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Welcome to Alex Box, Right Fielder. Enjoy Your Stay.

One of our commenters asked about what affect the verbal abuse the visiting right fielder receives every game in Alex Box actually had on the numbers.  I promised to look into it, and here we are, a mere month later, and I can give y'all some definite answers. 

Well, not really.  Because in a classic sense of there are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics, the numbers pretty much say whatever you want them to say.  Believe there is no effect?  The numbers back you up.  Think there is a huge effect?  There are numbers for you, too.  So, I'm just going to lay it all out for you in a nutshell (hat tip to SportsNight)

Visiting right fielders, last season, hit 260/285/445 in Alex Box.  In 42 games, the right fielder failed to get a hit 18 times (42.8% of the time), failed to score OR drive in a run 24 times (57.1% of the time), and struck out 54 times in 146 at bats (a K rate of 37.0%).  In fact, four right fielders struck out in every single one of their at bats in a game.

It gets worse.  Right fielders tend to be one of the team's best hitters, so I looked at how the same right fielders hit away from LSU.  These same players hit a combined 313/382/500.  Even just using SEC right fielders to account for a guy putting up huge numbers in the SWAC, the SEC right fielders who visited Alex Box hit a combined 298/364/469.

This means that the average right fielder came to Baton Rouge, enjoyed some "good natured" verbal sparring with some of Baton Rouge's less well-adjusted citizens and promptly saw each of their slash stat averages drop about 50 points. 

Case closed, right? 

Well, not so fast.  The average hitter player against LSU went 257/319/406, regardless of where we played.  That means the average hitter had about the same batting average, a significantly better OBP, but a much worse slugging than those tormented right fielders.  The right fielder might not hit as well, but when he hits it, he hits it a long way.

The right fielder's numbers dip, but so does everyone's numbers when they play LSU.  This just in, LSU is a pretty good team and last year's staff was tough to get a hit against.  It is entirely possible the decline in right fielder production has nothing to do with heckling, and everything to do with playing LSU. 

If I was going to point to some definitive numbers, I would point to this: visiting right fielders walked 5 times in 151 plate appearances.  Five is an absurdly low number of walks over 42 games.  How low is it?  It's less than the number of home runs that right fielders hit (six). 

I'd like to think the right fielder steps up to the plate so angry he starts swinging for the fences without any discipline whatsoever.  Which explains the 5 walks, 6 home runs, and 54 strikeouts.  Better err on the safe side... keep heckling.