Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mickey Mantle
> > >>> Listen to me: Mickey Mantle was a natural power hitter. He played at a time when center field distances of 430' were the norm. Today's players are juiced up freaks. Short fences, a live ball, average pitchers, too many ball clubs. Did you notice that todays players usually swing with one hand. They let go of the bat at the end of their swing and still hit the ball over 400'!!!! Steroids anyone. <<<
Aside from your observation about the one hand swing I am, for the most part, in agreement with you. I would add to your list of advantages enjoyed by today's major leaguers a tight strike zone, superior bats, and umpires quick to prevent pitchers from throwing inside to move players like Bonds off of the plate.
The light breakaway bats are clearly an advantage over the bats used by the older vets. These are bats that can be seen in slo mo at times clearly bending as they make a path through the ball. The fact that these bats frequently break has been no deterrent to today's players as hits are still forthcoming. This season I witnessed a homerun hit to dead center, over 400 feet. The bat broke in two an instant the ball left the bat.
Several years ago I viewed an ESPN show in which Yogi Berra was being interviewed. The interviewer was obviously trying to get complements from Yogi about how great a hitter Bonds was. Instead Yogi complained that Bonds crowded the plate and that the umpires would not allow the pitchers throw inside to move him off, or other players for that matter.
Several years ago baseball leadership made it appear as though they were going to expand the strike zone. It turned out to be a lot of hot air. Recently I heard a game announcer state that there are some hitters who "freak out" when a strike is called above the belt buckle.
The statement that a person's guilt must be "proven beyond a reasonable doubt", where illegal performance enhancing drugs are concerned is a lame excuse for not getting the facts. In the court of public opinion there is a small percentage of people who have followed this issue carefully through the media for several years. They are motivated by ethical issues and the truth. They can tell you that there are people who have gone to jail for their involvement with this baseball scandal. They are likely to point out as LaSorda has that any player who has been shown to have used illegal drugs should be banned from ever going into the baseball's hall of fame. (As someone who is concerned with the ethical implications as related to baseball I support this position. Before any of these players are admitted baseball should justify why players who broke the law, lied, and in the process covertly determined the outcome of games are of such moral character as to be admitted. Given Rose's situation the failure to do so would be the ultimate hypocracy.)
Mike, your statement that Mantle was a natural power hitter rang a bell will me, along with some of your other remarks. (Did you know when Mantle played at Yankee stadium left and right center field were over 450 ft.? He made the remark that this footage may have cost Dimaggio 20 homeruns a year.)
The following excerpt taken from page 46 of the March 28, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated should help to put into perspective the pre performance enhancing greatness of McGwire and Bonds: OKAY, NOT JUST ANY OLD-TIMER. ONE WHO KNOWS LONG BALLS AND ANABOLS BOTH. THAT'S FORMER MINOR LEAGUER TEX WARFIELD, WHO CRANKED 40 BACK IN '51 AT ELIZABETH CITY, N.C., AND BENCH-PRESSED 260 JUST THE OTHER DAY. STILL PUMPING IRON AT AGE 76, STILL PUMPING BODYBUILDERS FOR INFO. "NO DOG DAYS!" BARKS TEX. SAY WHAT? ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO SAY THAT STEROIDS DON'T HELP YOU HIT A FASTBALL, DON'T HELP HAND-EYE COORDINATION, HERE'S WHAT THEY'RE MISSING: THERE ARE NO DOG DAYS OF SUMMER WHEN YOU'RE ON STEROIDS! AS LONG AS YOU STAY ON 'EM, YOU STAY STRONG, YOU HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF ENERGY EVERYDAY. YOU FEEL THE SAME IN SEPTEMBER AS YOU DID IN APRIL. BARRY BONDS HASN'T HAD DOG DAYS IN FOUR YEARS.
"PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE DOG DAYS. HOME RUNS COME FROM HITTING THE BALL OUT IN FRONT, BUT BY SEPTEMBER, EVEN WHEN I'D DROP FROM A 35-OUNCE BAT TO A 31, I'D BE CATCHING THE BALL A FOOT BEHIND. WHAT WAS A HOMER IN MAY WOULD BE A CAN O'CORN IN AUGUST.
I'M TOTALLY DISGUSTED. I'M NOT GOING TO WATCH ANYMORE. I'D PUT AN ASTEROID NEXT TO ALL THEIR RECORDS. MCGWIRE MADE A COMPLETE FOOL OF HIMSELF. SOSA? HE'S A USER, AND HE'S GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT. BONDS? I'LL CRY WHEN HE PASSES RUTH. I'LL CRY WHEN HE PASSES AARON. THIS IS THE BIGGEST BUNCH O'BULLCRAP EVER TO COME DOWN THE PIKE.
For those with their heads in the sand who can't get beyond the legal definition of "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" I offer the following excerpt taken from the recent Sports Illustrated, July 23, 2007. The article from which it appeared was that of Rick Reilly, the very last page: CALL THE HALL OF FAME AND ASK WHICH CAP WILL APPEAR ON BOND'S HEAD IN HIS COOPERSTOWN EXHIBIT-THE SIZE 7, THE 7 AND HALF, OR THE 8?
PULL OUT A COPY OF "GAME OF SHADOWS"-BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE WRITERS MARK FAINARU-WADA AND LANCE WILLIAMS-AND BEGIN READING ALOUD HOW BONDS USED STEROIDS, HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE, INSULIN, TESTOSTERONE DECANOATE, BOVINE STEROIDS AND FEMALE FERTILITY DRUGS TO HELP HIM SET THIS RECORD. AND THEN WATCH BONDS STEP ON HOME AND POINT TO GOD.
IF YOU'RE WATCHING ON TV, FLIP TO SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE PLAUSIBLE, LIKE MACGYVER.
HOLD UP A BIG SIGN THAT SAYS 650,WHICH IS ABOUT HOW MANY HOME RUNS BONDS WOULD HAVE IF YOU REPLACED THE HOMER TOTALS FROM HIS ALLEGED JUICING YEARS (1999 THROUGH 2004) WITH HIS PREJUICE PACE OF 32 PER SEASON.
(For some reason Reilly is assuming that without the drugs to counter the aging process there would be no dropoff of the 32 homeruns per season pace.)
Comparing today's players with players of the past is not a very valid or productive past time. Players today swing for the fences. They strike out a lot. (I witnessed a player strike out on a pitch near the top of his helmet! I was hoping they would show a replay. They never did. It would have been the high light of the game.) Even with the advantages of using light bats that strong weight lifting players use, which means they never have to reduce the weight of their bat because of midseason fatigue because its already light, many still struggle to keep their averages up or hit a sufficient number of homeruns. (Hit 230 and hit about 30 homeruns and a hitter will make millions of dollars.)
Compared to players of today, without the homerun producing conditions that now exist, players of the not too distant past had to often times be finesse hitters concerned about their averages. That fact, in and of itself, should indicate that meaningful comparisons would be hard to come by.
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