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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Soo Today: A short history of baseball slugging

A look at the interesting followup to the 2002 study, “Baseball’s Great Hitting Barrage of the 1990s” by Ben Rader and Kenneth Winkle.

Their research showed three distinct eras of offense in recent baseball history - an era of low productivity (1969-93), the great offensive barrage (1994-2000) and what they termed the “new equilibrium” (2000-06).

In comparing the latter two eras, they found a direct correlation between the larger de facto strike zone and lower offensive production, plus a circumstantial, but strong, correlation between testing for performance-enhancing drugs and lower offensive numbers.

...Initially, we really thought we were onto something with this weight-height ratio related to offensive productivity, but then it turned out the strike zone is an even stronger correlation,” Rader said.

“I think the problem with the steroids is you don’t know when they’re using steroids or the amount,” he said.

“Some people claim that the increased weight results from use of steroids, and, boy, it peaks right in the middle of the hitting revolution, then it begins to fall off once they begin to test.”

“They begin effective tests in 2003, and since then, it’s down, and in fact it’s down below what it was in 1990.”

Repoz Posted: April 07, 2007 at 10:47 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: steroids

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   1. Halofan Posted: April 07, 2007 at 11:04 PM (#2328767)
McGwire as a flowchart.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: April 08, 2007 at 06:01 AM (#2328925)
“They begin effective tests in 2003, and since then, it’s down, and in fact it’s down below what it was in 1990.”

What is "it"? The weight/height ratio? (why not use BMI anyway?) But despite the weight-height ratio being in line with the early 90s, offense by all measures is well above that level. The drop in offense since 2001 or thereabouts might be solely attributable to the drop in BBs they document. And of course swings of this size have been seen before in baseball history so attributing this to much of anything based on their analysis is a stretch.
   3. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 09, 2007 at 12:46 AM (#2329447)
NL Home Runs
2006 2840
2005 2580
2004 2846
2003 2708
2002 2595
2001 3005
2000 2893
1999 2565

The HR rate must be plummeting...
   4. BDC Posted: April 09, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2329458)
the “new equilibrium” (2000-06)

That would be the equilibrium where they score an awful lot of runs.

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