Thursday, January 24, 2008

Following up: Place of birth vs. Testing Positive

Butch, from From The Cheap Seats, posed a question in the comments section in an earlier posting of mine about the concentration of players who tested positive for PED use since 2005. He was curious to see if the %'s of those testing positive matched the % of geographic origin.

I promised a follow-up when I could track down the info, and the good folks at were kind enough to show me how to find the data I needed.

The table below lines up the information provided by ESPN (Players, by country, who have tested positive for PEDs, since 2005) with the birth information provided by B-R (Players birthplace, since 2005). I added in the % Variance column, which compares the % by birthplace to the % PEDs. A negative number indicates the % of PED use (or guilt) exceeds the relative composition by birthplace. For example, players born in the Dominican Republic accounted for 11.4% of all MLB players in 2005-06, however they accounted for 23.6% of the guilty PED tests. I also Indexed the % Variance to also show how Latin America's been disproportionately accounting for guilty PED tests. A score of 100 means their PED test % equals their place of birth %. A score below 100 means lesser percentage of players from that country have tested positive than are in MLB during this time. A score above 100 indicates a higher degree of testing positive than the country accounts for in MLB composition.

Butch, thanks for asking the question. I hope this answered it. I also hope others found it at least interesting to see what's going on. Clearly, more education and attention needs to head to Latin America.


Anonymous said...

Really cool stuff, JNR. This kind of stuff always makes me wonder how much MLB pays attention to this -- like, are their actions (suspensions, investigations, drug testing) really pure happenstance, or are players targeted? MLB is so friggin politicized and impure, that I am convinced they choose targets...

Anyway, thanks for always being there for comments at content at our site...


Butch said...

Great stuff, Jason!

I'd certainly be a little more suspect of any young hotshot Latin American player who fades the moment he founds out he gets regularly tested in the U.S.

Nice work!

D. Isaac said...

My co-author at the Cheap Seats asks a great question, but what does the answer mean?

Was the MItchell report purposefully targeting Latin players?

Is the Latin player more prone to do steroids than the white player?

Can the Mitchell report be trusted at all because their evidence gathering was suspect at best?

Does any of this matter at all?

I think more and more that it doesn't. Have any of the goings on regarding PEDs sapped the interest of the marginal, middling, or hardcore fans? 6 billion in revenue tells me no. If it is about the money, that is the only thing the Mitchell report proves. Nobody outside of a select few in baseball, reporting on baseball, or grandstanding in Congress care.