Sport: Secrets Of Streaks and Slumps

They seem to lie in randomness and the mystery of human affairs

Last week in Oakland, a pitcher for Baltimore named Mike Boddicker won his first game in a couple of seasons. A 20-game winner in 1984, Boddicker had accumulated 13 losses since his last victory and was 0-8 this season. The losing pitcher for Oakland, Dave Stewart, had been 8-0 at one time this year but had now dropped three straight. Earlier the Orioles lost 21 games in a row, while the A's were winning 22 of 26. Streaks and slumps were converging.

Before the recent Masters tournament, a streaky golfer named Raymond Floyd, who was in a bit of a slump,...

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