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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Tale of Two Sluggers

I took a look at life time stats for David "Big Papi" Ortiz of the Red Sox and Miguel "Miggy" Cabrera of the Tigers.

Ortiz is older and has been around longer.  In the following graph, I eliminated his first three years when he had limited plate appearances.  For both hitters, I've looked at home runs and doubles.  The idea is that for sluggers like these guys, a double is a hit that didn't quite have enough oomph to make it out of the park.  [I've omitted triples, because these are big, slow guys who never get more than a couple per year.]

What I'm probing here is the possibility of drug induced enhanced performance, looking for a trade off between doubles and home runs.

Here are Miggy's stats for at-bats, HRs and doubles.

Here is a graph of HR's and 2Bs per at-bat; HRs in blue, 2Bs in pink, average of the two in yellow.

Doubles vary a lot from year to year, but exhibit no discernible trend.  HRs clearly go up over time, as he approaches his prime and his slugging improved.  The average of HRs and 2Bs also increases, laregely due to the HR increase.  Doubles are way off this year, since lower body injuries have made it mpossible for him to run at times.  HR production in September was close to non-existent, so he really was on fire the rest of the year.

Here are similar stats for Big Papi


Note the huge shift from HRs to 2Bs from 2006 to 2007, the year MLB got serious about PEDs.

Here is the graph, same color coding.

Two striking things about this graph are different from Cabrera's.  First, the big drop off in HR's in 2007, and second the HR-2B trade-off indicated by the contrary motion from 2002-2007.

Note that the average of HRs and 2Bs remains fairly constant.

This is strongly suggestive that, despite his denials, Big Papi was using PEDs.

And Miggy was not.

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