I’d like to thank Jack Curry for mentioning my research in today’s New York Times.
Smoltz said Atlanta’s perennial pitching success increased expectations among inexperienced pitchers and sometimes rattled them. Because the Braves had six Cy Young Award winners and nine 20-game winners under Mazzone’s tutelage, Smoltz said some pitchers tried to become the next Maddux or Glavine to impress Mazzone. That pressure, Smoltz said, could be detrimental.
Still, a detailed statistical analysis showed that Mazzone’s coaching makes a major difference. J. C. Bradbury, an economics professor at Sewanee: The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn., determined that Mazzone helped pitchers decrease their E.R.A.’s by slightly more than half a run per season.
“That’s a huge number,” Bradbury said.
In Bradbury’s 2004 study, he researched every pitcher who had pitched at least one season for Mazzone and compared their yearly E.R.A.’s with Mazzone and without him. Bradbury, a Braves fan who was skeptical of Mazzone’s effect on pitchers, was surprised by the results. His research is on the Web site baseballanalysts.com.
I enjoyed the article quite a bit.