Sunday, June 05, 2005

« MLB on a homer diet? Nah, just low-carb »

By Suss
Steroid talk isn't something you will see a lot of here, mainly because the sport has so much more to offer and this blogger has so little knowledge of sports supplements. Having said that, this lengthy but factual and engaging column by's Jayson Stark details the reason that there are not as many home runs as last year, going down the list of theories and rejecting most of them.

Home runs really are nice to have, and for the casual fan make games more interesting. But a ball going far? Big deal. If you want to see balls go far, watch golf. The triple is way more exciting anyways. Maybe I should do an expose on the decline of the triple. Still, I understand a power hitter can change the face of a game, because pitching around Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez gives the batters behind them a chance to drive in a run with a hit.

But when they aren't as plentiful in a year, teams still find a way to win. Name one White Sox player, besides maybe Paul Konerko, who is a home run threat. Frank Thomas is injured, and Carl Everett might be another answer, but still they find a way to small-ball their way to first place in the division.

And whether I'd like to admit it or not, the new drug policy has changed the pacing of the game. To quite Stark who quoted Mets pitcher Al Leiter:
Marlins pitcher Al Leiter thinks lineups have suddenly become "more manageable." Where once these same orders seemed to be stacked with four and five scary power bats, now "pitchers don't have to pitch around more than a batter, or maybe two," Leiter said.
Pitching is all about matchups and if

Pitching is all about matchups. Earlier in the Stark piece:
"The big thing," Phillies closer Billy Wagner said, "is the effect on confidence. [Not being able to hit on steroids] takes the confidence out of the hitter."
If nothing else, the Stark piece is an excellent example of good sportswriting and, from a newspaper/computer nerd's perspective, solid Internet design with use of pulled quotes and sidebars. Pocket protector sold separately.