Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
More on Rock. Once again, from Rich Lederer, who breaks down the Bill James Abstract take on Raines from the 80s, and this, a fine Q&A with Jonah Keri.
Players with a gift or knack for something other than hitting homers are getting shunned because the marketeers are telling everyone that HR-hitters are what drives the game and make it interesting, and naturally they'll pay those guys far more than they will a clutch singles hitter who steals eighty bases in his sleep. A Tim Raines Jr. might be the second coming of the original if he felt it was viable to stick to his strengths, but no, they have to hit homers or they're washouts or serfs among barons.
It only makes me resent the HoF even more because of that hypocrisy that a player should dominate in his era is often undermined by the needs or desires of the team and of baseball in general. If those needs are not really in the best interest of the team, they lose for winning, and of course they could be a HoF-type player and never win anything. Are the interests of baseball and the HoF now mutually exclusive? In that regard, it's hard to take either one seriously.
Wade Boggs - 10918 PA, .328/.415/.443, 1513 runs, 1014 RBI
Tim Raines --- 10507 PA, .294/.385/.425, 1571 runs, 980 RBI
In fewer plate appearances Raines was responsible for more runs+RBIs than Boggs. Boggs's ability to hit gave him better conventional stats but it didn't translate into more RUNS than Raines's mix of hitting and baserunning skill. Scoreboard don't lie.
The Montreal connection, ending in NY should make the connection. Great ballplayer. Missed his chance to shine in 1994.
Lucky for Jank fans that we saw him for two championship seasons. Remember, Janks had him, Mets had the KID, and the Cubbies, oh how I love them, had the HAWK.
Baseball itself shows a history of fluctuation in the balance between pitching and hitting, and at some point, it is not unreasonable to assume that the pendulum will swing away from power for reasons that are not yet easy to determine?
4 I doubt it. I'll believe it when the game becomes more "pitcher friendly."
5 The public's infatuation with the HR isn't a recent development. They loved the HR ever since the days of Babe Ruth.
One problem is that suites and executive seats attract monied, non-fans. These people probably love the HR to 'break the monotony'. True fans appreciate well pitched, low scoring games. I believe the new stadium has thousands of seats less, yet will make more $$ due to expensive seating. I fear if this trend continues, ballparks will just become a nice backdrop to meetings for corporate America. (Is it OK for me to say corporate here?)
The game will change in the wrong direction if MLB continues to try and attract monied people and 'casual' fans.
For some perspective, Mantle hit 320 HRs (and had a .992 OPS) from 1950-1960. In the last 10 years, MLB has had almost 250% as many HRs as during that period.
So fans have always loved the Long Ball, but in the first half of the century, probably because they saw far fewer.
WRT "casual" vs. "hardcore" fans, if MLB catered to it's core base, or the purists, they'd go broke. Matter of fact, if more of those types had gone to the games, it wouldn't be in the state it is in now, with all the music, SFX and other assorted bells and whistles you find that goes on during the game.
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