Inevitably, every tweet that Big League Stew sends about a no-hitter attempt happening in Major League Baseball will be met with the same reaction by some person somewhere on the internet.
“Don’t jinx it!”
I’ve always taken that to mean that we hold the power of the no-hitter in our hands. That we alone with our Twitter fingers are deciding whether the Padres are going to get a hit off Clayton Kershaw on a random Thursday night in August.
It’s a lot of responsibility, to be honest. No-hitters are cool. And we’re often torn between letting people know they can witness history and the all-powerful jinx. So here’s a big sigh of relief: Twitter has concluded that tweets can’t actually jinx no-hitters. Crazy, right? Those tweets you or I send from our house or at a bar during a baseball game actually have ZERO effect on what’s happening on the field. I can’t even fathom.
Twitter really did study this. It used the 2015 season, which had seven no-hitters and 34 bids that went past the sixth inning. Here’s the meat of what Twitter discovered:
First, we checked how many Tweets mention “no hitter” on an average in-season day in 2015 (excluding days that saw a no-hitter or bid): around 700. Games that had a no-hitter into the 7th, but did not end as a no-hitter, saw around 2,500 Tweets in the -30min window. And no-hitters? Those had over 5,000 Tweets in the -32min window.
So what does that tell us? There are more than twice as many Tweets saying the specific phrase “no-hitter” in (approximately) the first 6 innings for games that are indeed successful no-hitters than there are in games that fail to see it through. In other words: based on Twitter data, talking about a no-hitter does not jinx it. (But we won’t go so far as to suggest a new superstition that you have to Tweet about a no-hitter in order to make it happen…)
The short version of that: There’s no no-hitter jinx on Twitter. In fact, finished no-hitters get tweeted about more. That’s not to say tweets cause no-hitters, mind you. No-hitters just get people talking (and tweeting) more frequently. I didn’t do a study to back this up, but I think we can extend that line of thinking: What fans say/tweet/think actually has no basis on what professional athletes do on the field. You’re shocked, I know.
But wait, I think we can extend these results even further: Your tweets don’t matter.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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