Friday, October 8, 2010

Musings on baseball

As I watch games on the 2010 playoffs, there is no doubt in my mind that the defensive players, specially the pitcher, has a definite advantage. These may end up being a series of low scores, nail bitter games. What a treat that would be.

For the most part of the 90's and the first five years of twenty ten, the batter has been the most influential player. Some people may wonder if this sudden change is the result of better drug monitoring and use/abuse prevention.
You could argue that "juiced" up batters would become better in all the aspects and intricacies of hitting a ball hurled at you 100mph or more. There is no doubt in my mind that performing enhancing drugs improve not only the muscular aspect but also the whole neuro-muscular apparatus. From your pupil down to your toes, all reflexes are on and in cue. So, it is not surprising to see that the pitchers are accomplishing more now that the batters are in a level playing field and the fact that they have been, in a way, trained by the juiced batters to become better pitchers. It would seem then logical to understand the current state of affairs in the everlasting battle between the pitcher and the batter.

Which begs another thought. Is it fair to compare the batting statistics of modern day players to the old timers, the pre steroid era?
In the old days ( or so I have been ) told, the preferred outdoor entertainment for kids all over the country was baseball. That environment would certainly extract the top of the cream, you had more selection and sort of a breeding ground for big league players. ( ie. like the Dominican Republic now and Puerto Rico in the seventies, eighties and nineties ). They were athletes in the plenitude of physical conditioning, so much so that even after partying for a good portion of the night, would wake up and stomach such physical activity performing at a superior level.

Nowadays, there are too many things distracting our children so the abilities are not developed at an early age and the selection becomes less "select", thus decreasing the level of play. Those aptitudes and abilities were considered a very important part of the cultural life in America.

The real cheating done by the "juiced players" is not having the cojones to dedicate themselves from a very early age to baseball and in trying to catch up they adulterated themselves and the sport.

So the answer to my question is simple. There is no way to compare the pre-steroid era with the current one since they are not in the same playing field.