Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The fix is in

update, 5/24, 7:00 pm - at the request of a friend I've done the charts below a little differently than at first.

As promised, I have the results of my computer-run simulations.

To recap - ESPN's Patrick Hruby estimated here that, without pharmaceutic enhancement, Barry would have hit #616 the other day, rather than #714. To test this I ran off five simulated seasons as-is on High Heat 2001. (These would be years 2000-2004, based on career stats through 1999.) I did this for five trials and tabled the results. Then I "juiced" the cyber Bonds by going back to the beginning of 2000 and simply making him ten years younger, to fool the computer into thinking that he was back in his prime, and ran five trials that way.

The cyber Bonds was impressive enough, but, not surprisingly, he tailed off as time went on. In fact, in three of my five trials, he retired at the end of 2003, which means that I only have 23 seasons for him. He hit just over 38.5 homers in those years, though, and finished his career with a healthy 610 total, on average.

This jibes quite well with Hruby. Bonds has, in real life, only hit 10 homers since the end of 2004, which means that Hruby's estimates of the "unjuiced" bonds would be 606.

And if, in Hruby's words, we "throttle Father Time" as Bonds seems to have done?

Juiced Cyber Barry (we'll call him JCB for short) gained, on average, nearly 14 homers per season, hitting as many as 286 twice in five full trials, which would give him 703 at the end of 2004. (In real life, Bonds had 704. So far, so accurate.) And the further you go, the more grotesque it gets. The following charts, for example: the first gives the single-season highs for the clean cyber Barry vs. JCB in several major batting categories. The bottom line is the number of times out of 25 tries that JCB topped clean Barry.

..... hits avg db tr hr .slg rbi runs bb so* sb
Barry 178 .331 45 10 50 .700 148 135 153 70 _14
_JCB_ 196 .352 55_17 76 .836 175 169 171 75 _37
x over 7_ __7_ _7 _5 14 _16_ _5_ _11 _5_ xx _25

*For strikeouts, this is the lowest, not highest, number for a full year.

JCB topped boring old Barry in other measures as well. Unaltered Barry won two MVPs in the 23 years. JCB won thirteen - including one trial in which he won all five out of five years. The Giants (with unaltered Barry) won two World Series in 23 years. JCB's boys won four, and played in two others. JCB also won five batting titles and ten home run crowns, led the NL in RBI eleven times, and even managed to top the league in triples once. And, ludicrously, JCB stole 35 or more bases in a single season 15 times. Unaltered Barry stole fewer than that in four of the five full trials.

This second chart shows the average numbers per year for clean Barry and JCB.

...... hits .avg .db tr .hr. .slg .rbi. runs. walks .so* sb
Barry 155.4 .292 35.6 5 38.6 .594 109.6 114.4 129.8 88.4 _7
_JCB_ 169.8 .317 41.8 9 52.4 .722 136.8 134.0 141.6 93.2 37

JCB had had one freak season hitting only .258, a full 30 points lower than any of his other 24, and still hit 45 homers that year. About the only thing that remained the same was that in the playoffs, both Barry and JCB's numbers dropped sharply, hitting about 30 points lower each time.

Mr. Hruby, you have some backup. Excelsior.

No comments: