Monday, March 29, 2004

Slow news right now for the Lads, so I'll mention an interesting article (and resultant discussion) I came across on the Primer. It examines the notion that the designated hitter leads to more hitters being hit in the AL because pitchers fear retaliation, i.e., being hit themselves. I've oft derided these claims (a favorite of the Joe Morgan types), but this article presents evidence that it is likely the case, at least in the pre-1993 era. One interesting finding by the authors (Doug Drinen and John-Charles Bradbury) is that, in the period studied, "a pitcher is four times more likely to be hit when an opposing player was hit in the previous half-inning." This lends credence to the notion that pitchers do, or at least did, fear reprisal. It's a statistically heavy paper, which led to confusion for the likes of me, whose only experience with statistics was an introductory college course years ago, but worth the time for the easily comprehensible conclusions.

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