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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 :).