Thursday, August 02, 2007

Relief at Dodger Stadium

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.
George F. Will, political columnist

Barry Bonds versus the Dodgers is over. Tuesday through Thursday night I tuned into the Dodger game to see if Barry Bonds would hit his controversial, historical-tying home run at Dodger Stadium. I am pleased to write that he did not. The only good from Bonds hitting a home run at Dodger Stadium would have been Vin Scully making the call, if you happened to have cable. I suppose the justice in that is that Vin Scully was one of the announcers who made the call for Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home run. As Scully said during the game, the circus moves on to San Diego.

Despite the steroid allegations surrounding him, I am not so sure that any of the modern day records should be compared to the early part of the last century since the dimensions of the ball parks have changed (Dodger Stadium used to be 410 to centerfield when I was a kid, today I believe it is 395). The pitcher mounds used to be higher and the strike zones have changed in ways that I don’t recall immediately. So comparisons are not really accurate, all of the records should have asterisks.


Brian said...

I've always thought the asterisk was childish, simply because it seems to say that the game itslef should never change, never evolve. Of course the game was played differently in the past--there was less money involved and less reliance on technology. Should Cy Young's win record be asterisked simply because he played in an era where pitchers got more starts in a season than they do now? I don't think so.

And this discussion doesn't seem to transfer over into other sports so much for some reason. I don't recall this kind of furor over Walter Payton breaking the all-time rushing record, for instance--it's only baseball, which has an overblown sense of nostalgia, it seems to me, where records are held up as sacrosanct.

The Misanthrope said...

Brian, I don't completely disagree with you, but there should be some way to compare apples to apples or at least point out the differences when making comparisons.

Anonymous said...

On The Mark says: The other night Scully, in an indirect way, was pretty much saying that record breaking is good for entertainment, but that's as far as you can take it. For example, he cited how there was a computer analysis done recently and it showed that if Babe Ruth had had the same amount of at-bats as Hank Aaron, he would have hit 1,051 home runs. I consider all of the pre-1980 records to be legitimate, but nothing after that. Baseball changed after the 1981 strike, and not for the better.