FanGraphs Baseball

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  1. **”Baseball is different now FROM HOW IT WAS 15 years ago.”

    Come on, Dave.

    Comment by anon — August 3, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  2. The 2012 stats are very impressive especially considering that April 2012 was a historically low offensive month.

    Great research here, Dave.

    Comment by High Heat Stats — August 3, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  3. Is this the Three True Outcome era?

    Adam Dunn: Face of a Generation

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 3, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  4. Players/Agents are understanding the PED testing policy and are now beating it thru science. They’ve learned to mask the masking agents.

    Comment by John — August 3, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  5. I’m curious whether during the so called “steroid” era, the distribution of home runs was uneven, such that you could extrapolate that “users” accounted for a disproportionate number of home runs. In other words, are total home runs spread out more evenly among players today than they were in say 2000?

    Comment by bradsbeard — August 3, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  6. So what your also saying is PED era only saw a 0.4% increase in HR’s?? That doesn’t sound very evil does it??

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — August 3, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  7. Its been an unusually hot year for the most part too…so perhaps that is also affecting the HR rates this summer.

    Comment by NEPP — August 3, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  8. Lesson that 99.9% of Americans really need to be taught…correlation does not equal causation.

    Yes, the decrease in HR corresponded with better PED testing, but there are so many other factors that are also correlated. Like the Pitch fx installations Dave noted.

    Comment by Brad Johnson — August 3, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  9. Adam Dunn is on pace to strike out more than 220 times this year, hit .210 with maybe 50 HR’s. Wow, he is Dave Kingman incarnate.

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — August 3, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  10. Yep, within a few months all their work came to fruition.

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  11. What about changes in ballpark configuration. I know the Mets brought in their fences. Any other recent changes? Does the new park in Miami play any differently than the old one?

    Also there can be fluctuations in the emergence (decline) of hitters relative to pitchers. For a few years we were seeing the emergence of some great young pitchers. This year the pendulum has swung the other way, with young hitters like Trout and McCutcheon emerging as superstars. And um Ryan Braun continues to impress.

    Comment by Henry — August 3, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

  12. it seems like every year is an “unusally hot year” these days. im tired of it being so damn hot.

    /bitter astros fan

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — August 3, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  13. Also could the weather play a role? It has been an historically hot summer. Does that help produce more home runs?

    Comment by Henry — August 3, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  14. That 0.4% increase in the home run rate is an over 10% increase in the number of home runs. No?

    Comment by Henry — August 3, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

  15. Can’t wait for the current BBWAA members to quit so the HOF voting can get back to normal. I suppose this doesnt have much to do with PED myths necessarily, but Jack Morris – an average pitcher in a dead-ish era – is about to get in, whereas Kevin Brown was off the ballot in two years!

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  16. Why does everyone think it is McCutcheon? It’s McCutchen, darn tootin’!

    Comment by Red — August 3, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  17. Both PEDs and PED testing did zero.

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  18. That number… I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 3, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

  19. Okay, but this is just the baloney of carefully selecting examples. Yes, some great young hitters have emerged – Trout, McCutchen, Harper. But over that same period of time, we’ve seen Strasburg and Kershaw emerge. Next year if Trout is yesterday’s news and Strasburg’s command is back to pre-surgery levels,* we might all be saying “oh pitching stars are surging again” and be just as wrong.

    *Or Dan Straily is casting a glow on the dreams of Cistullians everywhere

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — August 3, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  20. Home Runs per contact look to be at the levels of the late 90′s, but hasn’t much been written about strikeout rates increasing? So less contact in the denominator I think changes things. This might be a case where the raw home run numbers work better than an advanced metric like HR/contact.

    Comment by Glenn DuPaul — August 3, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  21. You obviously weren’t taking the same PEDs I was. LOL!

    Comment by John — August 3, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  22. without conducting any research, I’ll just say that Adam Dunn’s poor 2011 is why home runs were down. Baseball needs you Mr. Dunn.

    Comment by Resolution — August 3, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  23. “during most of the years when Barry Bonds was bathing in cream.”

    Wut

    Comment by Jeff — August 3, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  24. You think they have only started developing new drugs over the last few months? The drug makers are obviously always one step ahead of the testers. It is plausible that a new drug has found its way into mass circulation among players. The drug may have been created as many as five years ago. Not saying that is what is happening, but it is possible.

    Comment by Chomp — August 3, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  25. You just quoted a joke you don’t understand.

    Comment by bada bing — August 3, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

  26. Honeruns per contact is being used because contact is down.

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  27. What kind were you on?

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  28. Or in Ryan Braun’s case, just getting good lawyers

    Comment by jfree — August 3, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  29. He’s gotten a lot worse offensively.

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  30. Yes, Harper’s 9 home runs have really helped.

    Comment by TKDC — August 3, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  31. I blame Yankee Stadium.

    Comment by MyrEn — August 3, 2012 @ 1:46 pm

  32. Barry Bonds was ALLEGEDLY bathing in cream.
    http://www.blackstate.com/images/BarryBonds.jpg

    Comment by diegosanchez — August 3, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  33. McCutcheon is more Irish. Everyone loves a scrappy Irishman.

    Comment by jscape2000 — August 3, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  34. I know. and I’m saying that is part of the reason why you can’t really say that home runs have returned. But I do agree with Dave, that increase in strikeouts is the more important change

    Comment by Glenn DuPaul — August 3, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  35. Ever heard the saying there are lies, damn lies, and statistics? Interesting stats, however, inherent to the approach is the assumption that contacting a baseball has nothing to do with steroids. I would argue that steroids increase bat speed which enable good hitters to let the ball travel deeper into the strike zone before unleashing their swing…slower bat speed means the hitter needs to do more guessing at the plate and will often get fooled a lot easier, resulting in making less contact….not to mention the fact that steroids makes DL stints shorter. I haven’t seen any specific stats but I would hypothesize that the shorter the DL stint, the less time it will take to regain timing which would result in fewer strikeouts.

    Comment by Roger — August 3, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  36. Isn’t there a theory* that in a low run environment (and especially on a team that has a poor offense), it is better to have power in relation to OBP than it is in a high run environment? Could this be a case where teams don’t see the value in a guy that just slaps singles or walks, but want a guy that gives you instant offense?

    Look at the Pirates. They have a pretty mediocre offense, and it is already more power heavy than OBP heavy (Pedro Alverez and Garrett Jones are their 2nd and 3rd best hitters). But they just went out and got a guy who strikes out a lot, doesn’t have a high OBP, but might hit a lot of homers.

    *If no such theory has ever been tested, consider it pulled out of my ass.

    Comment by TKDC — August 3, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  37. ” However, if we’re going to just talk about how one change may have had a strong cause-and-effect relationship on offense in the sport, we’re probably better off starting there than we are starting with the institution of drug testing in 2006. ”

    Why? Because Pitch FX is a more comfortable narrative for baseball apologists like you than steroids? I don’t think roiders were evil cheaters either. I’m in the middle on this issue. You’re guilty of the same thing the people who scream about steroids are guilty of.

    Comment by JF145 — August 3, 2012 @ 1:58 pm

  38. I love when people thumbs down grammatical corrections….down with learning!!

    Comment by brendan — August 3, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  39. Yes.

    Comment by Steve — August 3, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

  40. The most mispelled name after Greinke.

    Comment by Baltar — August 3, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  41. Move up here to the northwest. I still had the heat coming on in the mornings in June, and while I’ve actually had reason to wear shorts the past couple of days you still need to put on a sweater as soon as the sun goes down. It’s supposed to be extremely hot (maybe even breaking 90) this weekend, but overall it looks like we’re only going to have about 3 weeks of summer this year instead of our normal 7.

    Comment by joser — August 3, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

  42. Yes, I’d say (as an aerospace engineer) that’s very likely the case. I recall 1999-2001 being very hot too.

    Comment by BigNachos — August 3, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  43. What is causing the decrease in contact rates? It is easy to assume that it is due to pitching–using the pen more, using certain pitches more.

    But it could be that hitters are taking a different approach, especially with two strikes. That could explain both the rise in home runs and the drop in contact rates. I’m talking about the medium-term trend here, not just the squiggles of the past few years.

    Comment by Henry — August 3, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

  44. Pitchers also took PEDs which allowed them to throw harder and probably negated the advantage you’re suggesting hitters would have had.

    I’d be surprised if there was any actual evidence of steroids decreasing DL time. I’ve heard just as much anecdotal evidence that players on steroids would break down faster and be more likely to end up on the DL.

    Comment by BigNachos — August 3, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

  45. I don’t know where you guys live, but last year was the historically hot summer here in Texas. It’s been quite mild this year in these parts, by comparison.

    Comment by Jordan — August 3, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  46. Isn’t there a trade-off between home runs and strikeouts, thoug? Batters oftentimes try to increase their power numbers–which comes at the cost of a longer swing and higher K rates. On the other hand, some batters will try to “shorten” their swings to decrease whiffs, but that decreases power numbers. So the “power” of a player or an era should be in relation to homeruns per strikeout.
    If in the past, batters Kd less with comparable strikeout numbers, weren’t they were better power hitters?

    Comment by Barry — August 3, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  47. Ryan Braun would really appreciate if you didn’t point out to the world that he is likely still roiding.

    - David Cornwell

    Comment by TKDC — August 3, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  48. Mark Teahan would like a word.

    Comment by zirc — August 3, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  49. Is there information available on the average distance a HR travelled by year? I’d be curious if there’s a big difference between the “steroid era” and the last year or so.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — August 3, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  50. real insider here, folks

    Comment by jim — August 3, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  51. if your definition of “a lot worse” is “basically the same,” then yes, 2012 braun has been “a lot worse” than 2011 braun

    Comment by jim — August 3, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

  52. also, mark buehrle.

    Comment by anon — August 3, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

  53. “As an aerospace engineer”? Seriously?

    Comment by Cliff — August 3, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  54. People still can’t spell McGwire.

    Comment by Peter Gentleman — August 3, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

  55. You tell me what the grammatical error is. Style and grammar are not the same. I understood Dave’s sentence and found it perfectly felicitous as a complete thought, although I found it ugly and unrefined.

    Grammar school grammar is NOT the actual grammar of the English language. Linguists have spent a lot of time developing sophisticated tests for well-formedness and found that many grammar rules are abstractions. Or are you really unable to interpret the sentence “Who do you give your gift to?” without rewording it?

    Learning is enhanced by asking questions about our own prejudices not enforcing them against others.

    And if you carp about a grammar mistake that the author (and his audience) knows is a mistake, then you aren’t teaching anyone anything. You are just asking for a correction to be made.

    Comment by LTG — August 3, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  56. Ever heard the saying ” ‘There are lies, damn lies, and statistics’ is a stupid saying that people repeat only to rule out statistics that don’t fit their narrative”?

    Comment by LTG — August 3, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  57. The problem with this alleged “correction” is that well respected writers (e.g., Coleridge) have used all three constructions with “different” for over three hundred years.

    The three constructions are:
    different from
    different than
    different to (chiefly British)

    Also, double exclamation points are frowned upon. One should either use one, three, or many more than three, but never two. That’s weak.

    Comment by philosofool — August 3, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

  58. Different people may have used different constructions before, but I’m not sure on what planet that logic is sound. Writers take liberties all the time. “Different than” is simply incorrect and I judge people who use it in their writing over “different from.” Dave ought to know better.

    Comment by anon — August 3, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

  59. What you don’t know “BigNachos the rocket scientist?!” He’s EVERYWHERE these days, a la “Bill Nye the Science Guy!”

    Comment by Jason B — August 3, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

  60. “Pedro Alverez and Garrett Jones are their 2nd and 3rd best hitters”

    Neil Walker would like a word…

    Comment by Jason B — August 3, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

  61. It’s actually a pretty simple rule: if the object being compared is a noun, it’s “different from”; if a clause follows, it’s “different than“.

    Dave’s sentence is correct.

    Comment by TomG — August 3, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

  62. kudos to the man that spends the time and presents that info.

    Comment by Sleight of Hand Pro — August 3, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  63. 1. Increased velocity.
    2. Increased slider use.
    3. Increased use of the changeup.

    Batters are larger, have done away completely with linear mechanics, and there’s no shame in the strikeout. “Put the ball in play” has been replaced by “hit the ball hard” … for a few rea$on$.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — August 3, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

  64. What about the effects of new parks since 1999? It seems like there were a lot of very power-unfriendly parks built in response to the 1990′s offensive environment.

    Comment by cowdisciple — August 3, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  65. Grammar is — no hyperbole — for fascists… those who believe there is one true way, no exceptions, I’m right, you’re wrong. That is, to state the very obvious, not how communication works. Communication is endlessly variant, embrace that.

    Comment by Matt NW — August 3, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  66. I apologize if I missed someone else already point this out. I don’t see these numbers as disproving the effects of steroids at all.

    I haven’t ran the numbers to prove this, but my hunch is that overall league-wide home run rates wouldn’t necessarily increase during an era of steroid use. We know that some players used them, both pitcheres and hitters. And we also know that not all players did. I would assume that those who did, among both pitchers and hitters, likely increased their own performance. This comes at the expense of other players, obviously. If someone is hitting 70 HR, clearly the league-wide ERA is taking a hit. Rather than looking at averages, I think you need to look at the edges — particularly the top — for both pitchers and hitters. Obviously the top numbers for hitters were very, very high during the steroid era. I would assert that the effect of pitcher usage offset this in aggregate. That pulls down the average and hides the effect.

    To me the evidence is pretty clear. It’s no coincidence that many of the best offensive seasons in history came during a short period, and that many of those seasons were from players we are in some cases 100% sure of steroid use. To believe otherwise is ignoring the obvious. Average HR-rate stats or not.

    Comment by rageon — August 3, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  67. This is a completely subjective observation, but is the higher strikeout rate simply that pitchers on the whole are throwing a lot harder today than even 5 or 10 years ago? Particularly in the bullpen, it seems like it’s now the norm for most to be flamethrowers, excepting the still ever present occasional soft tossing lefty.

    I could just be completely misremembering things, but just a thought. Anyone have any data on this?

    Comment by Daven — August 3, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  68. Statistics never lie. People sometimes misinterpret them, take them out of context, or purposefully twist them to their own ends, but the data is just data.

    Comment by Daven — August 3, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  69. Same here in the PNW. It was actually ridiculously cold up until around the first or second week of July. Now things are mostly back to normal. Probably why Safeco has been such a run suppressor this year, even in the context of its own history, until the last few weeks. :)

    Comment by Daven — August 3, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  70. I’m glad Dave is going to tackle the PitchF/X issue because as he notes the SO% is not just up, it’s up dramatically. And in addition, the BB% is way down. Those accelerated rates of increase and decrease correlate very well to not just the expansion of the PitchF/X system, but to umpires using it and taking it seriously in trying to improve their game calling.

    I think this is a huge story, because what we are seeing the is result of years of complaining about long games and tight strike zones, and union umpires who just refused to consider changing. This is a real success story with the umpires working with MLB to use the technology and try to improve the game. I can’t wait to see a more detailed analysis on this. Nice work Dave.

    Comment by Paul — August 3, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  71. So Brady Anderson just juiced a little bit?

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

  72. So Brady Anderson just juiced a little?

    Comment by Drew — August 3, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

  73. So Brady Anderson just juiced?

    Comment by bstar — August 3, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  74. So, it “seemed hot” to an AEROSPACE ENGINEER?

    That’s pretty much golden, then.

    Comment by ataraxia_ — August 3, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  75. @anon The reason the logic is sound is that the only way for something to become a grammatical rule is for there to be a near universal convention of speaking and writing in a way conforms to the rule. When writers whose works are widely read prefer a certain usage, then it’s a little silly to say that convention is contrary to their usage. By the way, noted writers who use the “different than” construction include not only literary figures but academic figures writing on such topics as the history of England, so it’s not merely literary flourish that inspires their choices.

    Comment by philosofool — August 3, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  76. so brady anderson just

    Comment by jim — August 3, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

  77. Al Alburquerque.

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  78. Does actual heat have an effect on fly balls? My impression is that humidity has more effect (i.e., e more humid, the farther the ball flies). Am I wrong?

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  79. Might that be because hitting the ball hard tends to result in more favorable run-scoring outcomes than simply putting the ball in play?

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  80. I’m not sure a longer swing results in more power. A more compact swing across the body, leading with your hands through the zone, makes for a harder wrist snap and higher bat speed, which should result in more distance on your hit. That’s how it works for me, anyway.

    I think the increased power/higher strikeout combination might result more from greater commitment on the swing, leading to less correction during the act in order to make contact. This goes to the “hit it hard” versus “put it in play” debate, and I think there has been a cultural shift over the past couple of decades biased toward the former.

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  81. I would bet that in addition to merely thrower harder, pitchers also have a greater variety of breaks on pitches now than they did before.

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

  82. Wanna know how to solve the high strikeout prolem? Lower the stitches on the ball. Then, wanna know how to keep run scoring from getting out of control? Deaden the ball. You’re welcome. ;)

    Comment by chasfh — August 3, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  83. As a matter of fact, that data is located on this very sight, at least back to 2007. Go to leaders>league stats>pitchf/x/velocity.

    You’re right, the FB velo is higher, but so is velo for changeups. Actually, I think it could be the increased FB velo that is partly responsible for the increase in HRs.

    Strikeouts I would still be on the PitchF/X system, especially because of the matching decrease in BB%.

    Caveat: We would expect for the data to improve over time, especially since if I’m not mistaken when it was first started it was no in all parks. No doubt the technology has improved as would the calibration of that new tech. Unless there have been backward revisions that I’m not aware of. That would difficult and I doubt MLB would care enough to do it.

    Comment by Paul — August 3, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  84. I +1′d you on everything except the word “sometimes.”

    Comment by Paul — August 3, 2012 @ 11:02 pm

  85. It’s technically impossible for PEDs to do nothing, after all they are “Performance Enhancing” Drugs. If they don’t do anything, then they are just drugs.

    Comment by Brad — August 4, 2012 @ 12:02 am

  86. The saying is, “liars, damned liars, and statisticians.”

    Statistics don’t manipulate; people who present interpretations are the manipulators.

    Comment by MrKnowNothing — August 4, 2012 @ 12:41 am

  87. the air’s less dense i believe…hence less drag on the ball…

    Comment by ps — August 4, 2012 @ 1:05 am

  88. higher humidity means more water vapor in the air. more water vapor in the air decreases the air density slightly because a water molecule has less mass than the constituents of the air that it replaces. see . hot air is also less dense than cold air (ideal gas law). hot, humid air is the good stuff for hitters then. for climate of your particular state, visit the other world of numbers: science! 2012 baseball season showing the Pacific Northwest as ridiculously cool compared to most of the country. click on for more maps and graphics.

    Comment by Agent Purple — August 4, 2012 @ 1:14 am

  89. The pitching rebuttal is an often used retort, but it’s never really made much sense to me. While it’s fairly obvious increased muscle and strength can add to power and potentially be an asset to a player who already possesses skills of a professional baseball player, is there really supportive data to suggest weightlifting and muscle mass are keys to pitch speed (think Pedro Martinez trying to hit a home run versus throw a baseball)? I think there’s little doubt things like Greenies can be an asset for pitchers in making it through the toll of a season, but it’s simply not conclusive that a PED for a pitcher is as “enhancing” as a PED for a batter (or vice versa).

    If pitcher’s were taking a strength enhancer like steroids, we should be able to drum up some data on avg. mph of starters, no?

    Comment by Adam — August 4, 2012 @ 3:49 am

  90. AP: So should we just be looking at due point then?

    Comment by Paul — August 4, 2012 @ 8:33 am

  91. Somehow you yahoos have managed to out-nerd stat geeks. Pretty impressive.

    Comment by Yardisiak — August 4, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  92. Great running back

    Comment by shoewizard — August 4, 2012 @ 9:56 am

  93. Gotta love the fangraphs snarkfest when someone who works in a field that involves the study of objects moving through changing atmospheres comments on… objects moving through changing atmospheres.

    Comment by The Real Neal — August 4, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  94. I wonder if there’s an effect on the hitter’s approach as well. If it’s gawd awful hot at home plate, maybe you’re a little more likely to swing earlier and harder to get the at bat over. Pitchers could be more likely to challenge hitters which leads to more home runs, but more K’s.

    Comment by The Real Neal — August 4, 2012 @ 11:10 am

  95. Higher strikeout rates could also be the Moneyball effect, as more organizations draft, trust and promote pitching prospects who don’t need to rely on defense to make their outs.

    Comment by The Real Neal — August 4, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  96. Rzepczynski is laughing at you

    Comment by Dragoslav — August 4, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  97. I ran this data a month or two ago and fastball velocity seems to be increasing, but fastball usage seems to be declining. Which tells me that it’s a sort of moneyball effect, but I’m sure there are other equally valid interpretrations. My interpretation is that better scouting and use of data in scouting has lead to an aggregate decline in fastball use as pitchers discover for each batter that they’re more vulnerable to curveballs than traditional abstract “set up the hitter” approaches would suggest, which has lead to a progressive downward trend in fastball use the past several seasons. This would indicate that pitchers/pitching coaches are winning the scouting wars leading to reduced offense, and hitters/hitting coaches haven’t caught up yet. That trend could reverse itself really at any moment as hitters/hitting coaches start to utilize data as effectively (or more effectively) than pitchers and pitching coaches, unless it turns out that informed pitchers are just at a tremendous advantage over informed hitters, which is possible.

    Comment by Corey — August 4, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

  98. oops, i see i botched the html for the links to climate-related data and the atmosphere, but the links do go to the right places.

    re: Paul, when dew point temperature (Tdp) = air temperature (Tair), then relative humidity (RH) = 100% and water vapor begins to condense to liquid water (form a cloud or fog). RH is *not* calculated as Tdp/Tair (it’s more complicated) so the best meteorology variables to look at are Tdp and Tair. i would think the ball travels further with high Tair and moderate Tdp. why moderate Tdp? water vapor can condense on a ball, so a lot of moisture (high Tdp) could plausibly change the mass of the ball as it plows through the atmosphere. this would outweigh the benefit of lower density. not that i think about this a lot or anything.

    Comment by Agent Purple — August 4, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  99. What Chomp said. This is the new age, where the only crime is the crime of being caught.

    Comment by BronxBomber — August 5, 2012 @ 2:58 am

  100. Bonds was very, very likely on something or many things, but “hey look a guy was bigger in his mid-30′s than his mid-20′s, he must have been roiding!!!” is the laziest science ever.

    Comment by Matt — August 5, 2012 @ 3:08 am

  101. Are you fucking stupid, or just retarded?

    Comment by Jorge Posada — August 5, 2012 @ 3:59 am

  102. http://hittrackeronline.com/index.php

    Comment by Bryz — August 5, 2012 @ 4:23 pm

  103. The AB/HR are close but Kingman couldn’t touch Dunn’s BB rate, and his K-rate was 24% to Dunn’s career 28% (which is now rising!).

    Comment by Jay29 — August 5, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  104. I just learned quite a lot from the people who corrected your mistakes. I don’t know whether to agree with you that learning will come from corrections or disagree with your inability to let an easily understood sentence go.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — August 5, 2012 @ 6:52 pm

  105. Every time the Pittsburgh announcers make this mistake, I cringe.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — August 5, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

  106. off sport, Coach Kryzewski would like to claim his name for like of exact matching homonyms to his last name

    Comment by downbythebay — August 5, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  107. I did some basic investigating on BB and K percent and believe that this is the main cause for the drop in league runs. I’d be interested in looking at called strikes over the past 5 – 7 years to see how many more strikes are being called. To me it seems there are a fair amount of hitting swinging early in the count now (seems like Pujols is a guy that has really changed his approach), could this be an effect of more strikes being called and hitters wanting to stay out of pitchers counts?

    Comment by jj — August 6, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  108. 2012 is not statistically significant from 2006-2009. I am suspicious that 2010-2011 were due to dead balls so MLB could show congress the testing program was not a sham (which it probably is).

    Comment by pft — August 6, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  109. Adam, Roger Clemons obviously disagrees with you.

    Comment by siggian — August 6, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  110. Jair Jurrjens wants to jump into the conversation

    Comment by Scott — August 6, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  111. Can someone map any trends in unusually warm weather to those trends Dave cites above, to try to control for that?

    We’re throwing around “it’s been an unusually hot (insert month here)” a bunch, but I’d be interested to see if, overall, for all outdoor parks, if it’s actually been that much warmer.

    Kind of need to control for the Arlington Launchpad, the BandBronx, and other homerun-happy ballparks too… though maybe that’s already factored into some of that above, I concede that I might not be seeing it.

    Comment by Snowblind — August 6, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  112. Seriously? No one mentioned Teixeira?

    Comment by Ian — August 7, 2012 @ 11:03 am

  113. So?

    Comment by Late to the party — August 8, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  114. Any evidence at all to support the wild speculation?

    Comment by Jason B — August 8, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  115. I don’t think it’s the umpires or pitchers that’s accounting for the increase in Ks. It’s a change in hitting philosophy. Hitters swing for the fence every pitch regardless of the situation now. That accounts for both the increase in HRs and the increase in Ks. HRs to Hit ratio is up, as well as HR to contact, as well as Ks. It’s become a boring game of Home Run Derby. Home Run or bust (K).

    Comment by jdk — April 25, 2013 @ 3:15 pm

  116. I think not. I think it’s a change in hitting philosophy. It’s become Home Run Derby no matter the situation.

    Comment by jdk — April 25, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

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