THE PLAYER CHOICE
1860s, there were almost as many types as baseball bats as there were baseballs.
And like early pitchers, who made their own balls, early batters were known to
sometimes whittle bats to suit their own hitting style.
As you might imagine,
the results were quite diverse - there were flat bats, round bats, short bats and
fat bats. Generally, early bats tended to be much larger and much heavier than
The thinking was that the bigger the bat, the more mass behind the
swing, the bigger the hit. And without any formal rules in place to limit the
size and weight of the bat, it wasn't unusual to see bats that were up to 42
inches long (compared to today's professional standards of 32-34) with a weight
that topped out at around 50 ounces (compared to today's 30).
How many names do you recognize? It's interesting to see that triples in baseball have become a lost art. Are the stadiums smaller? Are the outfielders faster? Are their arms stronger? Or are coaches risk averse since a player can score from second on a single and the benefit of being 90 feet closer is simply to score on a sacrifice fly? We would love to hear your opinions on "where have all the triples gone?"
Active players with the most triples
After an interminable spring training, Opening Day at last is right around the corner-perhaps the last one quite like it. Next year, Major League Baseball wants to explore the right to flex to a one-game "series" for the Opening Sunday Night game-this year, for instance, it should have been Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers going up against Madison Bumgarner of the Giants, not Cubs-Cardinals-and to stage most openers on that same Sunday afternoon, rather than getting lost amid the hype of the NCAA men's basketball championship game on that Monday. (There are three opening games actually scheduled for when the title game is in progress. Why?)
Everyone should know better than to get overly excited or overly worked up about Spring Training statistics. Come April 6, they'll be largely irrelevant (sorry about that, Kris Bryant and Mookie Betts).
But that doesn't mean the numbers are totally useless. Some of them might be providing us a little bit of a window into what's ahead.
Here are 10 examples of exhibition output that might prove meaningful when the 2015 season gets real.
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