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238th Yastrzemski Homer at Fenway Park Is First Since 1983; Biggio Hits for Cycle
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From ESPN:

In his first game at the ballpark his grandfather called home for 23 years, San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski homered in the top of the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox in a moment that couldn’t have been scripted better. The solo shot was the 238th home run by a Yastrzemski at Fenway Park and the first since Carl Yastrzemski went deep against Moose Haas of the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31, 1983.

Also from ESPN tonight:

BALTIMORE — Cavan Biggio hit for the cycle, just like his dad.

Biggio homered in the third inning, singled in the sixth, doubled in the eighth and tripled in the ninth to boost the Toronto Blue Jays over the Baltimore Orioles 8-5 on Tuesday night. The rookie drove in four runs and scored three times.

“I did know my dad had one,” Cavan Biggio said. “I have a ticket to the game he got it in in my room my whole life. I didn’t think I was going to get up there for the opportunity.”

Familial dynasticism in baseball, which peaked in the 1990s when Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. were the best players in their leagues, is on the upswing again. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays have players named Biggio, Guerrero, and Bichette, whose dads were all stars in the 1990s.

One reason is because veteran big league hitters in recent years typically now own their own indoor batting cages with pitching machines, which gives their sons a big advantage in getting a huge number of reps per day.

It’s a little like how black players in the NBA have been getting more genteel (e.g., Steph Curry) because the 3 point shot selects for kids who grew up in the suburbs with their own driveways where they could practice long shots over and over.

Before the emphasis on the 3-point shot, NBA strategy selected for urban black kids who played a huge number of 5 on 5 games on public courts. They got good at dribbling, passing, and driving to the basket. But if you play on the court next to your housing project, you almost never get any alone time to practice 25 footers by yourself. So now the archetypal player of this decade is Curry, whose dad Dell Curry played 16 years in the NBA (which is a long time if you are only 6’4″), and who went to upscale Davidson College.

 
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  1. It was also a good night for the Biggio clan.

    Cavan Biggio, Craig’s son, plays for the Blue Jays, and hit for the cycle: LINK

    The Biggios are only the second father/son duo to have hit for the cycle. Father Biggio did so in 2002.

  2. I advocate for the elimination of the 3-point arc or at the very least, having the arc intersect the sideline (no “corner 3s”) around 25’ or 26’.
    The game currently selects for skills that are not as compelling as those from prior to the 1980s. When long distance shots are worth 1.5x more than a traditional bucket, that really changes (tarnishes?) the game.

    • Replies: @simple_pseudonymic_handle
    There was an article on ESPN last season by some analytics guy who said the single most effective play in the entire NBA by far and without question was James Harden shooting from 3 point range and flopping (he wrote drawing a foul) and getting three free throws.
    , @ScarletNumber
    As it stands, if the arc wasn't truncated then players would have 15 inches of shooting room in the corners. Because many players have feet bigger than that, the current court gives them 3 feet of room in the corners. The NBA would probably benefit from making their court wider, but that would take away prime seating.
  3. In other sports news, Enraged Saints fans shame Buffalo Wild Wings into apologizing for harmless joke

    Can’t imagine that happening in ’67, or even ’83.

    Come to think of it, we wouldn’t have imagined the Giants playing in Fenway in mid-September. If Boston wants to host National League teams, they should have held onto the Braves.

    • Agree: MBlanc46
    • Replies: @MBlanc46
    This interleague abomination is one of the things that induced me to give up on major league baseball after the 1994 lockout.
  4. Batting machines are one thing, but I’ve always wondered how batters would do if they were able to face game-level pitching in a practice situation.

    I have to think that if it were possible to simulate a real in-game at-bat they could potentially face dozens of real world batting situations everyday. Pitching machines aren’t going to give a player the skills necessary go handle top level real world pitching.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can't put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.
  5. One reason is because veteran big league hitters in recent years typically now own their own indoor batting cages with pitching machines, which gives their sons a big advantage in getting a huge number of reps per day.

    Reps matter.

    I have pretty good hand eye coordination and pretty good “spatial trajectory” skill and was half decent at most of the racquet sports–tennis, racketball, squash. But I while I could hit a softball, I wouldn’t have been able to lay bat on a well pitched baseball at all. Just not enough reps. And no way to easily go get the reps to be decent enough to try go play in some league.

    In contrast, I was pretty decent basketball player–a regular up through my late 30s–in large part because I had lot of reps in my driveway as a kid and so was a pretty good shot (and also good at getting people the ball at the right place and time) even though i’m an average sized white guy who can’t jump.

    Especially in America where kids don’t go outside to play much now and there’s usually not enough of them in any one neighborhood anymore to do streetball, the guys who grow up with batting cages and pitching machines will be at a huge advantage. Of course, they still have to have the natural ability to build on.

    • Replies: @Bill P
    I used to chuck rocks down on Lake Washington when I was bored and had to work off some energy when I was a kid. But I never got much batting practice, so I was a good pitcher but mediocre hitter despite having good power when I connected. When I came across a guy who could throw a curve I'd whiff badly. Fortunately, most high school pitchers can't throw a curve.

    If I'd had access to a pitching machine it would have made a big difference, for sure.
  6. @Joey
    Batting machines are one thing, but I’ve always wondered how batters would do if they were able to face game-level pitching in a practice situation.

    I have to think that if it were possible to simulate a real in-game at-bat they could potentially face dozens of real world batting situations everyday. Pitching machines aren’t going to give a player the skills necessary go handle top level real world pitching.

    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can’t put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.

    • Replies: @Rosie

    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can’t put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.
     
    I don't know about the best ones, but the accessible ones have a serious flaw: They always throw strikes, which means the batter is not getting any practice in deciding whether or not to swing the bat. Kids can literally belt every machine pitch they see, but struggle to make contact in a game. That said, machines are a great deal better than a parent who can't pitch. With enough practice, machines can make the difference between a child who has a great Little League experience and one who gives up out of frustration.

    Anyway, don't even get me started! The nepotism starts from T-ball on up. Even of you assume everything is on the up and up, the coaches' sons always get all the breaks. Most of the time, it's probably just because they're better, because they get more practice of course! Sometimes, it's just blatant favoritism. Either way, the result is the same: hereditary baseball.

    The only hope for large families where Dad doesn't have the time to coach is the eldest son, who may just get good enough, despite his own disadvantages, to provide intensive drilling to his little brothers. Of course, an excellent big sister can do the same during the Little League years.

  7. @AnotherDad

    One reason is because veteran big league hitters in recent years typically now own their own indoor batting cages with pitching machines, which gives their sons a big advantage in getting a huge number of reps per day.
     
    Reps matter.

    I have pretty good hand eye coordination and pretty good "spatial trajectory" skill and was half decent at most of the racquet sports--tennis, racketball, squash. But I while I could hit a softball, I wouldn't have been able to lay bat on a well pitched baseball at all. Just not enough reps. And no way to easily go get the reps to be decent enough to try go play in some league.

    In contrast, I was pretty decent basketball player--a regular up through my late 30s--in large part because I had lot of reps in my driveway as a kid and so was a pretty good shot (and also good at getting people the ball at the right place and time) even though i'm an average sized white guy who can't jump.

    Especially in America where kids don't go outside to play much now and there's usually not enough of them in any one neighborhood anymore to do streetball, the guys who grow up with batting cages and pitching machines will be at a huge advantage. Of course, they still have to have the natural ability to build on.

    I used to chuck rocks down on Lake Washington when I was bored and had to work off some energy when I was a kid. But I never got much batting practice, so I was a good pitcher but mediocre hitter despite having good power when I connected. When I came across a guy who could throw a curve I’d whiff badly. Fortunately, most high school pitchers can’t throw a curve.

    If I’d had access to a pitching machine it would have made a big difference, for sure.

  8. I saw the headline, and I thought, “Carl Yastrzemski is still playing? He must be 80!”

  9. OT: I know Steve is interested in the idea that maybe bodycams will have the opposite effect that their boosters think.

    Has Steve seen the trailer for the new film ‘Black and Blue’ whose plot hinges on a black female rookie cop accidentally seeing Frank Grillo (The discount Joe Manganiello) and some other cops, along with her older black partner just executing an unarmed black man. Grillo then shoots her when she sees too much but fails to kill her and realises too late she’s wearing a bodycam! So now she has to evade every cop in the city (Including SWAT) and every criminal as raised up by the crimelord who runs the town that the police prop up. Looks like it could be an interesting action movie but it’s amazing to me that a major study would make an inflammatory film like this implying this is reality.

    • Replies: @Alden
    I never watch shows that have blacks. Limits my viewing. But I’d rather read anyway.
    , @AnotherDad

    Looks like it could be an interesting action movie but it’s amazing to me that a major study would make an inflammatory film like this implying this is reality.
     
    How can you be amazed after the last 50?

    Who runs Hollyweird?
  10. It’s great that Yaz’s grandson hit that home run in Fenway.

    But the bad news on that game?

    It went 15 innings. The Giants used 13 pitchers.

    The game took just under 6 (six) hours to complete.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    The game meant nothing since neither team will make the playoffs.

    The good news--baseball on tv helps my dog snooze. ;-)
  11. Steve, just an FYI: Steph’s father spells his name as Dell, not Del. (Both are Wardell Stephen Curry, with Steph having “II” instead of “Jr.” after his name.)

  12. Mikey’s doing alright, but it did take him until 28 to reach the majors.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.
    , @Steve Sailer
    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.
  13. The Blue Jays play the Orioles sometime this month. I saw a lineup for Toronto recently which had Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero hitting 1,2,3 so imagine an inning in which they all come up to bat and face Hunter Harvey from the birds, son of former Marlins closer Bryan.

  14. @Oleaginous Outrager
    Mikey's doing alright, but it did take him until 28 to reach the majors.

    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.

    • Replies: @Marty
    Steve - odds on recluse Lincecum showing up for Bochy’s last game?
  15. @Oleaginous Outrager
    Mikey's doing alright, but it did take him until 28 to reach the majors.

    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.

    • Replies: @fish
    He was a nice find….somehow overlooked by the Orioles…..but Kevin Pillar (Toronto) has been the best of the G-Men this long, long, painful season!
  16. @The Last Real Calvinist
    It's great that Yaz's grandson hit that home run in Fenway.

    But the bad news on that game?

    It went 15 innings. The Giants used 13 pitchers.

    The game took just under 6 (six) hours to complete.

    The game meant nothing since neither team will make the playoffs.

    The good news–baseball on tv helps my dog snooze. 😉

  17. Anonymous[360] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s a little like how black players in the NBA have been getting more genteel (e.g., Steph Curry) because the 3 point shot selects for kids who grew up in the suburbs with their own driveways where they could practice long shots over and over.

    Steph Curry is white. Whites (and Asians) are supposed to have better fine motor skills than Africans. Three point shooting depends on fine motor skills. (So does quarterbacking.)

    Genetics (“nature”) is a confounding variable to your “nurture” theory.

  18. @Steve Sailer
    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can't put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.

    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can’t put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.

    I don’t know about the best ones, but the accessible ones have a serious flaw: They always throw strikes, which means the batter is not getting any practice in deciding whether or not to swing the bat. Kids can literally belt every machine pitch they see, but struggle to make contact in a game. That said, machines are a great deal better than a parent who can’t pitch. With enough practice, machines can make the difference between a child who has a great Little League experience and one who gives up out of frustration.

    Anyway, don’t even get me started! The nepotism starts from T-ball on up. Even of you assume everything is on the up and up, the coaches’ sons always get all the breaks. Most of the time, it’s probably just because they’re better, because they get more practice of course! Sometimes, it’s just blatant favoritism. Either way, the result is the same: hereditary baseball.

    The only hope for large families where Dad doesn’t have the time to coach is the eldest son, who may just get good enough, despite his own disadvantages, to provide intensive drilling to his little brothers. Of course, an excellent big sister can do the same during the Little League years.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber

    The nepotism starts from T-ball on up.
     
    You understand Little League coaches don't get paid, right?
  19. @Finspapa
    I advocate for the elimination of the 3-point arc or at the very least, having the arc intersect the sideline (no “corner 3s”) around 25’ or 26’.
    The game currently selects for skills that are not as compelling as those from prior to the 1980s. When long distance shots are worth 1.5x more than a traditional bucket, that really changes (tarnishes?) the game.

    There was an article on ESPN last season by some analytics guy who said the single most effective play in the entire NBA by far and without question was James Harden shooting from 3 point range and flopping (he wrote drawing a foul) and getting three free throws.

  20. Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a “compiler” with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    And why isn’t Jeff Kent in the H O F? Answer: He crossed swords with too many teammates and sportswriters.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    Yeah, but Yaz played during a low-hitting era, so .289 is probably equivalent to something significantly higher from other eras. He led the league with a measly .301 BA in 1968, for example!
    , @kaganovitch
    Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a “compiler” with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    Yaz gets somewhat shortchanged by fans because he played in a pitching dominant era. Analytic approaches value him far more than Winfield.By WAR he is the 4th best left fielder of all time 96.4 to Winfield's 64.2.
  21. The Boones and the Bells are FOUR-generation baseball families

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_second-generation_Major_League_Baseball_players

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    That will be impressive as soon as the fourth generations make the majors. They are close, though.
  22. “It’s a little like how black players in the NBA have been getting more genteel (e.g., Steph Curry) because the 3 point shot selects for kids who grew up in the suburbs with their own driveways where they could practice long shots over and over.”

    Curry does seem to fit the latest codification of genteel.

    Steve this post almost seems like promotion/endorsement of “Magic Dirt” theory?

  23. Fun Fact: If you watch season 1 episode 3 of Cheers, its starts out the gang watching a Red Sox game on TV with Carl Yazstrzremski batting with 2 outs at the bottom of the 9th with the tying run on base. He ends popping out to the disappointment of the crowd and Carla angrily proclaims she’s not a Red Sox fan anymore. The interesting thing is the guy calling the game in the Cheers episode is Jon Miller, one of the current announcers for the Giants. So, in the 80s, Miller was calling games that Carl Yazstrzemski was playing in, and now in 2019, he’s calling games his grandson Mike is playing in.

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the clip on youtube with Miller calling the game, but this is Carla’s response after the pop up:

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    Miller was their announcer from 80-82, so he did plenty of the elder Yaz's games.

    I lost a lot of respect for Miller when he called the 2008 World Series for ESPN Radio. Game 5 was suspended after 5½ innings and during the rain delay Miller was talking about the grounds crew and their attempts to make the field playable. They were putting Quick Dry on the field, but Jon refused to call it that, instead attempting to come up with a generic substitute. However, there really isn't one. So he kept fumbling his words and finally Joe Morgan had enough and said, "Jon, it's Speedy Dry".
  24. Speaking of Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr., who do people think was the greater player before Bonds started taking steroids?

    I think Bonds was the better player, but some I’ve raised this question with disagree.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    If we believe the story Barry Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells -- that Bonds was peeved by the acclaim for McGwire and Sosa in 1998, so he started experimenting with PEDs in 1999 -- then Bonds won 3 MVP awards in 1990-1993 clean, and remained very close to MVP level thru 1998.

    Griffey was more exciting, but Bonds was a machine at putting runs on the scoreboard.

    I'm interested in how the younger Bonds seemed to inherit his father's talents combined with his own personality for maximizing the return on those talents. His father was a genial goof who drank and smoked cigarettes too much and his teams never knew quite what to do with his talents. The son, in contrast, thought about hitting the way Jeff Bezos thinks about running a warehouse.

  25. @Prester John
    Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a "compiler" with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    And why isn't Jeff Kent in the H O F? Answer: He crossed swords with too many teammates and sportswriters.

    Yeah, but Yaz played during a low-hitting era, so .289 is probably equivalent to something significantly higher from other eras. He led the league with a measly .301 BA in 1968, for example!

  26. @Rosie

    How good are the best pitching machines these days? Can they throw different kinds of pitches from the same machine? I read that they can’t put as much spin on the ball as the best MLB pitchers.
     
    I don't know about the best ones, but the accessible ones have a serious flaw: They always throw strikes, which means the batter is not getting any practice in deciding whether or not to swing the bat. Kids can literally belt every machine pitch they see, but struggle to make contact in a game. That said, machines are a great deal better than a parent who can't pitch. With enough practice, machines can make the difference between a child who has a great Little League experience and one who gives up out of frustration.

    Anyway, don't even get me started! The nepotism starts from T-ball on up. Even of you assume everything is on the up and up, the coaches' sons always get all the breaks. Most of the time, it's probably just because they're better, because they get more practice of course! Sometimes, it's just blatant favoritism. Either way, the result is the same: hereditary baseball.

    The only hope for large families where Dad doesn't have the time to coach is the eldest son, who may just get good enough, despite his own disadvantages, to provide intensive drilling to his little brothers. Of course, an excellent big sister can do the same during the Little League years.

    The nepotism starts from T-ball on up.

    You understand Little League coaches don’t get paid, right?

    • Replies: @Rosie

    You understand Little League coaches don’t get paid, right?
     
    Yes. Of course, it would be nice if they would just tell you the score upfront. Of course, they like to maintain the pretence that every kid gets a fair shake, so they don't do that.

    From what I understand, parents are voting with their feet and signing up for travel ball, with paid coaches, even though it's more expensive.
  27. @Known Fact
    The Boones and the Bells are FOUR-generation baseball families

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_second-generation_Major_League_Baseball_players

    That will be impressive as soon as the fourth generations make the majors. They are close, though.

  28. @Tipsy
    Fun Fact: If you watch season 1 episode 3 of Cheers, its starts out the gang watching a Red Sox game on TV with Carl Yazstrzremski batting with 2 outs at the bottom of the 9th with the tying run on base. He ends popping out to the disappointment of the crowd and Carla angrily proclaims she's not a Red Sox fan anymore. The interesting thing is the guy calling the game in the Cheers episode is Jon Miller, one of the current announcers for the Giants. So, in the 80s, Miller was calling games that Carl Yazstrzemski was playing in, and now in 2019, he's calling games his grandson Mike is playing in.

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find the clip on youtube with Miller calling the game, but this is Carla's response after the pop up:

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

    Miller was their announcer from 80-82, so he did plenty of the elder Yaz’s games.

    I lost a lot of respect for Miller when he called the 2008 World Series for ESPN Radio. Game 5 was suspended after 5½ innings and during the rain delay Miller was talking about the grounds crew and their attempts to make the field playable. They were putting Quick Dry on the field, but Jon refused to call it that, instead attempting to come up with a generic substitute. However, there really isn’t one. So he kept fumbling his words and finally Joe Morgan had enough and said, “Jon, it’s Speedy Dry”.

    • Replies: @Marty
    I generally liked Morgan’s TV work, but one time he had me shaking my head. It was a Dodgers-Reds game around 1995. Eric Karros hit a homer, and as he rounded the bases Morgan said, “the Dodgers seem to play better when they’re hitting the ball out of the ballpark.” As Steve would say, “Okay!”
  29. @Finspapa
    I advocate for the elimination of the 3-point arc or at the very least, having the arc intersect the sideline (no “corner 3s”) around 25’ or 26’.
    The game currently selects for skills that are not as compelling as those from prior to the 1980s. When long distance shots are worth 1.5x more than a traditional bucket, that really changes (tarnishes?) the game.

    As it stands, if the arc wasn’t truncated then players would have 15 inches of shooting room in the corners. Because many players have feet bigger than that, the current court gives them 3 feet of room in the corners. The NBA would probably benefit from making their court wider, but that would take away prime seating.

    • Agree: Prodigal son
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Chick Hearn, the Lakers announcer, was calling for widening the NBA's 50 foot wide court in 1972. But courtside seats have gotten vastly more lucrative since then.
    , @Finspapa
    I get it. I’m advocating for a deeper arc with no shortening.
    The 76ers & the Hawks (and some other teams probably) have installed “4 point lines” in their practice facilities. Helps with spacing. Gives players a visual on where to be.
    These lines intersect with the sidelines.
    Curry, Reddick, Lillard, etc. have the range. A deeper 3-point shot would reward good, deep shooters. Right now, having NBA 3-point range is almost a prerequisite to enter the league.
    The 3-point shot was exciting in the early 1980s when very few people shot them because nobody grew up launching long distance 2s with the exception of Maravich and a few others. Ironically, Pistol Pete’s last NBA season was the first one with the arc. He retired before he made a 3 point bucket.
    Harden’s act is just embarrassing. As is the officiating that lets that crap exist.
  30. Polish “rz” = zh, however j is acceptable, and after t it can be sh.
    Not a sportsballister so I don’t already know this: do the announcers generally pronounce this rather easy name right?

  31. Mike Yaz’s father played collegiately at Florida State, where he was recruited by Dick Howser. Howser left to the manage the Yankees, though, before the season started. He never made the majors, playing two AAA seasons with the White Sox, and died in 2004 at 43.

  32. @Steve Sailer
    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.

    Steve – odds on recluse Lincecum showing up for Bochy’s last game?

  33. @Steve Sailer
    After years of minor league mediocrity, the younger Yasz became an exciting big legauer this year, the best of a dull team.

    He was a nice find….somehow overlooked by the Orioles…..but Kevin Pillar (Toronto) has been the best of the G-Men this long, long, painful season!

  34. @Prester John
    Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a "compiler" with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    And why isn't Jeff Kent in the H O F? Answer: He crossed swords with too many teammates and sportswriters.

    Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a “compiler” with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    Yaz gets somewhat shortchanged by fans because he played in a pitching dominant era. Analytic approaches value him far more than Winfield.By WAR he is the 4th best left fielder of all time 96.4 to Winfield’s 64.2.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yaz was a superstar in his late 20s and then an impressive compiler into his 40s. His career arc was pretty similar to another Polish outfielder Stan Musial, just one tier down.
  35. @ScarletNumber
    As it stands, if the arc wasn't truncated then players would have 15 inches of shooting room in the corners. Because many players have feet bigger than that, the current court gives them 3 feet of room in the corners. The NBA would probably benefit from making their court wider, but that would take away prime seating.

    Chick Hearn, the Lakers announcer, was calling for widening the NBA’s 50 foot wide court in 1972. But courtside seats have gotten vastly more lucrative since then.

  36. @Ian M.
    Speaking of Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr., who do people think was the greater player before Bonds started taking steroids?

    I think Bonds was the better player, but some I've raised this question with disagree.

    If we believe the story Barry Bonds’ ex-girlfriend tells — that Bonds was peeved by the acclaim for McGwire and Sosa in 1998, so he started experimenting with PEDs in 1999 — then Bonds won 3 MVP awards in 1990-1993 clean, and remained very close to MVP level thru 1998.

    Griffey was more exciting, but Bonds was a machine at putting runs on the scoreboard.

    I’m interested in how the younger Bonds seemed to inherit his father’s talents combined with his own personality for maximizing the return on those talents. His father was a genial goof who drank and smoked cigarettes too much and his teams never knew quite what to do with his talents. The son, in contrast, thought about hitting the way Jeff Bezos thinks about running a warehouse.

    • Replies: @William Badwhite
    I know socially a couple of ex-Giants that played with Bonds, plus peripherally a guy that played with him on the Pirates. All say he's one of the worst human beings they've ever met. Happy to give you the details via email.
  37. @kaganovitch
    Loved Yaz but, like Winfield etal. he was a “compiler” with a lifetime .289 B.A. Ditto for Craig Biggio (.281 B.A.).

    Yaz gets somewhat shortchanged by fans because he played in a pitching dominant era. Analytic approaches value him far more than Winfield.By WAR he is the 4th best left fielder of all time 96.4 to Winfield's 64.2.

    Yaz was a superstar in his late 20s and then an impressive compiler into his 40s. His career arc was pretty similar to another Polish outfielder Stan Musial, just one tier down.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Yes, his age 27 ,28 and 30 seasons were historically great. His 1967 triple crown year is the third best WAR season ever, behind a couple of Babe Ruth seasons. In his thirties he settled into a well above average player with very good longevity.
  38. @ScarletNumber
    As it stands, if the arc wasn't truncated then players would have 15 inches of shooting room in the corners. Because many players have feet bigger than that, the current court gives them 3 feet of room in the corners. The NBA would probably benefit from making their court wider, but that would take away prime seating.

    I get it. I’m advocating for a deeper arc with no shortening.
    The 76ers & the Hawks (and some other teams probably) have installed “4 point lines” in their practice facilities. Helps with spacing. Gives players a visual on where to be.
    These lines intersect with the sidelines.
    Curry, Reddick, Lillard, etc. have the range. A deeper 3-point shot would reward good, deep shooters. Right now, having NBA 3-point range is almost a prerequisite to enter the league.
    The 3-point shot was exciting in the early 1980s when very few people shot them because nobody grew up launching long distance 2s with the exception of Maravich and a few others. Ironically, Pistol Pete’s last NBA season was the first one with the arc. He retired before he made a 3 point bucket.
    Harden’s act is just embarrassing. As is the officiating that lets that crap exist.

  39. @ScarletNumber

    The nepotism starts from T-ball on up.
     
    You understand Little League coaches don't get paid, right?

    You understand Little League coaches don’t get paid, right?

    Yes. Of course, it would be nice if they would just tell you the score upfront. Of course, they like to maintain the pretence that every kid gets a fair shake, so they don’t do that.

    From what I understand, parents are voting with their feet and signing up for travel ball, with paid coaches, even though it’s more expensive.

  40. @ScarletNumber
    Miller was their announcer from 80-82, so he did plenty of the elder Yaz's games.

    I lost a lot of respect for Miller when he called the 2008 World Series for ESPN Radio. Game 5 was suspended after 5½ innings and during the rain delay Miller was talking about the grounds crew and their attempts to make the field playable. They were putting Quick Dry on the field, but Jon refused to call it that, instead attempting to come up with a generic substitute. However, there really isn't one. So he kept fumbling his words and finally Joe Morgan had enough and said, "Jon, it's Speedy Dry".

    I generally liked Morgan’s TV work, but one time he had me shaking my head. It was a Dodgers-Reds game around 1995. Eric Karros hit a homer, and as he rounded the bases Morgan said, “the Dodgers seem to play better when they’re hitting the ball out of the ballpark.” As Steve would say, “Okay!”

  41. @Altai
    OT: I know Steve is interested in the idea that maybe bodycams will have the opposite effect that their boosters think.

    Has Steve seen the trailer for the new film 'Black and Blue' whose plot hinges on a black female rookie cop accidentally seeing Frank Grillo (The discount Joe Manganiello) and some other cops, along with her older black partner just executing an unarmed black man. Grillo then shoots her when she sees too much but fails to kill her and realises too late she's wearing a bodycam! So now she has to evade every cop in the city (Including SWAT) and every criminal as raised up by the crimelord who runs the town that the police prop up. Looks like it could be an interesting action movie but it's amazing to me that a major study would make an inflammatory film like this implying this is reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCfSeVCr7ng

    I never watch shows that have blacks. Limits my viewing. But I’d rather read anyway.

  42. @Reg Cæsar
    In other sports news, Enraged Saints fans shame Buffalo Wild Wings into apologizing for harmless joke

    Can't imagine that happening in '67, or even '83.

    Come to think of it, we wouldn't have imagined the Giants playing in Fenway in mid-September. If Boston wants to host National League teams, they should have held onto the Braves.

    This interleague abomination is one of the things that induced me to give up on major league baseball after the 1994 lockout.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    It's fraud, like the "playoffs". It's all one big league now, like the NFL.

    I just finished a book about the final out of the 1951 season. That was the twenty-fifth meeting of the Giants and Dodgers that season.

    The players got to know each other!

    So did the fans. The author's father delivered Duke Snider's dry cleaning. He lived right in the neighborhood.

  43. @Altai
    OT: I know Steve is interested in the idea that maybe bodycams will have the opposite effect that their boosters think.

    Has Steve seen the trailer for the new film 'Black and Blue' whose plot hinges on a black female rookie cop accidentally seeing Frank Grillo (The discount Joe Manganiello) and some other cops, along with her older black partner just executing an unarmed black man. Grillo then shoots her when she sees too much but fails to kill her and realises too late she's wearing a bodycam! So now she has to evade every cop in the city (Including SWAT) and every criminal as raised up by the crimelord who runs the town that the police prop up. Looks like it could be an interesting action movie but it's amazing to me that a major study would make an inflammatory film like this implying this is reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCfSeVCr7ng

    Looks like it could be an interesting action movie but it’s amazing to me that a major study would make an inflammatory film like this implying this is reality.

    How can you be amazed after the last 50?

    Who runs Hollyweird?

  44. @MBlanc46
    This interleague abomination is one of the things that induced me to give up on major league baseball after the 1994 lockout.

    It’s fraud, like the “playoffs”. It’s all one big league now, like the NFL.

    I just finished a book about the final out of the 1951 season. That was the twenty-fifth meeting of the Giants and Dodgers that season.

    The players got to know each other!

    So did the fans. The author’s father delivered Duke Snider’s dry cleaning. He lived right in the neighborhood.

  45. could be more like a Charles Murray style sorting phenomenon. these sports have been around for 100 years now, and the humans have organized themselves into groups by how good they are at certain sports. so you see the same thing in sports that you see in education.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    could be more like a Charles Murray style sorting phenomenon. these sports have been around for 100 years now, and the humans have organized themselves into groups by how good they are at certain sports. so you see the same thing in sports that you see in education.

    David Epstein (Sports gene) discuuses that in this interview

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-the-next-einstein/201309/are-elite-athletes-marrying-elite-athletes

    He doesn't think it's a big factor now, but he thinks it will be down the road.

  46. @Steve Sailer
    Yaz was a superstar in his late 20s and then an impressive compiler into his 40s. His career arc was pretty similar to another Polish outfielder Stan Musial, just one tier down.

    Yes, his age 27 ,28 and 30 seasons were historically great. His 1967 triple crown year is the third best WAR season ever, behind a couple of Babe Ruth seasons. In his thirties he settled into a well above average player with very good longevity.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yaz's triple crown age 27 season (.326 and 44 homers in the depths of the 1960s hitting recession) in which he matured from a doubles hitter to a homer hitter was similar to Musial's almost triple crown age 27 season when he did the same (.376 and 39 homers).
  47. @prime noticer
    could be more like a Charles Murray style sorting phenomenon. these sports have been around for 100 years now, and the humans have organized themselves into groups by how good they are at certain sports. so you see the same thing in sports that you see in education.

    could be more like a Charles Murray style sorting phenomenon. these sports have been around for 100 years now, and the humans have organized themselves into groups by how good they are at certain sports. so you see the same thing in sports that you see in education.

    David Epstein (Sports gene) discuuses that in this interview

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-the-next-einstein/201309/are-elite-athletes-marrying-elite-athletes

    He doesn’t think it’s a big factor now, but he thinks it will be down the road.

  48. @Steve Sailer
    If we believe the story Barry Bonds' ex-girlfriend tells -- that Bonds was peeved by the acclaim for McGwire and Sosa in 1998, so he started experimenting with PEDs in 1999 -- then Bonds won 3 MVP awards in 1990-1993 clean, and remained very close to MVP level thru 1998.

    Griffey was more exciting, but Bonds was a machine at putting runs on the scoreboard.

    I'm interested in how the younger Bonds seemed to inherit his father's talents combined with his own personality for maximizing the return on those talents. His father was a genial goof who drank and smoked cigarettes too much and his teams never knew quite what to do with his talents. The son, in contrast, thought about hitting the way Jeff Bezos thinks about running a warehouse.

    I know socially a couple of ex-Giants that played with Bonds, plus peripherally a guy that played with him on the Pirates. All say he’s one of the worst human beings they’ve ever met. Happy to give you the details via email.

  49. @kaganovitch
    Yes, his age 27 ,28 and 30 seasons were historically great. His 1967 triple crown year is the third best WAR season ever, behind a couple of Babe Ruth seasons. In his thirties he settled into a well above average player with very good longevity.

    Yaz’s triple crown age 27 season (.326 and 44 homers in the depths of the 1960s hitting recession) in which he matured from a doubles hitter to a homer hitter was similar to Musial’s almost triple crown age 27 season when he did the same (.376 and 39 homers).

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    Musial's 11.1 WAR that year is rated the 12th best total ever. His OPS+ that year was a Ruthian 200.
  50. @Steve Sailer
    Yaz's triple crown age 27 season (.326 and 44 homers in the depths of the 1960s hitting recession) in which he matured from a doubles hitter to a homer hitter was similar to Musial's almost triple crown age 27 season when he did the same (.376 and 39 homers).

    Musial’s 11.1 WAR that year is rated the 12th best total ever. His OPS+ that year was a Ruthian 200.

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