27 March 2014

Barkeep, There's Water in the Whiskey!!

Every now and again, and today was one of those nows, some sports pundit will trot out the tried and true, "X is horrible today compared to 19XX because of all that player dilution". And blah, blah, blah. Baloney.

Take baseball, please.

In 1950 there were 16 teams with 25 player rosters. My calculator tells me that there were 400 major leaguers that year.


In 2010 there were 30 teams (still are, of course). That's 750 major leaguers.

Since 1950 we have: bigger, stronger, faster athletes; orthopedic surgeries; safer equipment; and so on.

In 1950 the ratio of ball players to population was: 400/151,000,000 or .0000026
In 2010 the ratio of ball players to population was: 750/308,000,000 or .0000024

Or, just by simple inspection, the number of ball players per person *is less now* than in 1950. So shove it. And, that assumes that all 750 are native born Americans. Baloney to that, too.

I wonder how many certified Sabermetricians have ever bothered to figure that out?

Baseball may be lousy today compared to what some imagine it was like in 19XX, but player dilution ain't why.

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