Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Milwaukee newspaper article on steroids and performance

This article, from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, professes to be "the first statistical analysis of player performance for those named in the 409-page [Mitchell] report." But it's really just a bunch of anecdotes; there's little useful analysis there at all.

The authors start by telling us that of the ninety players named in the report, 33 "immediately improved in the first season [after starting to juice] compared with their career averages." So, what does that mean? Wouldn't you expect that, even without steroids, 45 of the 90 would improve, and the other 45 wouldn't? Are they trying to tell us that steroids actually *hurt* performance? Probably not, but we don't know for sure, because, having given us this statistic in the second paragraph, they never mention it again.

Then, they immediately tell us that 27 hitters and 19 pitchers "raised their statistical performances." That's 46 players, not 33. Why the difference? They don't say, but, based on an
accompanying chart, it looks like the extra 13 players are those who improved in the second season, but not the first. And that 46 out of 90 is again very low. If seasons were random, then you'd expect 75-80% of subsequent two-year records to show at least one improvement, wouldn’t you?

Perhaps the difference in both cases is due to mostly *older* players turning to performance-enhancing drugs; older players tend to be on the decline. But without a control group, how do we know whether these numbers are actually different from the norm?

The authors go on to tell us that "thirty players used performance-enhancing drugs only in their last year or two in the big leagues or after they had slipped back to the minor leagues." I'd have phrased it a different way: that thirty players dropped out of the major-leagues within two years after first starting to take PEDs. That would suggest that maybe the steroids didn’t work, wouldn’t it? The article says that "many of these players tried to hang on to the tail end of their careers," but, again, we don't have a control group. (And perhaps some of these players didn't know it was "the tail end of their careers" when they started on the drugs; it's not like baseball players have a best-before date tattooed on their body.)

Then, the article says that "eight of the 33 all-stars named in the report were selected only in seasons after they reportedly began using performance-enhancing drugs." Is that significant? Again, how many were selected only in seasons after they changed teams or got married? Maybe honeymoons are also performance-enhancing.

And, finally, the authors note that some players signed huge contracts after starting to use PEDs. They didn't mention that some players also signed huge contracts after NOT starting to use PEDs.

A real statistical analysis would take an unbiased prediction of the players' next season – Marcels, or PECOTAs – and see if those players outperformed. It would be interesting to find out if that was actually the case, and to what extent.

UPDATE: J.C. Bradbury links to a similar comment today.

Labels: ,


At Thursday, December 20, 2007 11:59:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting, and would lead us to what we expect to find, meaning that no newspaper will carry the article.

At Sunday, March 22, 2009 9:42:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Most ballplayers today are taking homeopathic hgh oral spray because it's safe, undetectable, and legal for over the counter sales. As time goes on it seems it might be considered as benign a performance enhancer as coffee, aspirin, red bull, chewing tobacco, and bubble gum.

At Monday, April 20, 2009 4:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,日本料理,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,場地,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,結婚,場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,場地,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,PMP,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,PMP,證照,在職專班,研究所在職專班,碩士在職專班,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,SEO,廣告,關鍵字,關鍵字排名,網路行銷,網頁設計,網站設計,網站排名,搜尋引擎,網路廣告,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,EMBA,MBA,PMP,在職進修,專案管理,出國留學,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,婚宴,漢高資訊,漢高資訊,比利時,比利時聯合商學院,宜蘭民宿,台東民宿,澎湖民宿,墾丁民宿,花蓮民宿,SEO,找工作,汽車旅館,阿里山,日月潭,阿里山民宿,東森購物,momo購物台,pc home購物,購物漢高資訊,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,住宿,住宿,整形,造型,室內設計,室內設計,漢高資訊,在職進修,漢高資訊,在職進修,住宿,美容,室內設計,在職進修,羅志祥,周杰倫,五月天,住宿,住宿,整形,整形,室內設計,室內設計,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,比利時聯合商學院,在職進修,漢高資訊,找工作,找工作,找工作,找工作,找工作,蔡依林,林志玲


Post a Comment

<< Home