By now even most casual baseball fans know the story of Bill James. Baseball thought of stats one way, he thought of them another, using complex equations using the quadratic formula and integrals and grep. Easy enough. But perhaps Mr. James has another e=mc² up his sleeve when it comes to the way we think of steroid accusers. Big muscles and home runs? No, how about baldness and acne?
Bugs & Cranks' Cameron Martin read The Bill James Gold Mine 2008 and caught a curious passage about one reason the Minnesota Twins might claimed two of those shiny trophies:
Suggesting the possibility that the Twins' two World Championships may have been aided by their team being among the first to discover...well, I'd better not go there. Nor will I point out that Gaetti was bald and had acne and Puckett died young."
And don't forget about Kent Hrbek. The letters "HR" are right there. That couldn't have happened naturally. Someone probably infused those letters into his surname. But perhaps I've said too much.
It's true that steroids can lead to baldness, but another symptom is being a dude. I can't see that being an indicator of using performance enhancers. Then again, maybe that's just my old guard baseball fan instincts kicking in. Guide us, Bill James, into a world where new stats can help us delve into yesteryear of baseball and pick out the cheaters:
SVORP (Steroid Value Over Replacement Pills) = (HR * [Acne / Bacne]) / total bases
Bill James Thinks Steroids Fueled The Twins' Two Championships [Bugs & Cranks]