It will be a this month. Aaron Judge has more than 50 owners as of September 1, one of the very few to achieve that feat. And with all the baseball records, there will be self-appointed gatekeepers who have decided that their purpose is to keep the groups from disturbing something sacred. There is no justice like that of a baseball writer. Billy Crystal made a damn movie about it, even though Crystal is no less a genuine Yankee janitor than John Heyman.
We can be sure if Judge were a Milwaukee Brewer, Jon Heyman would give less than 1/8 of a damn. But he is a Yankee, and so he should not only be recognized as the only true king, but it also helps that by Heyman’s parameters he would break another Yankee’s record, due to That sanctioned record is truly sacred. We know how New York works.
The reason that baseball records, and only baseball records matter – no matter how many ribs ESPN has removed so it can manage on its own to beat whatever records QB is setting on Monday Night Football is IMPORTANT – and with the passage of time there is a sense that baseball has essentially remained unchanged throughout its entire existence. Even in our lifetime, you only need to watch a current football or hockey or basketball game for about 5 to 10 seconds to know it looks completely different from the sport you did in your childhood. our own, less than many decades. formerly. The environment in sports where records were set simply does not exist now. That’s why Wayne Gretzky’s 92 goals will never be reached, but goalkeeper Gretzky will certainly struggle to hit 60 or 65 now, claim that no goalkeeper acts like a drunken squid in wrinkles (and they didn’t) acting drunk).
Turn on a baseball game, though, and it still looks pretty much the same game you watched as a kid and even before that. At least on the surface, it has. But like everything with baseball, the difference and the answers are nuanced. While Babe Ruth’s record of scoring more home goals than the entire team is certainly impressive and unprecedented, we also know that he’s only had to face white guys with a face like a car. old heavy bags – and conditions to match – and that The Babe is sure to hit himself at the sight of a fast 98 MPH ball is commonplace these days.
The idea that every age of baseball is comparable is simply not true, although one of the appeals of the game is our former ability, but it is still necessary to connect it with the present. its entire history. It is a sport that is said to be constant throughout line, but it is not. The difference is harder to notice because on your TV, regardless of whether your TV is currently hi-def or 4K and not when you were a kid, the game still looks the same. And sure enough, a lot of ink has been poured out about the attraction of baseball connecting generations. They made a damn movie about how they now play the game in a cornfield to pay their respects.
While Heyman’s point of view it was certainly not Bonds or Sosa or McGwire that played in a different atmosphere, but that they bent the atmosphere with them. Do not shrink. Sure, at the time no one thought they were doing much illegal work, and even if they worked for Bud Selig’s MLB, who are just too excited to get the bigger checks that the greater exposure brings thanks to those players. Simply in the environment, yes, Bonds and McGwire and anyone else played in a different time. And we don’t need to judge whether it was right or wrong that they did. The game is completely different and we are certainly not eyeing any other sport that has a completely different atmosphere than the one we watch now. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just is. Baseball fandom, and especially baseball professionals, have always been associated with misplaced ethics, which really should stop.
But regardless of what Judge totals ends up with, it can be easily asserted that he’s in an environment where it’s harder to score home than he was last year. Not because he was a saint for not doing the things the Bonds did, but because the rules were simply different. And the ball is different. And pitchers are different. And the strategy is different. Judge will face far more different pitchers than Bonds did 21 years ago, and he’ll face fewer pitchers tired of working longer.
More importantly, Judge is doing this with a hardball. I don’t know how it compares to the ball used in 2001, but we know it’s a far cry from the ball a few seasons ago, and none of those seasons have come close to Bonds territory. .
Judges’ StatCast counts dominate the rest of baseball in a way we’ve never seen before, even though admittedly it’s only been in the seven seasons that StatCast has been around. Judge’s Barrels Per Plate looks percentage, 15.3, is three points higher than Yordan Alvarez in second and two points higher than anyone who has ever managed. His crate-per-ball ratio, 25.3, is four points higher than second-placed Kyle Schwarber, the same gap between Schwarber and ninth. Judge hits the ball harder, more often, in harder times than ever. The only other player in StatCast’s history to hit 25% of the pitches per game was… Judge, in 2017.
And these are fancy numbers, which you don’t even need. You can only look at the distance in front of Judge in the host position ahead of Schwarber in second place – 15 – and now he is crossing the field in a way we haven’t seen recently. And as Joe Sheehan pointed out in his newsletter today, Judge doesn’t face a degrading open tournament like Maris and McGwire did.
We know that there has been a decline in flyball flight this year. All in all, the league has scored just 0.643 points this year, down nearly 80 points from 2021. Judge is dropping 1,632 points for them, nearly three times the league average. While we can’t get numbers like these for Bonds, it’s a safe bet he hasn’t nearly tripled the league odds. The closest we can get is 2002, when the Bonds had a meager 46 home players, and he missed 1,168 balloons.
Judge can stand alone, but only because he plays in an environment he didn’t create (although some would argue he helped when MLB deflated the baseball in part out of fear). about what his beaters are doing, but it’s some serious wheel-set). Bonds hardly face the velocity that Judge does (2001 average velocity: 88 MPH). Nor is the rotation.
Whatever the reason, the time Judge plays now and when the Bonds play later, Judge’s achievement is probably even greater. His 51 goals now mean something different than whenever the Bonds hit 51 in 2001. Just like the recent seasons of Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos or Auston Matthews, 60 goals means a lot. different from the 60 goals of the ’80s. It’s not bad, it’s not crazy, it’s not sad, it’s just. Baseball also changes for a variety of reasons and player stats should be viewed in the same context.