Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Man in the Arena

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..."

—Teddy Roosevelt, 1910.

So welcome back to the Twin Towers this week, Stanton and Judge, much as we hope your return doesn't lead to some intensely foolish move such as discarding The Red Menace or Hammerin' Cameron.

Stanton made a very nice catch between the raindrops and the right field idiots tonight—can we please start flinging all fans who contend with fielders for balls in play out of the Stadium and possibly banning them from life?  Please?—and Judge homered down in Dunder Mifflin Land, and will be here soon.

It will be good to have the both of them back—for as long as they last.

This is not an attempt to open up another debate on whether or not the pure power approach to the game is superior to baseball as it used to be played.  For the sake of (polite) argument, let's say the new approach is better, and that—statistically speaking, anyway—players such as our two gentle giants will sweep the field before them.

The question remains:  What does it matter if they can't stay on the field?

As previously noted, neither man is likely to play as many games in his major-league career as baseball's Fabulous Invalid, Mickey Mantle, did.

To reach as many games as Mantle played, Stanton—who is currently averaging about 115 games a year—would have to play over 120 a season until he is 39.  Judge would have to play almost an entire season, 161.5 games a year, Iron Horse-style, until he turns 40.

Not going to happen.

We all laugh at the recollection of how baseball old-timers would warn youngsters not work out too much with weights lest they become "musclebound."  What a bunch of idiots!

But, as in other areas...could it be that they actually DID know at least a little something about the game they devoted their lives to?  Could it be that massive, constant weight training is maybe NOT something you want to push too much at the same time you're playing everyday?

A friend of mine compares these guys to Ferraris:  great car, but it's always in the shop.

I can't say.  (I've never owned a Ferrari, though I do regularly ride the MTA, "the Ferrari of mass transit.")

But I will say this:  baseball is not like other sports, which is why we love it so.  And maybe that should tell us something.

In every other major team sport, you're competing against other players.  You have to outjump them, outrun them, muscle them aside.

In baseball, you're competing against the ball.  You have to catch it, run faster than it, swing faster than it can travel.

After a certain level, you might be talking about diminishing returns in gaining power and strength, while losing reaction time and flexibility.  Particularly, again, in a game you have to play everyday.

I hope Stanton and especially Mr. Judge demolish every home-run record in the book and lead the Yanks to one World Series after another.  But going by their track records—and their physiques—it's much more likely they'll soon be as smashed up again as this Judge ad I happened to wander past a few months ago.

Better keep Maybin and that crazy kid.



JM said...

One thing I've been marveling at lately is the Splendid Splinteresque physique of Cam Mayvin. I'm sure the guy is all muscle, but he looks like a twig compared to his pumped up teammates. It's like I'm watching a Yankees Classics game with Randolph, Rivers, and Guidry. Yet the guy hits .300, has HRs four games straight, is fast, and plays a mean defense. And he doesn't get hurt. How about that?

Voit is also interesting. The big lug is big, alright, and we know he lifts iron. But he also seems solid and looks like he isn't going to go down from tweaks and pulled muscles from merely swinging a bat. He just looks different than Stanton and Judge, somehow.

Which brings us back to the suspicions about juicing. Or at least about inappropriate training regiments. Something isn't right there.

JM said...

Maybin, not Mayvin. Though I kind of like that spelling, too.

HoraceClarke66 said...

JM, I think you have a point.

For all of the recent claims about the ball being juiced, more likely—or just as likely—it's the players.

Why would they not be? The way anabolic steroids work, you can always come up with another one way ahead of what they can test for. Why should we believe that everyone just stopped doing it—after looking at them?

Personally, I suspect some more than others. Looking at you, Mr. Martinez up in Boston. And I suspect Giancarlo more than, say, Judge.

But I have no proof, and that may just be my version of enjoying some personalities more than others—the same ridiculous "reasoning" that puts the likes of Pudge Rodriguez, Piazza, and probably Big Papi in Cooperstown, while leaving out Clemens, Bonds, A-Rod, and Manny Ramirez.

Certainly, as we've seen, PEDs are ultimately destructive to many bodies. And they're also destructive to building teams. Who knows if the guy you've just signed is going to get off the juice, now that he has the big bucks?

But whether this is all natural or not, we can see how it creates the sort of body that ultimately just can't stand up under the wear-and-tear of day-to-day ball.

Isiyku Abdulahi said...

I really want the world to know about this great man who brought back happiness into my life again after my husband left me and the kids 3 years ago for another women online when i contacted Dr Believe he cast a love spell for me within 48 hours my ex husband start calling me and begging for forgiveness for everything that have happened between us. I was so happy to have my family back together with love again here is the email of Dr Believe via a man with the great powers you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348156148821
God bless you
I am very grateful for your help in my marriage.