March 06, 2015

Baseball's fight with fatigue: Last year, less than 9% of position players appeared in 150 or more games. That is the lowest such percentage in major-league history, according to Stats LLC. Run scoring in September last year was 7% lower than it was during March and April, twice as steep a decline as the historical norm. So, as full squads report to spring training in Florida and Arizona this week, teams aren’t worried so much about hitters being ready for Opening Day. They’re worried about keeping them fresh for the stretch run, and they’re exploring myriad new ways to boost their endurance.

posted by Ufez Jones to baseball at 02:09 PM - 6 comments

I wonder how much the heat has to do with this - 7 of the 10 hottest years ever in the U.S. (I know that's not isolating for the ball season specifically) have been in the last 13 years and 3+ hours in increasing heat everyday is going to take a toll on guys.

posted by dfleming at 10:54 PM on March 06, 2015

So does someone want to try and explain how amps weren't "performance enhancing", and the fact that all of their favourite baseball heroes of the 1950s/60s/70s/80s that used them weren't "cheating"?

posted by grum@work at 11:56 PM on March 06, 2015

It depends on how little enhancement is necessary to qualify as performance-enhancing. It's easy to see the effect of steroids because of the physical changes they cause. The effects of drugs that increase alertness aren't as easy to observe, and there are plenty of legal substances people take that affect alertness. There's also a rising number of players who get a waiver to take ADHD medicine.

posted by rcade at 12:11 PM on March 07, 2015

... 3+ hours in increasing heat everyday is going to take a toll on guys.

Yep. I watched many Rangers seasons that wilted in the late-summer heat.

posted by rcade at 12:13 PM on March 07, 2015

I read someplace that coffee was the substitute of choice when the amphetamines disappeared from the dugout. Could this explain why a certain doughnut chain advertises on so many sporting events. "America runs on Dunkin".

posted by Howard_T at 01:39 PM on March 07, 2015

I think most of the Rangers problems historically have had more to do with an utter lack of quality pitching than the heat of Arlington. Keep in mind that the two years that they went to the World Series were two of the hottest summers Texas has ever seen.

posted by Mothball at 12:32 AM on March 08, 2015

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