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Thursday 30th Mar 2017

There is a trend in baseball towards generally more and better pitching than hitting these days.

I have a lot of thoughts about this, and have actually been noting my reasons over the past couple of years: Back to when I went to a Twins/Giants game and noticed that among the 16 starting position players, only three had OBPs over .330.

I think a lot of it is that due to escalating salaries, and the allure of good and powerful young hitters, players are advanced before really going through the minor league system and truly approaching their craft as batters did when I was younger.

Mind you, I am not trying to make one of those stupid "back when I was young and they really played the game the way it was supposed to be played rants."

Times change, as do games and everything, and with those changing times, so do trends shift right before our eyes. Furthermore, when I was a kid watching baseball, there were only 16 teams, meaning a lot fewer Major League slots, and a lot more time to move through the system and learn and prepare for the Majors.

Additionally, the college system was simply not as sophisticated as today, and players with ostensibly a good college resume--as well as a few years on the planet of experience under their belts--couple with a crazy salary "structure" teams looking to the future are happy to move potentially upwardly mobile players up.

Not to mention as fans, and fantasy players, we are happy to see these young players make it and show what they can do.

So, if that explains the hitting, I think that pitchers generally have the advantage over hitters, and if pitchers are moved along from a high school draft or college like hitters, they generally are young, and will throw hard, and more often than not at least be able to take advantage of hitters for a while.

Mind you I haven't done any empirical number crunching around these thoughts: they are anecdotal and observational, so I am aware my theories could be disproved. But, that is not the point, and it is baseball (we all have our theories about everything baseball).

I do think, though, that eventually hitters catch up and things even out, and the recent demotion of Philip Humber reaffirmed this.That would be Philip Humber of the perfect game on April 12 of last year against the Mariners.

Because like it or not, Humber is really a mediocre pitcher at best, with a career 16-23, 5.34 mark that also included a 5-5, 6.44 record (that is with the perfecto as part of the stat base), Dallas Braden, who also tossed a perfect game--that I scored no less--has a 26-36, 4.19 mark, and though he is not in the minors, neither is he pitching in the majors thanks to a dead arm.

But, the thing is 11 of the Perfect Games in history have occurred since 1994, after the last expansion, six since the first big expansion in 1962, which means a total  of five of the modern perfectos occured between 1904 (Cy Young) and 1956 (Don Larsen).

Again, I am not sure what all this observation stuff means, but it does make me think of my friend and former partner J.P. Kastner, who has played Strat-O-Matic since 1984 in somewhere between one and three full season leagues, and the only perfect game that ever occurred was tossed by Don Schulze, another mediocre pitcher with a career 15-25, 5.47.

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