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It's Time To Bid The Verducci Effect Farewell

Here's a letter to Sports Illustrated:

I was dismayed to see Tom Verducci's more or less debunked "Year-After Effect" -- AKA the "Verducci Effect" -- referenced in your otherwise informative 2012 Baseball Preview. The idea that young pitchers will get hurt or regress in performance after greatly increasing their workloads seems to make intuitive sense but doesn't stand up to rigorous examination by the skeptical, evidence-adoring sabermetrics community.

Outlets such as The Hardball Times, Sabernomics, and Baseball Analysts have tested the Verducci Effect, sharing a general conclusion summarized by Deadspin: "...the Verducci Effect probably doesn't exist. Its continued popularity has little to do with the power of numbers to support rational observation and everything to do with their power to baselessly reinforce existing beliefs."

Verducci should produce sufficient evidence that his hypothesis holds water. Until then, you should decline to present it.

James Kannengieser