Op-Ed: Is the best of all possible worlds left-handed?
With all of the recent events, it’s hard to know where to begin this discussion, but as one of the world’s top left-handed hitters, I feel it’s my duty to address this topic to set the record straight.
Some background: A couple of years ago, I was invited to join the American Academy of Otolaryngology to examine over 1,200 baseball players, ranging from the youngest of 9-year-old to the oldest of retired professionals.
One of the conclusions I came to was that the incidence of left-handed pitchers in Major League Baseball is roughly equal to the incidence of left-handed batters (with the exception being those who pitch at the elite level).
This left handed dominance in the MLB wasn’t a result of randomness in the game, it was a product of the fact that many pitchers are right handers – or at least have a strong preference for pitching right-handed.
This is the same for left-handed base stealers as well – right handed base stealers are few and far between, and left-handed base stealers are almost non-existent.
It isn’t until you get into Major League Baseball, however, that you see the left-handed dominance of pitchers and batters.
From the minor leagues to the major leagues, it’s quite the difference – and the left-handed pitchers have been dominating like no other.
The top lefties in the major leagues include Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, and the top left-handed hitter is Jason Giambi, who has won eight World Series titles with the New York Yankees.
However, the best of all possible worlds is the World Champion Red Sox of the New England Patriots, who have won the most playoff games by a left-handed team in MLB history, with 34.
A few other facts about left-handed hitters in MLB:
1. The average run produced by a