Tag Archive | "Playing The Game"

The Purity Of The Pastime

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Purity Of The Pastime

Posted on 01 March 2013 by Nick Schaeflein

The game of baseball is something that is near and dear to me. It has been passed down from family members and played since a young age. The game, along with the eventual bride to be, is two things that I am absolutely crazy about with the hopes of making baseball a career some day. Growing up, if the uniform was not dirty, everything was not left out on the field. Playing the game hard and the right way were core values given to me by some great coaches. The beauty of baseball can also be turned into life lessons as well.

RetroBaseball

Steroids are a delicate subject currently in baseball. It is a line in the dirt that has affected the game for the wrong reasons. However, it has not ruined the game entirely. Despite all of the reports, congressional hearings, PED’s, HGH, and any other abbreviations there is still much to be celebrated.

This past offseason, the latest report naming players that allegedly took substances was released with more high profile names included such as Ryan Braun again and Gio Gonzalez. The latest report appears to have a common factor of ties to the Miami area and university. The university has already had its fair share of troubles and this is seemingly being added to the list of dark clouds.

Since the mid 90’s, the game as been viewed as the “steroid era” and the image and commissioner have both taken a hit for that facing the questions of just how clean is the game? While the commissioner has implemented great things that have improved the game such as the Wild Card and instant replay, many believe the stance on drug use was turned the other way.

Some may even forget that these talks and questions really began to take shape in 2005 and 2006 when Jose Canseco released the book Juiced. The information published in that book caused a serious stir around the game. Denials of any and all claims mentioned became the thing to do and Canseco became an outcast. Fast forward nearly a decade and now many of the things written have been discovered as truths rather than fiction.

In baseball, much like the other sports has some bad that comes with the good. For someone that loves the true meaning of sports that is hard to accept. The beauty of sports should be that for those two or three hours that the game is being played nothing else should matter. The game should be the story, the heart, and hustle. There should be no back drop of steroids, or criminal allegations to clutter things. It is sad when the games fans love are taken advantage of, because who would not give anything to trade places with a professional athlete? We should take notice of the clubs and players doing things the right way as opposed to the select few that do not.

Inner circles use the terms like dirt bags or grinders. Guys that seemingly give every ounce they have for their team and leave it all on the field. Guys like Dustin Pedroia, Chipper Jones, and Derek Jeter often have uniforms where dirt is the primary color and earn that respect from their peers. Steroids are never brought up about guys like this. Rather, the effort and hustle are praised. They are just a few players that do not take the game for granted.

This year, for the first time in a long time no players were elected into the Hall of Fame. The question is what does that mean for future players? Will a few bad apples ruin it for the rest? I do not believe so. During the era, some players still did it the right way and will be honored. Upcoming Hall of Fame eligible players include Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, and Ken Griffey Jr. who should all be first ballot inductees.

No question, my favorite player is The Kid. Along with the on field talent, he brought that energy, that purity, and that smile to the game. He was a human highlight show and role model with the purest swing in the game. For the saber metrics, Griffey’s 1997 MVP season reads as a .304 batting average, 56 home runs, 147 RBI’s, and the most important number, 0. Zero being the number of steroid reports, PED’s, and accusations leaked.

The use of steroids should never be condoned, however the era should never be completely ignored or have an asterisk next to it either. It should be treated and accepted as apart of the game and just another chapter as good still emerged during the same period as well. The same time frame brought us stories such as the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks and Cal Ripken becoming the new iron man. History does not discount the dead ball era and in today’s game this should be no different. No asterisks are found on pitchers stats such as the great Bob Gibson prior to 1969 when the pitching mound was different and clean players today should not be discredited with accomplishments either.

The purpose of the Baseball Hall of Fame committee is to vote and elect the best players from the sport and enshrine them in Cooperstown. They are to be impartial and select only the few worthy players. As the game hopefully moves away from the PED’s and gets cleaned up, those players will still rise above the rest and become enshrined.

As Opening Day approaches, here is to the steroid cloud hopefully fading away. The game still has and will always have many things to cherish about it. The core is still pure. To borrow a line from a movie, “The game does not stink, it is a great game.”

Comments (1)

Hanging Em Up

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hanging Em Up

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Bill Ivie

This off season has taken a bit of a toll on the active rosters around baseball.  A few household names have decided that playing the game was to become a thing of the past for them.  Here is a quick look at the players that we will not see in an active role in 2012 as well as their final season and overall stats for their careers.

Jorge Posada
The Yankee backstop had a tumultuous 2011 that seen him find his way to the bench for an extended period of time.  A catcher that will go down in history as an all around player on multiple championship teams, as well as a player that spent his career in one city, Posada is loved in New York and respected every where else.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 NYY 115 344 34 81 14 0 14 44 0 2 39 76 .235 .315 .398 .714
17 Seasons 1829 6092 900 1664 379 10 275 1065 20 21 936 1453 .273 .374 .474 .848
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.

Orlando Cabrera
Considered one of the premier shortstops of his time not that long ago, the O-Dawg has decided that his playing days are through.  The thirty-four year old from South Carolina spent ten seasons in Major League Baseball playing for five different teams.  Rather symmetrically, Hudson spent exactly half of his career in each of the two leagues in baseball.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 SDP 119 398 54 98 15 3 7 43 19 49 84 .246 .329 .352 .681
10 Seasons 1259 4565 627 1266 253 58 90 514 79 463 774 .277 .345 .417 .762
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.

Craig Counsell
The super utility infielder has spent sixteen big league seasons patrolling every infield position and even a game in the outfield here and there.  His days with the Diamondbacks early on, and his involvement in their championship run, may be the defining moments of his career.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 MIL 107 157 19 28 2 1 1 9 2 1 20 21 .178 .280 .223 .503
16 Seasons 1624 4741 647 1208 218 40 42 390 103 49 589 663 .255 .342 .344 .686
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.

Adam Everett
Our second thirty four year old shortstop on the list is calling it a career.  A defensive player that spent the majority of his career in Houston put a bow on his eleven year tour as a member of the Cleveland Indians.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 CLE 34 60 9 13 1 0 0 1 1 0 5 14 .217 .277 .233 .510
11 Seasons 880 2758 334 668 135 15 40 283 67 21 174 455 .242 .294 .346 .640
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.

Pat Burrell
We have just found out recently that “Pat the Bat” would be retiring rather than returning to the grind of 162 games.  Burrell, thrity five years old, spent the majority of his career in Philadelphia before spending time in Tampa Bay and then, ultimately, retiring as a San Fransisco Giant.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2011 SFG 92 183 17 42 9 1 7 21 0 0 33 67 .230 .352 .404 .756
12 Seasons 1640 5503 767 1393 299 16 292 976 7 3 932 1564 .253 .361 .472 .834
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/31/2012.


Side Notes
Outfielder J.D. Drew, pitcher Tim Wakefield and catcher Jason Varitek have all mentioned retirement at different points and time this off season, though none have officially announced they would hang it up.  With Drew, it is hard to say.  He is very much a player that will talk about, and has talked about, retirement when there is a lack of interest in his services.  Wakefield has mentioned retirement but has also stated a strong desire to return the Red Sox, if they will offer him a contract.  It seems the official word is all we are waiting on from Varitek, who truly appears to be done.

Bill Ivie is the co-founder of Full Spectrum Baseball and the founder of Ivie League Productions.

Comments (0)

Advertise Here
Advertise Here