The state of baseball…

Ok, I’m a baseball nut. Something about the strategy involved in playing the game just gets my blood running. It may be boring to some, but it’s chock full of excitement for me. Recently, a player hit 700 homeruns (quite a feat) and I’d like to address some issues I have with baseball.

I can’t stand one thing: Barry Bonds.

Ok, admittedly, it’s not really Barry Bonds… it’s how baseball has pandered to the Barry Bondses and Mark McGwyers (and yes, Sammy Sosas) to make it easier to hit “the long ball.” And yes, most of this (if not all) was done under Bud Selig. I think I despise him more than Barry Bonds. The three things that were done that have ruined the game for me are as follows:

1) The strike zone has become smaller: I can see how some people would like this… it makes it so the pitchers have to have more skill, and admittedly pitchers like Maddux and Clemens have done quite well with the new strike zone size. The problem I have with this is the strike zone has moved directly into players’ wheelhouses. Aaron and Ruth had to deal with pitches that were called strikes at their shoulders and knees (roughly). The number of homeruns they hit would have drastically increased if pitchers only threw into their wheelhouses.

2) Pitchers can no longer throw inside: This pisses me off more than number one. I was watching a game where Kerry Wood threw ONE pitch inside and got ejected. I remember watching baseball back in the 80’s and people feared going to the plate against people like Nolan Ryan because they weren’t afraid of hitting batters. If you can’t stand up there and take one for the team, you need to be playing in a softball league in Wichita, Kansas.

3) Batters wearing armor (Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, etc.): If you have an injury that’s bad enough to warrant you wearing protective gear at the plate, SIT OUT!! I don’t remember Aaron, Ruth, Gehrig, Cobb, Mantle, Marris, or any other baseball going up to the plate looking like a football player (American football, for the international readers). And these were guys that had pitchers throwing AT THEIR HEADS regularly.

That’s all I have for now. Maybe I’ll come up with some more after my brother reads this :).

3 Replies to “The state of baseball…”

  1. Good analysis. I disagree with the body armor comment, but I don’t agree with shrinking the strike zone. Okay, making a pitcher have more skill is good, but the game is starting to favor the batter too much. I enjoy nothing more than a good pitchers duel. It’s become more rare to see them.

  2. Please, notice how much more natural it is to write singular people:

    …it’s how baseball has pandered to Barry Bonds and Mark McGwyer (and yes, Sammy Sosa) to make it easier to hit “the long ball.”…

    My pet peeve has always been the gratuitous pluralization of people’s names. 🙂 The ESPN-ification of the English language has got to stop!

  3. Oh, wow.. don’t get me started. Another thing about "mega-stars" like Barry Bonds is that people like him don’t play nice. Now, I’m not talking about the actual game, I’m talking about the players association. You see, Baseball has always had this un-discussed rule, that everyone signed with the player association so the rookies could get started and the top players would help them out with proceeds from the sales of their likenesses cause they remembered when they were rookies and needed that support. Barry Bonds? He refused to last year. He now deals with any of his likenesses and the sales and profits due to that.

    This means there isn’t any figure for him in the game I work on.

    It kinda sucks.

    But, I’m like you, I love the game for the strategy in it. I’ve been a Mariners fan since I was a little girl, and it taught me all about statistics.. 🙂

    Thanks for your little rant.

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