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OT : Baseball : The Tenth Inning on PBS

I’m watching Ken Burns’ Baseball : The Tenth Inning on PBS. It went into the early days of Barry Bonds, the 1994 strike and the aftermath, and many things i remember but kinda forgot about. I have watched many baseball documentaries, but this one is particularly interesting. I don’t think Montreal ever forgave baseball for the strike. The Expos were having their best season and were in 1st place 6 games ahead of the Braves. I remember I was at camp during the baseball strike and i couldn’t believe it. Then it shows how Cal Ripken saved baseball with his amazing defense! ;D

My inner contrarian has always wondered why suspicion is never cast on Cal Ripken. He played his entire career during the age of amphetamines and part of the steroid era. He holds the ultimate baseball endurance record. Amphetamines & steroids help with day to day endurance.

Because it would be worse for the sport than Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Jose Conseco’s confessions (or lack-there-of)? Or, maybe he never failed a drug test and no one has done as much as mentioned his name along with PED allegations? I would probably go with the latter guess.

[quote="manatree, post:2, topic:1372"]My inner contrarian has always wondered why suspicion is never cast on Cal Ripken. He played his entire career during the age of amphetamines and part of the steroid era. He holds the ultimate baseball endurance record. Amphetamines & steroids help with day to day endurance.[/quote] Because it would be worse for the sport than Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Jose Conseco's confessions (or lack-there-of)? Or, maybe he never failed a drug test and no one has done as much as mentioned his name along with PED allegations? I would probably go with the latter guess.

I think Cal as a young player just loved playing so much, he played every game. At a certain point the streak got serious enough, that he just didn’t take any games off. And his stats don’t exactly reflect a guy who was using any kind of PEDs. He got 3,000 hits and 400 home runs because he played so many games and had so many at bats. Otherwise, his stats aren’t really that outstanding.

I believe that Cal retired before any testing was done. Also, I’ve always been baffled at teh general impression that PEDs only helps power hitters.

Even more puzzling is why it’s almost a non-issue for football.

Hrmmm, I don’t think Cal is suspected for PEDs, but anything’s possible. For all we know, 99% of players used PEDs in the 90s. The interesting thing about this was that 10-15 years ago, there was a presumption of innocence. Like when a reporter found an unknown bottle of something in McGuire’s locker room (which actually was legal at the time and sold over the counter), the media actually tried to bury the story by criticizing the reporter who broke the story during the home run chase. The media was actually angry at the reporter to tried to bury the story. Now barely 10 years later, the media is the polar opposite, bringing potential PED use to the news before it’s even verified. It’s a 180 change.

Watching the home run chase in 1998 through that documentary is a bit surreal. This is actually a two part series guys. The first part was last night, and the second part is tonight. It is recommend to watch the first part before the second. The first part is basically the 90s and the second part is basically the 2000s. The best part about PBS is no commercials. It’s two hours at a time. So did anyone actually watch it last night and planning to watch it tonight?

[quote="manatree, post:2, topic:1372"]My inner contrarian has always wondered why suspicion is never cast on Cal Ripken. He played his entire career during the age of amphetamines and part of the steroid era. He holds the ultimate baseball endurance record. Amphetamines & steroids help with day to day endurance.[/quote] Because it would be worse for the sport than Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, or Jose Conseco's confessions (or lack-there-of)? Or, maybe he never failed a drug test and no one has done as much as mentioned his name along with PED allegations? I would probably go with the latter guess.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but neither Bonds, Clemens, nor Canseco failed a drug test.

Semantics might be wrong but I thought Bonds failed. I remember it was a cream he had no idea
about ::slight_smile:

Just watched part 2. It was an honest look at baseball. This is about more than just PEDs. it’s about human nature, the media, standards changing over time. It’s a look at baseball and as good or bad as it gets, the game survives. I liked it and would recommend it to anyone.

[quote=“LPcreation, post:8, topic:1372”]Semantics might be wrong but I thought Bonds failed. I remember it was a cream he had no idea
about ::)[/quote]

It was interesting how they talked about how Barry Bonds prided himself on being the greatest all-around player. It wasn’t until 98 and the home run chase between McGuire and Sosa that that changed. Bonds gained 20 lbs in that offseason and started increasing his HR totals. They made it seem like Bonds was living up to his own standards, yet was getting none of the fanfare. They made it seem like Bonds then went out to hit home runs. By the time he started approaching home run records, legislation had started about PEDs. And essentially, Bonds’ greatest milestones were deemed tainted by the fans.

I wish MLB was more like the japanese league, filled with bunting, and more small ball. One example of a team playing small ball is the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I love the way they play and they can win without hitting home runs. But I think the documentary showed a lot about human nature, after all baseball fans as well as fans of other sports are very passionate about their team and their players. Hopefully the problem of PEDs in baseball will continue to improve moving forward. With that said, isn’t it ironic that this testing started with all these home run chases?

If Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds didn’t flirt with or break the single-season HR record, do you think testing would be as prevalent as it is now in baseball?

When was the last time you saw a player “choke up” and “protect the plate” and “put the ball in play” and “avoid the strikeout” when he had 2 strikes. NEVER…the game has changed (particularly the AL) This was stanard procedure for most all hitters years ago.
It’s a “Me First” approach game now.

[quote=“tundra, post:11, topic:1372”]When was the last time you saw a player “choke up” and “protect the plate” and “put the ball in play” and “avoid the strikeout” when he had 2 strikes. NEVER…the game has changed (particularly the AL) This was stanard procedure for most all hitters years ago.
It’s a “Me First” approach game now.[/quote]

There’s really not as much of a need to “choke up” these days. All the players are using much smaller bats as compared to the timbers they used as recently as the 70’s or 80’s. With a smaller bat, you get faster bat swings and more control, you reduce much of the need to choke up.

…that, and they don’t want to have their fingers near the barrel of the bat. Kinda explains the bunting thing, too.

[quote="tundra, post:11, topic:1372"][b]When was the last time you saw a player "choke up"[/b] and "protect the plate" and "put the ball in play" and "avoid the strikeout" when he had 2 strikes. NEVER..........the game has changed (particularly the AL) This was stanard procedure for most all hitters years ago. It's a "Me First" approach game now.[/quote]

There’s really not as much of a need to “choke up” these days. All the players are using much smaller bats as compared to the timbers they used as recently as the 70’s or 80’s. With a smaller bat, you get faster bat swings and more control, you reduce much of the need to choke up.

…that, and they don’t want to have their fingers near the barrel of the bat. Kinda explains the bunting thing, too.


Good point about the smaller/lighter bats…BUT I thinking along the line that many/most of today’s players DON’T avoid the strikeout. They DON’T just try to put the ball in play. It appears some never want to pass up just one more “home run” swing. In the old days ONLY the power hitters like Stargell took big swings with 2 strikes. Now most everybody does. To me, it shows a “selfishness” from today’s players.
[quote="tundra, post:11, topic:1372"][b]When was the last time you saw a player "choke up"[/b] and "protect the plate" and "put the ball in play" and "avoid the strikeout" when he had 2 strikes. NEVER..........the game has changed (particularly the AL) This was stanard procedure for most all hitters years ago. It's a "Me First" approach game now.[/quote]

There’s really not as much of a need to “choke up” these days. All the players are using much smaller bats as compared to the timbers they used as recently as the 70’s or 80’s. With a smaller bat, you get faster bat swings and more control, you reduce much of the need to choke up.

…that, and they don’t want to have their fingers near the barrel of the bat. Kinda explains the bunting thing, too.


Good point about the smaller/lighter bats…BUT I thinking along the line that many/most of today’s players DON’T avoid the strikeout. They DON’T just try to put the ball in play. It appears some never want to pass up just one more “home run” swing. In the old days ONLY the power hitters like Stargell took big swings with 2 strikes. Now most everybody does. To me, it shows a “selfishness” from today’s players.
Don’t blame the players. They swing hard with 2 strikes because the game has changed and they are told to do that. Protecting the plate, hitting behind the runners, bunting were a lot more important stategies before this era of small ballparks, big players and maple bats. I’m guessing that there are statistics used to justify the “big fly” over the “small ball” strategy.
[quote="tundra, post:11, topic:1372"][b]When was the last time you saw a player "choke up"[/b] and "protect the plate" and "put the ball in play" and "avoid the strikeout" when he had 2 strikes. NEVER..........the game has changed (particularly the AL) This was stanard procedure for most all hitters years ago. It's a "Me First" approach game now.[/quote]

There’s really not as much of a need to “choke up” these days. All the players are using much smaller bats as compared to the timbers they used as recently as the 70’s or 80’s. With a smaller bat, you get faster bat swings and more control, you reduce much of the need to choke up.

…that, and they don’t want to have their fingers near the barrel of the bat. Kinda explains the bunting thing, too.


Good point about the smaller/lighter bats…BUT I thinking along the line that many/most of today’s players DON’T avoid the strikeout. They DON’T just try to put the ball in play. It appears some never want to pass up just one more “home run” swing. In the old days ONLY the power hitters like Stargell took big swings with 2 strikes. Now most everybody does. To me, it shows a “selfishness” from today’s players.

All I can say is that Ichiro is BY FAR my favorite player !!!

Oh he’s amazing. They had a few minutes on him in the documentary. Did you know he’s the 1st player in MLB history with 10 straight 200-hit seasons? I’d say that’s putting the ball in play. ;D

One thing about the Japanese League is that they play a lot more unselfishly than MLB. Lots more bunting and speed on the bases. Ever see the movie Mr. Baseball? There are some MLB teams like the Rays who have incorporated “small ball” into their strategy in recent years, and have done very well with it. But there still is a lot of big swinging with 2 strikes. I don’t know if it’s so much selfishness or just not being disciplined at the plate. There’s little excuse for the latter at the MLB level, but i think it’s part of it.

what really grinds my gears is that the same baseball writers who are now self-righteously blackballing players for their connection to PEDs are the same writers who were covering the game during it’s heyday. If steroids were indeed as prevalent as the writers would now have us believe, they were either incompetent or complicit. Not to mention the really good old days in the 60s & 70s with the buffet of greenies, um, M&Ms in every locker room.

All I can say is that Ichiro is [b]BY FAR [/b] my favorite player !!!

Love Ichiro. He could be a good power guy if he chose to be. Saw him during a batting practice a few years ago in Cleveland, and he was letting it rip. he has more pop than people realize. Of course right now, it would take about four Ichiros to make Seattle competitive.

Say what you want about Bonds, but his 2004 stats are ridiculous. He hit 45 HRs and only struck out 41 times. That’s right, more HRs than SOs. How many power hitters have done that? Throw in an incredible 232 walks and you realize he didn’t get many pitches to hit. To me that makes his small K total even more incredible – he had to be VERY patient every at bat. His on base percentage was .609 and slugging percentage was .812. Those are insane numbers.

My apologies to those here that despise statistics. :wink:

one of the most interesting things about Bonds is that he only exceeded 50 HRs one season. People act like he had HR totals for years. If you look at his 162 game average for his career he is a 41 HR/yr player.

Talking about bats…

While watching the Pirate game last evening they showed a commerical with a picture of Honus Wagner holding a bat. It looked like a large log. Wow, was the handle thick! and…yes, he did chock up.