Tale of the Tape Measure

SI.com writer Peter McEntegart repeats a slightly different variation of a stat I saw Peter Gammons citing the other day:

The most astounding number to come out of the Barry Bonds steroid controversy is not that 93 percent of the 40,000-plus voters on a SI.com poll don’t believe Bonds’ claim that he was unaware he took steroids. The more intriguing number comes from Stats Inc., which reports that Bonds had never hit a home run longer than 450 feet before the 2000 season, when he turned 36. Since then, he’s hit at least 21 homers of 450 feet or farther.

Here is Gammons� version:

WFAN’s Christopher Russo interviewed a home run distance expert who claimed that prior to 2000, Bonds hit three homers longer than 450 feet; in the last five years, he has hit 26.

Either way�well�it seems like telling circumstantial evidence.

6 thoughts on “Tale of the Tape Measure”

  1. What is the criteria for measuring those shots and how has it changed over Bonds career? The whole home run distance thing has always been fairly dubious to me. It’s circumstantial evidence all right, but barely admissable in my court… the case against Bonds is plenty strong without it.

  2. Actually the method of measuring a distance in feet has been relatively stable over the years.

  3. I don�t know the methodology, but, as with most statistics, it probably does deserve closer scrutiny.
    To me, the most damning circumstantial evidence against Bonds is simply his appearance. You look at him now and you look at him from the mid-1990�s and it�s awfully hard not to be deeply suspicious. Similar things could be said about Sosa, McGwire and, obviously, Giambi, among others.

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