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2019-2020 OFFSEASON DISCUSSION THREAD

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26 minutes ago, RandyMarsh said:

Watching classic games on MLB network over the past few weeks and another thing I noticed that they didn't do much back then compared to today is the constant changing of balls.  Even a ball in the dirt the catcher would just catch, throw back to the pitcher and things would continue as usual.   

Now the catcher checks the ball, gives it to the ump, ump switches it out, throws it to pitcher, pitcher inspects new ball, rubs it to try to get a better grip then either gives his approval and uses it or often times throws it back to the ump for another new ball.  This seemingly happens dozens of times a game.  

Yup, these are the kinds of things that slow the game down.  Another example is batters adjusting their batting gloves between each pitch.  That kind of thing didn't happen much in the 70s.  Mike Hargrove did it and everybody made fun of him.  

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3 hours ago, Longgone said:

There is a plethora of evidence. No, it doesn't enhance baseball skills, but it can greatly improve speed, strength, bat speed, especially as you age, all which give an unfair, unnatural advantage.

To what degree? Significant? Insignificant? How does it translate to performance? Shouldn't we know? Are we supposed to take it all on faith?

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3 minutes ago, chasfh said:

To what degree? Significant? Insignificant? How does it translate to performance? Shouldn't we know? Are we supposed to take it all on faith?

I think you're trolling a bit. One can always claim coincidence, but these stats are all I need to see

 

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

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1 hour ago, leflore said:

I think you're trolling a bit. One can always claim coincidence, but these stats are all I need to see

 

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

I think rapid expansion, small parks and a live ball had a lot do with that.  Steroids probably helped, but there is no way of measuring how much.  I think weaker hitters increased their offense as much as guys like McGwire and Bonds during that period.  We have certainly seen the effects of a live ball the last couple of seasons and expansion historically improves offense.    

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I respectfully disagree. A home run every 6.5 at bats? The best Ruth ever did was 8.5

Judge's best is 10.42. Trout 10.44 with the live ball. 

6.5? Imho that makes a mockery of stats.

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1 hour ago, leflore said:

I respectfully disagree. A home run every 6.5 at bats? The best Ruth ever did was 8.5

Judge's best is 10.42. Trout 10.44 with the live ball. 

6.5? Imho that makes a mockery of stats.

While constantly being pitched around. I'm sure there's evidence that, in non-walk PA's, he saw as many strikes as other batters or something. But it sure doesn't seem like he would have. 

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9 hours ago, chasfh said:

To what degree? Significant? Insignificant? How does it translate to performance? Shouldn't we know? Are we supposed to take it all on faith?

You and I are competitors and identical as ball players. Then I get to take a pill and you don't. The pill gives me 10-20% more strength, speed and bat speed than you. Are you cool with this? Do you think our performance will still be the same? If you are scouting us, who are you going to grade higher?

Barry Bonds had greater bat speed at 38 than he did at 31. This does not happen naturally.

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11 hours ago, leflore said:

I think you're trolling a bit. One can always claim coincidence, but these stats are all I need to see

 

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

You think I'm trolling because I'm questioning faith. It's uncool to question someone else's faith. Just like religion.

The difference is steroids does not exist in the realm of religion. It exists in the realm of science. Whether steroids actually makes someone better at playing baseball is a scientifically provable hypothesis. Until I see the science on that, I remain skeptical about the statement of faith.

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2 hours ago, Longgone said:

You and I are competitors and identical as ball players. Then I get to take a pill and you don't. The pill gives me 10-20% more strength, speed and bat speed than you. Are you cool with this? Do you think our performance will still be the same? If you are scouting us, who are you going to grade higher?

Barry Bonds had greater bat speed at 38 than he did at 31. This does not happen naturally.

Let's set aside the Barry Bonds claim for a moment and focus on this:

Where did you get the 10% to 20% figure for all three attributes?

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11 hours ago, leflore said:

I respectfully disagree. A home run every 6.5 at bats? The best Ruth ever did was 8.5

Judge's best is 10.42. Trout 10.44 with the live ball. 

6.5? Imho that makes a mockery of stats.

You can't compare Bonds to Ruth.  They had much bigger ballparks when Ruth was playing and home runs were infrequent.  Ruth dominated his league like no player ever.  Sure, steroids helped the hundreds of players who took them, but we don't know how much it helped.  There were a lot of things happening at the same time - rapid expansion , smaller parks and many believe here was a livelier ball as the MLB tried to make baseball popular again after the strike.  I really don't think it was just steroids.  

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

You think I'm trolling because I'm questioning faith. It's uncool to question someone else's faith. Just like religion.

The difference is steroids does not exist in the realm of religion. It exists in the realm of science. Whether steroids actually makes someone better at playing baseball is a scientifically provable hypothesis. Until I see the science on that, I remain skeptical about the statement of faith.

I really don’t care about this argument you guys are having. But I do wonder how scientifically provable it is. What kind of realistic scientific method could you use to prove or disprove this hypothesis?

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Let's set aside the Barry Bonds claim for a moment and focus on this:

Where did you get the 10% to 20% figure for all three attributes?

As you said, it's science. It can be found in numerous studies online. 

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8 minutes ago, Shelton said:

I really don’t care about this argument you guys are having. But I do wonder how scientifically provable it is. What kind of realistic scientific method could you use to prove or disprove this hypothesis?

Well, we do have a big enough sample size of baseball statistics. As far as actual science, I doubt we'll ever know how much it affected each individual player.

I suspect dosage would play a large part in that. I don't think two equal baseball players will necessarily have the same effect. I don't think a player taking a small dosage for a month to regain his bat speed after an injury is going to benefit as much as a guy taking the maximum amount for 5+ years. This is where I have a problem with the "well they all took them" arguments. 

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1 hour ago, chasfh said:

Whether steroids actually makes someone better at playing baseball is a scientifically provable hypothesis. Until I see the science on that, I remain skeptical about the statement of faith.

Just curious, any thoughts on how someone would go about scientifically proving this hypothesis?   There’s no way you could get a set of players to willingly take steroids and play and then compare to their base without them.   

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6 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Well, we do have a big enough sample size of baseball statistics. As far as actual science, I doubt we'll ever know how much it affected each individual player.

I suspect dosage would play a large part in that. I don't think two equal baseball players will necessarily have the same effect. I don't think a player taking a small dosage for a month to regain his bat speed after an injury is going to benefit as much as a guy taking the maximum amount for 5+ years. This is where I have a problem with the "well they all took them" arguments. 

Sure, but baseball is already subject to wide swings in performance just due to variance. We don’t know with confidence which players used and didn’t, or when they started using and stopped using. On top of that, you have an aging curve to consider. There are pretty much no controlled variables, or a high level of confidence regarding measurable factors. 

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It appears that Hongbit and I are on the same page. 

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Steroids don't make you a better baseball player, or a better 100 meter runner.  Weightlifting does.  You have to lift the weights.  Steroids help you to recover from workouts, so that your weightlifting can be more intense.  You still have to lift the weights, you can't just stick a needle in your ***.  

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4 minutes ago, Shelton said:

Sure, but baseball is already subject to wide swings in performance just due to variance. We don’t know with confidence which players used and didn’t, or when they started using and stopped using. On top of that, you have an aging curve to consider. There are pretty much no controlled variables, or a high level of confidence regarding measurable factors. 

For sure. Which is why people use things like a ridiculous HR ratio as evidence. And someone will come along and say "but you don't know that... science... yada yada..." and it's just an endless loop. I mean he did have multiple failed tests, I believe. Maybe some people believe his story that he didn't know what it was. 

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27 minutes ago, Yoda said:

Well, we do have a big enough sample size of baseball statistics. As far as actual science, I doubt we'll ever know how much it affected each individual player.

I suspect dosage would play a large part in that. I don't think two equal baseball players will necessarily have the same effect. I don't think a player taking a small dosage for a month to regain his bat speed after an injury is going to benefit as much as a guy taking the maximum amount for 5+ years. This is where I have a problem with the "well they all took them" arguments. 

Do you really think all the other players just took it after injuries and they sat around and watched a few of the best players keep taking it? They were all taking it.  That's what competitive people do.  

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2 minutes ago, Charles Liston said:

Steroids don't make you a better baseball player, or a better 100 meter runner.  Weightlifting does.  You have to lift the weights.  Steroids help you to recover from workouts, so that your weightlifting can be more intense.  You still have to lift the weights, you can't just stick a needle in your ***.  

That's overly-simplified. 

Quote

Androgenic-anabolic steroids (AAS) are synthetic derivatives of the male hormone testosterone. They can exert strong effects on the human body that may be beneficial for athletic performance. A review of the literature revealed that most laboratory studies did not investigate the actual doses of AAS currently abused in the field. Therefore, those studies may not reflect the actual (adverse) effects of steroids. The available scientific literature describes that short-term administration of these drugs by athletes can increase strength and bodyweight. Strength gains of about 5-20% of the initial strength and increments of 2-5 kg bodyweight, that may be attributed to an increase of the lean body mass, have been observed. 

This doesn't say "because they lifted more". To me it says they gained strength simply by taking them. But I could be wrong. 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15248788/

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10 minutes ago, Yoda said:

 I mean he did have multiple failed tests, I believe. Maybe some people believe his story that he didn't know what it was. 

I don't believe his story.  I think he took steroids along with hundreds of other players.  I would bet the majority of players were taking them.  As soon as I heard about football players taking steroids back in the 80s, I assumed athletes in all sports would use them.  

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2 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

Do you really think all the other players just took it after injuries and they sat around and watched a few of the best players keep taking it? They were all taking it.  That's what competitive people do.  

Given the health risks, I don't believe every baseball player that tried steroids took them regularly for a long period of time. It's silly to assume that just because it fits the narrative, IMO. I seriously doubt that was the case. But again, I have no idea. 

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1 minute ago, Yoda said:

Given the health risks, I don't believe every baseball player that tried steroids took them regularly for a long period of time. It's silly to assume that just because it fits the narrative, IMO. I seriously doubt that was the case. But again, I have no idea. 

Some might have worried about health risks, but young people tend to think they are invincible and bad things won't happen to them.  If the superstars that players look up to are taking them, they couldn't be that bad? Right? With the highly competitive nature of pro athletes and all the money at stake, I absolutely believe the majority were taking regularly or semi-regularly.     

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Empirical data shows steroids helped quite a bit. 60 HR/year record stood for a very long time and then suddenly multiple players hit 60 and even 70 was obtained while others hit career highs. After the "crack down" on steroids these HR totals went back to closer to pre steroid levels while the small ballparks, better lighting and livelier ball remained. Its steroids as the lone/main variable. 

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