Effectively Wild Episode 1112: The Insulting Infield

EWFI

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the Astros’ almost insulting infield alignment against Albert Pujols and minor league hit-by-pitch machine Nick Sinay, then welcome on MIT draftee/new Mariners front-office addition David Hesslink and, later in the episode, YouTube baseball-highlight creator Andrew Vargha, proprietor of the newly anointed official baseball YouTube account of Effectively Wild.

Audio intro: AC/DC, "Deep in the Hole"
Audio  interstitial 1: David Bowie, "A New Career in a New Town"
Audio  interstitial 2: Kanye West, "Highlights"
Audio outro: Death Cab for Cutie, "Your Bruise"

Link to screenshot of Astros infield against Pujols
Link to Statcast image of Astros infield against Pujols
Link to Andrew’s YouTube account

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Johnny Dickshot
Member
Johnny Dickshot

Ben/Jeff: Not sure if anyone reads these comments, but thought this would be an interesting topic in the continuing conversation over today’s record home-run rates and the juiced ball.

Do you think the difference in the home-run distribution pattern among players as between today and the steroid era itself is evidence of (1) the efficacy of steroids in helping players hit HRs; and/or (2) the existence of a “juiced” ball in today’s game?

There seems (at least reportedly) to be a flatter/wider distribution of players who are hitting HRs today (i.e., more low-power hitters are hitting more HRs – like, say, Freddy Galvis), but we’re not seeing the high-power HR hitters push the top end of the distribution higher. And in the steroid era, almost all of the power hitters who pushed the top end of the distribution higher were alleged or admitted steroid users (e.g., Bonds, McGwire, Sosa).