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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Sep 20, 2001.
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Brian comparing one of the greatest ball players ever to Gonzalez is really illogical.
I'll grant you Mantle was stronger and was faster in the field then Gonzalez so perhaps you can move beyond this and look at what I originally said:
So, The Mariners' breaking the single-seaon record for wins would be good as Bonds breaking the HR record? I don't believe that Bonds' accomplishing this would be 'good'; From that, it appears that the American public is so flighty that some record in a sport would detract them from this national disaster. Another point - Bonds is a walking ego. When McGwire finished in 1998, he showed nothing but respect for those who came before him and to the game in general. Perhaps Bonds would do the same, but his track record indicates otherwise.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. -Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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[Edited last by John Thomas on September 22, 2001 at 04:27 AM]
I will agree that players are in overall better shape than players of the past. But as I said before, why wouldn't pitchers show the same improvement? There must be other factors at play, such as:
* Dilution of pitching talent due to expansion
* Smaller strike zone called by umpires (less so this year)
* Ballpark factors (dimensions, altitude, visibility, etc.)
* Juiced ball and better-made bats
* Less stigma about striking out than in the past
I think those other factors are much more responsible for the increased offense than batters' physical conditioning.
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Nice to see , but I agree with Scott and his statements.
LL cool B
One important aspect you are overlooking is not the power hitters hitting dingers, but also short-stops, second basemen, bat-boys, etc...why is it that in the last 5-10 years, these relatively normal sized athletes have begun hitting home-runs at an eye-popping rate? I'm not saying they are threatening any records here, but whereas those types of hitters in years past would barely hit 10-15 homers a year, are now hitting 25. And the scale proportions upward. It's not conditioning or strength. It is a juiced ball and such poor pitching that most guys are fireballers but can only throw down the middle of the plate for strikes.
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One note to those who say PacBell is the reason for Bonds' surge in HR power: I just heard that 34 of his current 66 HR total have been hit on the road, a new record for road homers.
So, he's hitting them everywhere, not just in SF.
[Edited last by Mitty on September 23, 2001 at 06:38 PM]
It's great that Barry Bonds is going to break McGwire's record. We may never witness these kinds of feats again. This is truly something special. It's amazing that as Bonds ages, he has gotten stronger and and hit more home runs. Simply amazing. Whether or not he did so without some chemical assistance, i.e. steroids, is another story.
I live in the Pittsburgh area and am a fervent fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Barry has to be at least 30 pounds heavier than when he broke through to super stardom in 1990. All of that weight seems to be muscle. That's an awful lot of weight.
He's an asshole. There is no doubt about that. I've heard numeroous stories about him on the local sports talk shows that has led to me forming that opinion. I even met him in person in 1988 when I was 15 and even then, he wasn't the most pleasant person.
I digress. I'm rooting for him to break the record. I don't hold off-the-field antics against someone in situations like these. What Bonds is doing is amazing. He probably will break the all-time home run record and I am rooting for him to do that. I would love to look back on this in 30 or 40 years and say "yeah, I was around for that."
Barry Bonds is probably the best all around player ever to play the game. The only thing he hasn't done is come through in the post season. But, Willie Mays didn't either and most hold him in very high esteem.
As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
I would hate it if Big Mac's record was broken..
It's like they're just handing the record to Bonds..
Bonds plays in that dinky little ball park where a 2 year old could hit a home run..
Busch Stadium is a "Pitcher's Park" and San Francisco's is a "Hitter's Park"
Plus, pitching sucks in Baseball and is getting worse every single year..
The strike zone is alot smaller because the ump's are afraid of getting fired over it.
Oh well, that's my 2 cents...
If the record was broken I'd have to take off my Mark McGWIRE 72 and 62 homerun posters and buy more movie posters.
you simply don't know what you're talking about if you think Bonds is threatening to break the record because of PacBell Park.
PacBell may be the ONLY fair park built in the past 10+ years (fair as in it's pitching and hitting neutral - NOT a bandbox, and NOT HR-friendly) - ALL the other new parks - Coors, Enron, etc. are hitters' parks, except Comerica, which is a pitchers' park.
I have Giants season tickets, and I can assure you, those HRs Barry has hit at PacBell have NOT been cheapies - many of 'em land in McCovey Cove, which is at least 400 ft. in RF. In fact, the DEEPEST part of the park is right-center, which is 421 ft. - that's deeper than all but one or two MLB parks, I believe. (It is only 309 ft. down the RF line at PacBell, but Barry has hit no more than one or two screaming line drives all season that took advantage of that - and the wall is about 20 ft. high there, so it's no cheapie to hit one that actually clears that wall.) Let's put it this way - there have been 16 HRs hit into McCovey Cove on the fly out of PacBell in 2 seasons. 15 of those 16 have been hit by Barry. If PacBell were so damn easy to hit HRs out of - wouldn't Barry's percentage be more like 40-50%, rather than 94% that made it into the cove??
Mitty made the same point a different way - Barry's hit 34 HRs on the road, 32 at home - so how can PacBell be "rinky dink" or the "reason" he's threatening the record, when he's hit MORE HRs on the road than at home?
[Edited last by Allen Hirsch on September 24, 2001 at 10:56 AM]
I shameless link to my website (which has not been updated in a year) for further insight...
Back when he was writing The Baseball Abstract Bill James addressed the issue of breaking baseball's cherished records. He felt very few if any, including Cy Young's 512 victories would not fall. That was before Ripkin, Mac, etc.
Changes/advances in technology lead to differenct strategies to maximize the effects. Ruth was a top pitcher for his era, but also a remarkable hitter. Baseball sought to take advantage of the glamor of his power and "juiced" the ball. In 1917 Wally Pipp lead the league with 9 homers. In 1918 Ruth hit 11, while still pitching. In 1919 Ruth "cheapened" homers by hitting the awsome total of 29. He further demeaned the homer in 1920 by hitting 54, and not to be outdone in 1921 he totally disrepected the sanctity of the long ball by hitting 59 along with the greatest power season of all time. Once the bar was set, others came along fairly soon to join him, Hack Wilson with 56 in 1930, and Foxx and Greenberg in the 30's.
Think we have a lot of runs scored today? The Yankees scored over 1,000 runs for the years 1930, 31, 32, and 36 and hold the all time record of 1067. Even in 162 games, modern teams are not coming close to those totals.
Fenway Park is the one stadium to compare totals for different eras. I don't have the figures, but the one factor that made Fenway a "hitters" park was the small foul area. Modern stadiums are made small not by the distance to the fence, but by the added at bats that are given when foul balls are not caught.
Expansion dilluting talent? Maybe for a year or two after the expansion, but I get the impression that with 30 teams now vs. 16 before 1961 that there is a dillution factor because of almost twice as many teams. I heard that argument last summer from an old pitcher on one of the radio sports talk shows. Well let's see. The population was 130million or so in the 20's and 30's, but it has been dilluted by another 130 million since that time. There were no Blacks in white major league baseball in the 20's and 30's, but the talent pool has been dilluted by their inclusion, add in the Latin players, the Japanese, and Koreans and we have a talent pool dilluted by all these groups that once were not deemed "good enough" to play MLB. Not only do I find the dillution argument a bit weak, but it runs up against a very unpleasent specter of racism.
It is not so surprising that older players start to hit for power. It is a generally accepted baseball truth that as players age, their average and OBP goes down and their power, in homers and rbi's goes up.
Like Roger Bannister, once the barrier is broker, then it becomes easier for the next person to accomplish a feat. 70 homers is now what 60 used to be, and 71 will be like Roger Maris. Why is this a cheap feat? Just a different bar, like Ruth started raising 80 years ago.
Are pitchers worse? How fun it must be for hitters to see a pitcher for the second or third time and then have some fresh arm from the bullpen start throwing 90 mph heat.
Take any of the great hitters, and home run hitters back 80 years in time and they wouldnt hit 70 homes. Mac, Sammy, Barry would hit 85 homers!
Is Barry a jerk? Dont know that much about him. He sounds like he is very introverted and that can give the appearance of being a snob, withdrawn, etc.
Barry could play in any era and dominate. Of course if he played against Cobb, if he could get a game, none of us would begrudge Barry an attitude against the old bigot.
Barry has hit 35 HR on the road, 32 HR at PacBell - which ought to be enough to end this notion that PacBell is somehow an "easy" HR park.
Astounding stat #2:
Visiting teams in TOTAL have hit 44 HR at PacBell this season, and Barry has 32 HR ALONE. So, IT'S NOT THE HOME PARK that's given him this "gift".
Granted, the man had never hit more than 49 HR in a season before, but he IS the #8 HR hitter of all-time now, and has surpassed 8 or 9 HOFers in career HRs after getting #500 in his career early this season. This is NOT at all a fluke, in that sense.
It's not like we're talking about Brady Anderson hitting over 60 homers in a season... Now his 50-homer season WAS a fluke!
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Barry Bonds and 70?
Maybe Juan Gonzalez and 70, but never Barry Bonds and 70..
I always thought of him and his Dad as contact hitters..
Actually, for his generation, Bobby Bonds was more of a power hitter and not much of a contact hitter. He didn't have Reggie Jackson or Mike Schmidt power, but he certainly was respectable. He hit 332 home runs and only batted .268 in his career. Barry has shown more pop than has his dad (yes, they played in different generations), but Barry has also hit for higher average.
If Juan Gonzalez stayed healthy for an entire season, I could see him chasing 70 homers. Manny Ramirez could do it as well if he were healthy. The way baseballs have been flying out of parks the last few years, I thought Ken Griffey, Jr. would be chasing 70 each season. He hasn't been healthy and hasn't played as well as expected when in the lineup with Cincinnati.
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[Edited last by Brian Perry on September 25, 2001 at 04:07 PM]
I think they've shown the #68 replay about 100 times already.
It was certainly a much better replay than the potential ball #8/Walk 2 that could have happened on that pitch.