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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Deaden the ball and resuscitate baseball. It's supposed to be a game of hitting, fielding and base running.

Aroldis Chapman is the most recent pitcher to be hit in the face.  It happened in an exhibition game in Arizona March 20, 2014.  Salvador Perez was the batter.  Chapman was born in Cuba, Perez in Venezuela.

Aroldis Chapman March 12, 2010
By SD Dirk on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons
Chapman is 6 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 205 pounds.  Chapman has been a relief pitcher for Cincinnati Reds the last four seasons.  He's been an All Star each of the last two seasons.  He may throw the ball faster than any pitcher ever.  Chapman's nickname is the Cuban Missile.  Ironic.

Perez is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds.  Perez has been a catcher for the Kansas City Royals the last three seasons.  In 2013 Perez was on the All Star team and was awarded a gold glove.

The day after being hit Chapman spent 2.5 hours in surgery to repair a broken bone above his left eye and have a titanium plate inserted to stabilize the fractured area.  Supposedly he may be able to pitch again in 4 to 6 weeks.

Rockets.  The baseballs today travel like rockets.  They smash into things and people.  Let me reiterate some safety recommendations that I have advocated in this blog.

1. All fielders within 150 feet of home plate should wear catcher's gear or equivalent.

2. Bring back the pitcher's box. And get rid of the stupid mound.  Thursday, March 20, 2014

While I didn't mention it in that post two days ago, there is the added safety benefit of moving all pitchers back to the same distance from home plate.  The taller a pitcher, the closer to the plate he will tend to release the ball.

3. Deaden the ball.  The game was not intended to be played with rockets.  It originated much more like modern slow pitch softball.  Baseball is supposed to be a game of hitting, fielding and base running.

Instead baseball has devolved into a battle of power.  In 2001 two 37 year old power players set all time season records:
- Barry Bonds: most home runs and best home run rate (homers per at bat).
- Randy Johnson: best strike out rate.

What the heck?

With the crackdown on the use of performance enhancing drugs, including steroids, Major Baseball League commissioner Allen Huber "Bud" Selig has reduced the number of players hitting 30 or more home runs, which has reduced the number of walks.  Fewer walks is a good thing and fewer victory lap home runs isn't so bad either.  But the power has steadily increased among the pitchers.  Strike outs have increased and the average speed for fastballs has increased each of the last five seasons to about 91.5 miles per hour (MPH).

91.5 mph!  Released from about 50 feet from home plate!  Are we nuts?

Deaden the damn ball before someone gets killed: player, ump, fan.

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