A Johns Hopkins University study is putting a new spin on baseball statistics.
The university said in a statement Monday that the study appears to be the first to analyze hitters' performance when it doesn't matter, because their team is either hopelessly behind or victory is virtually assured.
One of the authors, Anton Dahbura, is a computer scientist and a co-owner of the minor league Hagerstown Suns. He says the study shows that some players have significantly improved their overall season statistics by maximizing their performance in meaningless game situations.
Dahbura says the statistic could be useful in contract negotiations by helping to clarify when a player does most of his hitting.
He says it also could help coaches work with players who perform better in meaningless situations.