On the proliferation of home runs:
What we’ve done for baseball is this: We made all the ballparks smaller, we’ve juiced up the ball, the pitchers are bigger and stronger, and we won’t call strikes. Everything is against the pitcher. They should raise the mound again, put them on even terms. They lowered the mound after the ‘68 season; that’s because Bob Gibson had 13 shutouts and Denny McLain won 31 games. And they haven’t done anything with it since then.
I saw a guy last year in Cincinnati — I’m not bullshitting you — his ####### bat broke in half, and he hit the ball out in center field. Out of the ballpark. And is there a reason why Ryan Howard has over 200 opposite-field home runs? I played against Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Roberto Clemente, and I don’t remember seeing any of them hit opposite-field home runs. And they were pretty good hitters. One hit 660 and one hit 755, and I don’t remember them hitting opposite-field home runs. I just don’t remember it. I’m sure they did sometimes but not like these guys today. Cincinnati is a joke to pitch in; it’s a ####### joke to pitch in. Philadelphia is a joke to pitch in, Camden Yards is a joke to pitch in. Now, the new San Diego ballpark, and the Met ballpark was a joke to pitch in, so what do they do? They bring the fences in! So it’s gonna be worse.
On Bob Gibson:
He’s the best. He never stops talking now, but it wasn’t like that at all when he played.
I’m in the league two weeks, playing in St. Louis. Gibson hits a double, I’m playing second base. I go over and say, “What’d you hit, Gibby, a fastball?” And he stood there like this, not moving, not saying anything. So maybe I didn’t say it loud enough. “What’d you hit, Gibby, a fastball?” Nothing. Now the inning’s over, my manager’s Fred Hutchinson, I went over and said, “Hey, skipper, let me ask you a question.” He said, “What do you want, rook?” I said, “Is Bob Gibson a deaf mute?” He said, “Why?” I said, “I asked him what he hit, and he won’t talk to me.” He said, “No, he don’t talk to the opposition.” So the next day I’m out there early hanging on to the cage watching Groat and Boyer and Musial and Julian Javier. And Gibson comes out of the dugout. In those days there wasn’t fraternizing, and I’m watching batting practice. And he walks by me and says, “It was a slider, rook.” It took him 24 ####### hours, but he talked to me!
Posted: April 05, 2013 at 08:27 AM | 40 comment(s)
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