baseball.physics.illinois.edu/ball-bat.html
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:23 AM (#4753368)
That's not how it works.



And the guy is wrong. Just because he finds one example, doesn't mean ####. The grip prevents the bat from absorbing the energy. You can have two different people swinging at exactly the same angle, against the same pitch at exactly the same bat speed, and the stronger person is going to hit the ball harder, just because energy isn't being loss during contact of the bat. It's not that complicated. Watch those high speed cameras and you can see the bat absorbing the energy, a weaker grip allows the bat to absorb the energy more by pushing the bat back.


He uses arguments of experiments with stationary bats as his evidence? That isn't a good argument considering that the bat is transferring speed because of it's own momentum. Stationary bat experiments has very little to do with batted balls in a game situation.
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:23 AM (#4753401)
Hot and cold streaks don't amount to a hill of beans if the manager ignores what even the *career* record of a hitter tells him quite loudly.

True, but I doubt if too many managers wouldn't take a slumping star's career into account, especially if he'd performed at his usual level sometime earlier in the season and wasn't suffering from some unannounced and not particularly visible injury.

---------------------------------------------------

I never understood how that one handed follow through generated any power at all,

Power is generated by the bottom hand, the second hand doesn't help that much after the initial contact with the bat/ball...in fact after the contact the top hand might be slowing the bat speed down. (at the point of contact the top hand is preventing the ball from deflecting the bat and reducing energy, but once the bat has full forward momentum, then the top hand could conceivably be slowing it down)


Given that most of history's greatest power hitters used the two hand follow through (Ruth and Mantle, just to name two), I doubt if their upper hands cut down on their swing. OTOH I'm not pretending to understand the physics of the swing, and as I said, there are also the cases of George Brett and Frank Thomas, both of whom had the one hand follow through. It probably comes down to how well the individual player can master the details of either of those two alternatives and adjust his internal rhythm and muscle memory to them. The baseball swing is clearly more of an art than a science, even if you have to use the scientific approach in analyzing it.
   61. bjhanke Posted: July 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4753545)
The one-hand follow-through may be helpful to hitters who don't get a big torso twist. If their torsos are not fully twisting, the ball might hit the bat right at about the time the torso stops, causing the upper hand to slow down the swing. A different hitter may see no benefit at all, or a decrease in power, because his torso is doing all the twisting work. Whether the stance is closed or open might be related as well, because that affects the point at which the torso twist stops. Don't know. Never been a MLB hitter. - Brock
   62. The Good Face Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4753590)
And then you had Charlie Lau and Walt Hrniak, who preached the slightly downward swing and the one handed follow through, but driving the ball and not slap hitting. I never understood how that one handed follow through generated any power at all, but there were plenty of power hitters (George Brett and Frank Thomas among them) who used it with great success.


Also Mark McGwire & Juan Gonzales. Of course, those guys, and Frank Thomas, were huge, immensely strong men, so perhaps it just didn't matter that much. Brett wasn't freakishly big or strong though, so who knows.
   63. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4753602)
I never understood how that one handed follow through generated any power at all,


I think a large part of it is getting people to finish their swing. Even on a one handed follow through the hitter is still using both hands to hit the ball but the one handed follow through forces the hitter to keep the swing and the body moving aggressively throughout rather than slowing it down early.

When I coach kids one of the things I tell them is to hit themselves in the back on the follow through. That actually does nothing for them but what it does is makes sure their swing is aggressive the entire time the bat is in the hitting zone and the bat is on the ball.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4753671)
When I coach kids one of the things I tell them is to hit themselves in the back on the follow through. That actually does nothing for them but what it does is makes sure their swing is aggressive the entire time the bat is in the hitting zone and the bat is on the ball.

Good point, and exactly the same one as you have in pool and golf. All mediocre pool shooters have one thing in common: They "stab" at the cue ball rather than shoot "through" it. Breaking the "stabbing" habit is about a hundred times easier said than done, but that's another story.
   65. Ron J2 Posted: July 18, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4753721)
#44 Harry Walker had a long track record of turning slap hitters into moderately useful (if generally overrated) hitters. Moreno was far from the first.

I'm not aware of his having any success with any other type of hitter though.

Ted Williams is even more interesting. His short term record is amazing. The number of players who had career years in their first year with Williams is very long.

But the truly interesting thing to me is that none sustained their new level. Within a year or so they were all back to where they had been before meeting Williams. And there were plenty of guys he had no affect on. Tim Cullen got a lengthy run because Williams liked his glove and was sure he could teach Cullen to hit.

And the final team he managed was an utterly wretched offensive team. Basically the Williams boosters always want to talk about 1969 and never about 1972 -- when the team hit .217/.290/.290 (yeah deadball III. Still a team OPS+ of 77 is not something you bring up in the performance review if you're a hitting guru)
   66. Sunday silence Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:33 PM (#4753802)
Video review is also used by golfers, who have a similar repetitive action that they need to reproduce. Football of course, but not sure they really review their technique Obviously even star quarter backs have coaches who work on mechanics. They were working on RG IIIs mechanics last year. Im pretty sure tennis players look at videos. I am pretty sure the best tennis players have coaches that study their stroke.

Doesnt Tiger Woods have Mr Haney or someone working with him?

It's hard to imagine all these professionals are just imagining the value of video.
   67. DA Baracus Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4753813)
Football of course, but not sure they really review their technique


Football teams tape practice to aid them working on technique.
   68. zenbitz Posted: July 18, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4753818)
If anyone wants the PDF: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2358747

If this is somehow restricted to academic IPs, let me know and I will send you copy. For personal use.

I will have to read this more closely but it appears their sample data is from 2000-2011. And, unless I missed it, they don't normalize year-by-year but instead use raw BA.
Not 100% sure that they need to.
   69. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4753939)
The study found that Julius Erving was nearly as likely to make a free throw after three misses (52 percent) than after hitting three straight free throws (48 percent).


What? Dr. J only made half his free throws?!
[Checks Basketball-Reference.com for first time ever]
Hmm... no... His career FT percentage was 78%.
   70. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 18, 2014 at 06:52 PM (#4753956)
I will say that there's probably a counter to my argument that hitting coaches matter little if at all: Mark McGwire. I seem to recall reading at the time that McGwire worked with someone after he had bottomed out at age 27 in 1991 (recalled this when I looked him up for the Dan Uggla thread). He hit .201 that year (201/330/383, 22 HR, 93 BB) and then as I recall worked with someone in Oakland who broke his swing down and rebuilt it from scratch. Someone with a P.... I'm blanking on the name. Pemberton? I could be way off. Jeff Pentland?

   71. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4753976)
didnt RTFA, but Zweibel misses the punch line. It's not significant just for strategic value its significant because the conventional academic wisdom has been that hot streaks dont exist. And the basic touch stone is some sort of basketball study (Tersky?).


There's a fascinating book by John Coates, a senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at Cambridge, called "the hour between dog and wolf". He studied the testosterone levels of men involved in stock trading, before the day begins and again at the end of the day. Successful traders saw massive increases in testosterone, which continued to increase the more success they had, until they reached the point of overconfidence. They tended to become more and more aggressive and take greater and greater risks, until they stopped succeeding. Unsuccessful traders OTOH saw decreases in testorone and increase in cortisol, causing them to become less aggressive and more timid, and to do more second-guessing. After failing, the testosterone levels could stay depressed and the cortisol levels could stay elevated for weeks.

He also showed studies done on animals which appeared to showed this "winner effect" could have a significant impact on the physical strength and aggressiveness of animals.

It definitely seems plausible that having success or failure in baseball could lead to actual physiological changes in baseball players body chemistry, causing them to behave slightly differently and making them slightly more or less likely to succeed in the next PA. It would be very interesting to study this in players over the course of a season to see how daily testosterone level fluctuates with performance (Coates used q-tip swabs on the tongue). of course MLBPA would never let you do it.
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: July 18, 2014 at 07:35 PM (#4753978)
I like the point of view from post 71. It's a very interesting take on the subject. At the very least it could mean that ball players with a hot hand are a bit more aggressive at the plate due to confidence while cold players are more analytical in their approach or even more timid.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 18, 2014 at 09:15 PM (#4754051)
The study found that Julius Erving was nearly as likely to make a free throw after three misses (52 percent) than after hitting three straight free throws (48 percent).

I doubt if many NBA players would consider either three straight foul shots or three straight misses as much evidence of anything. Eight or ten straight would be more like it.

--------------------------------------------------

There's a fascinating book by John Coates, a senior research fellow in neuroscience and finance at Cambridge, called "the hour between dog and wolf". He studied the testosterone levels of men involved in stock trading, before the day begins and again at the end of the day. Successful traders saw massive increases in testosterone, which continued to increase the more success they had, until they reached the point of overconfidence. They tended to become more and more aggressive and take greater and greater risks, until they stopped succeeding.

Other than the testosterone factor, that's exactly the point I was making earlier. It's just another way of saying that the stockbrokers' overconfidence led them to forget their fundamentals of trading.
   74. bjhanke Posted: July 19, 2014 at 02:22 AM (#4754187)
Ray (#70) - The New Historical says that McGwire credited Doug Rader with improving his hitting. Rader, of course, hit nothing like McGwire, but Mac seems to have thought it worked. - Brock Hanke
   75. Ron J2 Posted: July 19, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4754215)
Further to #65 Harry Walker get mentioned a fair bit in Ball Four. What I recall is that he tried to turn everybody into Matty Alou. Probably including Jim Wynn and Joe Morgan.
   76. bob gee Posted: July 19, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4754242)
i heard of a study years ago whch had (collegiate) basketball players try to predict whether they'd make their next shot, or miss. does anyone else know about this study / have a link to it?


   77. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 19, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4754259)
i heard of a study years ago whch had (collegiate) basketball players try to predict whether they'd make their next shot, or miss. does anyone else know about this study / have a link to it?

I'd think that sort of study would have been better applied to Cassius Clay's rhyming fight predictions.
   78. bob gee Posted: July 19, 2014 at 01:12 PM (#4754318)
71 - i find when i'm trading, if i start thinking of how much money i'm up in a trade and how much 'more' will be there, that's an excellent time for me to take at *least* 2/3 of my trade off the table.

it took a while to reach that point, and i still forget to do it sometimes.

hadn't heard of that book by coates, i should check it out.
   79. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 19, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4754384)
Brock -

After a little usenet searching (it used to be easy to search usenet, but those days are gone and I'm not sure why), it looks like Jeff Pentland has been widely credited with re-making Sosa's swing, not McGwire's, so my memory was off there.

As to McGwire, it's probably Rader as you note. With regard to the rebuilding of McGwire's swing I had recalled this usenet post from Gary Huckabay (yes, I actually remember individual postings) from May of 1998:

Perhaps, but McGwire is most definitely a better hitter than he was earlier in his career. His entire swing has been broken down and reconstructed. And God, is it frightening. I swear, the entire world seems to stop when he's at the plate. If I'm over at a friend's doing something, we switch back and forth to the Cardinal game and everything stops. My wife comes in from her office when she hears his name announced on the TV.

McGwire's changed things. There are phrases that didn't used to exist because of his late-career surge. Phrases like "Only 468 feet."




   80. zenbitz Posted: July 26, 2014 at 06:43 PM (#4758200)
I did finally finish the article. It's somewhat impenetrable, but seems legit.

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