Tuesday, February 2, 2021

A 154-game baseball season would reinstall Babe Ruth as the home run standard; what more do you need to know?

Okay, here's a rarity. Clip and save...

I - (state my name) - hereby AGREE with the august and paternal scions of the national pastime - aka "the Owners" - in their proposal for the 2021 MLB season.

No, I haven't been eating hallucinogenic paint chips. I've simply been reading the regular Internet slop about the latest disagreements between the Owners and  Players Union - a debate that usually is easy to fathom, seeing as how I sooooo despise the bonerless, nepotistic, greedy, billionaire dingleberries who run the game as if it is a personal ATM. Generally, they couldn't run a Strat-O-Matic league, but here we are.

Normally, I side with the union - not exactly God's gift to organized labor - but which at least tries to represent a rank and file whose I.Q.s run secondary to neck sizes. I'll back the jocks any day, especially when pitted against lawyers who speak for the bronze statues of Bud Selig, a band of criminal heirs who routinely subvert what should be America's greatest unifying element: The game.

Today, count me in with the Owners on their proposed 154-game regular season, which apparently the Players Union intends to reject.

Why do I favor this proposal? I have no some inside sense of the pandemic. Like you, I've been quarantining now for 11 months - forget Groundhog Day, this has been Groundhog Week - scrawling x's on the prison wall like Harvey Weinstein. I don't know what's coming, but that University of Minnesota epidemiologist who predicts a Cat-5 viral hurricane - he's scarier than the Babadook, and that movie had me watching from behind the couch. 

Repeating here: I have no idea what's coming. But I do know this:

In a 154-game year, the single-season HR record belongs to Mr. George Herman Ruth.

And I can think of no grander record for baseball players to chase. 

If baseball reverts to 154 games, suddenly irrelevant are the steroid-warped HR records of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa - all set between 1999 and 2001, a tainted window when Selig and his creeps sought to make fans forget their great sin: A canceled baseball season due to labor unrest. MLB spackled over its shame with the hype and excitement of new HR records, and the nation went along (even as we knew it was wrong.) 

If baseball returns to 154 games, today's sluggers will once again chase The Babe, at 60. (Who knows? It might even be Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 in 2017.)  

This will not taint Henry Aaron, who shall remain the rightful career HR king for as long as there are those of you who are scoring at home. Nor will it bring justice to Roger Maris, whose absence from Cooperstown remains a national disgrace. But 60 home runs has a nice ring to it. And 154 games is how you get there. 

I grew up watching Mantle and Maris chase the immortal Babe. Who knows? Could I go out watching Judge and Giancarlo? Sign me up. 


JM said...

There has never been another player who dominated the game the way Ruth did. Heck, he changed the game entirely. And he hit his homers when parks were big, and fences were generally a lot farther away than they are now. (OK, the short porch in the Bronx didn't hurt.) Not a shabby pitcher, wither.

Speaking of immortals of the game (insert hysterical laughter here), I see Pedroia has retired. Or, as my wife always called him, The Rodent. He can't play after his partial knee replacement, which really hits home for me since I had one a couple of months before he had his. I guess my baseball career is over now, too, though I don't recall the surgeon telling me that. I still have the Mickey Mantle glove from when I was a kid--with only three fingers and thumb and a special hole on the back to stick your index finger through. Did Mick use a glove like that? I never did look it up.

Anonymous said...


That's funny. I always called him The Hamster.


I still have that mitt as well. The Mickey Mantle Tripe Crown. I also still have my next glove, an Ernie Banks 1B mitt. But now that I think about it, he didn't play first so what was that about?

I used the Ernie Banks one all the way through college. It got so supple it couldn't catch the ball anymore because the impact would bend it.

Now I have a Mizzuno 1B mitt that I bought in 1981. It was more than I wanted to pay at the time but I figured it was probably the last mitt I'd ever get. It's a great glove. Played a lot of catch with my son with it. Couple of softball leagues as well.

Thanks for the memory.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

As to the 154.

Yeah sure. I like restoring the Babe. My only issue is, I think it's linked to the expanded playoffs.

On one level it pretty much guarantees playoff baseball for us but on another level, the lower bar rewards Yankee ownership and management for their commitment to being slightly better than mediocre.

That's not fair actually, a commitment to being good (The Yankees are a good team) without requiring that they be great.

It also NBA-afies the season. Which is boring.

But as far as number of games go... 154 works for me.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

JM, I completely agree. Ruth not only transformed the sport, he transformed professional sports, period.

(One caveat: apparently he hit more to the power alleys, so the right field porch helped him less than it was supposed to.)

And yeah, Doug K., you hit the nail on the head: the 154-game season is only to fit in another round of playoffs.

It still might not be bad, meaning, potentially, less strain on many young arms, and playoffs that end before December. But as with any new baseball innovation, the owners will find every possible way to suck all the dollars out of it, and leave us with a dry husk of entertainment.

13bit said...

I agree with you all on Ruth and Duque - I think your proposal is diabolical....