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By Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo ()     Permalink
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Read the damned artcile before voting, please! In the 1949 Ad-Prac class at Harvard, people learned how to screw-over clients, customers, employees, unions, and create Planned Obsolescence of all products-Make everything so it will wear out faster. Before then, most appliances outlasted husbands and wives, and even mistresses.

My point is that ages later Baseball Moguls decided that the 49ers Ad-Prac was a great idea to apply to major league baseball. Hell, it certainly applied well to wrestling, some motor sports, and some sillier scoring systems games like figure skating and dancing.

In 1920 and again in 1921 Babe Ruth hit more home runs per season that 14 of the then, sixteen teams did each season. Now thought a variety of culpable moves my sister’s in law, all seven of them could, if asked hit more homeruns than most players in the 1920’s, and a few of them cannot see well at all. Through a series of manipulations, it has become relatively easy to hit balls a great distance with a great degree of consistency, for a few seasons, and for some longer. For one the height of the pitcher’s mound has been lowered by 44%, from 18 inches to 10 inches. This gives the pitcher a good deal less advantage from which to fire the ball down at the batter. Bat speed is a great deal faster than ball speed.

Another innovation was to soup-up the liveliness of the baseball, by some 60%-70% over the one used in Babe Ruth’s day. Another was incidental to expanding the number of teams thereby allowing minimally qualified players, especially pitchers into the Major Leagues. Moreover, and most specifically, using an unannounced, and devious, demoniac, philosophical, approach which moral code is on level with that of Satan’s best pupils on the planet-you know the ones I mean including the present ones in Washington, on both sides of the aisle. HAVE THEY resorted to Outcomes Management of baseball games?

Although over the lst 60 years we have seen a grade inflation of about 95%, encouraged by cowardly careerist administrators, to expand the market to those who probably should never have finished high school, let alone tried to finish college. A part of that insanity began when community colleges began to create programs which had no place in “Higher Education, but worse to pay those who taught these questionable programs on the same pay scale as legitimate Professors. This threw open the door to, now once allowing people with no affinity for scholarship to enter, they must construct a way for these same unqualified “students’ to pass and go on to graduate schools. They hit on the invention of Grade Inflation and now have achieved what they sought. Numbers inflation in baseball owes a lot to grade inflation in “Higher-Ed.” Satisfy the hometown crowd and you won’t have to worry about attendance. Make sure at virtually all costs that the home team wins often or at least comes close to winning often, or at least seems to be winning often. If ties go to the runner, why can’t all close calls go to the home team, even not so close calls as well. Even exploit like a lawyer billing you, any circumstance to get the home team a win.

Woody Allen tells a story on his spiritual adviser, a rabbi, who talked him out of a $50,000 payment to become a shill in commercials for a Vodka company, "it is illegal, immoral, etc. for you to do a commercial for something you do not use..." Later Allen sees a beach ad with a scantily clad beauty sitting next to a fellow hoisting aloft a glass of the same Vodka, his Rabbi. 

Like all things of little spiritual merit, heroes begin to make too much mammon, and in there once fans, envy replaces idolatry and fans believe the lies of media and reality fades into blame. Nations attack and destroy another nation and its people and blame the victims for the occupation. Media gurus, blame steroids for baseball record setting, steroids cannot, cause and ignore what they cover up, corruption of a game and those who watch it. 

We didn’t see football players who were on steroids throwing a football 120 yards, do we? Do we see field goal kickers who were on steroids kicking 98-yard field goals? The steroid and distance hitting is nonsense, bulking up slows reflexes and dims vision. Homerun hitters are guys with 20/10 or lower vision, superhuman reflexes, and eye-hand coordination, you have to hit the ball before it will go farther and steroids hamper hitting a baseball at all.

At any rate, for added entertainment value, this summer, watch baseball very closely on TV or in person. Particularly watch ball and strike calls. Watch close plays and some that are not so close. Watch key hitters and key pitchers. Watch assiduously and diligently. Watch, also the really good looking females with halters and short-shorts, in the crowd, too. They are all there to be seen and to deter your thinking too much about reality. 

Watch with an open mind, perhaps if you are a fan of a particular team playing an away game, this will be the time to have pad and pencil available and perhaps Pepto-Bismol, if you are eating chili-dogs and beer. If so, bring a photo-phone, or a pad, writing and drawing paper, to make detailed notes, (and mark down also all the bad calls and then figure the percentage that go to the home team. Season long; we got a ratio of 5.6:2.56 (or about 69%) favoring home team. 

If you are going to fix something, the fewer people in on the "Fix" the less chance of being caught-the umpires are more than enough and even they probably are not clear on what they are being asked to do, because the way it was allegedly put to them, it seemed to make sense. 

In sports, as in other industries things change because technologies change and one or more people discover a means of undoing and exploiting weaknesses in a system. Look at the years leading up to 1930 in Major League Baseball. They juiced the ball in 1930 because they saw that higher scores brought more fans into the parks. Every halfway decent player had an incredible season. It became an erratic but recognized path for owners to juice the balls from time to time. After Bob Gibson's 1.12 ERA year almost 50 years ago, they dropped the pitcher's mound height from 18" to 10," where it still is, further enhancing the batter's advantages. Next, they will probably move the mound back a few feet.

Until Babe Ruth, a man scientifically tested to have superhuman reflexes and eye-hand coordination as well as incredible vision, figured out something about a thrown baseball, akin to Einstein's discovery of Relativity, the average number of home runs it took to lead the league was between 7.5 to 9.5 homeruns per season. Ruth's 59 home runs in 1921 were six-seven times higher than the average. When Ruth hit 54 homeruns in 1920 in 458 at bats and a batting average of .376 and a slugging average of .847, .532 OBA, and followed that up in 1921 with 59 home runs, 177 runs scored, a .378 batting average, 457 Total bases, .846 Slugging average and .512 OBA, he hit more home runs in each of those two seasons than 14 of the entire 16 major league teams did! Only two entire teams in 1920 hit more than his 54 home runs, and only two entire teams in 1921 year hit more than his 59 total in that season! To match that feat today a player would have to hit about 285 home runs in one season. All without steroids.

Mounds lowered by eight inches, balls so lively my grandmother can hit them out of the park, expansions spreading a rare talent too thin, making truly talented pitchers rarer than a perfect yellow or blue diamond, and umpires squeezing the plate for some pitchers and expanding it for others, only, one might think, a fool could miss the reality. 

If they really want to increase ticket sales, why don't they ask, Jennifer Alba, Monica Bellucci, and Carmine Electra to create a new league of Nude Supermodel/Actresses, true all-star team to play each weekend, I would go. 

The drugs, as I mentioned above, were not all illegal, the one they are trying to hang on Barry Bonds, Bovine Growth Formula, is eaten every day by tens of millions of American, men, women and children, because it is fed to every non-organically raised food chain animal and therefore consumed by everyone who is not a vegetarian in America and I hear it has leeched into our water supply. Therefore, if it carries a criminal use charge, I hope they have enough prisons for 300,00,000 Americans and millions of fresh water fish.
What are the dirty little secrets? Of course, the one mentioned above, about games outcomes being manipulated and the baseballs taking super bounce reactions. The game being manipulated are: Regular seasons games, League Championship Games, World Series Games and even some games in the school yard of PS-537 on 53rd and Broadway.
In the explanation of alleged games outcome manipulation, one must first look to the umpires who consistently make incredibly bad calls and ask, why? Perhaps their dentures are loose or their wives are going through Mid-life crisis? When a man goes through mid-life crisis, he buys a red sport car and dates college cheerleaders, when his wife isn't looking. When a woman goes through mid-life crisis, she discovers her husband's indiscretions and opens fire on him at the dinner table, when he isn't looking. 

If incompetence is/was the problem with the umpires, here are four tried and true methods of controlling or eliminating it. The first is retraining, or that failing; suspension or firing of the offending umpires. The third is letting those umpires eat dinner with your wife if she is packing her six-shooter. However, the last is giving the umpires better Vision care benefits packages, so they can buy thicker glasses. However, perhaps the league executives could trade thicker heads for thicker glasses also? 

Why games manipulation, you might ask? To keep the home team fans coming back to the games. The TV cable crowd is addicted to successful conclusions to everything that must be why some of them are still supporting the Iraqi war. I hear that those who still support the Iraqi war and the "Surge Policy" are the same people who bought ENRON stock at $90.00 per share just before the crash and whose parents bought Japanese War Bonds in 1941. 

Can you even imagine what Babe Ruth, Jimmy Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio and Ralph Kiner, would do with a pitcher throwing off a 10-inch mound, with a souped-up baseball, and umpires squeezing the strike zone? The mounds were lowered when Bob Gibson (a black pitcher) had an unprecedented year (1961 when everyone was hitting homeruns with the frequency of singles) of 13 shutouts on his way to a 1.12 ERA. Great pitching and 1-0 scores do not bring in the crowds. High scores, lots of home runs... and of course, Janette Jackson’s bared breasts, even only one of them, do, so they lowered the mound to almost half its previous height. Goodbye low ERA's!
What about the contention that steroid intake allowed players to break records? Really? Well, there were many mediocre players who had convincingly mediocre years after taking steroids, so why didn't THEY all hit 73 home runs? 

One thing is clear, only a fool or a blind man would have trouble understanding the simplicity of new strike zone. It is simple, like poetry, and a politician's speech, the strike zone was open to each individual umpire's interpretation. Here is a guide to the new strike zone: If the home team is up, the strike zone is from the top of his belt to the bottom of his belt, and half as wide. When the visiting team is up, the strike zone is from the ankles to a foot above the bill of their caps, and from one foot behind them to the dugout. 

Now back to the physical aspects of long ball hitting. 

The surge of long ball hitting has more to do with mechanics of the game like ball/strike calls (and several other factors). 

Contrary to speculation, by blabber-mouthed, sport, talk-show hosts, steroids and bulging, fat muscles, do not improve the skills for consistently hitting 100 MPH sliders and fastballs, either consistently or far. The skills needed are: Extremely fine vision, like 20/10 or 20/05, superhuman reflexes, and superlative eye/hand (SEHC) coordination, not weight or bulked-up muscles. Bulking up on steroids actually slows neuro-muscular reaction time and makes swings herky/jerky, plodding and inaccurate. 

Steroids can make a person stronger, and even make them bray like a donkey, and constantly bump into water coolers, but cannot improve bat speed, vision, or the other requisites, and they, most certainly, cannot help a person hit major league pitching any better or with more frequency, nor can they help a pitcher place his pitches on demand, on the spot more often and with better "stuff." In fact, bat speed; now watch and read this very carefully, steroids encumber (slow down) reflexes as they enable muscle blobbing. Thickly muscled arms and bodies are
S l o w e r, than long, smooth muscles. Reaction time is s l o w e r, in brains to muscles, and unleashing lightening fast eye-hand coordination, which together with 20/10 or better vision, not bulk, makes a great hitter. Bulk and steroids, interfere with eye-hand coordination, slow the wit and reaction time for coordinated pinpoint direction of a bat at great bat speed. In short, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGuire, if they did use steroids, did not break records because of steroids, but in spite of them. Of course, sycophantic physicians and pharmacists who sing for their pay will sing in opposition to truth every time. So when you see them contradicting what I just said, give them the appropriate finger.

However, a livelier baseball can cause a hitter to increase his home run frequency about 68%, from one homerun each 21+ at bats to 1 every 6.5 at bats- (Barry Bonds in his 73 home run year). However, if that lively ball hits a player in the head, he most certainly, then may begin to bray like a donkey anyway, and maybe even dress like one, but with a sillier, permanent, toothy grin on his face. 

However, no one ever complained about the fact that every single player who ever appeared on a Wheaties cereal box led his league in hitting or pitching, so why aren't Wheaties on the banned list? (Although my cousin ate Wheaties every day for six months, and hit only his shoe size that year, but on the bright side, he never was constipated.) 

Bonds intake of Bovine Growth Formula (if that isn't also a fiction) makes him equal to the rest of us (In Bovine Growth Formula intake, at least). As I said earlier, here are Bovine Growth drugs in all beef and most other non-organic meats, placed there by cattle growers with no objection from the government, and in our water supplies as well. If the Bonds ever have another child and it appears mooing then we will know he is guilty, but until then, he is innocent in the eyes of the law, and he is probably innocent anyway. Anyway, I like Barry Bonds; he knows how to handle the press. 

A friend who tried steroids and was arrested recently for dressing like an Ocelot and trying to sell celery to a wooden, Tobacco store, Indian, upon St. Crispin's Day. I haven’t seen that Bonds has done anything like that, have you?

Thus, the sharp increase in power numbers is due far more to the liveliness of the SuperBall-baseball, the increase in teams in the leagues, thus dilution of available pitching talent, and the lowering of pitching mounds and perhaps to an extra bowl of Wheaties every day, at least it will keep one regular. Keep one thing in mind; hundreds of professional and amateur baseball players were implicated in the use of steroids, why didn't they break records? Keep firmly in mind that I am a physical anthropologist, and I dated a bevy of super models, so I know quite a bit about the human body and how it reacts to certain chemicals and certain girls, too. 

The idea that ties go to the runner, may have been the seed for the owners allegedly instructing the chief umpires that ties go to the home team on close calls, and then later amending that to say, as soon as a weakness is spotted in the visiting team, exploit it to the home team's advantage unless we say otherwise, or that failing, start spiking the water cooler and pumpkin seeds supplies of the visitors with Prozac and their towels with Chloroform. 

No, wonder the owner's refuses to use an electronic strike zone to call pitches. Doing that would remove game outcome control from their control. The lameness of the excuse, "we don't want to remove the 'human element," is ludicrous. Do they keep the human element by counting the gate and the profits on their fingers and toes, or do they use computers? Alternatively, when one of the owners, spends a weekend with his Latex skinned and stuffed, Candy Girl, Electronic full-sized sex doll, why doesn't he use a real human? 

Meanwhile, people blame the umpires, who never are fired for incompetence-they, cannot be fired or the fired umpires might expose the "Home-team wins" concept. They are accessories before and after the fact, beside the fact and perhaps, at times, even under it. Besides, they might not even be aware of what they are doing, aren't they, like Hitler's and Bush's sycophants, just carrying out orders, and besides, in America, who cares? 

Is, then, the emphasis upon attacking the players for steroid use, a smoke screen hiding the real (alleged) fraud and the need for an asterisk covering the following periods: 1930, 1951, 1961, 1987, 1991, 1994-2006, all of which were tied to sinking or growing revenues?
Now that the owners are aware of the mortality of the game because of several strikes, sagging revenue, burgeoning salaries, and other competing sports, they have a new idea! They have a plan to end strikes and high salaries by training Seals, Walruses and Gnu's to play baseball. Of course, this will not necessarily stifle sagging revenues, but it may stifle sagging Designated Hitter's belly
Well, I have an old fashioned electric football game I can play whenever I want to get some sports action, if I could only figure out why the little plastic players, who look like He-Men, but take every opportunity to start dancing in circles, arms locked, with each other! Oh, brother, is nothing sacred? 

I have an idea I'll send my game to Cheney! 

There is another argument the haters of Barry Bonds like to use. He had a crummy career until he discovered drugs. WRONG! Another is that he is bigger than he was when he came into the league. Guess what, EVERYONE is, I am bigger than when I played in high school and college and I don’t even take aspirin or vitamin pills! Making one bigger does not help hit major league pitching. They also say, at a time in his career when others numbers are declining his are increasing. Not true, I look at hundreds of career stats and a great many careers began to take on extraordinary stats at about the same point, a point I predicted, right after each crisis in baseball. 1917-1919, 1930, 1950, 1961, 1987, 1991-2007.

Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Andrea Galleraga, as well as Sammy Sosa, and Bonds, are just a few examples of many such player resurgences. Note the increase in homeruns per at bat on all of them at a certain point later in their career and note that in some, despite no longer able to beat out infield hits, still there was a resurgence in batting averages, later in careers, meaning they were hitting even better than when they were younger. 

Pete Bagnolo, played amateur and Professional Organized Baseball from age 12 through age 41. Some people said he was, “The greatest hitter in the history of baseball who never played Major League baseball!”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course some folks contend that all of the people interviewed who said that were about the same height and weight as Pete Bagnolo, and seemed to be wearing those Groucho Marx glasses Moustaches and noses, and that even the women wore them.






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Professor Bagnolo has majored in: Cultural Anthropology, Architectural design, painting, creative writing. As a child prodigy, abed with polio for almost two years, he was offered an opportunity to skip three grades at age 8.
Later He was a (more...)
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