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#1 Fritzderkat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:12 AM

A few weeks ago as comment to a story here, I messaged and asked if anyone thought that all these home runs are having a negative impact on the integrity of the game.

Why? Because with everybody and his brother hitting them out of the park at a record rate, how can you possibly justify players of today smashing records and setting them for baseball history when you're comparing their performance and stats to generation upon generation in MLB that didn't use a juiced ball?

So let's say Yelich, Alonso, Encarcion or 10 or 12 other guys hit 50, maybe even 60 or more. So forget everyone who came before--Ruth, Greenberg, Aaron, even Maris with his asterisk, and how that might be squared away somehow so that the standards set by the old-timers are not obscured by modern owners and GMs fiddling with the game.

First time I mentioned it here, there were a few replies, but only one or two thought enough about it to declare it has no impact--that times change, baseball moves along historically and so do the rules, and besides, if otherwise the field is fair, that so long as the juiced ball carries nearly as well for the scrubs as well as the sluggers, what's to worry?

Me, I guess. I'm a fan, started back in '48, and I think it's a joke.

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#2 Fritzderkat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:18 AM

What got me started on this today is a blurb I read in Yardbarker today.

I don't know if posting stuff from other places is allowed here, but I'll toss it out there and see if it hangs:

 

>While the league might deny it, juiced baseballs are back and the impact can even be seen at the Triple-A level. Home runs are rapidly on the rise and it has led to jaw-dropping home run totals this season. MLB will likely make a change in the offseason, but the juiced baseballs will likely hang around for the rest of 2019 and fans can enjoy some insane stats for their fantasy teams.

As a species we are not highly evolved


#3 jimbo92107

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:25 AM

 

A few weeks ago as comment to a story here, I messaged and asked if anyone thought that all these home runs are having a negative impact on the integrity of the game.

Why? Because with everybody and his brother hitting them out of the park at a record rate, how can you possibly justify players of today smashing records and setting them for baseball history when you're comparing their performance and stats to generation upon generation in MLB that didn't use a juiced ball?

So let's say Yelich, Alonso, Encarcion or 10 or 12 other guys hit 50, maybe even 60 or more. So forget everyone who came before--Ruth, Greenberg, Aaron, even Maris with his asterisk, and how that might be squared away somehow so that the standards set by the old-timers are not obscured by modern owners and GMs fiddling with the game.

First time I mentioned it here, there were a few replies, but only one or two thought enough about it to declare it has no impact--that times change, baseball moves along historically and so do the rules, and besides, if otherwise the field is fair, that so long as the juiced ball carries nearly as well for the scrubs as well as the sluggers, what's to worry?

Me, I guess. I'm a fan, started back in '48, and I think it's a joke.

If the owners of ball clubs in the first half of the 20th century had thought of putting a juiced up ball out there, they would not have hesitated. The game is a business, and success is measured by butts in the seats. We all know home runs put more butts in seats. 

 

Also, the great book of statistics has never been an accurate measure of who is or was the greatest. Successive generations have gradually added improvements to all areas of the sport, from training to nutrition to new types of equipment. Not to mention surgical techniques that might have rescued the careers of thousands of pitchers and players. Is all that unfair, too?

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#4 Vanimal46

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:48 AM

What got me started on this today is a blurb I read in Yardbarker today.
I don't know if posting stuff from other places is allowed here, but I'll toss it out there and see if it hangs:

>While the league might deny it, juiced baseballs are back and the impact can even be seen at the Triple-A level. Home runs are rapidly on the rise and it has led to jaw-dropping home run totals this season. MLB will likely make a change in the offseason, but the juiced baseballs will likely hang around for the rest of 2019 and fans can enjoy some insane stats for their fantasy teams.


I've been kind of following the juiced baseball saga this season.

http://twinsdaily.co...aseball-update/

Baseball's following the trend in the other major sports... Where they feel more offense is good for the game. Even though our favorite team has been leading the way in HRs, I agree it gets redundant.

#5 Fritzderkat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:50 AM

Also, the great book of statistics has never been an accurate measure of who is or was the greatest. Successive generations have gradually added improvements to all areas of the sport, from training to nutrition to new types of equipment. Not to mention surgical techniques that might have rescued the careers of thousands of pitchers and players. Is all that unfair, too?

 

I didn't say it was unfair. To whom? Dead guys? I said it is unbalanced, speaking largely of what once upon a time was the balance of the game. Sure, the owners of the business have done their best over many years to do their worst, "fans" may like home runs, but if that is the future for what they are depending on--home runs and strike outs-- in the long run won't be long for putting fannies in the seats.

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#6 luckylager

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:04 PM

The game is constantly evolving. There was the "dead ball period" that ended about the time Babe Ruth showed up. Pitchers mound was lowered in '68. Should we add asterisks to any hitting records set after those points? Besides, MLB denies the current ball is juiced. Most importantly, chicks dig the long ball. 

Edited by luckylager, 08 July 2019 - 12:05 PM.

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#7 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:05 PM

I am with the original poster on this.  

 

Also, juiced ball is better than one of the other explanations

 

'You can't help but wonder', from Nightengale, USA Today

Edited by Hosken Bombo Disco, 08 July 2019 - 12:05 PM.

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#8 Fritzderkat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 12:30 PM

>'You can't help but wonder', from Nightengale, USA Today

I hadn't thought of that. I must be slipping.

I did however think of the years I played fantasy and couldn't help but notice how the guys with Bonds, Sosa and McGwire were running away every year in the HR category. 

'course, to be honest, I had Caminiti. I had Bagwell, too, but I preferred to think he was playing it straight.

 

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#9 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:16 PM

 

If the owners of ball clubs in the first half of the 20th century had thought of putting a juiced up ball out there, they would not have hesitated. The game is a business, and success is measured by butts in the seats. We all know home runs put more butts in seats. 

 

Also, the great book of statistics has never been an accurate measure of who is or was the greatest. Successive generations have gradually added improvements to all areas of the sport, from training to nutrition to new types of equipment. Not to mention surgical techniques that might have rescued the careers of thousands of pitchers and players. Is all that unfair, too?

Agreed - but I do wish that the great book of statistics were applicable across the generations. I am still disgusted by the steroid era wrecking the all-time stats comparisons.As long as every team is playing with the same ball, I guess it doesn't matter? Ben Hogan's ball & clubs were certainly inferior to Tiger Woods equipment. I am an old guy and I do also agree with the writer - and am bothered by this change to the game. I love the pitchers dual. I love the in-game management of the pitchers dual. I love the baseball statistic. I love the records. 

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#10 jkcarew

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 01:29 PM

I remember watching games as far back as 1967, and it only bothers me when I hear/see someone use counting statistics (or averages/percentages) to make definitive (and usually stupid) statements comparing players across eras. (Btw...it works both ways. Sam Crawford might have been faster than Byron Buxton, but not because he hit way more triples.) The modern metrics that try to compare 'value' and/or performance relative to the contemporary replacement/average...are here to help with this, but still so many variables, so much room for argument and interpretation. I just try to enjoy the modern game for what it is.

 

I see the juiced baseball as an attempt by MLB to mitigate the entertainment hit arising from the trend toward low numbers of ball in play. "If we're going to have fewer balls in play...we're going to make each one as entertaining as possible." But, like most things MLB tends to come up with, it makes things worse, rather than better. If it's easier to get the ball to carry over the fence...it increases incentive for marginal power guys to adopt HR-or-nothing approaches. So, do I think the juiced baseball is good...that it's better, or helps the quality of the game right now? No. But, I don't see it as a question of hurting the integrity of the game.

Edited by jkcarew, 08 July 2019 - 01:31 PM.

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#11 Fritzderkat

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 02:34 PM

I don't see it as a question of hurting the integrity of the game.

In the first e-mail I posted I talked about "balance" but also wrote of "integrity." Two or three of you responded, each playing that angle down. Basic reason, I gather, is because it's a business and owners have a right to make a profit. Hence, they recalculate and adjust to the time. 

I understand that.

Ialso understand, like much of America's business, that as far as integrity goes, major league owners ditched that concept years ago.

Probably from the beginning. 

The business of America is business, as someone has said. 

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#12 jimbo92107

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Posted 08 July 2019 - 11:36 PM

 

Agreed - but I do wish that the great book of statistics were applicable across the generations. I am still disgusted by the steroid era wrecking the all-time stats comparisons.As long as every team is playing with the same ball, I guess it doesn't matter? Ben Hogan's ball & clubs were certainly inferior to Tiger Woods equipment. I am an old guy and I do also agree with the writer - and am bothered by this change to the game. I love the pitchers dual. I love the in-game management of the pitchers dual. I love the baseball statistic. I love the records. 

Totally agree with you. That's one of the reasons I like this Twins team. They've got a few guys that really get into the nuances of play. Rosario, Polanco, Astudillo, and I suspect Arraez has some tricks up his sleeve. Sano is trying, but he's not a natural magician. The pitching staff do their best to fool people, and luckily Baldelli seems okay with his guys pulling tricks. 

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#13 biggentleben

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 12:02 PM

 

Agreed - but I do wish that the great book of statistics were applicable across the generations. I am still disgusted by the steroid era wrecking the all-time stats comparisons.As long as every team is playing with the same ball, I guess it doesn't matter? Ben Hogan's ball & clubs were certainly inferior to Tiger Woods equipment. I am an old guy and I do also agree with the writer - and am bothered by this change to the game. I love the pitchers dual. I love the in-game management of the pitchers dual. I love the baseball statistic. I love the records. 

 

Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson didn't play against African-American players. Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson never had to deal with West Coast road trips. None of them had a strength coach (be disgusted all you want on the "steroid era", but PEDs were a small portion of what inflated offense at the time). Many players now play in a park without a single dimension over 410 feet. There are many reasons that comparing statistics plainly across eras simply doesn't work.

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#14 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 01:01 PM

 

Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson didn't play against African-American players. Joe DiMaggio and Jackie Robinson never had to deal with West Coast road trips. None of them had a strength coach (be disgusted all you want on the "steroid era", but PEDs were a small portion of what inflated offense at the time). Many players now play in a park without a single dimension over 410 feet. There are many reasons that comparing statistics plainly across eras simply doesn't work.

I suppose I should have been upset when Hank passed the Babe? My steroid reference is an obvious nod to Bonds/McGuire/Sosa/Arod. PEDS were a LARGE portion of their inflated offense - and those 4 are the ones with the "records" I am talking about. The HOF is just starting to get its arms around this topic. For generations there were those magic HOF numbers; 300 wins/3000 hits/500 hrs etc. Baseball itself taught me about the all time stats - Baseball as an institution is who is responsible for these magic numbers that led to infamy and were memorialized into the HOF. Baseball is redefining every number - and we'll probably see the day when it is these new metrics (WAR et all) that lead to the HOF rather than hits/homers and batting avg. I do generally agree completely Mr BigGentleBen. Ben Hogan vs Tiger Woods? Can't use the numbers to tell who was better. I get it.


#15 biggentleben

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Posted 09 July 2019 - 07:58 PM

 

PEDS were a LARGE portion of their inflated offense - and those 4 are the ones with the "records" I am talking about.

 

I've done the research. They weren't.

 

These are two lengthy pieces I've put out on the subject (some of which crosses over between pieces):

 

https://tomahawktake...ready-tainted/

 

https://calltothepen...-offense-1990s/

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#16 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:09 AM

And the cork in Sammy's bat didn't matter either I suppose?

I certainly will agree on the multiple factors in the offensive explosion decade - but for your writer to conclude "no such thing as the steroid era" is to lump cheating in with poor strikezones, smaller ballparks, and talent delusion. Cheating is cheating. They stripped Lance Armstrong of all his titles - I think known cheaters in baseball should be banned from HOF induction. Your writer disagrees and made many fair points. 

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#17 biggentleben

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:24 AM

Bud is in there. At this point, I cannot keep anyone out if the man who truly had the ability to push the envelope on drug testing, though it would have hurt his fellow owners as it would have required giving on other areas, and he simply wasn't willing to do that in order to get the testing. The game had amphetamines banned for 25 years (!!) before ever testing for them. PEDs were "just" 15 years banned by the game, but even then, it was only testosterone-based steroids that were banned by the game, and nearly none of the PEDs actually used at that time were true anabolic steroids. With the substances already banned, the league could have unilaterally implemented testing and negotiated the testing program later, because the players had no recourse against banned substances, but Bud didn't, and he's now in the Hall of Fame. How you can keep out anyone who used substances that weren't actually banned by the game at the time (what Bonds and Clemens used for sure were not banned by the steroids banned) is beyond me.

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#18 In My La-Z-boy

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 08:54 AM

Now you are into a separate issue - an "establishment" issue - Bud is a part of the "club" - in fact - he ran the "club" - and just like politics, they protect there own. Bud and the rest of them sold there soul. I agree if there is no Clemens, there should be no Bud. 

Now I'd be very interested to hear your take on Pete Rose. 

Thanks Ben!

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#19 Rosterman

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 10:08 AM

Well, strength and conditioning has improved, even at the minor league levels (ever see what the first year Twins players have at Ft. Myers). Pitchers throw harder, but the amount if info available on where a pitcher throws has been magnified in recent years. Of course, batter swings have also been recorded. But more muscle meeting moe speed...which is why you see players develop power that never had it in their early years. Batters do their work from the dugout and the on deck circle. The thought is to put wood to ball and when that happens you get drives on the fly to and past the outfield. 

 

And even though there are more teams than ever, even the worst of the bench and bullpen guys should be lights out players in the upper levels of the minors. You can still thrive in the majors with a few skill sets, but probably only short term. 

 

Conditioning and strength training. These guys are strong!

 

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#20 biggentleben

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Posted 10 July 2019 - 11:49 AM

 

Well, strength and conditioning has improved, even at the minor league levels (ever see what the first year Twins players have at Ft. Myers). Pitchers throw harder, but the amount if info available on where a pitcher throws has been magnified in recent years. Of course, batter swings have also been recorded. But more muscle meeting moe speed...which is why you see players develop power that never had it in their early years. Batters do their work from the dugout and the on deck circle. The thought is to put wood to ball and when that happens you get drives on the fly to and past the outfield. 

 

And even though there are more teams than ever, even the worst of the bench and bullpen guys should be lights out players in the upper levels of the minors. You can still thrive in the majors with a few skill sets, but probably only short term. 

 

Conditioning and strength training. These guys are strong!

 

Yet baseball conditioning is still significantly behind that of track and field or football. Heck, it's less than 20 years that half of MLB clubs didn't have a single full-time employee in strength and conditioning!

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