All About Baseball

This is going to be a long post about baseball. I will break it down into three subtopics: Pirates, Current State, Modern Players vs. Different Eras

Pirates
They suck. Seriously. The Pirates really suck. They have absolutely no offense. Aside from Gorzo and Snell, their starting pitching has been less than spectacular. Offord said how the Arizona series is like the Yankees series from a few years ago, but in my opinion, I have no idea how they have been winning games at all.

They just got swept by the Cardinals, which normally would be no big deal, but these were the pitchers they lost to: Adam Wainwright, Kip WELLS!, and Braden Looper. Kip Wells, whose record was like 1-6 or something and had about a 43245243534.23 ERA!!!! How does this happen??? Because the Pirates are not all that good.

Watching them frustrates me so much anymore. Against Wainwright they had the bases loaded in 3 out of the first 4 innings with only one out each time. Did they knock in an assload of runs? NO. It is like they have no clue how to get that big hit, you know, a double that knocks in 2 or 3 runs. That is why the team leader in RBIs has about 20-something. I would look it up, but it will just make more angry.

Wow, I did not realize talking about the Pirates was going to get me worked up. I am moving on to the next topic.

Current State
I was going to write about how it feels like there are a lot of mediocre teams out there, but after comparing records from this year to previous years, that really is not the case. Maybe it just feels that way because the Pirates have a bad record, but are not that far out of first place yet.

Anyways, Barry Bonds is going to break the record. It is going to happen, and it will suck. I really do not care about the guy that much, what I think sucks is that Ken Griffey Jr. would have broken it had he not gotten hurt so much since coming to the Reds. I know you cannot say things like that, but still, you gotta feel bad for the guy.

Does anyone think Roger Clemens’ contract was a bit on the ridiculous side? But, I guess if Barry Zito can get some astronomical figure, Clemens can too. I am tired of ESPN jamming everything they can about him down my throat. I do not care how he did in a minor league outing. He will not pitch every game for the Yankees and that still leaves whatever crap rotation they have pitching the four other games. I hate to say this, but it seems like they have a lot of work to do to try and catch the Red Sox. I just threw up in my mouth saying that.

Modern Players vs. Different Eras

Why is is when you talk about baseball to an older person, they always tell you how these modern guys would not be able to cut it back in the olden days, or that if the guys from their time played today, they would be gods? I understand that there is something special about your childhood heroes, but why is it that people just will not accept that the modern player is just as good as olden players.

In other sports people will admit that modern players have gotten bigger, stronger, and faster. LeBron James would destroy players back in the 40s and 50s. The worst team in the NFL would probably crush the best teams of the 40s. But, if you say something like “if A-Rod played in the early 1900s, he would have put up monster numbers.” Some old-timer will slap you.

Would Babe Ruth still be the best hitter if he played today? I don’t know, I doubt it. I know that you can look at different SabreMetric stats that adjust everyone’s numbers by different era, but that does not really change the fact that they are not playing against each other. I mean, look at the different kinds of pitches that are used today, that were not used until the 70’s. Roger Clemens vs. Babe Ruth? For a long time, hitters saw a nice steady stream of fastballs. What happens to guys who have never seen a splitter or a cutter. What if Ruth played in San Diego, does he become another Ryan Klesko or Brian Giles? Guys who can hit homeruns, but play in a park that is 90,000 feet to right field.

Oh well, this is something that annoys me, and I am sure in 50 years, I will be telling my grandkids how Andy Van Slyke was the greatest player to ever put on a Pirate uniform (okay, I do not believe that now, but he will always be my favorite) and they will be like “umm, yeah gramps, the guys now can throw runners out at home while standing on top of the wall, which is now 600 feet away.” Who knows.

This rant is over.

14 thoughts on “All About Baseball

  1. During the blown game against Arizona I have to say that was the worst Pirates moment I have ever had. I went from being sure Gorzo could win 20 games and the Pirates were actually going to finish above .500, to completely giving up on the season in a matter of minutes. I’m sure they felt the same way too, it was just rediculous. It was terrible because a)McCleary should not be in a situation like that, b) Gorzo probably should have been left in longer, c) the offense had ample opportunities to put up more than 7 runs, especially in the big inning they had, and d) because they are going to let one pitch end this season. I knew as soon as Clark hit that homerun that they were done, I even IMed my sister and said “that’s it, they’re going to go on a huge losing streak and never recover, the pitching will fall apart and the offense will continue to do nothing.” Well so far I was spot on, in a week or two they will be too far below .500 to make a comeback…sigh. What sucks to me more than anything else, is that for every game I’ve missed this year I’ve come home from work and watched it on MLB.com after it was over making sure not to look at the score because I loved watching the games that much. Yesterday, I didn’t even care to see if/when they were playing.

    At least I’m doing well in Fantasy Baseball.

  2. Yeah, I know exactly how you feel. I was so pumped about moving to Pittsburgh, so I could go to a bunch of games and whatnot, and now, well I’ll still go to games, but it’s not like I have expectations about how they will do.

    When I got the final scores from the Cardinals games sent to my phone the last few days, the first thing I thought was “well at least Isringhausen got a save.”

    That Arizona game, I was heading to Jim Nolte’s graduation party, and listening to it on the radio when the bucs had their big inning and I thought, “okay, they have this one.” Then I went back out to the car to check the score and I was like “you have gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me, they cannot lose this game.” And then BAM, they lost.

  3. I think that what the old timers mean by the players were great in their day is they were “natural-talented” good players and not “drug enhanced” players like so many are today.
    a baseball fan

  4. A Baseball Fan…I will throw this out there. You can take a below average player of today, say Chris Duffy, back to an early era team and he becomes one of the dominant forces of that era. People talk about him with the same reverence they talk about Shoeless Joe Jackson.

    It is unfair to the many players in today’s game to assume they made it because of steroids or other drugs. Especially considering many players of the 60s and 70s have said they had no problems using them during their day.

    The players of that era were of some higher moral fiber? Ty Cobb use to cleat opposing players on a regular basis. He once shot a man. He was a known racist. But, players like that are put on a pedestal above todays greats. Its hogwash.

  5. And before anyone tells me the pirates offense has come after the Reds series, let us wait until after a few weeks. The Reds are god awful this year, and for once the Pirates beat a team they should.

  6. Their bats are all corked and I am pretty sure LaRoche is taking performance enhancing drugs because his average is over .200.

    On the bright side…nevermind.

  7. Also, some interesting Heroes notes from my sister who just watched the whole season, apparently Sylar got shot multiple times by Parkman back in the beginning when he tried to take Molly, but he got right back up and kept running. That may be a loophole in the story because I do not think Sylar had any power to heal from gun shots.

    She also found that the guy who plays Sylar is from Pittsburgh and she intends to find him. He is signed on for the entire next season, which kind of ruins the surprise but oh well.

    That is all I can remember, see ya June 9th.

  8. Offord….yeah, i knew that the actor was from pittsburgh. i remember him getting shot, but i wonder if he slowed the bullets down before they hit him?

  9. dude, the pirates suck. but then again, so do the yankees right now, and im pretty sure our infields payroll is probably double your entire teams. this leaves me quite red in the face.

    and i agree with greg; the your team would be infinitely better if they were the pittsburgh ninjas.

    concerning baseballs current state; bonds will indeed break the record. though i think a-rod and pujols have a chance to re-break it. and the clemens contract is terrible. a million per start? thats madness. especially if you pitch a crap game. at least a-rod has a couple errors and k’s in a game we only wouldve paid him 185k. wait a second…

    and the whole modern vs. old school debate shouldnt even be one. anyone who thinks that modern players wouldnt dominate is fooling themselves. just look at the most obvious example of human athleticism: the olympics. current world records are for the most part several degrees better than they were 50 years ago. that pretty much proves that current athletes are better conditioned.

    just taking speed into account, if todays athletes are faster it gives them an added edge. modern wide receivers would be able to outrun old school corners. modern point guards would be able to more easily shake their defenders. outfielders would be able to cover more ground and leg out more infield hits. and once you factor in other factors such as strength and intelligence (garnered from watching game film from 50 years ago, say) its really no contest. im entirely convinced that if kobe played at his current level in wilt’s time he couldve scored 130 in a game.

  10. Gideon…Can you imagine players in the 50’s (when George Miken was the tallest dude at what, 6’10) trying to cover T-Mac or KG? Players who are tall, fast, strong, can jump, can shoot.

    Thank you though for helping back up my little rant. It infuriates me that people actually will argue with me on it.

  11. i’ll argue about it…
    wait…no i won’t…
    i think that anyone that says “it used to be so much better back when whatever” is de facto jackass.

    gideon, great points about athletes. it’s true and a well illustrated point. also, great point about the pitching josh, as well as player attitudes and behavior.

    people give me that crap about how things are so bad all the time. and i respond…no, no it’s not. 50 years ago people of color couldn’t play baseball in the major leagues. there were deadly diseases everywhere. infant mortality was higher. half the freedom that exists today wasn’t present. fascism and communism were considered by many tenable and just political systems. dogs hated cats and vice versa.

    its like some stupid fad. things were better. players were better. yeah. right.

    no matter how much it pains me to say it, sooner or later, there will always be a better jerry rice.
    or a better joe montana. maybe tom brady’s one now.

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