So, media hype makes it harder to hit .400, get 60 homers, or whatever?
I'd like to find out whether that's true.
What IS media hype? Well, when someone gets some nifty numbers going,
everybody starts talking about it. Nothing new about that; heck, there
was a hit song about DiMag when the streak got to 46 games or so. Pete
Rose and Paul Molitor Don't even have candy bars...
Now, we have lots more access to stats, and more interest in them these
days, so the media like to find unusual ones for us. But does that mean
that the pressure is any greater, and that players who wouldn't normally
Let's take Lenny Dykstra. Here's a guy who hit .400 for two months.
Now, to hit .400 for the year, he'd have to REPEAT the incredible feat
of hitting well over 100 points above lifetime average -- twice!! It's
a six-month season, after all.
Now, what are the odds of that happening? Even assuming that his
beefing up over the winter turned him into a .320-type hitter (which is
unlikely), .400 for the year, given that he hit barely .400 over two
months, is near impossible!
Even Brett, in 1980, was just around .400 for most of the year; ditto
Carew in his .388 year. To give them a chance of finishing at .400,
you'd have to see them hitting .430 or so at midyear; after all, you
can't EXPECT numbers as outlandish as that to continue, can you?
So, what I'm saying is this: LOTS of people have hit 30-game streaks, or
.400 on June 1, or Ruth's HR pace for a few months. Thanks to media
hype, we see it whenever it happens. But the LACK of media hype in the
past means that we DON'T remember all those guys in the 30's and 40's
who did the same thing, and then faded. We only remember the successes
from back then.
Finally, what would George Brett have said about the reporters camping
on his lawn, if he HAD wound up hitting .400? Something like 'I knew
America was behind me all the way' or similar, I'll bet. Maybe he
wouldn't have used the word 'behind.'
Disclaimer: I thought it was a costume party!