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December 23, 2007

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curtis

Now, if they'd just ban exercise,motivation and genetic predisposition.I could be a contender.Oh, and age, definitely age.

kim

I wonder if Bill James has wondered.
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Len Wechsler

I have to disagree with you. Keep in mind that steroids do help in a lot of ways and are certainly bad for the body.
However, a key element in hitting, the key element, is hand-eye coordination. There are three players with more than 700 home runs and only one (probably) used steroids. And Mays who is fourth almost certainly did not.
More players did hit more than 500 home runs in recent years than in the past. However, there are more than a few good reasons for that.
1) There are about twice as many major leaguers playing each year. Old days there were 16 teams, now 31.
2) Careers are longer because players take better care of themselves. Now that salaries are far higher, players don't go off to other jobs in the off season as they used to do. They keep in shape and they play longer.
3) Because there are a lot more pitchers, there are a lot of really weak ones. That helps the really top hitters.
4) They play five percent more games each season.
5) A lot of the newer parks are "launching pads" for homeruns. Atlanta has been that way for years. ARod hit a lot more homers in Texas than in Yankee Stadium (which is a really bad park for right hand hitters)
6) In the old days, only whites were allowed in the majors. Mays was the first big time black home run hitter elected to the Hall of Fame and that was in the late 1970's.

Pitchers have some advantages as well.
1) Far better trainers than in past years. Think phrases like "Tommy John Surgery."
2) A lot of weaker hitters
3) More relievers around. Pitchers get relieved a lot faster these days. Almost no complete games. A lot of runs were scored in late innings as pitchers tired.

One other point--- a lot of the players who used HGH, and even some with steroids, did it to come back more quickly after injuries.
I had Bell's Palsy a few years ago and had steroid treatments, five pills. That would have gotten me in trouble with major league baseball if I weren't past 60 with a lousy curveball.

A long-term use of steroids brings up muscle and improves speed. What does it really do for baseball players? For football, basketball, track and field it is easy to see the value. But ARod is about five inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Mays...and is considered a bit skinny. Baseball players have not increased in size as compared to those in other sports.

Tom Maguire

Now, if they'd just ban exercise,motivation and genetic predisposition.I could be a contender.Oh, and age, definitely age.

How soon they forget - Michael Jordan, a Little Leage All-Star ar age 12, was a bust as a ballplayer a bit later in life despite the general perception that he was a pretty fair athlete.

A long-term use of steroids brings up muscle and improves speed. What does it really do for baseball players? For football, basketball, track and field it is easy to see the value. But ARod is about five inches taller and 25 pounds heavier than Mays...and is considered a bit skinny. Baseball players have not increased in size as compared to those in other sports.

Your last two sentences seem to point in opposite directions - A Rod would have been a giant in the 30's-50's (OK, Jimmie Foxx / Hamron Killebrew were giants - A Rod would have been big.

And broadly speaking, baseball players almost never lifted weights in the old days, and now they do (I have seen an article about Lou Gehrig working out at a Manhattan gymnasium but there were no details about how much iron he was pumping, and he was an old football player, IIRC).

So, I think hitters and pitchers are bigger, stronger, and faster due to improved training, and steroids are a useful complement to a heavy training program.

Put another way - when you say you disagree with me, are you saying Bonds did *not* benefit from steroids? Given the way his size and stats took off after he juiced up, that seems improbable.

Tom Maguire

Having just looked it up - Foxx and Gehrig were legendary strong-men in their day (Foxx's nicknames included "Beast or Double X or Maryland Strong Boy").

But they are listed as 6 feet tall, 200 lbs, as was Mickey Mantle. For comparison, D Jeter is 6' 3" 195; A Rod is 6' 3", maybe 215-225.

Dr. Manhattan

Tom:
Check out this BP piece, which I think is available to non-subscribers:
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4845

Ralph L

I'm sure they just want the bigger arms and manboobs to make it easier to pick up girls, in both senses of that phrase. The tens of millions of extra dollars they earn are just a side benefit.

other tom

From un-Google-aided memory, I beleive that in the years before wunesses say he began using steroids, Bonds averaged one homerun per sixteen at-bats. Since he began, he has averaged one every eight at-bats. And this dramatic change occurred just at the age when almost every ballplayer who has ever lived began to decline.

In the 79 decisions before he began steroids, Clemens's record was 40-39--he had become a journeyman. Immediately upon starting to use them, he became virtually unhittable--and won his next fourteen decisions in a row.

Rick

My confidence in the author was not enhanced by this casual mention of the way one player's success can influence another:

It is said that when Honus Wagner saw Babe Ruth hitting home runs he altered his hitting and increased his home run output from less than 10 a year to 40 a year.

Perhaps this guy is really thinking of one of Pittsburgh's Waner brothers. Big & Little Poison. Their time was a decade after 1917, and the Pirates got clubbed in the 1927 series by the Babe.

Cordially...

SteveMG

It appears (anecdotally) that steroids both help the excellent-to-great players both extend their career or top years while also greatly improving the numbers for those specific career seasons.

And perhaps mitigating/slowing the decline after those top seasons. They can play longer albeit at a less-than-great level.

For everyone else, it's a mixed bag.

As we learn once again, life just ain't fair.

SMG

BumperStickerist

One practical and extremely cheap solution would be to make ball players wear the same size cap as they wore when they were called up to 'the show' during their entire career.

Watching Barry Bonds stuff his 8 1/4 size melon into his 7 5/8ths cap might act as a deterrent.

Neo
Yet no one has asked a fundamental question: Do performance-enhancing drugs improve performance in professional baseball?

Darn. There are lots of fundamental questions that go unanswered.

Tom Maguire

Perhaps this guy is really thinking of one of Pittsburgh's Waner brothers. Big & Little Poison.

Without looking it up I am highly confident neither Waner ever hit 40 homers in a season (I blame Stratomatic baseball in my youth).

Lloyd had 27 for his career; Paul was more of a Pete Rose/ Tony Gwynn type - 1 MVP, 3 batting titles, never led the league in slugging or home runs season (best was 15).

kim

Well, I looked. Bill James is fairly agnostic about the question. He notes that the problem arose, like with immigration, when the rules were ignored.
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kim

Hey BS, if the gloves don't fit, you must convict.
==============================

kim

Neo, it really is the question of the day, and it's nice to see Pat Sajak spin the wheel. Erl Happ and Leif Svalgaard and many others are nicely explicating solar influences on climate regulation over at climateaudit.org on Leif's eponymic thread.
==========================

kim

Woof, Mark Bowden has an excellent piece about waterboarding in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
=======================

other tom

I've seen a fairly broad consensus holding that the Steelers of the 70's were the first NFL players to use steroids (many of them acknowledged it), and that it afforded their offensive line a huge advantage. A number of those guys have already died of the various ailments associated with steroid use.

Donald

Hey! Wow! Something I can actually comprehend...ERA is the total bottom line on pitching. No matter what era, that's the key. Folks, I'm right on this, this makes Tom an evil, right wing, lying, hating hater of all things good and right. We simply need no other evidence. Man what a hater.

Donald

Kim, stick with the important stuff. mkay (Merry Christmas!)?

SteveMG

Clemens denies, strongly, the allegations: Video link.

OTOH, what else could he do?

MayBee

SMG- Two kinds of people strongly deny allegations against them. Those who are not guilty, and those who are.
The frustrating thing to watch is people like Marion Jones who don't just deny, but call their accusers all kinds of dishonest.

kim

Donald, I remember the first time I tried 151. Someone had just called me a no-partying motherfucker. He was trying to make the point that anything newsworthy had already happened in New York, and I was responding by agreeing with him but pointed out that the news was reporting it happening in California, now. Happy holy days to you and George, too.
=========================

Ann

Way off topic, but:

Why does the holiday season bring out the worst in us? I have been in Richmond, Va one day and the sister-in-laws are in full BDS mode. Over breakfast I had to hear how Cheney loves to torture people. One sister-in-law took my daughter to a movie where an advertisement for the National Guard was shown. My daughter kept text messaging about the ravings going on by sister-in-law.
She told my daughter to sign up for the National Guard was to sign up for your limbs being blown off!! And at dinner we were told the only news show to watch for the truth was Keith Obewann. You can't ask them questions, because they can't answer and then they just start calling you names.

I have a week to go, any advice? I need help. Anyone got funny questions that will drive them mad?

clarice

Drink..Take up smoking so you can excuse yourself to go outside. Do not repeat this adventure. A FULL week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

glasater

Ann--get Coulter's book "How to Talk to a Liberal--If You Must".

Rick Ballard

Ann,

Consider taking the kids out to Civil War battlefields and Williamsburg (about an hour away). Then you can have a nice discussion with the kids at the table concerning McClellan's stupendous inability to take Richmond in '62 which led to his being relieved in '63 and becoming the Copperhead candidate in '64.

If you do it right you can cast Sanchez as a latter day McClellan with Petraeus becoming US Grant. A visit to Williamsburg opens the opportunity to discuss the Democrats support of slavery from the inception of Democrat Virginia right through to the end of the Civil War, picking up the segregationist gauntlet again in 1876-78 and remaining firmly opposed to Civil Rights until the end of the '60's.

If you do it right they'll throw you out by Wednesday and you can head up to DC and take the kids through the Smithsonian for a few days.

clarice

HEH! Rick'd be a fine substitute for Ann Landers.

Ann

You are all a god send. I have not laughed in 24 hours. Now I cannot stop. One because I love my husband and therefore have spent 20 plus years spending Christmas in beloved Virginia. Only recently, has it become a hazard.

Clarice, I think I started smoking the day I spent the first Christmas in Va. and starting drinking, come to think of it on the same day!! My father-in-law who I loved the most gave this to me one Christmas: a carton of cigarettes, a bottle of Dewars and a Presidential Bush Calendar.
Of which, one of the sister-in-laws proclaimed as all my vices. Too Funny.

Ann

Rick,

Good advice, I take my daughter to every historical site in Va I can on every trip and tell her how important history is and some day she will thank me. Well I cannot wait till she thanks me but the last trip to Appomattox, was all about shopping for a T-shirt. I still think it will sink in one day.

sbw

Ann, Democrats are very compassionate people who take their unexamined principles for granted. Don't expect to tell them anything. Don't try. They don't know history, but think they do.

But for Christmas, buy them copies of P. J. O'Rourke's "On the Wealth of Nations." I just bought six copies.

On the off chance they read it, it's eye opening to discover that many of the "tried and true" ideas of the Democratic Party were tried in the middle 1700s and failed. Adam Smith explains why.

And if they don't read it, at least you will have. You'll discover that real compassion takes time, doesn't take unworkable shortcuts, and recognizes the limitations of government.

Ann

Thanks Sbw,

I will take your advice. Compassion does take time, mostly with age.

Elliott

Good luck, Ann. You could try should steering the conversation to Huckabee. It would be interesting to see whether real Democrats have a soft spot for him. You might even reach a shocking bipartisan consensus concerning hopeful Mike.

Peter England

The best way to deal with liberals is to out-liberal them.Look them straight in the eyes and ask them what are they doing to address their innate racism.
Every time they reach for a goody,drink,cigarette,candy start banging on about their carbon footprint.Out do them in greenness,tell them your 3 ton SUV 4*4 won and award for the lowest emissions of any car on earth.
Then as the coupe de grace,ask them how we are going to save Darfur if nobody joins the military,who knows it might even cut the holiday short.

centralcal

I don't know about Ann, but I am sure gonna use Peter England's suggestions for dealing with my liberal relatives! Very clever!

Jane

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

I'm somewhat relieved that everyone has very odd families, and many of us just hold on tight until they go away after the holiday.

My family is simply crazy. It will take me weeks to clean up after them after they leave.

It's only 2 days - and once again I am trying to find grace! HO HO HO

centralcal

"It's only 2 days - and once again I am trying to find grace!"

Alcohol, baby, alcohol! Bailey's in the coffee. Rum in the coke. Martini's with canapes. Wine with dinner.

Two days will pass quickly and if you pace yourself carefully, there will be no dis-grace!

Merry Christmas Eve, all.

Peter England

centralcal,
Dont forget the sherry in the trifle,brandy in the Christmas pudding.
Interestingly,now I don't have any relatives,I don't drink any more.

clarice

My mom's very "highstrung" (better now that she's 86). She doesn't drink at all. Early on in her visits, I found they were more endurable if I added a little drop of alcohol to everything--It DOES work.

centralcal

"Interestingly,now I don't have any relatives,I don't drink any more."

No relatives?! How is that possible? Surely, you jest, Sweeney Todd!

Jane

I've now been drinking for 5 days - which would have been like heaven if I were Hit's age.

I've just put the boeuff Bourgingnon in the oven, it will cook for hours and the smell will overtake the house soon enough. That may be the biggest comfort of the day, particularly when my whacky relatives begin to descend.

Joy Joy Joy

Rick Ballard

Ann,

If you can get this printed , it would make a fine piece for calm, rational discussion over the next few days.

Or possibly less.

Peter England

No,they gradually upped and died,relatives are buggers for doing that kind of thing. You have a sock auntie who buys you socks every year,then you don't.Get to my age, you realise it is a fact of life and you buy your own socks.

hit and run

Jane:
I've now been drinking for 5 days - which would have been like heaven if I were Hit's age.

And how. We went Chistmas light viewing last night, after heavy drinking.

Lots of traffic around that house. Probably took 45 minutes in line to get to it. And then there were some people trying to cut in line! Oh the nerve!

That's what they make sun roofs for. I made good use of ours.

And I was the screaming moonbat for once. I was happy to embarass my family...those line cutters got what was coming to them.

Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men.

kim

Celebrate progressive illiberality.
=====================

clarice

Hit, I can't wait to read the books written by your kids about their childhood...Daddy Dearest or something.

PMII

Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas lights always remind me of the candle lights at Antietam Battlefield in early December (assuming they still do it). They light a candle for each of the victims of that battle - ~ 23,500 of them. It's truly amazing. If you ever get a chance to see it, you will never forget it.

kim

Novak's got a stocking stuffer about the CIA. Sweet!
================================

Jane

The link to Kim's article is under my name. (Hint to Kim)

PeterUK

Hillary to clamp down on computer generated cartoon sex. Why can't she just use the parental control on Bill's laptop?

clarice

HEH!!

PUK, I notice that Hill is promising oil prives will drop if she's elected. I promise diamonds will be as cheap as Swarovski crystals if I'm elected and sables will fall from the skies and the streets will suddenly be paved in gold...oh, and prime rib will fly onto your table cooked exactly the way you like it if I'm elected.

centralcal

Clarice, can I vote for you today? Got a prime rib in the oven and I would like it to be perfect!

hit and run

So....the kids are all sitting around the table coloring ceramic Christmas ornaments.

The ornaments are from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

And, to set the stage, we had all the kids sit down and watch the show on TV.

Now, trivia question: What is the name of Rudolph's (totally hot) girlfriend?

boris

Mrs Giuliani?

clarice

Starts with C, Hit.
Centralcal, absolutely!.

PeterUK

Clarice,
I hope you will keep ermine as a presidential prerogative.

Elliott

And what of your granola policy, Clarice? Molon labe!

clarice

It's still in place..And just in case the tax granola campaign picks up steam, I started making my own--it's simple and tastes even better than Bare Naked Granola which used to be my favorite .

Elliott

I'm surprised it hasn't picked up steam already. Don't Bloomberg and Huckabee know how much fat granola can have in it?

Elliott

Happy Christmas, PeterUK. Thanks for displaying your wit here.

clarice

I think there ought to be a special lifetime visa for people who demonstrate unusual wit and surely PUK would win one.

PeterUK

A Happy Christmas,Winterval,Kwanzaa,Festivus and a Bah Humbug to you all.
That just about covers most of you except those who got Hanukkah in early this year,to them Happy Next Year.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Christmas gift for JOMmenteers; 21 You Tube segments of an interview with M Stanton Evans, author of Blacklisted by History. Highly recommended for anyone with pretensions to being historically literate.

The first segment.

Fans of irony will find number 18 sweet.

Jane

Clarice,

How are you doing with the big vice-kicking program? And feel free to ignore the question if you choose.

clarice

It's working,Jane--The medicine is very nauseating and makes me sleepy, but it makes it possible to not smoke without too much difficulty. I recommend it.

Jane

Good job! Congrats!

clarice

Congratulate chantix, Jane..It's actually very good.

Ann

Day Two Richmond.

It seems my sister-in-law visited JOM and read my comments. She saw me on the computer and must of looked at the history.
Anyways, she yelled at my daughter for telling me about the National Guard incident. Of which, I asked my daughter, Is she mad at what she said or the fact that you told me and I posted it? (Liberals hate the truth, especially when you quote them) The rest of the day has been gold because the sisters are not talking to me, only giving me the evil eye. All is good, peace on earth except for some women. :) :) There is your inside to Hillary voters, guys.

I want to thank all of you for your advice, laughs, and wish you all Merry Christmas. Will keep reporting on voters for Hillary as I know you just can't wait till day three.

SunnyDay

Not talking to you?? Wow! That's touchy. I guess in this case it's better.

My SIL followed me around all afternoon jabbering at me - she's a nervous talker. She finishes a subject, just starts over again and repeats it all. One the phone, I can put the receiver down, go do something else, pick it back up and she never even knows I'm gone.

She's not interested in politics thank God.

Merry Christmas to you all!! Ho ho ho!

SunnyDay

Present tense, past tense, whatever.

sbw

Just explained the Pope's Midnight Mass to the kids. Now that the Pope has gone to bed, so must I.

Want to leave Santa time to fill the stockings. So, my wife in her kerchief, and I in my cap, are off to bed for a long winter's nap.

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!

Rick Ballard

Ann,

Silent Night is one of my all time favorites.

Buon Natale a tutti!

Jane

It's 3 minutes past kick-off here, so Merry Christmas to everyone.

And will someone please explain to me before next Saturday, exactly how 49% of the people think the NE Patriots will NOT go undefeated this season?

kim

More and more I like "Have an Ecstatic Holy Day".
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kim

The Financial Times has a nice article on the political year in review. I wonder if the CIA scandale is the Stalking Horse in the coming degout of ennui.
======================================

cathyf

I'm seconding kim's Ecstatic Holy Day wishes for everyone!

(We had the Roto-Rooter guy in for a "festive" Christmas Eve tree-root removal. So our day is bound to be ecstatic if only for the lack of raw sewage in the basement!)

clarice

cathy has her finger on the lind of thing that in the end makes me happiest--having something fixed and working when you need it.
Holly wrapped smooches to ye all.

clarice

cathy has her finger on the kind of thing that in the end makes me happiest--having something fixed and working when you need it.
Holly wrapped smooches to ye all.

boris

Right back atcha C

PeterUK

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your sewage leaks go right."

Soylent Red

All:

Out finishing up Christmas shopping yesterday and saw

"The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge".

Thought of you all and chuckled.

I did not look to see if it had a section on construction of a successful business model...

A merry one to you all.

clarice

And a special embraso to you, Soylent.
Successful business model, indeed.

MayBee

Merry Christmas all you JOMers!

xoxoxo,m

RichatUF

Merry Christmas JOMers.

Topsecretk9

Hey ---> Merry Christmas JOMers and thanks TM for your wonderful blog!

I hope you ALL have a magical, warm and lovely day!

JM Hanes

Merry Christmas JOManiacs!

cathyf
...in the end makes me happiest--having something fixed and working when you need it.
Well, ok, I'm an ingrate. I'm happy that the sewer is rodded out and I can flush my toilets. I'm happier that I discovered it at 5pm on Christmas Eve (time-and-a-half) rather than Christmas Day (double-time, plus a lot more sewage). I'd be happiest, of course, without having sewage in the basement at all!

Soylent -- forget "chuckle" -- you made me laugh out loud!

clarice

Thank you for sharing that touching Xmas experiemce with us, cathy. %^(

PeterUK

The reason Al Gore flunked theology

JJ

A quiet Christmas to all!

RichatUF

Hey, PeterEngland-

Happy Boxing Day!!! What is Boxing Day anyway?

In political news Barone is sounding the alarm, will anyone listen. Probably not. He argues that a conservative canidate has yet to make the case for Republican principles (lower taxes and smaller government). And he's right-all will have to do is take a look at the hugh expansion of ethanol.

PeterUK

RichatUF,
Boxing day is supposed to have originated from the practice of giving small gifts at Christmas,,a Christmas Box.Perhaps in remembrance of the gifts of the Three Wise Men.
Christmas itself is a relatively new holiday,in fact it wasn't celebrated on any great scale,New Years Day being the main holiday.In fact Christmas was imposed in Victorian times,workers were bribed to take Christmas Day off instead of New Years Day.
Now Boxing Day is a time to celebrate terminal dyspepsia,chronic ennui,recover from "Pink Turkey Syndrome" and allow mind and body to gather strength for the crazed Saturnalia that comes over the next two weeks.
Oh yes,and trying to find a home for that bloody awful pink,mauve and chartreuse striped tie that someone thoughtfully gave you.

vnjagvet

Froeliche Weinachten. Und ein glückliches Neues Jahr.

Elliott

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day. My best wishes to all.

Lord Whorfin

Merry Christmas to all!

Our best Christmas ever!

Topsecretk9

I'm offended that so many are offended that a lot of people would like to celebrate christmas.

Could we send Jeff and Empty to the middle east and ask them to ask muslims to respect their belief and not over do it on the mecca praying?

Message to weirdoes who hate the idea of christmas....Please go ask Iran to neutralize or tolerate Ramadan , stop with the woman torture, gay torture and just day to day torture -

It's obvious Jeff and Empty could give a fig about the people of Iran, Africra or any war torn arear, such as Sudan that JOSEPH WILSON has no problem exploiting - war-torn Sudan - and Jeff and Emptyt's hero is busy ripping off the south of Sudan.

GOOD ON YOU, JEFF!

Topsecretk9

JUST IN CASE---THIS is what Jeff and Empty ignore about their heros...must be pretty painful for them I am sure -- what a fake "giving" time they must have when they can't come to grips that Wilson, their hero, not only loves oil, he's stealing it from SUDAN

Shame those poor souls

kim

I suspect, Pooch, that Phil is going to be highly disappointed, if he isn't already.
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kim

Often, it's helpful to think of the karma they're entraining. Had we not eradicated the smallpox virus, we could be mobilizing global resources to fight an epidemic instead of failing to mobilize global resources to prevent a genocide, so that Joseph Wilson can be so grandiloquently and deliciously damned.
==============================

kim

And while the ghost of holy day jamay has me in its grippe, carbon dioxide is so Twentieth Century. The new mantra is Albedo. Much more manipulable, much more scientifically controversial, and much more clearly(much less opaquely) anthropic.
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