You mentioned the ‘70s and ‘80s. This is more of a macro question, but what strikes you as the difference between then and now? Why is it that players can’t play 162? Or is it a selection bias, the same way that you would say, “Well, Christy Mathewson could throw a million innings.” Yeah, sure, but there are a bunch of other guys you’ve never heard of who broke down.
I think it’s everything. It’s a number of things, it’s usually not just one thing. I think longer games nowadays play into it. I think strength and conditioning and all the work —
Which is supposed to help!
Which is supposed to help, but I think the body can only take so much. I think players in today’s game — what is it, since 1990, the average weight of a major league player has gone up 22 pounds. I think that whole aspect of it really needs to be looked at in terms of how much work are they doing prior to a game? My joke around here is that, you know, guys like Dante [Bichette], Larry [Walker] and Vinny [Castilla], nobody ever accused them of working hard. But they were good players, great players.
Larry was just sort of … he was just naturally gifted.
He was, but he wasn’t a guy who was in the weight room, or hitting off the tee at two o’clock in the afternoon or doing all that stuff. They were baseball players, and they got their work in, and went out to play. I think that’s an aspect of what we do as well in today’s game. Players are so conscientious and trying to work so hard that I think they might be out-working, or at least, working to the extreme, that it puts pressure on them as far as playing the game, and doing all the work they’re doing.