Jump to content
weams

Imagining that Hitting A Baseball is not the Hardest Thing in Sport

Recommended Posts

5 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The average swing-and-miss rate in T-ball makes Chris Davis look like Ichiro.

Was expecting a Gwynn reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

 

I 100% believe that "conditioning" improves contact rates and results after contact. Swinging a bat is a physical act. Conditioning, targeted to a specific activity, will improve the performance of that physical activity. There's a reason baseball had a steroid era and it's not because a bunch of people with a gift started playing at the same time. It's because steroids improved baseball conditioning beyond what had previously been accomplished naturally. 

Similarly, if I played professional soccer (which I couldn't for 1,000 reasons), conditioning obviously matters there too. My ability to kick a ball after 5 minutes would be very different than after 80 minutes. This is true in every sport I can think of. Ever walk 18 holes? Conditioning doesn't just matter, it is one of the primary differentiators in sports. Hitting a baseball is not exempt from that fact.

Steroids make the ball go further when you hit it. They do nothing for H/E coordination, nothing. They won't help you simply "hit a baseball" which again is too vague. Are we talking about just hitting the ball and putting it in play or hitting the ball at an elite level? Are we talking about sports at any level or just pro sports? Steroids are completely unnecessary to just hit a baseball. Kids do it all the time, so steroids have nothing to do with this discussion unless you're talking about being an elite power hitter among the highest levels of pro sports.

Baseball's "steroid era" has been a thing since at least the 60's and probably sooner than that largely fueled by the emphasis on hitting homeruns and that they help you hit more of them provided you can actually make contact in the first place. They don't help you hit a baseball. They improve the results when you do manage to hit a baseball. Swinging a bat at the right time on the right plane is all about H/E coordination. If you don't have that skill developed, steroids won't do a damn thing for you. Amphetamines might.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Enjoy Terror said:

I think being a cornerback in the NFL is more difficult than hitting a baseball.

It's definitely the most thankless job in sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, LookinUp said:

 

I 100% believe that "conditioning" improves contact rates and results after contact. Swinging a bat is a physical act. Conditioning, targeted to a specific activity, will improve the performance of that physical activity. There's a reason baseball had a steroid era and it's not because a bunch of people with a gift started playing at the same time. It's because steroids improved baseball conditioning beyond what had previously been accomplished naturally. 

Similarly, if I played professional soccer (which I couldn't for 1,000 reasons), conditioning obviously matters there too. My ability to kick a ball after 5 minutes would be very different than after 80 minutes. This is true in every sport I can think of. Ever walk 18 holes? Conditioning doesn't just matter, it is one of the primary differentiators in sports. Hitting a baseball is not exempt from that fact.

It helps with bat speed and the force applied when the ball is struck.   But there are a lot of very well conditioned athletes who could not hit professional level pitching.  Just ask Michael Jordan.  Hitting a baseball is a skill and not all people have it, no matter what condition they’re in.    I can remember a couple of guys from high school who were good at just about every sport but couldn’t hit at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Sessh said:

Swinging a bat at the right time on the right plane is all about H/E coordination. If you don't have that skill developed, steroids won't do a damn thing for you. Amphetamines might.

The bat has to be in the right place at the right time. Steroids (combined with proper weight training, practice, natural skill and all of the things that make other hitters great) make the muscles in charge of physical process more effective, leaving more margin for error. Bonds could famously wait longer to pull the proverbial "trigger" because he was more physically able to load and swing quicker than others, including pre-full blown steroids Barry Bonds.

9 minutes ago, Frobby said:

It helps with bat speed and the force applied when the ball is struck.   But there are a lot of very well conditioned athletes who could not hit professional level pitching.  Just ask Michael Jordan.  Hitting a baseball is a skill and not all people have it, no matter what condition they’re in.    I can remember a couple of guys from high school who were good at just about every sport but couldn’t hit at all.

Of course. Steroids improve the individual's ability. Bonds off steroids (as far as I know) was a HoF caliber player, IMO. Bonds on steroids was a far more dangerous hitter in his 40's. They're not a magic elixir for any schmuck to turn on a fastball 73 times a year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, LookinUp said:

The bat has to be in the right place at the right time. Steroids (combined with proper weight training, practice, natural skill and all of the things that make other hitters great) make the muscles in charge of physical process more effective, leaving more margin for error. Bonds could famously wait longer to pull the proverbial "trigger" because he was more physically able to load and swing quicker than others, including pre-full blown steroids Barry Bonds.

Of course. Steroids improve the individual's ability. Bonds off steroids (as far as I know) was a HoF caliber player, IMO. Bonds on steroids was a far more dangerous hitter in his 40's. They're not a magic elixir for any schmuck to turn on a fastball 73 times a year.

You also have to adjust for era.  Bonds has two seasons with an OPS+ over 200 in the early '90's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

You also have to adjust for era.  Bonds has two seasons with an OPS+ over 200 in the early '90's.

Fair enough. And age too. His baseball reference page looks like a video game player. Is there any argument that he's the greatest baseball performer* ever? Yes, it was artificially aided and thus not legit, but what he did on a baseball field was remarkable even when compared to the next best players ever. 

 

*there may have been better natural players (e.g., Mays?), so I used the word performer to reflect what he actually accomplished on the field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

Fair enough. And age too. His baseball reference page looks like a video game player. Is there any argument that he's the greatest baseball performer* ever? Yes, it was artificially aided and thus not legit, but what he did on a baseball field was remarkable even when compared to the next best players ever. 

 

*there may have been better natural players (e.g., Mays?), so I used the word performer to reflect what he actually accomplished on the field.

Ruth tried to cheat.

Both myself and MLB consider greenies cheating.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

Ruth tried to cheat.

Both myself and MLB consider greenies cheating.

 

Yep. There are a lot of ways to cheat. Steroids is only one, but it's correlated with crazy statistics. 

The supposed non-steroid HR record is Maris' 61. Bonds hit 20% more home runs in a single season than Maris or anyone had ever hit in 100 years of baseball. That's just crazy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, LookinUp said:

Yep. There are a lot of ways to cheat. Steroids is only one, but it's correlated with crazy statistics. 

The supposed non-steroid HR record is Maris' 61. Bonds hit 20% more home runs in a single season than Maris or anyone had ever hit in 100 years of baseball. That's just crazy. 

Joe Bauman says hi.

I don't think it's that crazy.  McGwire hit 70 and 65, Sosa 66, 64, 63.  Bauman hit 72 in the minors.  Joe Hauser hit 63 in a season for the IL Orioles.

Of course in 1920 Babe Ruth hit 54 when the prior record had been his 29 in 1919, and before that 27.  Ned Williamson hit those 27 in a park that probably wasn't 300 feet to any fence.  30 homers was outlandish.

Earl Webb's 67 doubles is 14% more than anyone has hit since WWII.  Chief Wilson's 36 triples is 38% more than anyone has hit since 1900 and 56% more than anyone since WWII.  A guy named Lyman Lamb had a season in the Western League where he hit 100 doubles, which I think is at least 20 more than any professional in any league ever (he hit 68, 71, and 100 in consecutive years).  Some eras are more conducive to big numbers than others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

Joe Bauman says hi.

I don't think it's that crazy.  McGwire hit 70 and 65, Sosa 66, 64, 63.  Bauman hit 72 in the minors.  Joe Hauser hit 63 in a season for the IL Orioles.

Earl Webb's 67 doubles is 14% more than anyone has hit since WWII.  Chief Wilson's 36 triples is 38% more than anyone has hit since 1900 and 56% more than anyone since WWII.  A guy named Lyman Lamb had a season in the Western League where he hit 100 doubles, which I think is at least 20 more than any professional in any league ever (he hit 68, 71, and 100 in consecutive years).  Some eras are more conducive to big numbers than others.

McGwire and Sosa were on steroids. Sosa in particular was pretty terrible early in his career. 

Any comparison to doubles and triples is flawed, IMO. Many guys who hit the ball hard enough are probably sprinkling in more home runs. It's a truly rare thing to see a guy who really is trying to be a doubles hitter.

Earl Webb had only 14 HRs the year he broke the 2B record, which is good, but 5:1 not a typical modern-era 2b/HR ratio. Cal Ripken's, for example, was 1.5:1. Brooks' ratio was about 1.5:1. Frank Robinson's was closer to 1:1. Markakis' is roughly 2.5:1. My guess is Webb was the old school equivalent of Wade Boggs (5:1 ratio) hitting the ball off the green monster every game. Maybe it's not a coincidence that they both played in Fenway. By the way, Boggs once had 51 2Bs and 3 HRs in a season. That's crazy.

Oh, and how many MiL players stay in the minors if they can hit 70 HRs? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores

News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Prospect Information

2018 End of Season Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2019 Spring Training Stats

Baseball Savant Stats

Minor League Stats







×
×
  • Create New...