Sunday, September 2, 2007

More Boston! More Boston!

In reading up on the latest amazing thing to happen in Boston sports, I found the following statement from an article written by Tom Singer.

"In the extensive and unpredictable annals of baseball, no-hitters generally come with two morals.

One, they frequently fuel championships. A no-hitter has a magical effect on a team, forging a bond and a common goal among its players, putting wind under their wings for flights deep into October."

Hmm, Tom. Let's just take a look at the Division Series Era - the last dozen years or so of baseball playoff runs. There have been seventeen no-hitters thrown in that time span (excluding the three this year, since we don't know how their teams will end up). Let's see if these no-hitters really do spur their teams on to championships:

In 1995, Ramon Martinez's no-no helped the Dodgers fly deep into a first-round sweep at the hands of the Reds. In 1996, Hideo Nomo's no-no (how's that for rhyme?) launched the Dodgers into being swept again in the first round - this time by the Braves. Bud Smith's 2001 no-hitter propelled the Cardinals into a first round exit at the hands of the Braves.

Kevin Brown in '97, David Wells in '98, and David Cone in '99 all threw no-hit games en route to their team's World Series championships.


Seventeen no-hitters. Three LDS losses, three World Series titles, and eleven teams didn't make the playoffs. Those eleven teams must have missed the memo that no-hitters are supposed to unite you and drive you to the title!

So I think that elementary investigation pretty much finds that Tom Singer's idea that no-hitters "form a common goal" for players is stupid. What the hell is he thinking, anyways - that no-hitters form some kind of goal to get more no-hitters? Honestly - the last time any team had two in a season was the '73 Angels, and Lynn Nolan Ryan threw both of them. Those Angels players must have been the last team to work together and achieve the goal of having a pitcher on the mound who doesn't let the other team hit the ball hard!

I also like his logic: the event of the no-hitter inspires the team's common bond that results in wins, not the fact that they have quality pitching. I bet the '99 Yankees would never have won their 98 games if they hadn't been inspired by one game thrown by David Cone!

Truly, Cone's no-no was the wind beneath their wings propelling them to the magical World Series title. And not their +170 run differential.


pnoles said...

Haha wow.....that's really bad.

For me, it's not so much that only 3/17 pitchers that did this won the World Series, but the fact that it hasn't even happened anytime RECENTLY, like this millenium.

jess said...

It makes you wonder if some guys write b/c they have an agenda they've so attached themselves to or they really just are that bad at correlation?