Page 4 of 5

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:22 pm
by LCBOY
Lofunzo wrote:If you have other reasons why the single season HR record stood for decades only to be broken twice within a few years, please let me know.


There are several reasons for this that have nothing to do with watered down pitching.

1) Hitters are simply stronger because of weight training.
2) An extreme concentration of great hitters in one era (Bonds, Sosa, MaGwire, Thomas, Bagwell, etc) Very few eras have had this many great power hitters.
3) Smaller ballparks and Coors Field.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:30 pm
by LCBOY
ramble2 wrote:Great post! ;-D

I have just a few points to add.

1. First of all, what is meant by watered down? I hear this a lot, but I'm not entirely sure what it means. I think a lot of disagreements on this topic turn on what is meant by watered down.



Baseball fans tend to romanticize the past. As a group we tend to remember the past as being "better". The past was filled with better pitchers that throw lots of complete games, and didn't give up as lot of HR, etc. We tend to forget the crappy pitchers and rememeber the Koufaxs, Gibsons and Seavers. We then generalizw wildly that these pitchers were the typical pitchers of their time. In 30 years we will do the same thing. We'll talk about how great Randy Johnson, Schillins, Maddux, etc. were and we'll forget the Suppans, Ted Lilly's, and Brandons Duckworths of the world.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:44 pm
by DK
i agree with Lo...chicks dig the long ball...


also, like was said many times, training in the majors is amazing. the best guys (a-rod perfect example) are flat-out chiseled. a-rod is 6'2", 210, and never have the baseball gods formed their clay so perfectly. he also trains 24/7.

also, pitching ISN'T as good as it used to be (at least compared with hitting). i can't remember the exact statistics, but the league ERA in 1968 (before expansion took off) was much lower than it is now.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:52 pm
by PresHabib
I think I'm beginning to see your major point, LCBOY, that increasing the number of pitching jobs availabe doesn't mean that all the guys who take those extra jobs are necessarily bad pitchers (in comparison). Thats a pretty valid point actually. I see the reasoning that, if you're bringing in new pitchers, why not bring in the best of the best from other parts of the world.

I guess to that i hvae to say that, soem of the best Japanese players wont come here. Nomo, Ichiro, Matsui are obvious exceptions. But the japanese equivalent of Pedro Martinez may not want to come to America. To your point, the relevance of this is that, though there are pitchers in the world better than 330 guys who are in the bigs, it does not mean they are available. Your point is valid, but for the reason that those guys who are better than the ones we have are not involved in major league baseball, it is irrelevant. It does not support the idea that major league pitching is not watered down. If they were to come over, then I would agree.

The point is that I am not saying that the pitching in the world overall is worse than it once was, just that the overall quality of guys, due to who is available and who is pitching in baseball, indicates that the average caliber of pitcher is not what it once was. You can only talk about the guys who are involved in major league baseball (and minor league too I guess). The argument that there are better guys pitching elsewhere doesnt support the fact that major league pitching is not watered down.

Blankman, you also make a curious poitn about how hitting should be diluted. Well, ramble is right. Players are in better shape than they once were. Your long ball hitter 10 years ago...Cecil Fielder...your long ball hitter today...Barry Bonds...i mean, steroids are not, thats the reality. Players are in better shape now than they ever were, and that helps hitters more than it does pitchers. Plus, all of the technological advances (pr even just architectural changes) in the game have a stronger effect on hitting than pitching. Juiced ball, smaller parks, better conditioning regiments, etc have all helped hitters, and the fact that those in control are interested in money and offense sells tickets, this will not change. In fact the only change I can remember occuring about pitchers in the last however many years is lowering the mound, which hurts them.

Also, i will tell you that hitting IS watered down. Just because guys can hit the ball out of the park doesnt mean they are better hitters. Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner and Ruth and Gehrig and even later, Ted Williams also had very high averages to go with their home run totals. (im not sure of ty cobb's home run total, but he did hit .400 a couple times, so he was still nasty). Guys today like Adam Dunn and Richie Sexson etc are not necessarily good hitters, just strong guys who can hit the ball far. Like..those guys who are on the golfing long drive competitions...they can drive the ball 400 yards but that doesnt make them good golfers. My point is 30 home runs does not make you a good hitter. A .315 average makes you a good hitter. A .315 average AND 30 home runs makes you terrific, and a great hitter. The combination of that is rare, limited to the likes of Nomar, Manny, Bonds, Helton, Beltran is almost there, Pujols, and guys like that. Dont be fooled into thinking 40 homers makes you a great hitter.

I guess my conclusion is that I think all of baseball talent watered down, though I will subscribe to the bell curve theory that if you let more guys into the game, some will be stars, some will not. I mean...even on a smaller scale...think of every major league baseball game...now think of the ML All Star game...your everyday game is a watered down version of the all star game.

Of course...now on that bell curve idea...for every star you let in, there is a guy who is not a star who loses out. However, the number of non stars in the league is significantly higher than the number of stars and thus the percentage of stars in the game today, purely for availability's sake, is much lower than it once was.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:53 pm
by Lofunzo
LCBOY wrote:How is this obvious to you?


Dude.......You a lawyer? :-D

Look at it this way. I will compare 1990 and now. There are now 4 more teams than there was in 1990. Let's say that the average team carries 11 pitchers. That would mean that there are 44 more major league pitchers now than in 1990. I am certain that of those 44 extra MLB "quality" pitchers that more of them are like Maroth than Zito. By watching the games, studying the facts, and looking at the number of players, I don't see how this can even be disputed. 8-o That said, I would agree that more teams=more players=a better chance at there being some more good players in the league. Where we disagree is that I believe that out of those 44 extra pitchers (or 100 extra players total), most of those players are bad rather than good.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:59 pm
by PresHabib
LCBOY wrote: . We tend to forget the crappy pitchers and rememeber the Koufaxs, Gibsons and Seavers. We then generalizw wildly that these pitchers were the typical pitchers of their time. In 30 years we will do the same thing. We'll talk about how great Randy Johnson, Schillins, Maddux, etc. were and we'll forget the Suppans, Ted Lilly's, and Brandons Duckworths of the world.


Well, your right again, but you still don't realize the implication of what that means. I mean...there are still comparable numbers, relatively speaking (i.e. a similar percentage) guys talked about from era to era. There are just FEWER crappy guys we forget about.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:02 pm
by Lofunzo
LCBOY wrote:There are several reasons for this that have nothing to do with watered down pitching.

1) Hitters are simply stronger because of weight training.
2) An extreme concentration of great hitters in one era (Bonds, Sosa, MaGwire, Thomas, Bagwell, etc) Very few eras have had this many great power hitters.
3) Smaller ballparks and Coors Field.


1. Agreed.
2. Disagreed. Those players listed are great SLUGGERS and NOT great HITTERS. Of those listed, only Thomas has an average over .300. All of that weight training/juicing/whatever helps add power but takes away the flexibility thus making them more 1 dimensional.
3. Agreed.

IMHO, there are others but you make some good points.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:12 pm
by PresHabib
Lofunzo wrote:2. Disagreed. Those players listed are great SLUGGERS and NOT great HITTERS. Of those listed, only Thomas has an average over .300. All of that weight training/juicing/whatever helps add power but takes away the flexibility thus making them more 1 dimensional.


That, Lofunzo, is an excellent point, and the same point I was trying to make when I was talking about Dunn and Sexson (im not sure Sexson is a good example but Dunn certainly is) and how hitting the ball out of the park does not make you a great hitter. Thomas is a great hitter (he took a few years off, but he was so good before and he has had such a good comeback year I can say this). I do think Bagwell and Bonds are great hitters as well but we'll save that for another thread. Tony Gwynn...not many homers but a terrific hitter. Ichiro, great hitter. Slugging the ball does not a great hitter make, and thats why people don't realize that hitting today actually is watered down in comparison to past days.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:19 pm
by Lofunzo
PresHabib wrote:[I do think Bagwell and Bonds are great hitters as well but we'll save that for another thread. Tony Gwynn...not many homers but a terrific hitter. Ichiro, great hitter. Slugging the ball does not a great hitter make, and thats why people don't realize that hitting today actually is watered down in comparison to past days.


I left Bonds out but that is only because I used .300 as the benchmark. Thomas has the career numbers while Bonds has had a much better late career. Based on the numbers, I would say that you could also put Bagwell there although he has also decreased his average in the recent years. Right now, Bonds is a great hitter.

PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2003 9:22 pm
by PresHabib
Fair enough. The point is these guys are more than just sluggers. We're agreed ;-D