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Debate:George Foreman vs Lucky Gehrig

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Who debated best?

Poll ended at Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:38 am

George Foreman
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LuckyGehrig
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Total votes : 4

Debate:George Foreman vs Lucky Gehrig

Postby giants! » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:51 am

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Commish for a day:
There are many rules in baseball. However, not all of them are good. If you were commisioner for a day, and had to make one change, what would that change be. (A change can be an addition of a rule, removal of a rule, or altering of a rule)
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Last edited by giants! on Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby George_Foreman » Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:43 pm

I would abolsih the Designated Hitter.

In an era where hitters have the upper hand, do we really need to give them a crutch by adding in another huge bat? DHs encourage unexciting baseball: the kind of baseball where you draw a walk and wait for someone to hit a home run. DHs enourage unathletic behemouths to play the game. Sure, some of these fellows are great hitters. But I bet more than a few of them could be half-defence 1Bs, too, if they'd need to be.

If you want to know why the DH needs to go, just look at the brand of baseball that's played in the NL vs. the AL. I don't know about you, but I prefer the kind of fast-paced games where players steal bases, move runners over, make great defensive play, and, gosh darnit, can get from 1st to 3rd on a hit to RF. What you see in the AL is a lot of walk-and-wait, station-to-station, play-for-the-long-ball baseball. And don't get me wrong, that's a viable strategy and teams win with it. I just don't think it's nearly as exciting as NL ball where you've got to care about where you hit the ball as much as how hard you hit it. One or 2-run games are far more exciting to watch than 15-8 slugfests.

I grew up a Braves fan, and two of the things that characterized that franchise in the 90s were great pitching and pitchers who knew how to handle the bat. The likes of Smoltz, Glavine, and Maddux all took pride in their hitting and encouraged other Braves starters to do the same. They could all lay down a bunt to advance the runner and, if needed, stand in there and take some solid cuts. There's nothing more gratifying than seeing your team's SP take the their guy deep. (Or even smack a double!) The DH effectively makes pitchers one-dimensional players, and the game of baseball is a mutlidimensional sport.

Finally, the DH curbs the strategic aspect of the sport. Managers in the AL do little more than fill out their starting lineups. The double-switch should be a crucial part of the game. Not only does it make your bench more important, but it asks managers to pay just a little more attention to the game. Knowing when the AB from a pinch hitter is more important than leaving your starter out there for another inning is crucial for NL managers.

So if I was comish for a day, I'd dump the DH and make NL ball the rule. This would encouarge great hitters to spend at least some time in the field, enocourage pitchers to spend a little more time with the bat, and serve to make multi-dimensional players more valuable. And if nothing else, it would encourage a more exciting brand of baseball.
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Postby luckygehrig » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:04 am

If I were the commisioner of basball for a day the first thing I would do is put the line in the front of the batter's box back into the game. This may not seem like a very big issue, but it creates a much different game and makes it much more difficult for pitchers to pitch effectively. In fact, without the front line, the batter's box is not even a box. Instead it is an open-sided rectangle.

The reason that a batters box exists in the first place is to create a standard area for the batter to stand. By removing the front line of this box, it allows batters to crowd the plate and in some cases, drasitcally changes the strike zone. For instance, when Barry Bonds steps into the box he stands as close to the plate as he possibly can. This means that the strike zone is immediately much closer to himself. By moving the strike zone closer to himself, he can change where the pitcher has to pitch to him in order to get called strikes. A hitter who thrives on pitchers inside, such as Bonds, has an immediate advantage over the pitcher. The pitcher is now forced to either throw the ball directly into the hitters favorite zone, or attempt to pitch outside, which will most likely be called a ball. Putting the line back in would create a standard strike zone that would be the same for every hitter and every pitcher. There would be no more crowding of the plate allowed and there would be no more guessing by the pitchers where the edges of the strike zone are for each hitter.

Throughout my time in youth baseball, every baseball diamond that I ever played on featured a full batters box including all 4 lines. Why this is not the same at the professional level I have no idea. By putting the line back in the batters box, the commisioner would be giving some power back to the pitchers. In an era that has been dubbed the "Home Run Era", it's about time the playing field was level again.
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Postby luckygehrig » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:24 am

There are a lot of baseball fans who are against the DH and I can understand some of the points. However, if you look at the stats you'll see that the DH does nothing but raise the excitement level of the game. Last season pitchers for all 30 MLB teams combined for an .135 batting average and only 21 home runs in a total of 5,298 at bats. Meanwhile, designated hitters combined for a .256 batting average and 337 home runs in 8, 415 at bats. So yes, I agree that it is exciting to see a pitcher hit a home run, however it just does not happen often enough to make it worth having to watch the pitchers go up there and take three meaningless hacks only to go sit down immediately after striking out. Teams benefit much more from the power that the DH provides than they do from the swings of the pitcher.

Also, the DH helps extend the careers of many players who would otherwise not be able to play. Do you really think that the Yankees would have paid Bernie Williams to roam around in center field again this year? Or would Edgar Martinez have lasted near as long with Seattle as he did? Also, do you really want to see David Ortiz in the field trying to dig out short hops and diving for ground balls? If he were to play every game of the season in the field, he might cost the Red Sox more games with his glove than he would win them with his bat.


EDIT: Fixed some grammar.
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:20 am

luckygehrig wrote:By putting the line back in the batters box, the commisioner would be giving some power back to the pitchers. In an era that has been dubbed the "Home Run Era", it's about time the playing field was level again.

If you want to end the "Home Run Era", lets start by ditching the players whose sole talent is to hit the home runs, neh? Your solution is like turning off a garden hose in New Orleans. A real solution to the "Barry Bonds always crowds the plate" issue would be to do something about that body armour he's wears. And if the absense of the line is such an advantage, why don't all players crowd the plate as such? The truth is, where a player stands shouldn't effect the strike zone. If its over the plate, its a stike, even if it hits the guy.

The DH is clearly a much more pervasive issue. Half of MLB is plagued by the thing! And sure, it extends the career of really good hitters like Edgar Martinez, but Bernie Williams? Common. He's declined to the point of obsolescence. Make room for a kid who's on the way up! I guess I just don't think we should make rules so over-the-hill players can still compete. If they still think they can hack it, sign on with some indipendent league or a minor league club and win a spot (a la Ricky Henderson). We don't need to have a roster spot that serves as MLB's retirement home for hitters who can no longer hack it in the field.
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Postby luckygehrig » Thu Apr 13, 2006 3:40 pm

George_Foreman wrote:A real solution to the "Barry Bonds always crowds the plate" issue would be to do something about that body armour he's wears. The truth is, where a player stands shouldn't effect the strike zone. If its over the plate, its a stike, even if it hits the guy.

I completely agree that it shouldn't affect the strike zone, but it does. It affects how a pitcher has to address a batter who is too close to the strike zone. He must either throw the ball inside in the batters sweet spot or attempt to throw it away which, will most likely be off the plate and called a ball. Also, the reason that not everyone crowds the plate, is because it's not an advantage for everyone. Some guys thrive on the outside pitch while others make their living on the inside pitch. Most power hitters are pull hitters, and when the ball is inside it makes it easier for them to hit it out of the park. By forcing them to back of the plate, it would give the pitcher an opportunity to throw a strike without having to throw it right where the batter wants it.

Also, as far as the DH, I really don't think it serves as a "retirement home" for aging sluggers. Sure, there are some guys who can't hack it in the field anymore because of age but have extended their careers via the DH, but most of the DH's in the league are not that old. The most prominent DH in the game, David Ortiz, is only 30. Frank Thomas, who is currently the DH in Oakland is one of those guys who would probably have been forced into retirement this past offseason if it weren't for the DH. The toll of the field would be too much on his body, but he's certainly not "washed-up" at the plate. The guy hit 12 home runs last year in only 105 at bats. DH's are not a system for keeping old guys around in the game so much as it creating a spot for guys who can still contribute to the team, who wouldn't be able to do so if they were required to take the field for 162 games each year.
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Postby George_Foreman » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:20 pm

Ortiz could play 1st if they really wanted him to. At least, he could work on it and get better.

The point is that I'd like to see more ball players who weren't just good at doing one thing. I like seeing guys like Andruw Jones go out there and make great plays in the field. One of the things that was always so impressive about Ken Griffey Junior was that, in addition to being a fantastic hitter, he was also good in the field. I enjoy the defensive aspects of the game more than the offensive ones. The DH just makes it so more roster spots are occupied by sluggers with no other abilities. And at the same time, it cheapens the accomplishments of the great hitters who do play the field. These two-way stars (Torii Hunter, anyone? What about Jim Edmonds?) get overshadowed but players with better bats but no defensive skill. And it's not like the best of the DHs wouldn't play. David Ortiz is such a prolific hitter that most teams would play him at first regardless of his defensive limitations. If hitters are that good, they'll still get playing time. But guys who are mediocre? The Phil Nevins, Dimitri Youngs, and Mike Sweeney's? I don't feel compelled to make sure these guys get at-bats on a daily basis.

And also:
I completely agree that it shouldn't affect the strike zone, but it does.
If you acknowledge that the problem isn't the line and is that the umpires just aren't calling the strike zone accurately, when why dance around the problem? Make sure the umpires know that they need to make this call and that they'll have the league's backing. There's no need to stick in a line that'll just get kicked and scuffed into oblivion after an inning or two anyways. If the umpires aren't making the correct calls, then address the problem there intead of going about it indirectly.
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Postby luckygehrig » Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:25 am

George_Foreman wrote:And also:
I completely agree that it shouldn't affect the strike zone, but it does.
If you acknowledge that the problem isn't the line and is that the umpires just aren't calling the strike zone accurately, when why dance around the problem? Make sure the umpires know that they need to make this call and that they'll have the league's backing. There's no need to stick in a line that'll just get kicked and scuffed into oblivion after an inning or two anyways. If the umpires aren't making the correct calls, then address the problem there intead of going about it indirectly.

Even if the umpires were to start making these calls, it would still force the pitcher to throw into the sweet spot of these hitters in order to get a strike called. By pushing them back off the plate with the line, it would eliminate this problem. The problem isn't that umpires are changing the zone, it's the fact that the hitters are changing where the zone is in relation to their own bodies by crowding the plate.
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Postby George_Foreman » Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:08 pm

:-?

That doesn't make any sense. If batters are standing right over the plate and you give 'em one on the inside corner, the best they're going to be able to do is pull it very far foul. "High and inside" should be nearly impossible to hit if you're standing that close. Get rid of the body armour and make sure people call it a strike and I *guarantee* you that hitters are going to take a step or two back (or just for pitchers to hit their spots. :-))

Don't get me wrong, this might not be a bad change, but its impact on the game is marginal in comparisson to the DH. Dump the DH and you'll see more exciting games filled with some real small ball (not the "we had more HRs than the Red Sox" small ball fo the ChiSox from last year ;-7 ). Defense becomes a more important talent for players to possess, and AL managers are forced to consider a little bit more in-game strategy. Add a line on the batters box and a few players are effected, but not really because the line'll just get scuffed away after the first few innings.
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Postby giants! » Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:03 am

Debate over
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