Barry Bonds - 756*

08/08/2007 6:57 pm
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Ok, so Bonds has hit #756 and the asterisk furor is out in full force.

Many people thought he should have hit #754 and then, in a show of good faith to the mystique of Hank Aaron and the integrity of baseball, retired immediately following the game.

Many people think that Bonds' record should at worst be marked with and asterisk and should eventually be stricken from the record books altogether.

To the people in the first group, I have this to ask:
(Aside from how preposterously unreasonable and unfair that is.) Would you have been willing to give Barry the asterisk you've been clamoring so hard for, only this time noting he would have been a mortal lock to break the record? Would you have left his numbers alone anyway? Was the entire outrage only geared towards him being on top of the list, or would you have praised him for a week, then lobbied to get 754 taken out of the books?

To the latter group, I have this to ask:
Let's ignore the fact that nothing has been proven and operate under the assumption we find out someday he had been on steroids for a period of time. Should we throw out everything he's ever done, and strike the record from the books? Should we throw out just the homeruns during that period of time and knock Barry back to second or wherever that would place him on the list? If found to be a cheater once should we assume he's been cheating since day one?

Surely either approach could be feasible. However, wouldn't either approach warrant an asterisk on the record anyway? Also, why should this apply just to Bonds? Sammy Sosa got caught with a corked bat, shouldn't we also have to throw out everything he had done up until then? Lots of pitchers have been caught using steroids, shouldn't we toss their career numbers from the books too? If a juiced up batter faces a juiced up pitcher, does that cancel out the infractions?
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
08/08/2007 @ 10:20:43 PM
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I agree with that last part especially. Somehow Bonds got turned into the bad guy that everyone loves to hate, even though there has been actual proof against other players and some of the all-time greats were known cheaters. I don't understand why everyone feels the need to pontificate on Bonds.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 12:04:07 AM
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maybe they should just compromise
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 08:26:39 AM
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I say throw out all cheaters, as long as there is irrefutable evidence proving them guilty.

"Money League Baseball Sucks!" -As seen on a shirt Micah wore in highschool
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wendy.gifWendy
08/09/2007 @ 09:11:37 AM
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A LOT of athletes use steroids. And Bonds is apparently an a-hole by many accounts. But steroids didn't give him the hand-eye coordination to hit that many home runs. And all those other players who were artificially jacked up didn't end up with the same success.
Based on my limited knowledge, steroids don't magically transform you into a superior athlete - they make you want to work out like crazy, and keep you from feeling muscle strain and fatigue. And of course shrink your balls.

Whatever happened to the Floyd Landis investigation?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
08/09/2007 @ 09:22:31 AM
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I can't remember what I was listening to, but there was something on where a guy (someone with some authority on the situation) was actually saying steroids themselves have sort have gotten a "bad name" and that they really are sort of a miracle. He went so far as to say that everyone's doctor should put them through at least two "courses" of steroids in their lifetime (to be paired with exercise.)
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
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What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second). That makes a difference. Now, Bonds was a tremendous homerun hitter before the allegations started, (and before his head ballooned up the size of a watermelon.) so it would stand to reason that the added strength provided by steriods helped put this already tremendous hitter into a whole new level. I mean, Bonds was the only member of the 400-400 (hr-SB) club before the allegations started. No one is arguing that he went from crappy to hall-of-famer that stretch.

Bonds could have retired in 2000 and probably would have been a HOFer.
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Scott messed with this at 08/09/2007 11:39:45 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 12:04:48 PM
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Well is the fervor over steroids or cheating?

If steroids weren't against the rules, or were pretty much mandatory, wouldn't we still be arguing comparing the record is apples and oranges? Hank and Bonds played in different eras, on different fields, and I can only imagine every part of any piece of equipment Bonds uses at the plate, and every piece he uses to train, is a technological leap from what Hank Aaron used. Surely all those things could be used to magnify that it may have been a bigger accomplishment for Hank Aaron to hit as many homeruns as he did, even if he isn't in first. That doesn't mean we should look to strip the leader of their numbers. It's not like steroids is the only advantage a "modern" player has, or the only thing that makes comparing 30 year old numbers to modern day ones "apples to oranges".

If it's the cheating that's the problem then I say this. First off, isn't what is and isn't cheating arbitrary anyway? The rules on that have changed already. Pitchers used to be able to do all kind of things to the balls, and now they can't. Should we decide after the fact those players were cheating? Wouldn't it be unfair to compare those numbers to modern day pitchers who cant do anything to a ball? Are there levels of cheating, or are you just a cheater or not? Is too much pine tar on the bat and corking a bat the same thing? When it comes to cheating, at least in terms or things big, or small, that violate the letter of the law in a sport, I have no doubt that almost every professional athlete is cheating on some level virtually anywhere you look.
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Jeremy messed with this at 08/09/2007 12:07:42 pm
reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 12:09:32 PM
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The Onion got it right:

Article

He was absolutely a HOF'er before he was on steroids. I really can't stop myself from hating the guy. I dont care who else was on steroids and how that affected the record....I am now going to watch Field of Dreams and cry.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
08/09/2007 @ 12:22:14 PM
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dreams_lg-01.jpg

Saw what?
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Jeremy perfected this at 08/09/2007 12:26:49 pm
wendy.gifWendy - 163 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 01:06:15 PM
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Does anyone else have the urge to hop on over to Carson Park and pay homage to Hank Aaron with the bronze statue near the ball field?
Oh. Ok.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
08/09/2007 @ 01:12:14 PM
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We took that down and replaced it with a Bonds statue. Our city managers jumped the gun a bit and assumed the constant uproar over Bonds was because he was to inherit Aaron's entire existence upon passing him.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 01:14:08 PM
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Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second).


strength != quickness

Give one of those strongman competition guys a baseball bat and see if he can major league pitching.

Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
No one is arguing that he went from crappy to hall-of-famer that stretch.


So why are you counter-arguing it?

Wendy Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 09:11:37 AM
Whatever happened to the Floyd Landis investigation?


It got overshadowed by the 20 other guys who tested positive in this years race.

Wendy Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 01:06:15 PM
Does anyone else have the urge to hop on over to Carson Park and pay homage to Hank Aaron with the bronze statue near the ball field?
Oh. Ok.


One year in high school the whole Lancer team would touch Hank on the way in to a game.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
08/09/2007 @ 01:31:49 PM
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Ah Immanuel, what good, semi creepy, memories we all must have of that place.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 04:21:15 PM
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Alex Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 01:14:08 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second).


strength != quickness

Give one of those strongman competition guys a baseball bat and see if he can major league pitching.



See, Alex when you write the thing about strongmen not hitting you're basically implying that it wasn't the strength, but the skill bonds had. (As if it has to be one or the other). So, that's what Scott is talking about when he says no one is saying he went from crappy to hall of famer. As in, we all know bonds isn't a case of a "strongman" hitting homeruns suddenly. So the reason Scott and others "counter-argue" it is because you and others actually ARE putting the argument out there, just in a watered-down form. Those comments you made act like other people think the steroids magically do the homerun hitting for someone.

Can't we think on the margin? Can't we entertain the idea that it's a matter of degrees? Barry already HAD the eyes, the coordination, the quickness, the skill, etc. to be one of the all-time great hitters. So everyone who thinks steroids helped him must not realize that bonds has other talents other than strength? I don't think those arguments are logically connected.

If steroids helped him gain strength he wouldn't have otherwise had, that means that he goes from a supertalented hitter who might have hit 50 homeruns and 40 warning track shots to a supertalented hitter with added strength to make some of those warning trackers into homeruns.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 04:35:05 PM
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Well, people DO argue, essentially, that homeruns are magically hit for you by steroids.

Other than that I really didn't follow your point.
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jon.jpgJon - 1 bajillion posts
08/09/2007 @ 04:49:27 PM
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Jeremy Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 04:35:05 PM
Well, people DO argue, essentially, that homeruns are magically hit for you by steroids.


My guess is that is your perception of their argument. I don't know if I've ever heard or met anyone who thinks that way, outside of maybe someone who doesn't actually follow sports.

My point is that people put out arguments about bonds' skill as a way to refute charges that the record is tainted. While the rest of us say, yes bonds is talented. And the record is tainted. And the two issues really aren't that connected.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 04:59:44 PM
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I think that mainly the point about his skill is put out there to say the record isn't AS tainted as some people make it out to be, not to say it isn't tainted at all. (Not to say there aren't people who'd believe the record won't be tainted at all, should the steroid allegations turn out to be true) Some people argue about Bonds like he would be at a career 256 homers without the 'roids.
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jon.jpgJon - 2847 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 05:14:59 PM
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Exactly, Kind of. (I declare this statement to be excellent)

Though, I wonder if people are actually willing to concede that it is tainted but just to a lesser degree. I think people are arguing about his skill to say that it shouldn't be tainted at all. But hey, maybe that's MY perception of their argument. I'm willing to be corrected on the issue of their own feelings.

But even if they are arguing that it isn't AS tainted, I think they're mostly missing the point. Maybe that's relevant to popular culture at large, but the baseball fans and insiders know Bonds is great. The main issue is inflated greatness and whether he broke the rules to get that inflation. The skills he already had are a given. I don't even see them as an issue, but maybe that's just me.
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
08/09/2007 @ 08:44:23 PM
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a person can be talented enough to hit the ball but not strong enough to knock the thing 500 feet. Add some roids, and we have a race. Bonds has talent and strength- but the problem is that he never had this much strength, nor such a big noggin before.
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
08/09/2007 @ 09:39:18 PM
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Jon Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 04:21:15 PM
Alex Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 01:14:08 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second).


strength != quickness

Give one of those strongman competition guys a baseball bat and see if he can major league pitching.



See, Alex when you write the thing about strongmen not hitting you're basically implying that it wasn't the strength, but the skill bonds had. (As if it has to be one or the other). So, that's what Scott is talking about when he says no one is saying he went from crappy to hall of famer. As in, we all know bonds isn't a case of a "strongman" hitting homeruns suddenly. So the reason Scott and others "counter-argue" it is because you and others actually ARE putting the argument out there, just in a watered-down form. Those comments you made act like other people think the steroids magically do the homerun hitting for someone.

Can't we think on the margin? Can't we entertain the idea that it's a matter of degrees? Barry already HAD the eyes, the coordination, the quickness, the skill, etc. to be one of the all-time great hitters. So everyone who thinks steroids helped him must not realize that bonds has other talents other than strength? I don't think those arguments are logically connected.

If steroids helped him gain strength he wouldn't have otherwise had, that means that he goes from a supertalented hitter who might have hit 50 homeruns and 40 warning track shots to a supertalented hitter with added strength to make some of those warning trackers into homeruns.


Um...no. I'm implying that strength is not the same as quickness, because it isn't. You and Scott are adding in the implied part to mine and other statements even though no one is stupid enough to argue that Bonds would only have hit 5 homeruns and been a bench warmer without allegedly using steriods (and if they are, then why even listening to whatever they are saying).
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 07:42:31 AM
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Jon Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 04:21:15 PM
Alex Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 01:14:08 PM
Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second).


strength != quickness

Give one of those strongman competition guys a baseball bat and see if he can major league pitching.



See, Alex when you write the thing about strongmen not hitting you're basically implying that it wasn't the strength, but the skill bonds had. (As if it has to be one or the other). So, that's what Scott is talking about when he says no one is saying he went from crappy to hall of famer. As in, we all know bonds isn't a case of a "strongman" hitting homeruns suddenly. So the reason Scott and others "counter-argue" it is because you and others actually ARE putting the argument out there, just in a watered-down form. Those comments you made act like other people think the steroids magically do the homerun hitting for someone.

Can't we think on the margin? Can't we entertain the idea that it's a matter of degrees? Barry already HAD the eyes, the coordination, the quickness, the skill, etc. to be one of the all-time great hitters. So everyone who thinks steroids helped him must not realize that bonds has other talents other than strength? I don't think those arguments are logically connected.

If steroids helped him gain strength he wouldn't have otherwise had, that means that he goes from a supertalented hitter who might have hit 50 homeruns and 40 warning track shots to a supertalented hitter with added strength to make some of those warning trackers into homeruns.


Exactly what I meant. AND, I thought I made it pretty clear that I wasn't referring to a Strongman becoming a great hitter. I was talking about an already great hitter who now gave himself an artifical competitive edge. A guy who already had a quick swing, give him increased strength, his bat head speed increases, he becomes a more dangerous hitter. How is that implying that "strength equals quickness"?
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Scott screwed with this at 08/10/2007 7:45:21 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Robots don't say 'ye'
08/10/2007 @ 08:42:05 AM
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Scott Wrote - 08/09/2007 @ 11:38:23 AM
What steriods do for hitters is increase their overall strength. The stronger the hitter, the quicker the swing, longer a batter can wait before he decides to swing (even if it's a fraction of a second).


Scott Wrote - 08/10/2007 @ 07:42:31 AM
A guy who already had a quick swing, give him increased strength, his bat head speed increases.... How is that implying that "strength equals quickness"?


Not to be an ass, but how is that not implying that? emoticon

There's more advantages to being strong than increased bat speed. In fact if you look at any homerun hitters, other than Vladimir Guerrero, it looks effortless. While you can tell when guys try to "swing for the fences" most homers come off swings no harder than the same swing that dribbles a grounder to the shortstop on a different pitch. Personally I think it has more to do with being able to hold the bat more "firmly." The less the bat is allowed to absorb the impact, the more energy goes back into the ball.
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Jeremy edited this at 08/10/2007 8:57:36 am
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 12:05:08 PM
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Exactly my point. a hitter who "swings for the fences" usually ends up with a much wilder, much less controlled swing. But, bulk that hitter up so he can swing harder while being in control, the results are a lot different. Think of it this way. If I tried to swing as hard as Prince Fielder, 1)I would look ridiculous, and 2) my swing would be so wild that I would have absolutely no control and would make very poor contact. Now, if Prince Fielder, who is much stronger than me, tries to swing his normal, much quicker swing (than mine), he is in control and will make good contact.

Now let's think about Barry Bonds. He has a very controlled swing. It doesn't look like he's "swinging for the fences" when he swings, because he has so much more strength as a hitter. He also has much more control of his swing. He can wait a split second longer to decide if he is going to swing or not, which gives him another advantage of seeing pitches better. It increases his reaction time. Jon, back me up on this, because I know we think the same way about this.

And homers have more to do with where on the bat the ball is hit, which is even more important in terms of reaction time. The longer you have to react, the more likely you will make homerun contact.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 12:26:46 PM
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Because it's been thrown around, I do not think that steriods hit homers. Bonds is and was a HOFer without 'em. He was an athletic, basestealing, homerun hitting superstar. Now, he's bigger than Ken Griffey Jr. was when he drank Mr. Burns' brain elixer. He can't run, he can't hardly play more than about 3 or 4 days in a row. I hardly think this degeneration of his body would have happened without him becoming so huge. He was as small or smaller than Junior was at the early part of his career. Now look at him.

The record is what it is, but it is clearly inauthentic. This record should have been celebrated the way Cal Ripken Jr's was celebrated the day he broke Gehrig's record (I still remember what I was doing the and time the banner dropped for Ripken's record breaking game). Sadly, it was not.
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Scott screwed with this 2 times, last at 08/10/2007 12:30:07 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 12:35:47 PM
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Well by that logic steroids upped his homerun hitting x% and then cut his career short y%. You have to wonder if there isn't a value of x and y where he would have broken the record anyway.

I'm not really arguing with anyone, I really don't care one way or another. I'm just more or less marveling at how big of a "disaster" this is to so many people.

Help me Jon!
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2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
08/10/2007 @ 01:16:34 PM
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I think I mostly agree with your premise Scott, but you're interchanging some skills that aren't interchangeable and if someone want's to be a stickler (and I usually do) the specifics of your arguments are messy. Such as:

Scott Wrote - 08/10/2007 @ 12:05:08 PM
He also has much more control of his swing. He can wait a split second longer to decide if he is going to swing or not, which gives him another advantage of seeing pitches better. It increases his reaction time. Jon, back me up on this, because I know we think the same way about this.


Don't you actually mean his reaction time would decrease?
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2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
08/10/2007 @ 01:19:15 PM
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Scott Wrote - 08/10/2007 @ 12:05:08 PM
And homers have more to do with where on the bat the ball is hit, which is even more important in terms of reaction time. The longer you have to react, the more likely you will make homerun contact.


So if my reaction time was the speed of light, I could hit a homerun every time since I would have more time to react? Or would that make it too hard to time the start of my swing in the first place, resulting it lots of misses and foul balls?
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 01:41:47 PM
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I think if you were swinging at the speed of light everything else would all but stop and you would have an eternity to react to the ball, or something equally weird. I make no claims of being able to wrap my head around the theory of relativity.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
08/10/2007 @ 01:50:18 PM
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The more time a player has to react to the ball, the better his chances are of making better contact, because he has that much longer to decide if he is going to swing or not. It's almost as if the pitcher has just been moved back 5 feet. Ok. The time decreases. Now that I read what I'm typing you are right about my wording. It's as if the player has more time to decide because his reaction time has decreased. Does that make sense? If your reaction time was the speed of light, you wouldn't have to swing as early as someone who has a reaction time of the speed of sound. Right?

This is making my brain hurt. I think we all understand the point.
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