Harper is in the Home Run Derby: What about the curse? We are doomed!

Bryce Harper was announced as one of the four people in the National League Home Run Derby by team captain David Wright.  We are doomed!  Everyone knows that the HR Derby screws up a players swing and they crater for the rest of the year.  Right?  Well, not really.

There a quite a few people who have looked into it and come away saying there is no such thing as the curse.  There is selection bias when it comes to the contest.  Players having great first half are usually selected.  In many cases these players 2nd half don’t match their 1st, but they do exceed their career norms.  A great example this year is Chris Davis, he is having a career year.  If he does not hit as many home runs as the first half of the year is it a curse or just an insanely hot hitter playing well above his career norms coming back down to earth.

Here are a few articles by people who have actually done some statistical analysis using multiple variables and a few anecdotes:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-home-run-derby-curse/

http://sabr.org/research/home-run-derby-curse-fact-or-fiction

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14489

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/fantasy/article/do-hitters-decline-after-the-home-run-derby/

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090712&content_id=5852516&vkey=allstar2009&fext=.jsp

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