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6'7" Aaron Judge vs. 5'6" Jose Altuve
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With a 7th and deciding game of the American League baseball championship series coming up this Saturday evening between the Houston Astros, led by 5′-6″ Jose Altuve, and the New York Yankees, led by 6′-7″ Aaron Judge, I thought it would be worth thinking about the old sportswriter’s theory that it’s better for a hitter to be short than tall.

David Halberstam, author of Vietnam War history The Best and the Brightest, explained in his 1994 baseball book October 1964 why he thought the best players of the late 1950s-early 1960s, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, were under six feet tall but also quite wide. Speaking of the young Mantle, Halberstam writes:

… but others thought he was closer to 5’9″. It was the width of the body that stunned such veteran baseball men as [Tommy] Henrich. … Normally, to be that strong, to hit the ball that hard, a man had to be bigger than normal; one envisioned an immense man … perhaps 6’6″ for that kind of power. But in baseball, as a man’s height increased, he was also made vulnerable, for the size of his strike zone expanded as well, giving pitchers too big a target. (The first time Whitey Ford looked at 6’7″ Dodger outfielder Frank Howard, all he could think of was what a wonderful strike zone Howard presented.)

Frank Howard, 6’7″ and 255 pounds, was kind of a Project that baseball didn’t deal well with until he was in his early 30s when his new manager on the Washington Senators, the great hitting technician Ted Williams, taught him how to exploit his potential. Jim Bouton’s bestseller Ball Four has a section on how Williams took Howard under his wing. Bouton was biased in favor of high IQ individualist jerks like Williams who didn’t last long as a manager in the conformist culture of baseball.

(Aaron Judge, a 25 year old rookie, was kind of a Project too. His three minor league seasons weren’t exceptional. Presumably, he didn’t get all the moving parts of his huge frame working together until this year.)

Interestingly, Williams, who is listed at 6’3″ and 205 pounds, was the opposite of Halberstam’s theory that being short and wide was the ideal for a hitter. Williams was known as the Splendid Splinter because he wasn’t terribly wide relative to his height. Yet he ranks as the highest on-base percentage player of all time.

Among the top twelve, ten were at least 5′-11″ and the three who were 5″11″ were in early baseball when that was well above the national average: Rogers Hornsby, Tris Speaker, and Bill Joyce. The two of the top 12 who were clearly shorter than the national average were 19th Century players: future genius manager John McGraw (5’7″) and Sliding Billy Hamilton (5’6″).

Strikingly, the current Cincinnati Reds feature a base stealer also named Billy Hamilton who is a similar combination of speed and lack of power. The new Billy Hamilton is 6’0″, but I suspect the main reason he has been less effective at getting on base than the previous Billy Hamilton is simply because pitchers are now able to throw strikes more reliably than they were 100 years ago.

Halberstam argued that it was not just the size of the strike zone that was a problem for tall hitters:

In baseball it was too easy for a smart pitcher to come inside and tie that kind of hitter up, and keep him from extending his arms. But with Mantle, Henrich thought, it was as if God had taken the ideal body necessary for a great hitter, and then simply made it wider and stronger, extending the power package, but not the strike zone.

I suspect the 1970s Dodgers were built along the same theory. I can recall watching the stars — Garvey, Cey, Lopes, Reggie Smith, etc. — jogging in the outfield together before a game and thinking that they were remarkably wide for their height. Ron Cey was noteworthy for his comically short arms and legs (he was called “The Penguin”) not preventing him from being a highly effective baseball player.

So, I was prepared to believe Halberstam’s theory when I read it in the late 1990s.

On the other hand, is it really that disadvantageous to be tall in 21st Century baseball?

In Little League baseball, it’s common to put a really short hitter up as leadoff hitter to draw walks because little boy pitchers have a hard time hitting his shorter strike zone. But perhaps major league pitchers don’t have that much difficulty?

Giant Aaron Judge at 79 inches tall is 20% taller than little Jose Altuve. Perhaps that’s not that big of a deal to big league pitchers?

Judge led the American league by earning 127 bases on balls this season, while little Jose Altuve walked only 58 times. Probably more relevant is that Judge is an extreme example of the modern sabermetrics-influenced “three true outcomes” philosophy of homer-walk-strikeout while Altuve is an old-fashioned hitter who comes up to bat looking to hit the ball square and hard. Judge hit 52 homers and struck out 208 times while Altuve hit 24 homers and struck out 84 times.

Altuve has led the American League in hits for four straight seasons, with at least 200 hits in each, batting .334 over that stretch. He hits a lot of homers for a man of his size, because he is an exceptional all-around baseball player, but he’s more looking for a base hit than a homer.

Similarly, the current player who most resembles Mickey Mantle statistically is Mike Trout of the Angels, who is listed at 6’2″ and 235 pounds. The contemporary player who likely draws the most walks is Joey Votto, who is listed at 6′-2″ and 220.

In the past, fairly short guys often drew lots of walks without exceptional power, such as Johnny Pesky, Eddie Yost, Richie Ashburn, Eddie Collins, Brett Butler, and so forth. (Obviously, it’s best to be both not that tall and quite powerful, like all-time best leadoff man Ricky Henderson, who hit 297 homers, or like Joe Morgan who dominated the mid-1970s.)

But these days, most of the guys who get a lot of walks are tall, large power hitters whom pitchers are afraid to challenge by throwing it down the middle. In recent years, the only short and non-power hitting league leader in drawing walks was 5′-8″ Chone Figgins.

So, it appears likely that pitchers have gotten more absolutely accurate over the decades, all else being equal.

Who deserves to the A.L. MVP: Altuve or Judge? I’d say Altuve, but both would be deserving winners. The two players are extremely close according to Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement metric with Altuve contributing 8.3 wins more than a waiver-quality player and Judge 8.1.

Altuve’s Astros won 101 games while Judge’s Yankees won 91.

The Yankees appeared to be under-achievers this year relative to their talent level. Judge was a poor clutch hitter this year. In 100 plate appearances when the game was “late and close” he hit only 3 homers. While in 112 plate appearances when the Yankees were ahead by more than four runs, he hit 17 homers.

Sabermetricians emphasize that clutch hitting isn’t a very good predictive statistic. One year’s poor clutch statistics is probably just random noise and won’t much predict that Judge will do badly in clutch situations next years.

The theory that some hitters are true clutch hitters would suggest that, conversely, they goof off in less clutch situations. But my impression is that most big league ballplayers can be counted upon to try hard whenever they come up to bat, which is for only about 10 or 15 minutes per game. They spend about an hour or hour and a half per per week at bat, which shouldn’t be all that exhausting to a young man in his prime. If you can’t bring yourself to focus hard for four or five at-bats per game, you probably won’t make the MLB.

So, Judge’s poor clutch hitting relative to his awesome hitting this year in blowouts is probably just a fluke. Nonetheless, there’s a philosophical point that the MVP award isn’t given as a forecast of who will be most valuable next year, it is given as a reward for who was most valuable this year. So the fact that Judge wasn’t quite as valuable to the Yankees winning games as you would normally expect from his topline statistics such as 52 homers and 127 walks should count against him in the MVP balloting.

In other baseball wonkery, here is a graph of ceremonial first pitches by celebrities. The most accurate out of the 30 watched on Youtube was the famous post-9/11 first pitch at the 2001 World Series in Yankee Stadium by President George W. Bush, who had pitched one year at Yale. He lobbed it dead down the middle.

Singer Mariah Carey did not distinguish herself:

Former double AA minor leaguer Michael Jordan and baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan both threw several feet behind where a righthanded batter would have stood:

 
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  1. During the Cleveland series, they threw at Judge’s upper shin level and got two or three strikes that he’d have needed a golf club to hit.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Faraday, the mythical strike zone that exists only in each plate umpire's mind hurts the game. Judge needs to learn to glare at the ump and maybe jaw at him too. Shoe top strikes are absurd. The superimposed strike box clearly shows how many "strikes" are really balls. I call BS on the idea that the umps call them the same for both teams. Taking the bat out of Judge's hands hurt the Yanks and the game.
    , @Pat Boyle
    Steve alas has missed the point. Let me help.

    I have special expertise. I spent two years developing a web dating site. I screwed up the business side, of course, because I'm a lousy businessman. But the code worked.

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. Most men are taller than most women. This is true for everyone except perhaps Tom Cruise. If you want to make women happy you present them with a plethora of tall guys. If they are short they has better be as handsome as Cruise,

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species. I'll have to check with Jane Goodall on this particular point.

    The sex connection to height seems to be stronger than any of the sports related height advantages.

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  2. Sunbeam says:

    Has Sabermetrics made the game more fun to watch? I guess some people get off on

    the modern sabermetrics-influenced “three true outcomes” philosophy of homer-walk-strikeout

    but maybe some people find it boring?

    Maybe it’s age and I’m not the kind of person who gets into sports any more. But take a team like the Big Red Machine or the Dodgers you mentioned. Lot more fun to watch, at least to me.

    Or Mike Schmidt. I’m sure Sabermetrics would rate him highly, but if memory serves he was noted for being a line drive hitter, even if he did hit a lot of home runs. And the boy could field and throw to first.

    Or Brooks Robinson? Does Sabermetrics say he was a bum? Really don’t know what his bat was like now, just remember all those circus defensive plays. I meant everyone plays to the 3 true outcomes right? If it actually works out that way, then the infield can just twiddle their thumbs. Certainly great fielding is in no way as important as being able to knock it out of the park.

    Ozzie Newsome. Was he a Sabermetrics bum? Wade Boggs?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The guilty secret of Sabermetrics is that it tends to rate highly players whom good fans rated highly just from listening to ballgames on the radio. Mike Schmidt, for example, ranks as the 8th best position player to start post WWII in terms of Wins Above Replacement.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_career.shtml

    Schmidt is an interesting test case because he wasn't a high batting average player, hitting .267. But he got tons of homers and walks. So he won 3 MVP awards. And he won 10 Golden Gloves. So it's hard to argue that he was all that underrated before Sabermetrics came along.

    , @Barnard
    Do you mean Ozzie Smith? Ozzie Newsome was a tight end in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.
    , @Njguy73
    Brooks Robinson didn't have much Offensive WAR, but his Defensive WAR was off the charts.
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  3. Don’t forget, or discount, the simple fact that tall people are just less ‘coordinated.’ I don’t mean simply that they are more likely to be maladroit: because their limbs and muscles are longer, it is harder to move them quickly in a particular direction (imagine lifting a 5 lb weight in your hand: now imagine lifting that same 5 lb weight at the end of a broomstick).

    This is almost always true. Even good athletes suffer from this: short good basketball players are always better dribblers than tall good basketball players (even tall world class basketball players: all tall men in the NBA are, frankly, bad dribblers. Even most big men-power forwards-are bad dribblers).

    You can see the difference in boxing, in wrestling, in gymnastics (it is impossible for tall men to be gymnasts). You know it from doing pullups in gym class or in the military. I can see it in 9-year olds playing basketball.

    This has nothing to do with the size of the strike zone, and is peripherally related to your issue of ‘tying hitters up with inside balls.’ Long limbs are just harder to move.

    joe

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The one guy in the NBA whose wingspan is less than his height, JJ Redick, is an extremely coordinated outside shooting specialist.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Imagine two grapefruit sized balls of identical diameter and weight at the top of an inclined plane. One ball has 90% of its weight concentrated in its center. It has a small lead core surrounded by a relatively large shell made of lightweight structural foam. The other ball has a large foam core surrounded by a thin lead shell which comprises 90% of the ball's total weight. Again, both balls weigh the same and differ only in the way the weight is distributed within them.

    When released, which ball will roll the farthest? (Disregard friction)

    (Hint. The fact that they are both at the same height means that gravity will impart the exact same force to both of them so the energy they have available to move themselves will be equal.)

    , @Jokah Macpherson
    When it comes to basketball, another thing I've noticed is that the entire concept of dribbling is a disadvantage to taller people, since you are repeatedly sending the ball to the ground, and the more distance there is between your hand and the ground, the more time and space there are for someone to steal it. Of course, the advantages to being tall still strongly outweigh this, and to some extent the selection of players with long armspans relative to their height also reduces this disadvantage.

    Being a moderately tall guy with short arms helped me notice this in pickup games. I've tried to come up with any advantage to short arms to bolster my fragile self esteem, and the best I can come up with is, similar to your broom example, that it's maybe easier to lift couches and furniture when helping friends move.
    , @anon
    Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control.
    Wonder whether there have been noteworthy baseballers with similar anthropometry?
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  4. Manny ramirez. Ultimate stocky hitter’s body.

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  5. @joeyjoejoe
    Don't forget, or discount, the simple fact that tall people are just less 'coordinated.' I don't mean simply that they are more likely to be maladroit: because their limbs and muscles are longer, it is harder to move them quickly in a particular direction (imagine lifting a 5 lb weight in your hand: now imagine lifting that same 5 lb weight at the end of a broomstick).

    This is almost always true. Even good athletes suffer from this: short good basketball players are always better dribblers than tall good basketball players (even tall world class basketball players: all tall men in the NBA are, frankly, bad dribblers. Even most big men-power forwards-are bad dribblers).

    You can see the difference in boxing, in wrestling, in gymnastics (it is impossible for tall men to be gymnasts). You know it from doing pullups in gym class or in the military. I can see it in 9-year olds playing basketball.

    This has nothing to do with the size of the strike zone, and is peripherally related to your issue of 'tying hitters up with inside balls.' Long limbs are just harder to move.

    joe

    The one guy in the NBA whose wingspan is less than his height, JJ Redick, is an extremely coordinated outside shooting specialist.

    Read More
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  6. @Sunbeam
    Has Sabermetrics made the game more fun to watch? I guess some people get off on

    the modern sabermetrics-influenced “three true outcomes” philosophy of homer-walk-strikeout
     
    but maybe some people find it boring?

    Maybe it's age and I'm not the kind of person who gets into sports any more. But take a team like the Big Red Machine or the Dodgers you mentioned. Lot more fun to watch, at least to me.

    Or Mike Schmidt. I'm sure Sabermetrics would rate him highly, but if memory serves he was noted for being a line drive hitter, even if he did hit a lot of home runs. And the boy could field and throw to first.

    Or Brooks Robinson? Does Sabermetrics say he was a bum? Really don't know what his bat was like now, just remember all those circus defensive plays. I meant everyone plays to the 3 true outcomes right? If it actually works out that way, then the infield can just twiddle their thumbs. Certainly great fielding is in no way as important as being able to knock it out of the park.

    Ozzie Newsome. Was he a Sabermetrics bum? Wade Boggs?

    The guilty secret of Sabermetrics is that it tends to rate highly players whom good fans rated highly just from listening to ballgames on the radio. Mike Schmidt, for example, ranks as the 8th best position player to start post WWII in terms of Wins Above Replacement.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_career.shtml

    Schmidt is an interesting test case because he wasn’t a high batting average player, hitting .267. But he got tons of homers and walks. So he won 3 MVP awards. And he won 10 Golden Gloves. So it’s hard to argue that he was all that underrated before Sabermetrics came along.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Schmidt also had a long career and did well for most of it. He was an MVP at 36.
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  7. slumber_j says:

    One thing to consider is that the pentagonal prism of the strike zone expands in only one dimension for taller hitters. I think Ted Williams would be a really good guy to pay attention to here.

    Anyway, maybe it’s good to be extreme in one direction or the other? More research is needed.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "the strike zone expands in only one dimension for taller hitters"

    A lot of other things expand in two or three dimensions. Judge's strike zone is only 20% larger than Altuve's, while he weighs about 80% more.
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  8. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Two things that probably confound the old wisdom about height is the mound height being reduced and the umpires protective gear getting smaller. The mound was lowered in ’68 and had an immediate impact on pitching. The strike zone started to move down.

    The same is true with umpire gear. The NL went to the inside protector first and for a while, it was common knowledge that the NL was a low-strike league, while the AL was still a high strike league. Those big bulky outside protectors made it hard for umps call the low strike.

    One random observation. Steve Garvey had forearms that looked like legs. That was always assumed to be a benefit to hitters. Dick Allen is another example. Bill James ranks him as one of the top pure power hitters ever. Allen’s forearms were huge. Kirby Puckett had the stubbiest arms I recall seeing. As I type this, I wonder if shorter arms are the issue, not the player’s height.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren't supposed to swing at them.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    The Z, on the last day of a cruise I was sitting eating a buffet breakfast with my wife and two of my daughters. A very tall, good looking man asked if he could sit in the spare chair at our table. He had forearms that were bigger than my heavily muscled calves...Paul O'Neal, ex Yankee captain. Wrist bigger than my ankles. All you need to crush a pitch.
    , @Danindc
    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/687384373864214528/x-feyxz__400x400.jpg

    This has to be photoshopped
    , @Desiderius
    Rose is like that too.
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  9. Bugg says:

    Recall getting Steve Garvey’s autograph at Shea Stadium as a kid. To this day, been around gyms and football and seen some huge guys. But never seen forearms like Garvey’s. He was like Popeye come to life. Allowed him to inside out a pitch like few can.

    Read More
    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @anonymouslee
    Gary Sheffield had some kind of freakish hand/wrist/forearm power.
    , @Anonymous
    Foucault had massive forearms. He could really turn 'em inside out.
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  10. In golf there seems to be no ideal body type for being a long hitter. McIlroy is about 5’9″ and stocky, whereas Tiger Woods is 6’1 and is (or was) of a lanky, willowy build. Ian Woosnam, a one time Master’s victor is only 5’4″, but definitely considered a long hitter in his heyday, and is almost as wide as he is tall. However great height does not seem to be a disadvantage in golf and tall players like Faldo and Els have also been very successful.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/golf/2016/04/01/ian-woosnam2_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8.jpg?imwidth=480

    One might think that shorter players, being closer to the ground and having their eyes a little closer to the ball, might have some advantages in the short game and putting, but if this exists at all it is not very noticeable.

    Reaction time might also make a difference, and perhaps the width of the placement of the eyes (pupillary distance) for optimal binocular vision of the path of the moving ball.

    Apparently there are many different variables in body mechanics that make it possible for people of various body types to hit balls accurately and well, which is what makes most sports interesting.

    However in basketball, there seems to be a disproportionate advantage to being tall that makes the sport a bit of a freak show at the professional level.

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  11. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Altuve’s the MVP in my opinion. I’m not sure if Judge is even the MVP on his own team because a case can be made for Didi Gregorius. And, yes, he’s a pitcher but without CC Sabbathia the Yanks wouldn’t be in the playoffs. I’m no Sabermetrician but notwithstanding Judge’s 52 ‘taters, 208 whiffs would make me want to hold my cards ’till next season for another look-see. “208″ is a BIG number anyway you cut it. Let’s give this guy another full season before we can decide whether he is a taller version of The Mick or a muscle-bound version of Dave Kingman.

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  12. That little guy, Altuve, is just a heckuva athlete. He would slide into base and then gracefully come up onto his feet without missing a beat; like a hockey player doing a power stop. Never seen anything like it.

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  13. OT.

    Steve Bannon just keeps on giving more and more reasons to like him: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/21/steve-bannon-blasts-george-bush-and-calls-for-republican-revolt

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    A JFK thread would be good right about now. Trump will release the remaining classified documents on the subject on the 26th. The timing right after Bush criticizes him (with their family deep state ties and potential Bush 41 link with JFK) is very interesting. Trump always gets even and goes for the balls when he does, but also generally prefers not to go for the jugular unless necessary. I think that's why he hasn't gone after Hillary now, no sense making them fight like they are cornered.
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  14. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Related, what are your thought on the proposed expansion and re-alignment?

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/columnists/expansion-trigger-realignment-longer-postseason/#f8vxI8mKIgLbMH52.97

    Read More
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  15. Yak-15 says:

    OT

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/10/19/arts/playboy-playmate-transgender.html

    It’s so awesome that we have people who cut off their dicks to play an adult version of pretend shoved down our throats as an example of the highest form of beauty.

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  16. jeppo says:

    Who’s the MVP?

    Runs scored:

    Judge: 128
    Altuve: 112

    Runs assisted on (RBIs – HRs):

    Judge: 114 RBIs – 52 HRs = 62 “assists”
    Altuve: 81 RBIs – 24 HRs = 57 “assists”

    Total “points” (runs + “assists”):

    Judge: 190
    Altuve: 169

    So Judge scored or assisted on 21 more runs than Altuve, or slightly more than one-eighth of a run per game over the course of the season. Although this metric doesn’t take into account defensive play, when it comes to offensive production it’s clear that Judge had the better season when it comes to the only thing that really counts in baseball: scoring runs.

    Verdict: unless Altuve is a far, far better defensive player than Judge, the 2017 AL MVP award should go to Aaron Judge.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    Seriously? Altuve is far superior vs. Judge in the field.
    I mean really?
    Judge is often awkward & mentally confused. Altuve knows where he is and what he needs to do in every situation.

    Offensively Altuve has been very consistent, Judge has been very in & out.
    Altuve had the highest OPS on the road of anyone, period.
    according to SI:
    "Altuve has stolen 32 bases while slugging .555—thresholds reached by only a handful of other players in the past 94 years (Mike Trout, Alex Rodriguez, Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Paul Molitor)."

    Sorry, but Judge's 208 SOs is pathetic.

    Judge does have the biased NY First media behind him, however.
    And we know how they do

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  17. ASd says:

    I once spent a day escorting Pete Rose around when I worked at a hotel that hosted Baseball Card shows in the early 90s. He is the widest human being that ever existed.

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  18. Anon87 says:

    WAR is the shark jump of Sabermetrics.

    The MVP is of course Mike Trout, even with the DL stint. That will continue to be the answer every year until further notice. Boring for bar stool arguments I know, but that’s just what it is.

    As for body types, Hack Wilson always seemed to me to be the stockiest player I can recall.

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  19. @joeyjoejoe
    Don't forget, or discount, the simple fact that tall people are just less 'coordinated.' I don't mean simply that they are more likely to be maladroit: because their limbs and muscles are longer, it is harder to move them quickly in a particular direction (imagine lifting a 5 lb weight in your hand: now imagine lifting that same 5 lb weight at the end of a broomstick).

    This is almost always true. Even good athletes suffer from this: short good basketball players are always better dribblers than tall good basketball players (even tall world class basketball players: all tall men in the NBA are, frankly, bad dribblers. Even most big men-power forwards-are bad dribblers).

    You can see the difference in boxing, in wrestling, in gymnastics (it is impossible for tall men to be gymnasts). You know it from doing pullups in gym class or in the military. I can see it in 9-year olds playing basketball.

    This has nothing to do with the size of the strike zone, and is peripherally related to your issue of 'tying hitters up with inside balls.' Long limbs are just harder to move.

    joe

    Imagine two grapefruit sized balls of identical diameter and weight at the top of an inclined plane. One ball has 90% of its weight concentrated in its center. It has a small lead core surrounded by a relatively large shell made of lightweight structural foam. The other ball has a large foam core surrounded by a thin lead shell which comprises 90% of the ball’s total weight. Again, both balls weigh the same and differ only in the way the weight is distributed within them.

    When released, which ball will roll the farthest? (Disregard friction)

    (Hint. The fact that they are both at the same height means that gravity will impart the exact same force to both of them so the energy they have available to move themselves will be equal.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    Even if nothing else you've still got the time for nerve impulses to travel those longer limbs.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_conduction_velocity
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  20. Barnard says:
    @Sunbeam
    Has Sabermetrics made the game more fun to watch? I guess some people get off on

    the modern sabermetrics-influenced “three true outcomes” philosophy of homer-walk-strikeout
     
    but maybe some people find it boring?

    Maybe it's age and I'm not the kind of person who gets into sports any more. But take a team like the Big Red Machine or the Dodgers you mentioned. Lot more fun to watch, at least to me.

    Or Mike Schmidt. I'm sure Sabermetrics would rate him highly, but if memory serves he was noted for being a line drive hitter, even if he did hit a lot of home runs. And the boy could field and throw to first.

    Or Brooks Robinson? Does Sabermetrics say he was a bum? Really don't know what his bat was like now, just remember all those circus defensive plays. I meant everyone plays to the 3 true outcomes right? If it actually works out that way, then the infield can just twiddle their thumbs. Certainly great fielding is in no way as important as being able to knock it out of the park.

    Ozzie Newsome. Was he a Sabermetrics bum? Wade Boggs?

    Do you mean Ozzie Smith? Ozzie Newsome was a tight end in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.

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    • Replies: @Sunbeam
    Yeah.
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  21. Randomeye says:

    One extreme example: Hack Wilson, maybe like Schwarber nowadays?

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  22. Going by Runs Created, Judge leads Altuve 149-133.

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  23. The alcoholic Hack Wilson had four good years, and a great one (.356, 56, 191) before he fell off a cliff. 5’5″ and six feet wide. Lou Gehrig was 6′, wide body. And just two examples, but it was hard to see the height of Sexton and Winfield working for them in the batters box. Like a commenter said it’s not the bigger zone–it’s not bigger relative to the hitter–they are just more unwieldy getting to the ball. Generally. Slow bats are what keeps players from advancing through the high minors. And cottage cheese.

    I do not believe that Altuve is 5’6″. The rule of baseball listings is that no one is actually 6’0″. 5’11″ becomes 6’0″, so 6’0″ becomes 6’1″, and etc. At some point above 6’6″ the listed height is actually the true height. One inch is added below six feet until approximately 5’8″, when two inches are added, and so on. I determined to a fact that a hard throwing little leftie who had two cups of coffee with the Brewers, listed at 5’8″, was in fact five three and one half. Altuve is maybe 5’3, probably less. His MVP vote won’t be unanimous, but it should be. Ask any pitcher who they would rather face with the bases loaded and the game on the line, and that is just his stick.

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    • Replies: @TWS
    My son was five eleven in high school but he played center. The school listed him as six four.
    , @Marty
    I stood next to Joe Morgan in 1993. He's 5'4" .
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  24. @joeyjoejoe
    Don't forget, or discount, the simple fact that tall people are just less 'coordinated.' I don't mean simply that they are more likely to be maladroit: because their limbs and muscles are longer, it is harder to move them quickly in a particular direction (imagine lifting a 5 lb weight in your hand: now imagine lifting that same 5 lb weight at the end of a broomstick).

    This is almost always true. Even good athletes suffer from this: short good basketball players are always better dribblers than tall good basketball players (even tall world class basketball players: all tall men in the NBA are, frankly, bad dribblers. Even most big men-power forwards-are bad dribblers).

    You can see the difference in boxing, in wrestling, in gymnastics (it is impossible for tall men to be gymnasts). You know it from doing pullups in gym class or in the military. I can see it in 9-year olds playing basketball.

    This has nothing to do with the size of the strike zone, and is peripherally related to your issue of 'tying hitters up with inside balls.' Long limbs are just harder to move.

    joe

    When it comes to basketball, another thing I’ve noticed is that the entire concept of dribbling is a disadvantage to taller people, since you are repeatedly sending the ball to the ground, and the more distance there is between your hand and the ground, the more time and space there are for someone to steal it. Of course, the advantages to being tall still strongly outweigh this, and to some extent the selection of players with long armspans relative to their height also reduces this disadvantage.

    Being a moderately tall guy with short arms helped me notice this in pickup games. I’ve tried to come up with any advantage to short arms to bolster my fragile self esteem, and the best I can come up with is, similar to your broom example, that it’s maybe easier to lift couches and furniture when helping friends move.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    When I was on my college varsity basketball team I was six four. I was the second tallest guy in the school. (George Mason). So I'm grateful to Mr. McPherson for explaining to me why I could never dribble worth a damn. But I couldn't shoot either or pass. What about those skills? I loved basketball. Alas I wasn't very good at it. I could dunk of course but not in an actual game - only on an empty court.

    My winning technique was to organize the basketball team - thus assuring that I had had a spot. The only thing I could do at all, was a bit of rebounding. My team was possibly the worst college basketball team in the history of all sports. We lost a game to "Springfield Junior High School Faculty" by over a hundred points. But it doesn't matter. I was a varsity college basketball player - and you weren't. So there.
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  25. @Steve Sailer
    The guilty secret of Sabermetrics is that it tends to rate highly players whom good fans rated highly just from listening to ballgames on the radio. Mike Schmidt, for example, ranks as the 8th best position player to start post WWII in terms of Wins Above Replacement.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_career.shtml

    Schmidt is an interesting test case because he wasn't a high batting average player, hitting .267. But he got tons of homers and walks. So he won 3 MVP awards. And he won 10 Golden Gloves. So it's hard to argue that he was all that underrated before Sabermetrics came along.

    Schmidt also had a long career and did well for most of it. He was an MVP at 36.

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  26. kihowi says:

    This makes me think Michael Jordan, Barack Obama and 50 cent are gay.

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  27. @Faraday's Bobcat
    During the Cleveland series, they threw at Judge's upper shin level and got two or three strikes that he'd have needed a golf club to hit.

    Faraday, the mythical strike zone that exists only in each plate umpire’s mind hurts the game. Judge needs to learn to glare at the ump and maybe jaw at him too. Shoe top strikes are absurd. The superimposed strike box clearly shows how many “strikes” are really balls. I call BS on the idea that the umps call them the same for both teams. Taking the bat out of Judge’s hands hurt the Yanks and the game.

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  28. Njguy73 says:

    Power hitters walk more than contact hitters. If a hitters is a home threat, pitchers will try to paint the corners more. If its, say, Duane Kuiper, just send it down the middle. Worst case? A single. This is Baseball 101.

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    • Replies: @The preferred nomenclature is...
    Keip did hit one MLB Homer for the Indians...
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  29. Njguy73 says:
    @Sunbeam
    Has Sabermetrics made the game more fun to watch? I guess some people get off on

    the modern sabermetrics-influenced “three true outcomes” philosophy of homer-walk-strikeout
     
    but maybe some people find it boring?

    Maybe it's age and I'm not the kind of person who gets into sports any more. But take a team like the Big Red Machine or the Dodgers you mentioned. Lot more fun to watch, at least to me.

    Or Mike Schmidt. I'm sure Sabermetrics would rate him highly, but if memory serves he was noted for being a line drive hitter, even if he did hit a lot of home runs. And the boy could field and throw to first.

    Or Brooks Robinson? Does Sabermetrics say he was a bum? Really don't know what his bat was like now, just remember all those circus defensive plays. I meant everyone plays to the 3 true outcomes right? If it actually works out that way, then the infield can just twiddle their thumbs. Certainly great fielding is in no way as important as being able to knock it out of the park.

    Ozzie Newsome. Was he a Sabermetrics bum? Wade Boggs?

    Brooks Robinson didn’t have much Offensive WAR, but his Defensive WAR was off the charts.

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  30. Mr. Anon says:

    Singer Mariah Carey did not distinguish herself:

    On the contrary. She distinguishes herself everytime she appears in public in hot-pants and high-heels.

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    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    She has a great set of pipes, but in person she is physically pretty yecchy to look at. Her skin tone is just godawful.

    I don't know, but it's been said, at least in the days when Tommy Mottola went nuts for her, that she was a truly phenomenal POA.

    But I don't know and truthfully can state have zero desire to find out even if it were feasible.
    , @JudgeSmails
    Regarding Mariah's high heels and her errant toss: it would be interesting to see if Kershaw's control would be adversely affected by his wearing a pair of high heeled spikes.

    I think it would.
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  31. A couple of things here.

    1. “Sabermetricians emphasize that clutch hitting isn’t a very good predictive statistic. One year’s poor clutch statistics is probably just random noise.”

    Uh, yes, just like that and any MLBer can deliver the goods in the clutch when it counts. Sabermetricians, for the most part, are not athletes and don’t have actual real world experience with the sport of which they study. A player’s reputation precedes him. One reason that umps will tend to give the hitter (or the pitcher for that matter) the close call is largely due to their reputation at the plate or on the mound. Derek Jeter, for instance, was known for being one of the “clutch” (per one of his nicknames, “Captain Clutch”) during late innings, especially during the postseason.

    When an individual player continually delivers a hit over his career that helps his team win (and adds to his WAR stats), this not only builds his reputation, but it directly adds to the term “clutch”, or, delivering when the game is on the line. It doesn’t always have to be a HR to win the game. For the most part, it’s something (usualy a hit) that helps win the game.

    IF the all valuable WAR stat means anything, it would tend to mean that a player “delivers” in the clutch, with the game on the line, and helps his club win the game. (e.g. if it’s bottom of the ninth and the team is one out from losing and the tying run is on base and the batter HR’s, 2B’s, etc. then that game is totaled in his WAR stat, since he directly won the game for his team). That’s also known as delivering in the clutch.

    2. David Halberstam was neither an athlete, nor an experienced sports writer. As a New Deal-New Left Liberal, he was best suited at writing about how Democrats are good and Conservatives are bad. This ideology permeates his sports books (at least his baseball books). He seems to have to made a major part of the story about the Narrative: ’64 = Civil Rights year, segregation, NY’s near lack of black ballplayers, inherent institutional racism lurking behind every pitch, etc.

    Pulling out this fairly bogus stat about the best offensive hitters being under 6′, let’s look a little closer at this.

    Babe Ruth: 6’2″ (which is similar to about 6’5″ today)
    Ty Cobb: 6’1.5-6’2″ [still the AL's all time H leader]
    Joe Jackson: 6’1″
    Joe DiMaggio: 6’1″
    Hank Aaron: 6’0″
    Barry Bonds: 6’2″
    [both men have the most HR's in MLB history and both 6" and/or above]
    Stan Musial: 6’0″
    Pete Rose: 5’11″
    Ernie Banks: 6’1″
    Duke Snider: 6’0″
    Reggie Jackson: 6’0″
    Lou Gehrig: 6’0″
    Larry “nap” Lajoie: 6’1″
    Al Kaline: 6’2″
    Harmon Killebrew: 5’11″
    Honus Wagner: 5’11″
    Derek Jeter: 6’3″ (fourth all time career H’s]

    It does appear that the 6 feet and over dudes are well represented among MLB’s all time offensive hitters. Perhaps Halberstam had never heard of some of these MLBers that were over six feet tall and thus might make his theory a bunch of mularkey.
    The average height for males in the US during last turn of the century was far smaller than it is today. As athletes then as now represent the most fit, well conditioned of the population, it stands to reason that they would on average be taller than the ordinary person.

    Seriously now.

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  32. MBlanc46 says:

    Nolan Ryan still wild, I see. Did he have his glasses on?

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  33. whorefinder says: • Website

    I heard a story about one ex-president who complained that the reason presidents threw ceremonial first pitches so badly was because they were forced to wear bulletproof vests on the mound, which restricts movement. When Bush threw out the first pitch in 2001, he allegedly eschewed the vest because he wanted to make a statement with the pitch itself.

    Charlie Sheen said something about this, too. Sheen’s a big baseball fan, and after Major League came out he was invited to throw out first pitches, but he wasn’t allowed to warm up and had to wear some sort of protection, which made his first pitch look horrible. Sheen was embarrassed, because he really was into baseball and threw well.

    Of course, any kid who’s played catch knows the first few tosses are pretty wild, which is why you start off close to one another and work your way back as your muscles loosen. (Free tip: If you’re ever asked to make a ceremonial first pitch, ask if you can warm up in the bullpen first right before the national anthem, and then jog in. Bring a ball with you, and then just before you step on the mound, hold it up and toss it gently to the catcher so you can gauge the distance. Even MLB pitchers get warmup tosses after coming in from the bullpen. )

    This all has something to do with how unnatural throwing a baseball is. The more natural way to throw is underhand—it’s works much better with how our shoulders are designed. Overhand and three quarters (how most people are taught to throw) are far more unnatural and put a lot more strain on the arm. Fast pitch softball players have far fewer arm injuries than baseball pitchers.

    All in all, the two main aspects of baseball–hitting the baseball and throwing it—are taught in a completely unnaturally manner. Hitters really should have a flat cricket-style bat and have room to maneuver to hit the ball (i.e like cricket players do), while pitchers should be throwing underhand—or exaggeratedly over the top (again, as cricket players do). But baseball has evolved to be weird like this.

    This unnaturalness of the basic skills accounts for a lot of the weirdness and superstitions of baseball—when you’re doing something completely foreign to your intuition, it messes with your head over the long haul (see also: golf swings). The rest is the massive downtime between action, which causes players to start overthinking how to stay in a groove or break out of a slump.

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    • Replies: @James Kabala
    When did we even start to have ceremonial first pitches? If you look at old pictures, even as late as the days of Kennedy and Nixon, the president threw out the first ball from his box in the stands. He wasn't pretending to be a player; he was just providing the ball for the start of the game. By the time of the original George Bush this had changed, but I don't know if he started it or if someone else had before him.
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  34. TWS says:

    My grandfather was a catcher in the pros a long time ago he was around 5’11″ but I don’t know if he was really that tall. He was also immensely strong and broad. He was a good hitter and practiced in the off season. He used to do strengthening exercises with sledge hammers. Or maybe he was just showing off.

    My dad has the same build but was really myopic so he wrestled instead.

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  35. Sunbeam says:
    @Barnard
    Do you mean Ozzie Smith? Ozzie Newsome was a tight end in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.

    Yeah.

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  36. TWS says:
    @james wilson
    The alcoholic Hack Wilson had four good years, and a great one (.356, 56, 191) before he fell off a cliff. 5'5" and six feet wide. Lou Gehrig was 6', wide body. And just two examples, but it was hard to see the height of Sexton and Winfield working for them in the batters box. Like a commenter said it's not the bigger zone--it's not bigger relative to the hitter--they are just more unwieldy getting to the ball. Generally. Slow bats are what keeps players from advancing through the high minors. And cottage cheese.

    I do not believe that Altuve is 5'6". The rule of baseball listings is that no one is actually 6'0". 5'11" becomes 6'0", so 6'0" becomes 6'1", and etc. At some point above 6'6" the listed height is actually the true height. One inch is added below six feet until approximately 5'8", when two inches are added, and so on. I determined to a fact that a hard throwing little leftie who had two cups of coffee with the Brewers, listed at 5'8", was in fact five three and one half. Altuve is maybe 5'3, probably less. His MVP vote won't be unanimous, but it should be. Ask any pitcher who they would rather face with the bases loaded and the game on the line, and that is just his stick.

    My son was five eleven in high school but he played center. The school listed him as six four.

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  37. Tony says:

    Thats a pretty bad pitch for Jordan being that he did play minor league ball.

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  38. It’s a giraffe vs. a lion.

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    • Replies: @donut
    That Giraffe stomping that lion reminded me of something that happened to me when I was about 9 .
    There was a horse that I knew to be a pretty gentle beast in a paddock on a friends farm . I went out there and climbed on him somehow , as there was no saddle . I don't know what he was thinking but he started towards the fence at a run . He balked at the fence and I flew over his head and the fence , children are amazingly resilient , anyway I landed on my back and he came over the fence a moment later . He put his right front hoof on my chest and immediately lifted it off . It didn't leave the slightest mark . I am certain that he did that because he knew where his hoof was .

    Later to show my appreciation I shot the oldest girl (of 12 children) in the eye with aBB gun. It was of course an accident . Gun violence .
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  39. Pat Boyle says:
    @Jokah Macpherson
    When it comes to basketball, another thing I've noticed is that the entire concept of dribbling is a disadvantage to taller people, since you are repeatedly sending the ball to the ground, and the more distance there is between your hand and the ground, the more time and space there are for someone to steal it. Of course, the advantages to being tall still strongly outweigh this, and to some extent the selection of players with long armspans relative to their height also reduces this disadvantage.

    Being a moderately tall guy with short arms helped me notice this in pickup games. I've tried to come up with any advantage to short arms to bolster my fragile self esteem, and the best I can come up with is, similar to your broom example, that it's maybe easier to lift couches and furniture when helping friends move.

    When I was on my college varsity basketball team I was six four. I was the second tallest guy in the school. (George Mason). So I’m grateful to Mr. McPherson for explaining to me why I could never dribble worth a damn. But I couldn’t shoot either or pass. What about those skills? I loved basketball. Alas I wasn’t very good at it. I could dunk of course but not in an actual game – only on an empty court.

    My winning technique was to organize the basketball team – thus assuring that I had had a spot. The only thing I could do at all, was a bit of rebounding. My team was possibly the worst college basketball team in the history of all sports. We lost a game to “Springfield Junior High School Faculty” by over a hundred points. But it doesn’t matter. I was a varsity college basketball player – and you weren’t. So there.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Were you seriously on George Mason's basketball team? They're a Division I team and they made it to the Final Four in 2006.
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  40. Pat Boyle says:
    @Faraday's Bobcat
    During the Cleveland series, they threw at Judge's upper shin level and got two or three strikes that he'd have needed a golf club to hit.

    Steve alas has missed the point. Let me help.

    I have special expertise. I spent two years developing a web dating site. I screwed up the business side, of course, because I’m a lousy businessman. But the code worked.

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. Most men are taller than most women. This is true for everyone except perhaps Tom Cruise. If you want to make women happy you present them with a plethora of tall guys. If they are short they has better be as handsome as Cruise,

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species. I’ll have to check with Jane Goodall on this particular point.

    The sex connection to height seems to be stronger than any of the sports related height advantages.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    All women have a resume for men, which always includes height. Dating websites are good ways for girls to look for their ideal guy on paper. This is why game gurus often stress that guys go out in the real world and avoid online dating, because in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he's already right there, in her face, and his other attractive qualities are coming through.

    Online dating is now only a way for girls to seek massive ego gratification from all the men emailing her while she plays the snobby princess role of rejecting them all. Every girl dreams of being Scarlett O'Hara at the beginning of Gone With The Wind , where's she's the prettiest and flirting and being noncomittal and bitchy with dozens of suitors. Online dating allows them to think it's real.
    , @slumber_j

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. [...]

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species.
     
    It's so characteristic of the species that I did read of one dating site that eliminated the question for women: literally none of the tens of thousands of women who'd filed questionnaires had ever said they wanted a man their height or shorter.
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  41. Marty says:
    @james wilson
    The alcoholic Hack Wilson had four good years, and a great one (.356, 56, 191) before he fell off a cliff. 5'5" and six feet wide. Lou Gehrig was 6', wide body. And just two examples, but it was hard to see the height of Sexton and Winfield working for them in the batters box. Like a commenter said it's not the bigger zone--it's not bigger relative to the hitter--they are just more unwieldy getting to the ball. Generally. Slow bats are what keeps players from advancing through the high minors. And cottage cheese.

    I do not believe that Altuve is 5'6". The rule of baseball listings is that no one is actually 6'0". 5'11" becomes 6'0", so 6'0" becomes 6'1", and etc. At some point above 6'6" the listed height is actually the true height. One inch is added below six feet until approximately 5'8", when two inches are added, and so on. I determined to a fact that a hard throwing little leftie who had two cups of coffee with the Brewers, listed at 5'8", was in fact five three and one half. Altuve is maybe 5'3, probably less. His MVP vote won't be unanimous, but it should be. Ask any pitcher who they would rather face with the bases loaded and the game on the line, and that is just his stick.

    I stood next to Joe Morgan in 1993. He’s 5’4″ .

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  42. whorefinder says: • Website

    As to the MVP award itself, it’s quite meaningless. The MVP is an opinion award voted on by sports “reporters”, who are the most lapdoggy, braindead, pseudoadmen “reporters” on the planet. Tell me again how long it took them to report on steroids in baseball and football? It’s merely a popularity contest from team waterboys, nothing more.

    And that’s before we get to the weird sports writer rules on the MVP, such as that pitchers are supposed to be excluded from it, but they will give it to a pitcher once in a blue moon for no reason other than the pitcher made himself so obviously awesome they were shamed into doing it. (Pedro Martinez got denied it one year because some (NY) sportswriters literally left him off the ballot, despite being dominating). It’s totally mindboggling how those losers make their voting “rules”. Honestly, if the little snowflake lapdogs are so worried about pitchers dominating the award (a tacit admission to how valuable pitching is), just split the award between Most Valuable Pitcher and Most Valuable Position Player.

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  43. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Pat Boyle
    Steve alas has missed the point. Let me help.

    I have special expertise. I spent two years developing a web dating site. I screwed up the business side, of course, because I'm a lousy businessman. But the code worked.

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. Most men are taller than most women. This is true for everyone except perhaps Tom Cruise. If you want to make women happy you present them with a plethora of tall guys. If they are short they has better be as handsome as Cruise,

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species. I'll have to check with Jane Goodall on this particular point.

    The sex connection to height seems to be stronger than any of the sports related height advantages.

    All women have a resume for men, which always includes height. Dating websites are good ways for girls to look for their ideal guy on paper. This is why game gurus often stress that guys go out in the real world and avoid online dating, because in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he’s already right there, in her face, and his other attractive qualities are coming through.

    Online dating is now only a way for girls to seek massive ego gratification from all the men emailing her while she plays the snobby princess role of rejecting them all. Every girl dreams of being Scarlett O’Hara at the beginning of Gone With The Wind , where’s she’s the prettiest and flirting and being noncomittal and bitchy with dozens of suitors. Online dating allows them to think it’s real.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he’s already right there"

    Hold it, hold it, hold it. Why exactly would a girl want a poor, short, ugly guy? Makes no sense. After all, in the real world, she's also likely to encounter a tall, fairly attractive, and somewhat holding (financially that is) as well.

    As said before, most men are taller than most women. Check.

    Most women also want a man who isn't broke and relying on them to pay the bills. So money is another quality that is attractive to women. Check.

    As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an ugly guy had better either be very tall and/or the richest dude in town to compensate for the downside of awful looks. He doesn't have to be the prettiest boy in town; he does have to be at least among the better looking ones around.

    Turn it around: For men, the dealbreaking turnoff is a woman's weight. As in fat. Which guy would want a girl who's morbidly obese, hairy armpits, slight mustache, and constantly smells bad? And why not? Can't everyone see how nice her personality is??

    The real world doesn't work like it does in Hollywood or on paper, but dating sites at least gives the option to view one another's looks, height, etc. Financial status requires a more in-depth face to face "interview" to further make a determination.

    But for women: Height is in, and so is money. Poverty is out and so is being ugly.
    Rich or handsome? Probably rich.

    Not everyone can be Donald Trump, who at 6'2" and rich, makes it look easy.

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  44. Wally says:

    The issue of Altuve vs. Judge may well be decided by dumb NY centrism.

    The media is so NY biased in all matters that this fact may well decide the outcome of the MVP balloting.

    Not to mention the embarrassing overpraise for Judge when he does merely solid, but not great defensive work.

    The MLB Channel should be renamed the NYY Channel, it’s completely off the rails in the coverage they give to all things Yankees, even the lowly Mets get way more ‘ink’ than they should.

    But no doubt, Altuve is a true MVP.

    ‘I hit when it doesn’t matter’ Judge may well have his day, but only the NY thing will give it to him this time.

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  45. Bill Veeck understood these things…

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  46. Pericles says:

    Altuve is such an incredible player. I hope he gets it.

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  47. where are the freddie pateks of yesteryear? (5′ 5″ – averaged 4 HRs & 51 walks a year:) should we be calculating hits per inch now? :)

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  48. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Pat Boyle
    When I was on my college varsity basketball team I was six four. I was the second tallest guy in the school. (George Mason). So I'm grateful to Mr. McPherson for explaining to me why I could never dribble worth a damn. But I couldn't shoot either or pass. What about those skills? I loved basketball. Alas I wasn't very good at it. I could dunk of course but not in an actual game - only on an empty court.

    My winning technique was to organize the basketball team - thus assuring that I had had a spot. The only thing I could do at all, was a bit of rebounding. My team was possibly the worst college basketball team in the history of all sports. We lost a game to "Springfield Junior High School Faculty" by over a hundred points. But it doesn't matter. I was a varsity college basketball player - and you weren't. So there.

    Were you seriously on George Mason’s basketball team? They’re a Division I team and they made it to the Final Four in 2006.

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    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
    Yes. When I was at George Mason it was only in it's third year. It was an adjunct of the University of Virginia. There were only about 250 students at the beginning of the academic year and perhaps 150 at the end. This was 1960-61.

    I began the basketball team just as I had begun the school newspaper and the debate team. I was the Vice President of the Student Assembly (the one taller guy in school was the President). I was the best student in the school, as well as the student with the most activities. It is good to be king.

    There were no blacks in George Mason at this time. Many years later they had a very successful basketball team - most of whom were black.

    We were located at Bailey's Cross Roads in an abandoned school house. It was a two year school then. After I left for American university they moved to Fairfax, VA. I was not joking about how bad the basketball team was. I could never have played on any other college team in America. I was enthusiastic but seriously unskilled.
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  49. Daryl Strawberry, listed at 6-6, had a sweet swing reminiscent of Ted Williams. Surprisingly to me, with all of his personal problems during his baseball career, Strawberry played 19 years in the majors. Slash line: .259 BA/335 HR/1000 RBI.

    Pete Rose seemed to have a wide body and forearms like tree trunks. His playing weight is listed at 5-11, 200 lbs. but it probably varied quite a bit over his 23-year career (and he’s probably closer to 5-9). Slash line: .303 BA/160 HR/1314 RBI. Not a lot of HR power, but he did, of course, have 4256 hits. FunFact: Rose he’s no. 74 on the all-time Triples leaders list with 135 – one less than Babe Ruth, four more than Joe DiMaggio.

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    • Replies: @Ivy
    Babe Ruth legging out triples is quite an image. The average fan would look at his spindly legs and funny mug and say, no way that guy has the wheels, but he did. He was also a pretty good pitcher. His various attributes get hidden behind 714.
    , @Marty
    Rose had power, he just had an extremely flat bat plane through the zone. He was the converse of the current craze (so they tell us) of trying to uppercut the ball. In 1983, when Rose was 42, I saw him hit the first pitch of the game off the centerfield fence through the fog at Candlestick.
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  50. slumber_j says:
    @Pat Boyle
    Steve alas has missed the point. Let me help.

    I have special expertise. I spent two years developing a web dating site. I screwed up the business side, of course, because I'm a lousy businessman. But the code worked.

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. Most men are taller than most women. This is true for everyone except perhaps Tom Cruise. If you want to make women happy you present them with a plethora of tall guys. If they are short they has better be as handsome as Cruise,

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species. I'll have to check with Jane Goodall on this particular point.

    The sex connection to height seems to be stronger than any of the sports related height advantages.

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. [...]

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species.

    It’s so characteristic of the species that I did read of one dating site that eliminated the question for women: literally none of the tens of thousands of women who’d filed questionnaires had ever said they wanted a man their height or shorter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @keuril
    Do short guys ever state their height honestly? I feel like I meet a lot of 5’9 short guys.
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  51. @The Z Blog
    Two things that probably confound the old wisdom about height is the mound height being reduced and the umpires protective gear getting smaller. The mound was lowered in '68 and had an immediate impact on pitching. The strike zone started to move down.

    The same is true with umpire gear. The NL went to the inside protector first and for a while, it was common knowledge that the NL was a low-strike league, while the AL was still a high strike league. Those big bulky outside protectors made it hard for umps call the low strike.

    One random observation. Steve Garvey had forearms that looked like legs. That was always assumed to be a benefit to hitters. Dick Allen is another example. Bill James ranks him as one of the top pure power hitters ever. Allen's forearms were huge. Kirby Puckett had the stubbiest arms I recall seeing. As I type this, I wonder if shorter arms are the issue, not the player's height.

    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren’t supposed to swing at them.

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    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    It worked for Cobb, Musial, and other hitters who hit to the opposite field (actually could hit to all fields with authority). Derek Jeter also mastered the ability to hit to the opposite field as well.

    Another factor for hitters is having quick wrists for the swing.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren’t supposed to swing at them.
     
    What better way to rub it in to an opposing pitcher than by whacking a ball-- as opposed to a strike-- over the fence? Imagine the joy Southerners felt voting for FDR, so hated by his fellow Yankees. (BTW, blame FDR for those kneeling protests. He started the tradition of playing the anthem in the first place, to get us in the mood for war.)

    Is it legal to walk over to the opposite batter's box and smack an intentional walk into play? I think it should be. It certainly would be fun to watch.
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  52. Anonym says:
    @ThreeCranes
    Imagine two grapefruit sized balls of identical diameter and weight at the top of an inclined plane. One ball has 90% of its weight concentrated in its center. It has a small lead core surrounded by a relatively large shell made of lightweight structural foam. The other ball has a large foam core surrounded by a thin lead shell which comprises 90% of the ball's total weight. Again, both balls weigh the same and differ only in the way the weight is distributed within them.

    When released, which ball will roll the farthest? (Disregard friction)

    (Hint. The fact that they are both at the same height means that gravity will impart the exact same force to both of them so the energy they have available to move themselves will be equal.)

    Even if nothing else you’ve still got the time for nerve impulses to travel those longer limbs.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_conduction_velocity

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  53. @whorefinder
    All women have a resume for men, which always includes height. Dating websites are good ways for girls to look for their ideal guy on paper. This is why game gurus often stress that guys go out in the real world and avoid online dating, because in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he's already right there, in her face, and his other attractive qualities are coming through.

    Online dating is now only a way for girls to seek massive ego gratification from all the men emailing her while she plays the snobby princess role of rejecting them all. Every girl dreams of being Scarlett O'Hara at the beginning of Gone With The Wind , where's she's the prettiest and flirting and being noncomittal and bitchy with dozens of suitors. Online dating allows them to think it's real.

    “in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he’s already right there”

    Hold it, hold it, hold it. Why exactly would a girl want a poor, short, ugly guy? Makes no sense. After all, in the real world, she’s also likely to encounter a tall, fairly attractive, and somewhat holding (financially that is) as well.

    As said before, most men are taller than most women. Check.

    Most women also want a man who isn’t broke and relying on them to pay the bills. So money is another quality that is attractive to women. Check.

    As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an ugly guy had better either be very tall and/or the richest dude in town to compensate for the downside of awful looks. He doesn’t have to be the prettiest boy in town; he does have to be at least among the better looking ones around.

    Turn it around: For men, the dealbreaking turnoff is a woman’s weight. As in fat. Which guy would want a girl who’s morbidly obese, hairy armpits, slight mustache, and constantly smells bad? And why not? Can’t everyone see how nice her personality is??

    The real world doesn’t work like it does in Hollywood or on paper, but dating sites at least gives the option to view one another’s looks, height, etc. Financial status requires a more in-depth face to face “interview” to further make a determination.

    But for women: Height is in, and so is money. Poverty is out and so is being ugly.
    Rich or handsome? Probably rich.

    Not everyone can be Donald Trump, who at 6’2″ and rich, makes it look easy.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    ROFL. You literally did not understand what I wrote, had a delusion making up something else, and responded to that. Quite impressive, go take your medication now, and tell me how Ted Williams cost the Red Sox "numerous" trips to the World Series.
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  54. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    You should work with Ron Unz to develop a “comments above replacement” stat for commenters.

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    • Replies: @slumber_j
    I must disagree: I don't like my chances.
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  55. @Steve Sailer
    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren't supposed to swing at them.

    It worked for Cobb, Musial, and other hitters who hit to the opposite field (actually could hit to all fields with authority). Derek Jeter also mastered the ability to hit to the opposite field as well.

    Another factor for hitters is having quick wrists for the swing.

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    • Replies: @Ian M.
    Also Miguel Cabrera.

    Another factor for hitters is having quick wrists for the swing.
     
    Another factor I would think is how quickly you can rotate your hips/torso. Some of these power hitters seem to be able to generate a lot of torque by twisting their hips as if they were a compressed spring being released.
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  56. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Steve you seem to be a baseball fanatic on par with George Will. Can you explain how and why they go through that stupid first pitch routine? They never seem to even have a batter in the box. This ceremony seems really dumb and adds nothing to this game. These goofs are usually not even former players or pitchers and hardly ever even make the plate.

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  57. @Bugg
    Recall getting Steve Garvey's autograph at Shea Stadium as a kid. To this day, been around gyms and football and seen some huge guys. But never seen forearms like Garvey's. He was like Popeye come to life. Allowed him to inside out a pitch like few can.

    Gary Sheffield had some kind of freakish hand/wrist/forearm power.

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    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Yes: Gary Sheffield had that. Plus such absurdly hyper-fast reaction time that he would routinely pull the ball to what seemed like a fully orthogonal vector to the incoming pitch.
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  58. slumber_j says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    You should work with Ron Unz to develop a "comments above replacement" stat for commenters.

    I must disagree: I don’t like my chances.

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  59. slumber_j says:
    @anonymouslee
    Gary Sheffield had some kind of freakish hand/wrist/forearm power.

    Yes: Gary Sheffield had that. Plus such absurdly hyper-fast reaction time that he would routinely pull the ball to what seemed like a fully orthogonal vector to the incoming pitch.

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  60. @The Z Blog
    Two things that probably confound the old wisdom about height is the mound height being reduced and the umpires protective gear getting smaller. The mound was lowered in '68 and had an immediate impact on pitching. The strike zone started to move down.

    The same is true with umpire gear. The NL went to the inside protector first and for a while, it was common knowledge that the NL was a low-strike league, while the AL was still a high strike league. Those big bulky outside protectors made it hard for umps call the low strike.

    One random observation. Steve Garvey had forearms that looked like legs. That was always assumed to be a benefit to hitters. Dick Allen is another example. Bill James ranks him as one of the top pure power hitters ever. Allen's forearms were huge. Kirby Puckett had the stubbiest arms I recall seeing. As I type this, I wonder if shorter arms are the issue, not the player's height.

    The Z, on the last day of a cruise I was sitting eating a buffet breakfast with my wife and two of my daughters. A very tall, good looking man asked if he could sit in the spare chair at our table. He had forearms that were bigger than my heavily muscled calves…Paul O’Neal, ex Yankee captain. Wrist bigger than my ankles. All you need to crush a pitch.

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Paul O'Neill was never captain of the Yankees.
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  61. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @joeyjoejoe
    Don't forget, or discount, the simple fact that tall people are just less 'coordinated.' I don't mean simply that they are more likely to be maladroit: because their limbs and muscles are longer, it is harder to move them quickly in a particular direction (imagine lifting a 5 lb weight in your hand: now imagine lifting that same 5 lb weight at the end of a broomstick).

    This is almost always true. Even good athletes suffer from this: short good basketball players are always better dribblers than tall good basketball players (even tall world class basketball players: all tall men in the NBA are, frankly, bad dribblers. Even most big men-power forwards-are bad dribblers).

    You can see the difference in boxing, in wrestling, in gymnastics (it is impossible for tall men to be gymnasts). You know it from doing pullups in gym class or in the military. I can see it in 9-year olds playing basketball.

    This has nothing to do with the size of the strike zone, and is peripherally related to your issue of 'tying hitters up with inside balls.' Long limbs are just harder to move.

    joe

    Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control.
    Wonder whether there have been noteworthy baseballers with similar anthropometry?

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Long arms are super-valuable in basketball, especially if combined with great eye-hand coordination. For example, basketball great Jerry West was 6'2" with a 38" sleeve, which is about 4" longer than mine, even though I'm a couple of inches taller. They didn't start counting steals in the NBA until West's final season, when he was 35 and injured a lot, but he averaged 2.7 per game at that late point.
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  62. @whorefinder
    I heard a story about one ex-president who complained that the reason presidents threw ceremonial first pitches so badly was because they were forced to wear bulletproof vests on the mound, which restricts movement. When Bush threw out the first pitch in 2001, he allegedly eschewed the vest because he wanted to make a statement with the pitch itself.

    Charlie Sheen said something about this, too. Sheen's a big baseball fan, and after Major League came out he was invited to throw out first pitches, but he wasn't allowed to warm up and had to wear some sort of protection, which made his first pitch look horrible. Sheen was embarrassed, because he really was into baseball and threw well.


    Of course, any kid who's played catch knows the first few tosses are pretty wild, which is why you start off close to one another and work your way back as your muscles loosen. (Free tip: If you're ever asked to make a ceremonial first pitch, ask if you can warm up in the bullpen first right before the national anthem, and then jog in. Bring a ball with you, and then just before you step on the mound, hold it up and toss it gently to the catcher so you can gauge the distance. Even MLB pitchers get warmup tosses after coming in from the bullpen. )


    This all has something to do with how unnatural throwing a baseball is. The more natural way to throw is underhand---it's works much better with how our shoulders are designed. Overhand and three quarters (how most people are taught to throw) are far more unnatural and put a lot more strain on the arm. Fast pitch softball players have far fewer arm injuries than baseball pitchers.

    All in all, the two main aspects of baseball--hitting the baseball and throwing it---are taught in a completely unnaturally manner. Hitters really should have a flat cricket-style bat and have room to maneuver to hit the ball (i.e like cricket players do), while pitchers should be throwing underhand---or exaggeratedly over the top (again, as cricket players do). But baseball has evolved to be weird like this.

    This unnaturalness of the basic skills accounts for a lot of the weirdness and superstitions of baseball---when you're doing something completely foreign to your intuition, it messes with your head over the long haul (see also: golf swings). The rest is the massive downtime between action, which causes players to start overthinking how to stay in a groove or break out of a slump.

    When did we even start to have ceremonial first pitches? If you look at old pictures, even as late as the days of Kennedy and Nixon, the president threw out the first ball from his box in the stands. He wasn’t pretending to be a player; he was just providing the ball for the start of the game. By the time of the original George Bush this had changed, but I don’t know if he started it or if someone else had before him.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    As someone pointed out, baseball is the only game where the managers dress in the players' uniform rather than have a set of street clothes on. It's like the Yankees think they might want a 70-year-old Joe Torre to pinch run for them one of these days.

    It's a strange tradition, going back to the days of player-managers being a regular thing. Connie Mack, the legendary owner/manager of the A's, tried to start a trend of wearing street clothes in the dugout, but it never caught on, despite Mack's outsized influence on the game.

    I think the current first pitch traditions comes from the shift of wanting to view presidents as patrician-types reservedly overseeing the game versus the more recent attempt for presidents to show themselves to be "just another guy" that you could "have a beer with." Hence the move from throwing out the ball from the stands while wearing a suit to walking to the mound in casual clothes and tossing it.

    JFK pushed the image of Camelot-like patrician who just happened to be Catholic, not as an everyman (JFK wasn't that much of an outdoor guy; most of the sailing pictures that were popularized about him because it was the only "outdoorsy" pics they could get of him, as he preferred either city life or indoor activities).

    I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.

    Of course, the image can backfire. Obama looked like a sissy whenever he tried to be "one of the boys" by drinking beer or throwing out the first ball or doing anything athletic (see his workout video, leaked late in his presidency_). It would have more befitted him to avoid those circumstances and do the pitch-from-the-stands thing, if he wanted to do it. You don't have to be one of the common people to respect them.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He's simply not that guy. Even at Wrestlemania, he wore a full suit despite attacking Vince McMahon.

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  63. @Steve Sailer
    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren't supposed to swing at them.

    Long forearms would be helpful in crushing outside pitches, but you aren’t supposed to swing at them.

    What better way to rub it in to an opposing pitcher than by whacking a ball– as opposed to a strike– over the fence? Imagine the joy Southerners felt voting for FDR, so hated by his fellow Yankees. (BTW, blame FDR for those kneeling protests. He started the tradition of playing the anthem in the first place, to get us in the mood for war.)

    Is it legal to walk over to the opposite batter’s box and smack an intentional walk into play? I think it should be. It certainly would be fun to watch.

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  64. I am not going to argue about who is the best baseball player of all time, but at 5′-7″ and maybe 175 0r 180 pounds, Yogi Berra has to be in the top twenty. My favorite all time player. And you can argue that catchers are the most important player on any team.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Berra was the winningest player of all time in terms of 10 World Series victories and 14 American League pennants.
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  65. @anon
    Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control.
    Wonder whether there have been noteworthy baseballers with similar anthropometry?

    Long arms are super-valuable in basketball, especially if combined with great eye-hand coordination. For example, basketball great Jerry West was 6’2″ with a 38″ sleeve, which is about 4″ longer than mine, even though I’m a couple of inches taller. They didn’t start counting steals in the NBA until West’s final season, when he was 35 and injured a lot, but he averaged 2.7 per game at that late point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymouslee
    it's amazing how little *serious* attention was paid to arm length until recently. Besides basketball it's now talked about what arm length is needed for successful tackles (both sides) in football and what kind of "catch radius" receivers have.



    And we've come to discover that blacks have a big advantage in reach proportions. The (former, I guess) UFC light heavyweight champion and quite simply the best fighter ever, Jon Jones, had an 84" armspan at 6'4 and a dehydrated 205 lbs.


    Arm length is so important it seems most sports fans have no idea what normal proportions are. I see people on Reddit talking about someone's crazy "T-Rex" arms if they measure in like JJ Redick (equal height:span)
    , @slumber_j
    Famously, Dennis Rodman has unnaturally long arms, which seem to lie at the root of the cult belief that he was maybe something like the best guy you could possibly have on your basketball team, apart from the actually best guy:

    https://skepticalsports.com/the-case-for-dennis-rodman-guide/

    Very much worth a read, I'd say. And I don't give a shit about basketball.

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  66. donut says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    It's a giraffe vs. a lion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MX9GrMQoeNc

    That Giraffe stomping that lion reminded me of something that happened to me when I was about 9 .
    There was a horse that I knew to be a pretty gentle beast in a paddock on a friends farm . I went out there and climbed on him somehow , as there was no saddle . I don’t know what he was thinking but he started towards the fence at a run . He balked at the fence and I flew over his head and the fence , children are amazingly resilient , anyway I landed on my back and he came over the fence a moment later . He put his right front hoof on my chest and immediately lifted it off . It didn’t leave the slightest mark . I am certain that he did that because he knew where his hoof was .

    Later to show my appreciation I shot the oldest girl (of 12 children) in the eye with aBB gun. It was of course an accident . Gun violence .

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    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    That's truly funny.
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  67. Pat Boyle says:
    @Anonymous
    Were you seriously on George Mason's basketball team? They're a Division I team and they made it to the Final Four in 2006.

    Yes. When I was at George Mason it was only in it’s third year. It was an adjunct of the University of Virginia. There were only about 250 students at the beginning of the academic year and perhaps 150 at the end. This was 1960-61.

    I began the basketball team just as I had begun the school newspaper and the debate team. I was the Vice President of the Student Assembly (the one taller guy in school was the President). I was the best student in the school, as well as the student with the most activities. It is good to be king.

    There were no blacks in George Mason at this time. Many years later they had a very successful basketball team – most of whom were black.

    We were located at Bailey’s Cross Roads in an abandoned school house. It was a two year school then. After I left for American university they moved to Fairfax, VA. I was not joking about how bad the basketball team was. I could never have played on any other college team in America. I was enthusiastic but seriously unskilled.

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  68. @Buffalo Joe
    I am not going to argue about who is the best baseball player of all time, but at 5'-7" and maybe 175 0r 180 pounds, Yogi Berra has to be in the top twenty. My favorite all time player. And you can argue that catchers are the most important player on any team.

    Berra was the winningest player of all time in terms of 10 World Series victories and 14 American League pennants.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Steve, and a genuine all around nice guy.
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  69. Busby says:

    Altuve might be the fastest player in the majors. At least the AL. Twice in the playoffs he’s run from second to home in the time it’s taken the batter to get to first base.

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    • Replies: @ex-banker
    Altuve isn’t fast. He’s a bit about average for a second baseman (28 mph). For some perspective, Judge tops out at 27.7 mph. Altuve’s a much better base runner, about 6 runs worth over the season, though some of the advantage is from Altuve spending more time on the bases than Judge.
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  70. @Steve Sailer
    Long arms are super-valuable in basketball, especially if combined with great eye-hand coordination. For example, basketball great Jerry West was 6'2" with a 38" sleeve, which is about 4" longer than mine, even though I'm a couple of inches taller. They didn't start counting steals in the NBA until West's final season, when he was 35 and injured a lot, but he averaged 2.7 per game at that late point.

    it’s amazing how little *serious* attention was paid to arm length until recently. Besides basketball it’s now talked about what arm length is needed for successful tackles (both sides) in football and what kind of “catch radius” receivers have.

    And we’ve come to discover that blacks have a big advantage in reach proportions. The (former, I guess) UFC light heavyweight champion and quite simply the best fighter ever, Jon Jones, had an 84″ armspan at 6’4 and a dehydrated 205 lbs.

    Arm length is so important it seems most sports fans have no idea what normal proportions are. I see people on Reddit talking about someone’s crazy “T-Rex” arms if they measure in like JJ Redick (equal height:span)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Boxing fans took arm-length seriously. I can remember a promoter talking up a Muhammad Ali-Wilt Chamberlain heavyweight title match on the grounds that Wilt's huge advantage in reach would make up for his never having boxed in his life. You can find pictures online of the two comparing arm reach as they promote this never-to-happen bout.

    But in basketball, you mostly just heard about height. Chick Hearn would talk about Jerry West's arm-length in 1972, but there didn't seem to be a regular source for finding out how long NBA players arms were in contrast to Reach being printed in the paper as part of the "Tale of the Tape" before every big boxing match.

    Bill Simmons asserts that NBA front offices started to take arm length seriously in the later 1980s when Scottie Pippen came out of a nowhere college to be the 5th draft choice. Pippen illustrates the downsides of long arms -- he was a poor free throw shooter and mediocre outside shooter -- but his lack of elite scoring ability helped him fit in as Michael Jordan's sidekick, and he did everything else extremely well.

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  71. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Bugg
    Recall getting Steve Garvey's autograph at Shea Stadium as a kid. To this day, been around gyms and football and seen some huge guys. But never seen forearms like Garvey's. He was like Popeye come to life. Allowed him to inside out a pitch like few can.

    Foucault had massive forearms. He could really turn ‘em inside out.

    Read More
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  72. Realist says:

    OT

    Steve I do not know how to contact Ron Unz directly. Would you see if Ron has an interest in publishing Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s speech to the 12th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society. It is wonderful presentation on his philosophy that I think many would enjoy on the Unz review.

    Thanks

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  73. Wally says:
    @jeppo
    Who's the MVP?

    Runs scored:

    Judge: 128
    Altuve: 112

    Runs assisted on (RBIs - HRs):

    Judge: 114 RBIs - 52 HRs = 62 "assists"
    Altuve: 81 RBIs - 24 HRs = 57 "assists"

    Total "points" (runs + "assists"):

    Judge: 190
    Altuve: 169

    So Judge scored or assisted on 21 more runs than Altuve, or slightly more than one-eighth of a run per game over the course of the season. Although this metric doesn't take into account defensive play, when it comes to offensive production it's clear that Judge had the better season when it comes to the only thing that really counts in baseball: scoring runs.

    Verdict: unless Altuve is a far, far better defensive player than Judge, the 2017 AL MVP award should go to Aaron Judge.

    Seriously? Altuve is far superior vs. Judge in the field.
    I mean really?
    Judge is often awkward & mentally confused. Altuve knows where he is and what he needs to do in every situation.

    Offensively Altuve has been very consistent, Judge has been very in & out.
    Altuve had the highest OPS on the road of anyone, period.
    according to SI:
    “Altuve has stolen 32 bases while slugging .555—thresholds reached by only a handful of other players in the past 94 years (Mike Trout, Alex Rodriguez, Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco and Paul Molitor).”

    Sorry, but Judge’s 208 SOs is pathetic.

    Judge does have the biased NY First media behind him, however.
    And we know how they do

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  74. @anonymouslee
    it's amazing how little *serious* attention was paid to arm length until recently. Besides basketball it's now talked about what arm length is needed for successful tackles (both sides) in football and what kind of "catch radius" receivers have.



    And we've come to discover that blacks have a big advantage in reach proportions. The (former, I guess) UFC light heavyweight champion and quite simply the best fighter ever, Jon Jones, had an 84" armspan at 6'4 and a dehydrated 205 lbs.


    Arm length is so important it seems most sports fans have no idea what normal proportions are. I see people on Reddit talking about someone's crazy "T-Rex" arms if they measure in like JJ Redick (equal height:span)

    Boxing fans took arm-length seriously. I can remember a promoter talking up a Muhammad Ali-Wilt Chamberlain heavyweight title match on the grounds that Wilt’s huge advantage in reach would make up for his never having boxed in his life. You can find pictures online of the two comparing arm reach as they promote this never-to-happen bout.

    But in basketball, you mostly just heard about height. Chick Hearn would talk about Jerry West’s arm-length in 1972, but there didn’t seem to be a regular source for finding out how long NBA players arms were in contrast to Reach being printed in the paper as part of the “Tale of the Tape” before every big boxing match.

    Bill Simmons asserts that NBA front offices started to take arm length seriously in the later 1980s when Scottie Pippen came out of a nowhere college to be the 5th draft choice. Pippen illustrates the downsides of long arms — he was a poor free throw shooter and mediocre outside shooter — but his lack of elite scoring ability helped him fit in as Michael Jordan’s sidekick, and he did everything else extremely well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Boxing fans took arm-length seriously.
     
    They could also win bar bets by claiming their wrists were as big as Sonny Liston's.

    Wrist dimensions vary a lot less among the whole population, it seems. With wrists, it ain't the meat, it's the motion.
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  75. Ivy says:
    @E. Rekshun
    Daryl Strawberry, listed at 6-6, had a sweet swing reminiscent of Ted Williams. Surprisingly to me, with all of his personal problems during his baseball career, Strawberry played 19 years in the majors. Slash line: .259 BA/335 HR/1000 RBI.

    Pete Rose seemed to have a wide body and forearms like tree trunks. His playing weight is listed at 5-11, 200 lbs. but it probably varied quite a bit over his 23-year career (and he's probably closer to 5-9). Slash line: .303 BA/160 HR/1314 RBI. Not a lot of HR power, but he did, of course, have 4256 hits. FunFact: Rose he's no. 74 on the all-time Triples leaders list with 135 - one less than Babe Ruth, four more than Joe DiMaggio.

    Babe Ruth legging out triples is quite an image. The average fan would look at his spindly legs and funny mug and say, no way that guy has the wheels, but he did. He was also a pretty good pitcher. His various attributes get hidden behind 714.

    Read More
    • Agree: E. Rekshun
    • Replies: @Ian M.
    Babe Ruth also stole home ten times in his career and over 100 bases total.

    Ruth wasn't always as fat as he's often imagined.
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  76. Anonym says:
    @Seamus Padraig
    OT.

    Steve Bannon just keeps on giving more and more reasons to like him: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/21/steve-bannon-blasts-george-bush-and-calls-for-republican-revolt

    A JFK thread would be good right about now. Trump will release the remaining classified documents on the subject on the 26th. The timing right after Bush criticizes him (with their family deep state ties and potential Bush 41 link with JFK) is very interesting. Trump always gets even and goes for the balls when he does, but also generally prefers not to go for the jugular unless necessary. I think that’s why he hasn’t gone after Hillary now, no sense making them fight like they are cornered.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Well, you can't talk about JFK without talking about MM, can you?

    Well, I can't;-)
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  77. Danindc says:
    @The Z Blog
    Two things that probably confound the old wisdom about height is the mound height being reduced and the umpires protective gear getting smaller. The mound was lowered in '68 and had an immediate impact on pitching. The strike zone started to move down.

    The same is true with umpire gear. The NL went to the inside protector first and for a while, it was common knowledge that the NL was a low-strike league, while the AL was still a high strike league. Those big bulky outside protectors made it hard for umps call the low strike.

    One random observation. Steve Garvey had forearms that looked like legs. That was always assumed to be a benefit to hitters. Dick Allen is another example. Bill James ranks him as one of the top pure power hitters ever. Allen's forearms were huge. Kirby Puckett had the stubbiest arms I recall seeing. As I type this, I wonder if shorter arms are the issue, not the player's height.

    This has to be photoshopped

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Steve Garvey's Popeye forearms got a few comments from Johnny Carson during Steve's appearance on his show.
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  78. @Buffalo Joe
    The Z, on the last day of a cruise I was sitting eating a buffet breakfast with my wife and two of my daughters. A very tall, good looking man asked if he could sit in the spare chair at our table. He had forearms that were bigger than my heavily muscled calves...Paul O'Neal, ex Yankee captain. Wrist bigger than my ankles. All you need to crush a pitch.

    Paul O’Neill was never captain of the Yankees.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Scarlett, I stand corrected
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  79. whorefinder says: • Website
    @James Kabala
    When did we even start to have ceremonial first pitches? If you look at old pictures, even as late as the days of Kennedy and Nixon, the president threw out the first ball from his box in the stands. He wasn't pretending to be a player; he was just providing the ball for the start of the game. By the time of the original George Bush this had changed, but I don't know if he started it or if someone else had before him.

    As someone pointed out, baseball is the only game where the managers dress in the players’ uniform rather than have a set of street clothes on. It’s like the Yankees think they might want a 70-year-old Joe Torre to pinch run for them one of these days.

    It’s a strange tradition, going back to the days of player-managers being a regular thing. Connie Mack, the legendary owner/manager of the A’s, tried to start a trend of wearing street clothes in the dugout, but it never caught on, despite Mack’s outsized influence on the game.

    I think the current first pitch traditions comes from the shift of wanting to view presidents as patrician-types reservedly overseeing the game versus the more recent attempt for presidents to show themselves to be “just another guy” that you could “have a beer with.” Hence the move from throwing out the ball from the stands while wearing a suit to walking to the mound in casual clothes and tossing it.

    JFK pushed the image of Camelot-like patrician who just happened to be Catholic, not as an everyman (JFK wasn’t that much of an outdoor guy; most of the sailing pictures that were popularized about him because it was the only “outdoorsy” pics they could get of him, as he preferred either city life or indoor activities).

    I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.

    Of course, the image can backfire. Obama looked like a sissy whenever he tried to be “one of the boys” by drinking beer or throwing out the first ball or doing anything athletic (see his workout video, leaked late in his presidency_). It would have more befitted him to avoid those circumstances and do the pitch-from-the-stands thing, if he wanted to do it. You don’t have to be one of the common people to respect them.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He’s simply not that guy. Even at Wrestlemania, he wore a full suit despite attacking Vince McMahon.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Part of it might be that dugouts are dirty places compared to the basketball courtside or the football sidelines. There's dust and dirt that blows in from the field, and the players track in dirt and grass from the field when they come in from the field every inning. Plus there's spitting, tobacco, gum, sunflower seeds, and other junk that flies around in dugouts. You can't really wear a suit or decent clothes in there without it ending up dirty.
    , @kaganovitch
    "I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer."

    Not a word of this is true. In fact it was Reagan who first threw the pitch from the field rather than the stands. Wiki has chapter and verse at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_first_pitch
    , @Ian M.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He’s simply not that guy.
     
    Well, it also looks pretty incongruous and idiotic to be wearing a dorky-looking red baseball hat with a suit.

    But it certainly didn't hurt his image for what he was trying to do.
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  80. @Njguy73
    Power hitters walk more than contact hitters. If a hitters is a home threat, pitchers will try to paint the corners more. If its, say, Duane Kuiper, just send it down the middle. Worst case? A single. This is Baseball 101.

    Keip did hit one MLB Homer for the Indians…

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  81. @Steve Sailer
    Berra was the winningest player of all time in terms of 10 World Series victories and 14 American League pennants.

    Steve, and a genuine all around nice guy.

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  82. @ScarletNumber
    Paul O'Neill was never captain of the Yankees.

    Scarlett, I stand corrected

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  83. “Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control.”

    I guess I wasn’t clear. I’m not claiming that tall people can’t be coordinated enough to be athletes. There are thousands of good tall athletes. I’m claiming that tall people can’t be quick enough to be the best athletes at quick activities-specifically, like dribbling, gymnastics, and, apparently, batting. Heavy weight boxers are undeniably good boxers and good athletes: it is also undeniable that their hand speed looks nothing like the hand speed of featherweights. Tall professional basketball players can often dribble better than anyone commenting on this board; but none of them can dribble as well as professional guards at 6 ft or 6ft one (I’m no professional basketball fan, but I sense that Jordan may have been one of the anomalies-truly tall, and truly a good dribbler).

    Is professional baseball batting an activity similar to dribbling and boxing? I suspect so-and perhaps that explains why there is a sweet spot of arm length/strength that shorter men can achieve that taller men can’t. I suspect tennis and golf are not the same types of extremely quick motions that would be comparable-and thus, there is nothing odd about tall golf/tennis players.

    Another interesting case study would be ping pong players-are they tall? Is there a sweet spot in terms of height (tall enough for reach, but short enough to still have the necessary quickness)?

    joseph

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Another possibility is that giant young guys were channelled into football and basketball more in the past. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton likely would have become NFL defensive ends not too long ago. But now it makes sense to invest in a whole lot of batting practice and tutoring for your giant son.

    By the way, Judge's hitting ability didn't really come together until his big league rookie season at age 25. His three minor league seasons were good but nothing like this season in Yankee Stadium. So he was a project who took an exceptionally long time to get all his moving parts working together.

    , @ThreeCranes
    You're exactly right about length and speed.

    To slow the ticking of a pendulum clock you lower the weight on the pendulum so that the radius of arc is longer. You don't add more weight. It's the length that counts. It's called Moment of Inertia (or Radius of Gyration if the sum of the moments is condensed into a theoretic point). ((On a metronome of course, you raise the weight, the point being that lengthening the arm slows the beat))

    Of course for a given energy input adding weight out there slows rotation as well which is why we wear running shoes and not heavy boots when we want to make time and why racing bicycles use the very lightest rims and tires.
    , @Anonym
    If you could construct the perfect athlete given physical constraints, most elite athletes are going to be closer to the mean limb measurements than these because of depth of field. There just aren't many 7' guys, so the very best 6'8" guy has to be better than a lot of other 6'8" guys, and the best 6'5" guy has more to compete against again.

    If you have half the other side of the population bell curve to comb through to find the very best, you can even find a Spud Webb.
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  84. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @whorefinder
    As someone pointed out, baseball is the only game where the managers dress in the players' uniform rather than have a set of street clothes on. It's like the Yankees think they might want a 70-year-old Joe Torre to pinch run for them one of these days.

    It's a strange tradition, going back to the days of player-managers being a regular thing. Connie Mack, the legendary owner/manager of the A's, tried to start a trend of wearing street clothes in the dugout, but it never caught on, despite Mack's outsized influence on the game.

    I think the current first pitch traditions comes from the shift of wanting to view presidents as patrician-types reservedly overseeing the game versus the more recent attempt for presidents to show themselves to be "just another guy" that you could "have a beer with." Hence the move from throwing out the ball from the stands while wearing a suit to walking to the mound in casual clothes and tossing it.

    JFK pushed the image of Camelot-like patrician who just happened to be Catholic, not as an everyman (JFK wasn't that much of an outdoor guy; most of the sailing pictures that were popularized about him because it was the only "outdoorsy" pics they could get of him, as he preferred either city life or indoor activities).

    I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.

    Of course, the image can backfire. Obama looked like a sissy whenever he tried to be "one of the boys" by drinking beer or throwing out the first ball or doing anything athletic (see his workout video, leaked late in his presidency_). It would have more befitted him to avoid those circumstances and do the pitch-from-the-stands thing, if he wanted to do it. You don't have to be one of the common people to respect them.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He's simply not that guy. Even at Wrestlemania, he wore a full suit despite attacking Vince McMahon.

    Part of it might be that dugouts are dirty places compared to the basketball courtside or the football sidelines. There’s dust and dirt that blows in from the field, and the players track in dirt and grass from the field when they come in from the field every inning. Plus there’s spitting, tobacco, gum, sunflower seeds, and other junk that flies around in dugouts. You can’t really wear a suit or decent clothes in there without it ending up dirty.

    Read More
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  85. @joeyjoejoe
    "Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control."

    I guess I wasn't clear. I'm not claiming that tall people can't be coordinated enough to be athletes. There are thousands of good tall athletes. I'm claiming that tall people can't be quick enough to be the best athletes at quick activities-specifically, like dribbling, gymnastics, and, apparently, batting. Heavy weight boxers are undeniably good boxers and good athletes: it is also undeniable that their hand speed looks nothing like the hand speed of featherweights. Tall professional basketball players can often dribble better than anyone commenting on this board; but none of them can dribble as well as professional guards at 6 ft or 6ft one (I'm no professional basketball fan, but I sense that Jordan may have been one of the anomalies-truly tall, and truly a good dribbler).

    Is professional baseball batting an activity similar to dribbling and boxing? I suspect so-and perhaps that explains why there is a sweet spot of arm length/strength that shorter men can achieve that taller men can't. I suspect tennis and golf are not the same types of extremely quick motions that would be comparable-and thus, there is nothing odd about tall golf/tennis players.

    Another interesting case study would be ping pong players-are they tall? Is there a sweet spot in terms of height (tall enough for reach, but short enough to still have the necessary quickness)?

    joseph

    Another possibility is that giant young guys were channelled into football and basketball more in the past. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton likely would have become NFL defensive ends not too long ago. But now it makes sense to invest in a whole lot of batting practice and tutoring for your giant son.

    By the way, Judge’s hitting ability didn’t really come together until his big league rookie season at age 25. His three minor league seasons were good but nothing like this season in Yankee Stadium. So he was a project who took an exceptionally long time to get all his moving parts working together.

    Read More
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  86. keuril says:
    @slumber_j

    The one thing that all dating sites include is height. Women prefer taller guys. This much is certain. [...]

    This seems to be a characteristic of the species.
     
    It's so characteristic of the species that I did read of one dating site that eliminated the question for women: literally none of the tens of thousands of women who'd filed questionnaires had ever said they wanted a man their height or shorter.

    Do short guys ever state their height honestly? I feel like I meet a lot of 5’9 short guys.

    Read More
    • Replies: @slumber_j
    I'm 6'1 and change, or maybe now just 6'1 or so at 52 years of age. But I guess I grew in college, because at the end of high school I was 5'11, and all kinds of guys who said they were 6' were shorter than me back then.
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  87. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Mr. Anon

    Singer Mariah Carey did not distinguish herself:
     
    On the contrary. She distinguishes herself everytime she appears in public in hot-pants and high-heels.

    She has a great set of pipes, but in person she is physically pretty yecchy to look at. Her skin tone is just godawful.

    I don’t know, but it’s been said, at least in the days when Tommy Mottola went nuts for her, that she was a truly phenomenal POA.

    But I don’t know and truthfully can state have zero desire to find out even if it were feasible.

    Read More
    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    I have never seen her in person, nor heard her sing, nor could I even name a single song she ever sung. But she looks pretty good to me.
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  88. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonym
    A JFK thread would be good right about now. Trump will release the remaining classified documents on the subject on the 26th. The timing right after Bush criticizes him (with their family deep state ties and potential Bush 41 link with JFK) is very interesting. Trump always gets even and goes for the balls when he does, but also generally prefers not to go for the jugular unless necessary. I think that's why he hasn't gone after Hillary now, no sense making them fight like they are cornered.

    Well, you can’t talk about JFK without talking about MM, can you?

    Well, I can’t;-)

    Read More
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  89. @The Z Blog
    Two things that probably confound the old wisdom about height is the mound height being reduced and the umpires protective gear getting smaller. The mound was lowered in '68 and had an immediate impact on pitching. The strike zone started to move down.

    The same is true with umpire gear. The NL went to the inside protector first and for a while, it was common knowledge that the NL was a low-strike league, while the AL was still a high strike league. Those big bulky outside protectors made it hard for umps call the low strike.

    One random observation. Steve Garvey had forearms that looked like legs. That was always assumed to be a benefit to hitters. Dick Allen is another example. Bill James ranks him as one of the top pure power hitters ever. Allen's forearms were huge. Kirby Puckett had the stubbiest arms I recall seeing. As I type this, I wonder if shorter arms are the issue, not the player's height.

    Rose is like that too.

    Read More
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  90. @donut
    That Giraffe stomping that lion reminded me of something that happened to me when I was about 9 .
    There was a horse that I knew to be a pretty gentle beast in a paddock on a friends farm . I went out there and climbed on him somehow , as there was no saddle . I don't know what he was thinking but he started towards the fence at a run . He balked at the fence and I flew over his head and the fence , children are amazingly resilient , anyway I landed on my back and he came over the fence a moment later . He put his right front hoof on my chest and immediately lifted it off . It didn't leave the slightest mark . I am certain that he did that because he knew where his hoof was .

    Later to show my appreciation I shot the oldest girl (of 12 children) in the eye with aBB gun. It was of course an accident . Gun violence .

    That’s truly funny.

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  91. @joeyjoejoe
    "Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control."

    I guess I wasn't clear. I'm not claiming that tall people can't be coordinated enough to be athletes. There are thousands of good tall athletes. I'm claiming that tall people can't be quick enough to be the best athletes at quick activities-specifically, like dribbling, gymnastics, and, apparently, batting. Heavy weight boxers are undeniably good boxers and good athletes: it is also undeniable that their hand speed looks nothing like the hand speed of featherweights. Tall professional basketball players can often dribble better than anyone commenting on this board; but none of them can dribble as well as professional guards at 6 ft or 6ft one (I'm no professional basketball fan, but I sense that Jordan may have been one of the anomalies-truly tall, and truly a good dribbler).

    Is professional baseball batting an activity similar to dribbling and boxing? I suspect so-and perhaps that explains why there is a sweet spot of arm length/strength that shorter men can achieve that taller men can't. I suspect tennis and golf are not the same types of extremely quick motions that would be comparable-and thus, there is nothing odd about tall golf/tennis players.

    Another interesting case study would be ping pong players-are they tall? Is there a sweet spot in terms of height (tall enough for reach, but short enough to still have the necessary quickness)?

    joseph

    You’re exactly right about length and speed.

    To slow the ticking of a pendulum clock you lower the weight on the pendulum so that the radius of arc is longer. You don’t add more weight. It’s the length that counts. It’s called Moment of Inertia (or Radius of Gyration if the sum of the moments is condensed into a theoretic point). ((On a metronome of course, you raise the weight, the point being that lengthening the arm slows the beat))

    Of course for a given energy input adding weight out there slows rotation as well which is why we wear running shoes and not heavy boots when we want to make time and why racing bicycles use the very lightest rims and tires.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonym
    https://youtu.be/TXQQvtfmFjc

    The hollow cylinder is slower at the bottom but will have more energy in rotation. As such it will have the same total energy at the bottom but more mass at the exterior is slower.
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  92. Marty says:

    Steve, the CBS radio guys calling the game are mzking fun of Dodger Stadium’s air conditioning, saying Tuesday’s going to be hell in the booth.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Hopefully there won't be a brush fire during the World Series in Chavez Ravine. A 100 degree day in late October usually means fires break out in the hills.
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  93. ex-banker says:
    @Busby
    Altuve might be the fastest player in the majors. At least the AL. Twice in the playoffs he's run from second to home in the time it's taken the batter to get to first base.

    Altuve isn’t fast. He’s a bit about average for a second baseman (28 mph). For some perspective, Judge tops out at 27.7 mph. Altuve’s a much better base runner, about 6 runs worth over the season, though some of the advantage is from Altuve spending more time on the bases than Judge.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Altuve used to steal a lot of bases but he also got caught quite a bit for a modern player.
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  94. @Marty
    Steve, the CBS radio guys calling the game are mzking fun of Dodger Stadium's air conditioning, saying Tuesday's going to be hell in the booth.

    Hopefully there won’t be a brush fire during the World Series in Chavez Ravine. A 100 degree day in late October usually means fires break out in the hills.

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  95. Marty says:
    @E. Rekshun
    Daryl Strawberry, listed at 6-6, had a sweet swing reminiscent of Ted Williams. Surprisingly to me, with all of his personal problems during his baseball career, Strawberry played 19 years in the majors. Slash line: .259 BA/335 HR/1000 RBI.

    Pete Rose seemed to have a wide body and forearms like tree trunks. His playing weight is listed at 5-11, 200 lbs. but it probably varied quite a bit over his 23-year career (and he's probably closer to 5-9). Slash line: .303 BA/160 HR/1314 RBI. Not a lot of HR power, but he did, of course, have 4256 hits. FunFact: Rose he's no. 74 on the all-time Triples leaders list with 135 - one less than Babe Ruth, four more than Joe DiMaggio.

    Rose had power, he just had an extremely flat bat plane through the zone. He was the converse of the current craze (so they tell us) of trying to uppercut the ball. In 1983, when Rose was 42, I saw him hit the first pitch of the game off the centerfield fence through the fog at Candlestick.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Rose hit a ridiculous number of doubles (second all-time) especially considering a good chunk of his prime was in the high-mound sixties.
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  96. @ex-banker
    Altuve isn’t fast. He’s a bit about average for a second baseman (28 mph). For some perspective, Judge tops out at 27.7 mph. Altuve’s a much better base runner, about 6 runs worth over the season, though some of the advantage is from Altuve spending more time on the bases than Judge.

    Altuve used to steal a lot of bases but he also got caught quite a bit for a modern player.

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  97. @Steve Sailer
    Boxing fans took arm-length seriously. I can remember a promoter talking up a Muhammad Ali-Wilt Chamberlain heavyweight title match on the grounds that Wilt's huge advantage in reach would make up for his never having boxed in his life. You can find pictures online of the two comparing arm reach as they promote this never-to-happen bout.

    But in basketball, you mostly just heard about height. Chick Hearn would talk about Jerry West's arm-length in 1972, but there didn't seem to be a regular source for finding out how long NBA players arms were in contrast to Reach being printed in the paper as part of the "Tale of the Tape" before every big boxing match.

    Bill Simmons asserts that NBA front offices started to take arm length seriously in the later 1980s when Scottie Pippen came out of a nowhere college to be the 5th draft choice. Pippen illustrates the downsides of long arms -- he was a poor free throw shooter and mediocre outside shooter -- but his lack of elite scoring ability helped him fit in as Michael Jordan's sidekick, and he did everything else extremely well.

    Boxing fans took arm-length seriously.

    They could also win bar bets by claiming their wrists were as big as Sonny Liston’s.

    Wrist dimensions vary a lot less among the whole population, it seems. With wrists, it ain’t the meat, it’s the motion.

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  98. @Marty
    Rose had power, he just had an extremely flat bat plane through the zone. He was the converse of the current craze (so they tell us) of trying to uppercut the ball. In 1983, when Rose was 42, I saw him hit the first pitch of the game off the centerfield fence through the fog at Candlestick.

    Rose hit a ridiculous number of doubles (second all-time) especially considering a good chunk of his prime was in the high-mound sixties.

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    • Replies: @njguy73
    Rose led the NL in doubles in '74, '75, '76, '78, and '80. The first four times he was playing half his games in Riverfront, where homers were rare but doubles were plentiful. (When George Foster hit 52 hr in '77, 31 came on the road.) And the last time was in Veterans, a stadium similar to Riverfront.
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  99. slumber_j says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Long arms are super-valuable in basketball, especially if combined with great eye-hand coordination. For example, basketball great Jerry West was 6'2" with a 38" sleeve, which is about 4" longer than mine, even though I'm a couple of inches taller. They didn't start counting steals in the NBA until West's final season, when he was 35 and injured a lot, but he averaged 2.7 per game at that late point.

    Famously, Dennis Rodman has unnaturally long arms, which seem to lie at the root of the cult belief that he was maybe something like the best guy you could possibly have on your basketball team, apart from the actually best guy:

    https://skepticalsports.com/the-case-for-dennis-rodman-guide/

    Very much worth a read, I’d say. And I don’t give a shit about basketball.

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  100. Anonym says:
    @ThreeCranes
    You're exactly right about length and speed.

    To slow the ticking of a pendulum clock you lower the weight on the pendulum so that the radius of arc is longer. You don't add more weight. It's the length that counts. It's called Moment of Inertia (or Radius of Gyration if the sum of the moments is condensed into a theoretic point). ((On a metronome of course, you raise the weight, the point being that lengthening the arm slows the beat))

    Of course for a given energy input adding weight out there slows rotation as well which is why we wear running shoes and not heavy boots when we want to make time and why racing bicycles use the very lightest rims and tires.

    The hollow cylinder is slower at the bottom but will have more energy in rotation. As such it will have the same total energy at the bottom but more mass at the exterior is slower.

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  101. slumber_j says:
    @keuril
    Do short guys ever state their height honestly? I feel like I meet a lot of 5’9 short guys.

    I’m 6’1 and change, or maybe now just 6’1 or so at 52 years of age. But I guess I grew in college, because at the end of high school I was 5’11, and all kinds of guys who said they were 6′ were shorter than me back then.

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    • Replies: @Marty
    I once had to stifle a laugh when a client in an office I worked in described himself as "six foot." He was at best 5 '8" 1/2. Sixteen years later, he slashed his wife's throat and shot the judge who presided over their divorce. He's now doing 40 yrs. in Ely.
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  102. Anonym says:
    @joeyjoejoe
    "Sam Snead and Margaret Court had very long arms and legs compared to torso length, and both had great power and control."

    I guess I wasn't clear. I'm not claiming that tall people can't be coordinated enough to be athletes. There are thousands of good tall athletes. I'm claiming that tall people can't be quick enough to be the best athletes at quick activities-specifically, like dribbling, gymnastics, and, apparently, batting. Heavy weight boxers are undeniably good boxers and good athletes: it is also undeniable that their hand speed looks nothing like the hand speed of featherweights. Tall professional basketball players can often dribble better than anyone commenting on this board; but none of them can dribble as well as professional guards at 6 ft or 6ft one (I'm no professional basketball fan, but I sense that Jordan may have been one of the anomalies-truly tall, and truly a good dribbler).

    Is professional baseball batting an activity similar to dribbling and boxing? I suspect so-and perhaps that explains why there is a sweet spot of arm length/strength that shorter men can achieve that taller men can't. I suspect tennis and golf are not the same types of extremely quick motions that would be comparable-and thus, there is nothing odd about tall golf/tennis players.

    Another interesting case study would be ping pong players-are they tall? Is there a sweet spot in terms of height (tall enough for reach, but short enough to still have the necessary quickness)?

    joseph

    If you could construct the perfect athlete given physical constraints, most elite athletes are going to be closer to the mean limb measurements than these because of depth of field. There just aren’t many 7′ guys, so the very best 6’8″ guy has to be better than a lot of other 6’8″ guys, and the best 6’5″ guy has more to compete against again.

    If you have half the other side of the population bell curve to comb through to find the very best, you can even find a Spud Webb.

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  103. Ivy says:
    @Danindc
    https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/687384373864214528/x-feyxz__400x400.jpg

    This has to be photoshopped

    Steve Garvey’s Popeye forearms got a few comments from Johnny Carson during Steve’s appearance on his show.

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  104. Astros win.

    DAMN IT!

    Not producing tonight in the clutch will definitely effect Aaron Judge’s WAR stat.

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  105. @slumber_j
    One thing to consider is that the pentagonal prism of the strike zone expands in only one dimension for taller hitters. I think Ted Williams would be a really good guy to pay attention to here.

    Anyway, maybe it's good to be extreme in one direction or the other? More research is needed.

    “the strike zone expands in only one dimension for taller hitters”

    A lot of other things expand in two or three dimensions. Judge’s strike zone is only 20% larger than Altuve’s, while he weighs about 80% more.

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    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Right.
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  106. Marty says:
    @slumber_j
    I'm 6'1 and change, or maybe now just 6'1 or so at 52 years of age. But I guess I grew in college, because at the end of high school I was 5'11, and all kinds of guys who said they were 6' were shorter than me back then.

    I once had to stifle a laugh when a client in an office I worked in described himself as “six foot.” He was at best 5 ’8″ 1/2. Sixteen years later, he slashed his wife’s throat and shot the judge who presided over their divorce. He’s now doing 40 yrs. in Ely.

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  107. Mr. Anon says:
    @Anonymous
    She has a great set of pipes, but in person she is physically pretty yecchy to look at. Her skin tone is just godawful.

    I don't know, but it's been said, at least in the days when Tommy Mottola went nuts for her, that she was a truly phenomenal POA.

    But I don't know and truthfully can state have zero desire to find out even if it were feasible.

    I have never seen her in person, nor heard her sing, nor could I even name a single song she ever sung. But she looks pretty good to me.

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  108. slumber_j says:
    @Steve Sailer
    "the strike zone expands in only one dimension for taller hitters"

    A lot of other things expand in two or three dimensions. Judge's strike zone is only 20% larger than Altuve's, while he weighs about 80% more.

    Right.

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  109. njguy73 says:
    @Desiderius
    Rose hit a ridiculous number of doubles (second all-time) especially considering a good chunk of his prime was in the high-mound sixties.

    Rose led the NL in doubles in ’74, ’75, ’76, ’78, and ’80. The first four times he was playing half his games in Riverfront, where homers were rare but doubles were plentiful. (When George Foster hit 52 hr in ’77, 31 came on the road.) And the last time was in Veterans, a stadium similar to Riverfront.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Rose was famous as a singles hitter but when he got in his 30s he hit a huge number of doubles (perhaps the new artificial turf stadiums? I don't know whether he changed his approach or if the change to artificial turf caused his line drives to bound through to the fence more. Or both.). Eventually he went back to being a singles hitter in his 40s but he started working the pitcher even harder for walks. He got a lot of walks in 1985 despite having home run power left. A very clever and effective ballplayer.
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  110. @njguy73
    Rose led the NL in doubles in '74, '75, '76, '78, and '80. The first four times he was playing half his games in Riverfront, where homers were rare but doubles were plentiful. (When George Foster hit 52 hr in '77, 31 came on the road.) And the last time was in Veterans, a stadium similar to Riverfront.

    Rose was famous as a singles hitter but when he got in his 30s he hit a huge number of doubles (perhaps the new artificial turf stadiums? I don’t know whether he changed his approach or if the change to artificial turf caused his line drives to bound through to the fence more. Or both.). Eventually he went back to being a singles hitter in his 40s but he started working the pitcher even harder for walks. He got a lot of walks in 1985 despite having home run power left. A very clever and effective ballplayer.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Rise of the Big Red Machine?
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  111. @whorefinder
    As someone pointed out, baseball is the only game where the managers dress in the players' uniform rather than have a set of street clothes on. It's like the Yankees think they might want a 70-year-old Joe Torre to pinch run for them one of these days.

    It's a strange tradition, going back to the days of player-managers being a regular thing. Connie Mack, the legendary owner/manager of the A's, tried to start a trend of wearing street clothes in the dugout, but it never caught on, despite Mack's outsized influence on the game.

    I think the current first pitch traditions comes from the shift of wanting to view presidents as patrician-types reservedly overseeing the game versus the more recent attempt for presidents to show themselves to be "just another guy" that you could "have a beer with." Hence the move from throwing out the ball from the stands while wearing a suit to walking to the mound in casual clothes and tossing it.

    JFK pushed the image of Camelot-like patrician who just happened to be Catholic, not as an everyman (JFK wasn't that much of an outdoor guy; most of the sailing pictures that were popularized about him because it was the only "outdoorsy" pics they could get of him, as he preferred either city life or indoor activities).

    I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.

    Of course, the image can backfire. Obama looked like a sissy whenever he tried to be "one of the boys" by drinking beer or throwing out the first ball or doing anything athletic (see his workout video, leaked late in his presidency_). It would have more befitted him to avoid those circumstances and do the pitch-from-the-stands thing, if he wanted to do it. You don't have to be one of the common people to respect them.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He's simply not that guy. Even at Wrestlemania, he wore a full suit despite attacking Vince McMahon.

    “I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.”

    Not a word of this is true. In fact it was Reagan who first threw the pitch from the field rather than the stands. Wiki has chapter and verse at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_first_pitch

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Reagan was really good at moving while cameras were on him. He looked good in motion (e.g., he was chosen to play football motion George Gipp).
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  112. @kaganovitch
    "I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer."

    Not a word of this is true. In fact it was Reagan who first threw the pitch from the field rather than the stands. Wiki has chapter and verse at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_first_pitch

    Reagan was really good at moving while cameras were on him. He looked good in motion (e.g., he was chosen to play football motion George Gipp).

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    Gipp's a great story for early corruption in college football.

    He was one of the first recruits whose subpar academics nonetheless still got him in to play for Knute Rockne's Fighting Irish, which led to a lot of team success. He's comparable to modern-day college football athletes, except that back then, the college game was where the fame and action was, while the pros were disreputable.

    Rockne was a pretty shady guy, once you look past the Golden Dome hagiography. Getting George Gipp in was just one example. In another example, he took it upon himself to teach one of the courses for football players for which they got credit, and, amazingly, everyone passed. One homer reporter sat in on the class, took the final, and to his amazement passed as well, despite missing some of the course load; of course, the biographers all paint this as Rockne being an extremely gifted teacher and not shenaningans in the grading.

    And all that traveling the Irish did for games? Rockne complained that it was because the other colleges were snooty about Catholic upstart Notre Dame and wouldn't let them in their divisions/regional groups (for decades afterwards Notre Dame football was not part of any league/division/whatever they call it), but really if you watch what Rockne did he was basically barnstorming around the country, and, free of local division rules, could become household names in LA (against USC) and NYC (against West Point), thus increasing interest in his team. It was said that the Fighting Irish often were playing home games whenever they came to New York.

    I would not be surprised if someone someday unearthed some evidence of Rockne knowing big gamblers on the coasts.
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  113. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "in the real world a girl will give a shorter guy/uglier guy/poorer guy/right-wing guy a lot more of a chance because he’s already right there"

    Hold it, hold it, hold it. Why exactly would a girl want a poor, short, ugly guy? Makes no sense. After all, in the real world, she's also likely to encounter a tall, fairly attractive, and somewhat holding (financially that is) as well.

    As said before, most men are taller than most women. Check.

    Most women also want a man who isn't broke and relying on them to pay the bills. So money is another quality that is attractive to women. Check.

    As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, an ugly guy had better either be very tall and/or the richest dude in town to compensate for the downside of awful looks. He doesn't have to be the prettiest boy in town; he does have to be at least among the better looking ones around.

    Turn it around: For men, the dealbreaking turnoff is a woman's weight. As in fat. Which guy would want a girl who's morbidly obese, hairy armpits, slight mustache, and constantly smells bad? And why not? Can't everyone see how nice her personality is??

    The real world doesn't work like it does in Hollywood or on paper, but dating sites at least gives the option to view one another's looks, height, etc. Financial status requires a more in-depth face to face "interview" to further make a determination.

    But for women: Height is in, and so is money. Poverty is out and so is being ugly.
    Rich or handsome? Probably rich.

    Not everyone can be Donald Trump, who at 6'2" and rich, makes it look easy.

    ROFL. You literally did not understand what I wrote, had a delusion making up something else, and responded to that. Quite impressive, go take your medication now, and tell me how Ted Williams cost the Red Sox “numerous” trips to the World Series.

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  114. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Rose was famous as a singles hitter but when he got in his 30s he hit a huge number of doubles (perhaps the new artificial turf stadiums? I don't know whether he changed his approach or if the change to artificial turf caused his line drives to bound through to the fence more. Or both.). Eventually he went back to being a singles hitter in his 40s but he started working the pitcher even harder for walks. He got a lot of walks in 1985 despite having home run power left. A very clever and effective ballplayer.

    Rise of the Big Red Machine?

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  115. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Steve Sailer
    Reagan was really good at moving while cameras were on him. He looked good in motion (e.g., he was chosen to play football motion George Gipp).

    Gipp’s a great story for early corruption in college football.

    He was one of the first recruits whose subpar academics nonetheless still got him in to play for Knute Rockne’s Fighting Irish, which led to a lot of team success. He’s comparable to modern-day college football athletes, except that back then, the college game was where the fame and action was, while the pros were disreputable.

    Rockne was a pretty shady guy, once you look past the Golden Dome hagiography. Getting George Gipp in was just one example. In another example, he took it upon himself to teach one of the courses for football players for which they got credit, and, amazingly, everyone passed. One homer reporter sat in on the class, took the final, and to his amazement passed as well, despite missing some of the course load; of course, the biographers all paint this as Rockne being an extremely gifted teacher and not shenaningans in the grading.

    And all that traveling the Irish did for games? Rockne complained that it was because the other colleges were snooty about Catholic upstart Notre Dame and wouldn’t let them in their divisions/regional groups (for decades afterwards Notre Dame football was not part of any league/division/whatever they call it), but really if you watch what Rockne did he was basically barnstorming around the country, and, free of local division rules, could become household names in LA (against USC) and NYC (against West Point), thus increasing interest in his team. It was said that the Fighting Irish often were playing home games whenever they came to New York.

    I would not be surprised if someone someday unearthed some evidence of Rockne knowing big gamblers on the coasts.

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    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    The biggest scam in education is that teachers grade their own students' work.
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  116. @Mr. Anon

    Singer Mariah Carey did not distinguish herself:
     
    On the contrary. She distinguishes herself everytime she appears in public in hot-pants and high-heels.

    Regarding Mariah’s high heels and her errant toss: it would be interesting to see if Kershaw’s control would be adversely affected by his wearing a pair of high heeled spikes.

    I think it would.

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  117. Ian M. says:

    Sabermetricians emphasize that clutch hitting isn’t a very good predictive statistic. One year’s poor clutch statistics is probably just random noise and won’t much predict that Judge will do badly in clutch situations next years.

    The theory that some hitters are true clutch hitters would suggest that, conversely, they goof off in less clutch situations. But my impression is that most big league ballplayers can be counted upon to try hard whenever they come up to bat, which is for only about 10 or 15 minutes per game. They spend about an hour or hour and a half per per week at bat, which shouldn’t be all that exhausting to a young man in his prime. If you can’t bring yourself to focus hard for four or five at-bats per game, you probably won’t make the MLB.

    I don’t think that’s how being ‘clutch’ works. It’s not that clutch players are goofing off in less clutch situations or aren’t trying as hard. It’s that in the clutch situations, there is so much more at stake, and the player’s subjective experience of this – if he’s a ‘clutch’ player – gives him a surge of confidence and sharpens his concentration in a way that causes him to tap into a higher level that he wouldn’t otherwise be able to. He might be concentrating as hard as he can in non-clutch situations, but the subjective experience of the lower stakes limit the level of concentration he is able to achieve or the amount of confidence he is able to feel.

    In contrast, a player who is not clutch has the opposite subjective experience: the higher stakes make him more nervous and so he’s less likely to perform.

    I can attest to both phenomenon from my own sports experience, although take it with a grain of salt because I never played at anything beyond a high school or club college level. For example, I never got nervous when batting, regardless of the situation, so my performance in the clutch was likely the same as it was in non-clutch situations (at least I never perceived it as being any different). On the other hand, I would get nervous fielding, even though I always felt I was a better fielder than hitter, and so I was more likely to boot a routine play the more clutch the situation (I much preferred hard-hit shots than routine grounders, because with the former my body would just react, and my nervousness didn’t come into play).

    The other sport I played – hockey – I never got nervous playing. And if I were the best player on the team, then I could have the ‘clutch’ experience: a surge of confidence near the end of the game if your team was down 1 coming from knowing that you were the best player out there, and this letting you tap into a higher level. It’s a great experience, I recommend it. Of course, with a sport like hockey, the other benefit of this surge of confidence and the high stakes is it gives you more endurance, which wouldn’t come into play so much in baseball.

    Think of it like a good student: it’s not that he doesn’t try hard on homework, but when final exams come, the stakes cause him to concentrate even harder than he normally would be able to on a mere homework assignment or a less-important quiz, and so this causes him to perform even better on the final.

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  118. Ian M. says:
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    It worked for Cobb, Musial, and other hitters who hit to the opposite field (actually could hit to all fields with authority). Derek Jeter also mastered the ability to hit to the opposite field as well.

    Another factor for hitters is having quick wrists for the swing.

    Also Miguel Cabrera.

    Another factor for hitters is having quick wrists for the swing.

    Another factor I would think is how quickly you can rotate your hips/torso. Some of these power hitters seem to be able to generate a lot of torque by twisting their hips as if they were a compressed spring being released.

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  119. Ian M. says:
    @Ivy
    Babe Ruth legging out triples is quite an image. The average fan would look at his spindly legs and funny mug and say, no way that guy has the wheels, but he did. He was also a pretty good pitcher. His various attributes get hidden behind 714.

    Babe Ruth also stole home ten times in his career and over 100 bases total.

    Ruth wasn’t always as fat as he’s often imagined.

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  120. Ian M. says:
    @whorefinder
    As someone pointed out, baseball is the only game where the managers dress in the players' uniform rather than have a set of street clothes on. It's like the Yankees think they might want a 70-year-old Joe Torre to pinch run for them one of these days.

    It's a strange tradition, going back to the days of player-managers being a regular thing. Connie Mack, the legendary owner/manager of the A's, tried to start a trend of wearing street clothes in the dugout, but it never caught on, despite Mack's outsized influence on the game.

    I think the current first pitch traditions comes from the shift of wanting to view presidents as patrician-types reservedly overseeing the game versus the more recent attempt for presidents to show themselves to be "just another guy" that you could "have a beer with." Hence the move from throwing out the ball from the stands while wearing a suit to walking to the mound in casual clothes and tossing it.

    JFK pushed the image of Camelot-like patrician who just happened to be Catholic, not as an everyman (JFK wasn't that much of an outdoor guy; most of the sailing pictures that were popularized about him because it was the only "outdoorsy" pics they could get of him, as he preferred either city life or indoor activities).

    I would guess that the athletic Gerald Ford might have started the throw out the first pitch stuff, or perhaps wimpy Jimmy Carter when trying to look like one of the people and butcher than his image. I think Reagan avoided it but Bush 41, the former Yalie ball player, liked to be seen as a hurler. Then movies took up making it a cliche (such as Dave, an early 1990s movie), and Clinton, the first Boomer president, wanted to keep the image of a young, athletic man a la Kennedy and common man (but forgetting Kennedy exuded supercilliousness and not everymanness) and did it and it became de riguer.

    Of course, the image can backfire. Obama looked like a sissy whenever he tried to be "one of the boys" by drinking beer or throwing out the first ball or doing anything athletic (see his workout video, leaked late in his presidency_). It would have more befitted him to avoid those circumstances and do the pitch-from-the-stands thing, if he wanted to do it. You don't have to be one of the common people to respect them.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He's simply not that guy. Even at Wrestlemania, he wore a full suit despite attacking Vince McMahon.

    I would bet Trump will either never throw out a first pitch, or, if he does, do it from the stands in a full suit. The man understands that image must be authentic, and it would incongruous to see him wearing jeans and and a glove and a team jacket. He’s simply not that guy.

    Well, it also looks pretty incongruous and idiotic to be wearing a dorky-looking red baseball hat with a suit.

    But it certainly didn’t hurt his image for what he was trying to do.

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  121. @whorefinder
    Gipp's a great story for early corruption in college football.

    He was one of the first recruits whose subpar academics nonetheless still got him in to play for Knute Rockne's Fighting Irish, which led to a lot of team success. He's comparable to modern-day college football athletes, except that back then, the college game was where the fame and action was, while the pros were disreputable.

    Rockne was a pretty shady guy, once you look past the Golden Dome hagiography. Getting George Gipp in was just one example. In another example, he took it upon himself to teach one of the courses for football players for which they got credit, and, amazingly, everyone passed. One homer reporter sat in on the class, took the final, and to his amazement passed as well, despite missing some of the course load; of course, the biographers all paint this as Rockne being an extremely gifted teacher and not shenaningans in the grading.

    And all that traveling the Irish did for games? Rockne complained that it was because the other colleges were snooty about Catholic upstart Notre Dame and wouldn't let them in their divisions/regional groups (for decades afterwards Notre Dame football was not part of any league/division/whatever they call it), but really if you watch what Rockne did he was basically barnstorming around the country, and, free of local division rules, could become household names in LA (against USC) and NYC (against West Point), thus increasing interest in his team. It was said that the Fighting Irish often were playing home games whenever they came to New York.

    I would not be surprised if someone someday unearthed some evidence of Rockne knowing big gamblers on the coasts.

    The biggest scam in education is that teachers grade their own students’ work.

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