The Baseball Theory of Relativity

For Major League Baseball, 2017 has been a season of extremes. The Los Angeles Dodgers went on an extraordinary tear, winning 84 percent of the time during one 67-game stretch. Then they pulled a U-ie and lost all but one of their next 17 games. The Cleveland Indians entered the weekend Friday night having triumphed in 22 straight games, an American League record.

Much of the baseball world’s attention, though, is on a single player: Giancarlo Stanton, who plays right field for the Miami Marlins. He has been hitting home runs at a pace worthy of Roy Hobbs in “The Natural” — 54 of them going into the weekend. That has put him at the center of intriguing debates among the sport’s devotees.

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