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Jason Smith: Retire Now!!

The background: Jason Smith homered twice Saturday Night in a glorious 7-3 Royals victory over the Oakland A's.


Prior to tonight's game, Jason Smith had homered 13 times in 488 Major League appearances. In that universe, every time Smith stepped to the plate he had a 2.6% chance of homering and a 97.4% chance of non-homering.

Therefore, the odds of Jason Smith homering twice in four at bats is 0.38% (actually, .3847829855999998%). In other words, if Jason Smith plays in 1000 full, four-PA Major League games, he'll probably hit two homers 4 times (or, 3.8 times, as it were). Thats about six and a half full seasons if Mr. Smith is getting 150 starts a season.

Smith's magical night captivated a six-state region and restored our national innocence in the post-Neifi Era, but should he walk away?

But why gamble? Smith is 30 years old and has already played for five big league clubs and was drafted by another. A decade after becoming a professional, he's appeared in exactly 215 games. If you knew you had a sweet two-homer game in the bank, wouldn't you cash out now? I know I would. If you return to the data above, about every 250 full games, Smith is "due" for a two-homer outburst. Does he feel comfortable betting he'll get another 250 full games in the Majors?

But maybe Smith can top this you say. Well, the odds of Smith homering three times in a game? Try 0.07 times out of 1000. Or, in other words, if Smith played a million career games, he might hit three homers in a game once, or, as it were (again) .7 times.