Lycanthropy in Professional Baseball: Some Preliminary Findings

laroche_werewolf

Although it is generally accepted that werewolves make up a certain percentage of major league baseball rosters, the stigma attached to the condition has made data collection difficult, and the anecdotal evidence has thus far been unsupported by empirical study. Here we take a first step towards a new, quantitative understanding of the prevalence of lycanthropy in baseball. Taking as our study population all MLB players above the qualifying threshold for playing time during the 2012 season, we measured their performance during full moon periods (FMP), i.e. periods from three days before to three days after a full moon. Metrics used were weighted on-base average (wOBA) for hitters, and fielding-independent pitching (FIP) for pitchers. A large number of players met our preliminary standards for lycanthropy, with statistically significant positive deviations in performance during full moon periods. Below are listed the five strongest candidates among both hitters and pitchers:

HITTERS (FMP wOBA – full-season wOBA)
Austin Jackson +0.072
A.J. Ellis +0.066
Adam LaRoche +0.063
Garrett Jones +0.062
Zack Cozart +0.060

PITCHERS (FMP FIP – full-season FIP)
Ubaldo Jimenez -1.46
Jason Vargas -1.15
Scott Diamond -0.98
Jon Lester -0.92
A.J. Burnett -0.89

To report some concrete instances of the phenomenon noted here: a full moon occurred on the night of July 3/4, 2012. That night, Austin Jackson hit a two-run home run, while Jon Lester, pitching in Oakland, put up the following numbers: 6.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K. The following night, Jackson went 3 for 3 with a triple and a walk. The next new moon came on the night of July 18/19. Jackson went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts that night, after going 0 for 3 with a strikeout the previous night. Meanwhile, on Lester’s next start following the new moon — on July 22, pitching at home against Toronto — he put up these numbers: 4 IP, 11 R, 9 H, 5 BB, 2 K. Although these facts alone would not confirm a correlation, in light of the larger patterns identified above, they must be seen as strongly suggestive. This subject certainly deserves further study, and as it is the author’s belief that werewolves will soon be systematically outed in baseball, it is recommended that MLB take this opportunity to solidify its official positions on lycanthropy.




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11 Responses to “Lycanthropy in Professional Baseball: Some Preliminary Findings”

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  1. Cidron says:

    Just wolfing this information down..

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  2. Tim says:

    I think this may be backwards. People are, in general, and excluding anyone who has ever posted on Notgraphs, better at baseball than wolves are. So we would expect werewolves to have lesser performances during a full moon.

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    • John says:

      This warrants more study. Mississippi Matt, can we see the bottom 5 from each group? If it’s filled with guys like Werth and Reddick and Brian Wilson, I’m thinking Tim is right.

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    • John Thacker says:

      Well, you might think that the same thing would apply to basketball, but look at what Teen Wolf showed us all.

      Indeed, I’d expect Bill Simmons to ask for a version of this article for his Grantland site.

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  3. Corey Hart is an albino werewolf and part time bounty hunter, Friday’s on FOX.

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  4. Chinatown Express says:

    If you’re going to use a lycanthropic Washington National in the header, why not Jason Werth? Or Danny Espinosa? Or Harper? LaRoche is the least lupine Nat.

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  5. The inches we need are everywhere around us says:

    Someone tweet this to Harold Reynolds to use on his show

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