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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Bullpen True or False?
2005-08-11 18:17
by Jon Weisman

You need good middle relief to make the playoffs, but you can't plan for good middle relief.

Comments (67)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-11 18:33:39
1.   jpeace
Painfully true in regards to this season.

Another creative lineup tonight:

1.Robles ss
2.Werth lf
3.Bradley cf
4.Kent 2b
5.Valentin 3b
6.Philips 1b
7.Cruz rf
8.Navarro c

2005-08-11 18:35:11
2.   King of the Hobos
You need a few guys who are decent, but not necessarily good. The Marlins played half the '03 season with Looper, Fox, and Tejeda. Only one of those is even consider a usable reliever anymore. I know they added Urbina, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a terrible pen
2005-08-11 18:39:00
3.   King of the Hobos
2 I was talking about Michael Tejera, current AAA filler. Forgot his name for a moment...
2005-08-11 18:48:45
4.   jpeace
I don't know if Gio, Alvarez, Dessens, and Erickson are decent or below average. Middle relief really helps when the starting pitching is shaky like it has been for this year's team.

This lineup looks bad again. Why not Perez at 3b? Why is werth batting second? And Phillips... ugh..

2005-08-11 18:49:15
5.   regfairfield
Agreed. Look at teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox who spent top dollar on their bullpen.

The best bullpen on paper, in my opinion, in the Padres, and look at what it's cost them.

Had they not acquired Quantrill, the Padres would be paying 5 million to Hoffman and about three million more to Seanez, Otsuka, Lindbrink, and Hammond.

The best bullpen in baseball this year, the Indians, were 26th best last year, and the only difference is the addition of Arthur Rhodes. Bullpens are to maddeningly inconsistent to spend good money on.

2005-08-11 18:49:59
6.   Steve
This is a true statement.
2005-08-11 18:57:06
7.   popup

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-11 18:59:25
8.   ddger
Is this enough sample to make a case for our best #2 hitter.

Looks like Choi/Perez in a runaway.

2005-08-11 19:31:42
9.   dzzrtRatt
Guess I'm dumb. I think that statement is false, if you're defining 'middle relief' as all relievers other than the one called closer. Sure, some of your bullpen will consist of placeholders, sixth starters, but I think a playoff team wants, and should try to get, at least three relief specialists. When we had Quantrill, Mota and Gagne in '03, that was a playoff caliber bullpen, and it was planned that way. Unfortunately, we didn't have much else that year, but when it worked, it was a thing of beauty. As bad as '03's offense was, LA was in contention until the last week. That was because the 'pen made every game a six-inning game if the Dodgers had a lead. How many games did LA lose in '03 if it had a lead going into the 7th inning? Not many.
2005-08-11 19:31:49
10.   Jim Tracy
I agree completely with #5. However, if you have three rookies coming out of the bullpen, it most likely will lead to late inning blowups.

In all fairness, not having Gagne really does change everything, not least of which is confidence.

To a lesser degree, having Wunsch go down the way he did didn't help much either.

2005-08-11 19:33:18
11.   Jim Tracy
#9... that's true, but remember Gagne and Mota were extremely cheap in 2003.

Also, this year's plan was Gagne and Brazoban (touted as this year's Mota), and we spent more on our bullpen this year than in the last two years combined. Didn't help much!!

2005-08-11 19:37:29
12.   Gen3Blue
Its so unpredictable-but letting Quantrill and then Moto go made me cringe at the time
2005-08-11 19:39:30
13.   Jim Tracy
I wonder what Jeff Shaw is up to these days.
2005-08-11 19:43:47
14.   Steve
I think a playoff team wants, and should try to get, at least three relief specialists.

But that's not really the question. Nobody purposely says, I'm not going to get relief pitchers who can pitch. The question is whether you can predict middle relief performance. Given the effects of aging and continually small sample sizes, I don't think you can. Quantrill, Mota, Gagne was an accident. Who predicted Gagne would turn into Cy Young? Jim Tracy? Please. We are all glad it worked out, but nobody predicted it would be so.

2005-08-11 19:51:43
15.   dzzrtRatt
14 I beg to differ slightly. Gagne's saves streak began halfway thru '02, and Mota was successful during that year, too. We traded for Quantrill (same deal for Mondesi that brought Izturis?).

If you're talking about spending big bucks, however, then I agree with you.

2005-08-11 19:56:19
16.   Steve
Maybe you disagree, but I don't see us differing. A good streak for a relief pitcher might last a year and then end -- Gagne's record only became convincing and relevant after a number of years of production. Otherwise, he's just Dan Kolb. Same with Mota. Mota was successful in 2002, but not in the years before. At that point, one might have generously called him the Adrian Beltre of relief pitchers. One still might.

We got out of Quantrill just in time.

2005-08-11 19:57:16
17.   Jon Weisman
9 - Mota was an unplanned success. If you remember, in Spring Training 2003, after Mota got in that backpedaling incident after hitting Piazza with a pitch, the thought was that Mota was so unstable a pitcher that he might not even be worth keeping on the roster. Mota's extreme success that year was unexpected. He was below average in 2002.

14 - basically captures what I'm trying to say. Obviously, not every reliever will defy expectations - you can have hopes for what a Gagne-caliber closer will do each year based on the previous. But middle relievers are more unstable.

2005-08-11 20:11:16
18.   Steve
Jon's right about Mota's 2002. I was going off memory.
2005-08-11 20:22:20
19.   dzzrtRatt
Okay, maybe so. Why? Why are relievers so inherently unpredictable?
2005-08-11 20:23:25
20.   Steve
Small sample sizes.
2005-08-11 20:32:01
21.   Jon Weisman
Yeah, I've been giving this a lot of thought. I think that at a certain level of mediocrity - which in most cases defines a middle reliever - they just lack the ability to be consistently good over any multiyear stretch of time. The league adjusts or they lose a little edge, and it takes a while to recover. It's the same thing that keeps them from being starting pitchers.

Just a theory at this point.

Pardon me if Carrara has unduly influenced me, but I don't think he's alone.

2005-08-11 20:34:42
22.   regfairfield
19 - While DIPS like strike outs, walks, and home runs allowed are indicative of future performance, one of the few stats that effects the outcome of the game is ERA.

Since ERA is an inhernitely unstable stat, combined with a small sample size, ERA's can fluctuate wildly.

2005-08-11 20:42:20
23.   dzzrtRatt
So, from this analysis, it sounds like your position is that the starting pitcher role is what every pitcher aspires to be and trains for. Most if not all relievers are transferred into the relief role for any number of reasons, but whatever the reason, they are by definition no better than the sixth best pitcher on the major league team, because if they weren't, they wouldn't be available to make the transfer 'cuz they'd be starting.

I might buy that logic. So a team like the '03 Dodgers just had a surplus of good/hot pitchers. The stats do bear that out.

Gagne and maybe a few others like Rivera and Trevor Hoffman are rare exceptions to the rule -- does that also follow?

2005-08-11 20:43:26
24.   popup
Jon, the game has changed. Don't know if you saw the post I made about a Koufax game I saw at Dodger Stadium in 1965, but the stats I cited are really from some other world. Sandy in 1965 threw 335 innings and pitched 27 complete games. Just off the top of my head the only middle relievers I remember from 65 were Howie Reed and Joe Moeller.Maybe there were others but I don't remember them off the top of my head. Starters either finished what they started or got the ball to Perranoski for the most part. In the 63 World Series the Dodgers used one relief pitcher, Perranoski, in the whole series and he only pitched to two hitters if I recall correctly.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-11 20:51:31
25.   Steve
I think expanding the strike zone would put about 100 crappy middle relievers out of business. But the Middle Relievers Union is very powerful.

23 -- yes to everything you said. In my view, you have to get very lucky to have a relief pitcher who is successful enough for a long enough period of time so that you can be comfortable predicting future success. And even then, you are playing the odds.

My road to Damascus experience with trading for relief pitchers came with the Jeff Shaw trade. After that, every trade for a reliever comes with an extra dose of strict scrutiny.

2005-08-11 21:07:40
26.   dzzrtRatt
Lasorda made the Shaw trade, the only one he really engineered mostly by himself. I guess managers like relievers with a "track record"--which your analysis would say is only minimally relevant. Sounds like a team might be better off constantly rotating some of its relief corps between AAA and the big league team before the hitters figure 'em out.
2005-08-11 21:14:55
27.   Steve
Shaw hadn't even been that good before he came to the Dodgers. From 93 to 95 he was league average in ERA. He had a decent 96 as a middle reliever. When we got him in mid-98, he had had Kolb-like success as a "closer" the previous year and a half. 99 was pretty good. Then he turned back into Jeff Shaw, and was basically Steve Schmoll closing games. Not worth Paul Konerko by any stretch of the imagination, before or after he came here.
2005-08-11 22:32:34
28.   LAT
Hola all. Watching Outside the Lines and they are talking about Raffy's return. Hate to be immature, but the commentator from the Baltimore Sun is named Peter Schmuck. Tough way to go through life.

Did anyone else hear this form Joe McDonell?

"--Three sources involved in Major League Baseball have told me that another steroid suspension will be announced very shortly. One of the sources said it to me this way: "This one will make Rafael Palmeiro look like Pepe Frias." In other words, baseball is about to drop the hammer on a BIG TIME player........"

He's an idiot so who knows if its true.

I haven't been all that interersted in the steroid issue. I was glad when Raffy got busted becasue we all knew Mac, Raffy and Sosa all used and Mac got ripped because he was the only one not willing to tell bald face lies. Anyway, the one thing I have taken from the Raffy suspension is that 10 days is not enough for a first time offense. 10 days is not a big enough deterinet. Needs to be at least 30 days.

2005-08-11 22:36:01
29.   Steve
hmmmm...but Shawn Green wouldn't make Rafael Palmeiro look like Pepe Frias.
2005-08-11 22:47:04
30.   LAT
Hate to say it but, SG is looking like Pepe Frias these days. He has gone stone cold. Actually I don't even know who Pepe Frias is. I'm guessing Bob knows.

Just saw how the Angels lost tonight. Rough very rough. But every young pitcher should take note.

2005-08-11 22:59:51
31.   LAT
Wow. Probably discussed in the game thread but I just saw the Mike Cammeron Carlos Beltran collsion. That is brutal. Almost Kermit Washington-Rudy T. bad.
2005-08-11 23:16:06
32.   oldbear
32. If its Vlad Guerrero, will Simers/Plaschke turn a blind eye because he's a part of their beloved Angels...

Honestly, it wouldnt surprise me if it is Vlad. One guy I hope its NOT, is Roger Clemons. But the guy is over 40 and is as close to the bionic man as possible. Not many would believe anybody his age could do what he's doing.

2005-08-11 23:24:16
33.   Bob Timmermann
Pepe Frias was 11 for 45 in his brief Dodgers career, part of 1980 and 1981.

He hit one home run in his career.

2005-08-11 23:27:22
34.   LAT
I hope its not Vlad. I love watching that guy swing at everything. But he is a bigger name than Raffy. I would be shocked if it was the Rocket. But its a strange season.
2005-08-11 23:31:47
35.   Bob Timmermann
The ratio of Vladimir Guerrero to Rafael Palmeiro is smaller than the ratio of Palmeiro to Frias.
2005-08-11 23:34:46
36.   LAT
Thanks Bob, I knew I could count on you. I'm guessing Joe Mcdonell had to go in search of an obscure player and came up with Pepe. Listening to his show once in a while, I have learned he knows nothing about baseball.

Not sure why I don't recall Pepe being he played in 1980-81 but then I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

2005-08-11 23:47:10
37.   LAT
The ratio between Palmerio and anyone other than Barry is smaller than the ration between Palmerio and Pepe. I believe Barry is tested while on the DL, so although unlikly, it is possible. On the other hand Joe could be exaturating. . .
2005-08-11 23:51:46
38.   oldbear
37. Vlad's brother wasnt the sharpest tool in the shed. I remember him getting busted for a corked bat while playing for the Blue. Maybe cheating runs in their family? And with Vlad's injury, maybe he took something extra in order to recover from it more quickly.

There really arent a ton of big names other than Raffy Palmerio, that I'd see them busting. And I do find it strange that its been mostly latin players getting busted. Vlad still goes through an interpretor, so maybe (if it is him), he didnt know exactly what he could take and what he couldnt due to the translation issue. Jose Guillen made a fuss about this a few weeks ago.

2005-08-11 23:53:33
39.   Bob Timmermann
The Big Nasty (aka Joe McDonnell) is likely relying on his buddy, the Sheriff (aka Kevin Malone) for inside info.

If someone gets suspsended, oh well, that's the way it is.

But there aren't many players with a higher profile than Palmeiro unless it's Sosa.

2005-08-11 23:57:11
40.   Steve
The NAIA's testing program is fierce.
2005-08-11 23:58:38
41.   LAT
38. And remember that Sammy too suddenly forgot how to speak english when he got to Washington. But before any of us label it a Latin thing remember Larry Krueger. You don't want Filepe Alou showing up at your office getting you fired.
2005-08-11 23:59:44
42.   LAT
39. If Sosa is juicing and still playing this bad he really must be in decline.
2005-08-12 00:08:04
43.   natepurcell
only a latin thing? what are you talking about, ryan franklin just got busted!
2005-08-12 00:16:00
44.   LAT
Nate I was kidding re: the Latin thing. It was in reference to the alleged inablity to read the label. Latin, Japanese, Chinese or Slovik. Every player in baseball, minors included, knows which products are ok and which are not.
2005-08-12 00:16:50
45.   Bob Timmermann
In fairness to Sammy Sosa when he went to face Congress, it's one thing to speak English when you're answering questions like "Was that a curve ball you hit there?" and another thing when a Congressional investigating committee is facing you.
2005-08-12 00:29:04
46.   LAT
45 Bob, agreed but language didn't seem to be a problem when his agent went looking for endorsment deals. His inablity to speak English in Wash. was convenient.

I have a hard time giving Sammy a pass. He is a huge fraud in my eyes. And his hidding behind his attorney was just one more example of his being a phony.

2005-08-12 01:13:02
47.   Brendan
Giambi looks huge and bloated again, tough to go off roids and put up with what he had to in NY.

I just hope it's not someone like Pujols. that would be a shame

2005-08-12 01:13:31
48.   rageon
There's not much I can say that Steve already hasn't said, and probably better. I agree with the general assertion that the success of relievers is difficult to predict. There is really an extremely small number of relievers who have been consistantly solid for the past 5 seasons or so. To throw money after question marks is foolish. This is exactly why I don't have a problem with giving crazy amounts of money to ARod, Pujols, Manny, Sheff, and the other elite hitters that you know will produce every single year. I probably can't even name 10 relievers that I would want to give a 3 year deal to at $5M/season. Rivera? Maybe a few years ago. Gagne and Wagner, probably. Who else?

Despite what Billy Beane and all sorts of people far smarter than I am say, I DO believe that certain players can have an affect on a team's revenue's beyond their contribution to the win/loss record. Granted, I think the number of these players is extremely small. But I think Gagne is one of them. There's something I noticed about Dodger games in the past few years....people want to stay until the game is actually over. At least when LA is ahead. Between extra consessions for 3 innings and all those damn fuzzy gotee t-shirts the kids have to get, I don't have a big problem paying Gagne 10 million a year.

But after him, grab me the 5 best guys the minor leagues and the waiver wire have to offer.

2005-08-12 01:24:35
49.   rageon
Wasn't it Gammons that reported the rumor a few days ago about a bigtime player getting busted. I think Will Carroll's column mentioned it.

Anyways, I was talking about this the other day with a friend, trying to figure out who would be a bigger name than Raffy, and who might actually get busted. Sure, Jeter would be huge, but I seriously doubt he's juicing.

I think Giambi has got to be a prime suspect. In a sense, I kind of hope it's him.

Sosa and Bonds are obvious picks.

Here's one that we came up with: Gagne. There have been rumors about him since he broke out as the top reliever in the game. I obviously hope it's not him, but it wouldn't shock me either.

Sheff, as big of a prick as he is, doesn't strike me as dumb enough to get busted. Again.

Hard to say, really. But I'm really wondering who this alleged mytery player might be.

2005-08-12 01:27:52
50.   Tommy Naccarato
I remember once listening to one of the old sports talk radio stations that is no longer in existence, where "Big" Joe McDonald had been filling in for one of the regular personalities, only after having been fired from one of his many radio gigs in LA (This one was at KMPC) where he daily pontificated the greatness of Gene Autry and the Angels while demonizing the Dodgers at every chance possible. This was during the many years of obscurity the Angels experienced during the Autry years.

On the air, McDonald, argued with a caller that, (and I quote this from an exact memory) "The Dodger farm system cubbard is bare! They've traded away or lost every good player they had in their system. The team is a joke"

He went on to describe all of these bad moves the Dodgers had made, (which eventually turn out to be god ones) pontificating more on how the Angels would win it all and the Dodgers lose.

-He hated Lasorda.
-He hated O'Malley.
-He hated Dodger Stadium

But most, he hated the Dodger fans and had no problem arguing it with any Dodger fan that would call in. This attitude would earn him the nickname, "The Big Nasty."

Later that very same season, Eric Karros would win the first of five, count them FIVE Rookie of the Year awards in a row for the Dodgers with Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo and Todd Hollandsworth to follow. All of them coming from the Dodger farm system.

So much for the cubbard being bare eh?.

And of course shortly therafter, Big Joe would go to work for XTRA Sports 1150 working the pregame show for the Dodgers. He got to expound all of this brilliant knowledge and love for Dodger baseball.

I guess all of those years of losing with the Angels finally had gotten to him ;)

As far as Big Joe is concerned, I think he's a Big Joke.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-12 08:16:27
51.   Kayaker7
49 I got skewered on the Dodger forum when there was a hypothetical question which asked which Dodger would be the most likely to have used steroids, and I said, Gagne. I thought it strange how, after he became a closer, his velocity became 97-98, likes of which we never saw when he was a starter. Okay, as a starter, he was pacing himself. Then how come, as a closer, he suddenly grew huge, Popeye-like forearms? Also, this year, after extensive steroid testing was instituted, his velocity dropped to a more modest (closer to his velocity when he was a starter) 92-93. Oh, because he was on the DL, right?

Most of the odd things can be explained away, but something just does not smell right. I'll make a bold prediction here, and say that Gagne will never be the same pitcher from now on. Perhaps some of it will be due to the incredible record of saves he has put up, but some it could be due to other factors...

I hope I'm wrong, but...

2005-08-12 08:33:14
52.   Jon Weisman
Gagne has had two surgeries, so if he's never the same pitcher again, you might consider that as a factor.
2005-08-12 08:51:35
53.   JJoeScott
50 First, Joe McDonnell would never say he hates Tom Lasorda. That wouldn't happen. So I've got to take your post with a proverbial grain of salt.

That written, the Dodgers minor league cupboard was bare. Threadbare. Nomo doesn't count. Hollandsworth was a marginal ROTY win and has become a marginal outfielder. Karros is Karros. And even spotting Piazza and Mondesi ... who else from that era's farm system had a credible major league career? I can't think of anyone.

2005-08-12 09:09:02
54.   rageon
53 Maybe my time table is off, but at some point around then, weren't Konerko and Beltre considered 2 of the top 3 hitters in the minors? And wasn't Ashley considered a stud prospect?
2005-08-12 09:15:20
55.   Sam DC
51 Obviously no fan can really know about a player and steroids. I certainly don't know about Gagne either way.

But, to me, Gagne looks a lot more like Bluto than Popeye. And his crazy success seems to have had a lot more to do with his mix of pitches and that insane curveball than just his ability to pump it up to 98 (and of course I realize that the high velocity fastball made his other pitches harder to hit).

I'm not really arguing with you, I just feel strongly that this sort of guessing is impossible to do and, in the end, kind of unfair to the athletes.

2005-08-12 09:18:51
56.   JJoeScott
Maybe Konerko, yeah. Traded for Jeff Shaw. (I typed that only to relive the pain.)
2005-08-12 09:27:15
57.   LAT
49 and 51 I don't think its Gagne but in any event Gagne doesn't meeet the "make Rafael Palmeiro look like Pepe Frias standard." As much as we in LA like Gagne, I'm not sure most people think of him as bigger than Palmeiro.

As far as the McDonell goes, he is like many talk radio mouths. He plays the contrarian just to whip up a frenzy so more people will call in and he can argue more and meaner with them. Its the very basis of talk radio. As such, I'm not sure you can believe anything he says. I'm not sure he believes what he says. So if liking the Dodgers is conventional wisdom, he will go on air as hating them regardless of the truth.

2005-08-12 09:39:27
58.   db1022
57 - Bigger than Palmeiro (future HOF) would have to mean someone from Bonds, ARod, Pujols, Clemens, Sosa, Griffey.

On par with Palmeiro would be Manny, Pudge, Frank Thomas, Gagne, Sheffield, Rivera, Bagwell.

I'd assume its Bonds or Sosa, but anyone else from the first list would be extremely scandalous.

2005-08-12 09:55:33
59.   LAT
57 I agree that's pretty much the list if the suspect is indeed bigger than Palmerio. I hope its not Pujols. I want to believe he is the real deal and everything I have read about him suggests he's a stand-up guy.

We all know how big Bonds has gotten, but last night on ESPN's 50 states in 50 days, they were in Arizona. They showed a clip of Bonds while at ASU. The guy was a shorter version of Minute Bol. He is literally twice his size. (Check that. That is no big deal. I am now twice the size I was college--but in a diffrent way.) But you know what I mean about Bonds.

2005-08-12 10:07:43
60.   Jon Weisman
Compare Magic Johnson as a Laker rookie to Magic when he was making his final comeback. People do change, you know.
2005-08-12 10:37:28
61.   Kayaker7
57 We can be sure that it's not Choi. ;-)
2005-08-12 10:38:45
62.   Kayaker7
59 That's "Manute." :)
2005-08-12 10:40:53
63.   Kayaker7
52 The 2nd surgery was just to do some cleanup, not make actual ligament replacement or repairs. So, he should have been the same pitcher at the beginning of the years, as last year. But maybe the time off affected him.
2005-08-12 11:51:16
64.   GoBears
Re Steroids: I do not buy those before-and-after pics as evidence of anything more than aging and filling out. For those of you in at least your mid-30s, how many of you look anything like what you did when you were 18-19? I've gained 60 pounds since then, and only about 10 of it is sofa-spud excess. The rest is just filling out. And yes, even my hat size has changed.

I think we can ignore the Player X:Raffy as Raffy:Pepe Frias comparison. McDonnell was just trying to be cute. But if there is a big name about to drop, it could be any of a large number of players. We all (having read Bill James and whatnot) think much more highly of Raffy's career than most people do. That there is talk that he might not make the HoF, even ignoring the 'roids, is crazy talk, but lots of people take it seriously.

Finally, as for Sosa. Someone mentioned that if he's juicing and playing this badly, then he must REALLY be in decline. Well, that assumes that steroids improve performance. I still haven't seen one shred of evidence that that is true. Players THINK it does, but just like corking the bat, believing doesn't make it true.

2005-08-12 11:59:27
65.   popup
#56, He plays for the devil. Now Felipe, don't get all mad for me saying that.

I understand the argument for bringing in you best relief pitcher in the most critical situation. Let's say I am Jim Tracy (covering my head for protection right now). It is the 5th inning of a tie game and my starter is in trouble and Gagne is not on the DL. Do I get Gagne up in the bullpen? No. If I do that every time that situation occurs as well as late in the game in a save situation, he will either be on the DL or run the risk of being pretty ineffective by the time September rolls around. Another problem is that until the game is over I really don't know what is the most critical situation in a game.

When Bob was on vacation, I wrote up a piece about the doubleheader in Philly to end the 1966 season and bring LA the pennant. I was surprised when I looked at the boxscore of game one that Walt Alston brought in Perranoski early in the game to relieve Drysdale. I was there but I don't remember it. It was a critical situation and Walt brought in his best pitcher from the bullpen. Trouble is, unlike Larry Sherry who in 1959 was his best option in the bullpen, Perry could not go deep in a game. In the eighth inning, with runners on second and third and no one out with the Dodgers protecting a 3-2 lead, Perry was not available. I guess my point is a baseball game can have more than one critical situation and you can't say in advance which will be the most critical situation until the game is over. It is the catch 22 or catch 43 that confronts any manager.

Stan from Tacoma

2005-08-12 12:01:43
66.   popup
oops, wrong thread.... the 56 referes to the thread about Braz above.

Stan from

2005-08-12 14:15:46
67.   Kayaker7
64 "Well, that assumes that steroids improve performance. I still haven't seen one shred of evidence that that is true. Players THINK it does, but just like corking the bat, believing doesn't make it true."

I think if you are stronger, your performance will be improved. You have much better bat control when you stay below the limit of your strength. When you have to strain, the mechanics breakdown and lose accuracy in your swing. Thus, if you are stronger, you will be well below your maximum effort, thus have better control, while maintaining the same power you would have had, as when you were swinging your hardest without steroids.

Dr. Jobe noted that pitchers get injured when they get fatigued, because they have to exert maximum effort and their mechanics break down. If you are stronger, you'd be able to maintain your mechanics without straining yourself.

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