- 07/17/2013, 02:45PM ET
DO_WORK_SON said 07/17, 02:45 PM
Blasphemy to you "pure" baseball fans, I know, but hear me out...
There is no denying that modern-day athletes across all sports are bigger, faster, stronger, and dear I say more skilled than athletes 40-50+ years ago...
Considering the above opinion (I think it's a fact, but I know some might disagree),why does Roger Maris get a pass? The closest modern-day player to Maris' record that hasn't been implicated in the PED scandal is Ken Griffey, Jr. with 56 home runs.
Not only that but Roger Maris' closest season to his 61 is 39 in 1960, tied for 311th all-time. In fact, Maris hit only 275 home runs in his entire career.
I'm not saying Maris used PEDs. It could have been corked bats. It could have even been juiced baseballs.
I just think it is ridiculous to assume that cheating (even organized cheating) didn't occur prior to the 1990s.
Disagree? Come at me...
HOOTZ said 07/17, 10:55 PM
1961 was an expansion year for the American League. With the addition of the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels. The addition of two extra teams led to an extended 162 game season in the AL while the NL still played the traditional 154 game schedule. Meaning that the 1961 AL season had 8 extra games to be played. That's the only way Maris hit 61 HRs in 1961.
Maris broke Ruth's record in game #162. In my opinion it was a rule change that led to Maris' artificially inflated numbers. Nothing else.
Maris should absolutely be given the benefit of the doubt. He deserves it. As would you or I. There's no need to drag anyone's name through the mud on mere suspicion.
No one is assuming that cheating hasn't been going on since the dawn of baseball. It clearly has been. Baseball history is full of cheating. It's called "getting an edge". Like Gaylord Perry using vaseline to throw his spitball or Joe Niekro using an emery board to scuff up balls for his knuckler.
But, what edge did Maris have? You are accusing him of something...but, then not saying what you're accusing him of. It's because you have no evidence.
DO_WORK_SON said 07/18, 04:06 PM
I'm fully aware that the 1961 AL season was extended to 162 games. So 8 extra games accounts for Roger Maris hitting 22 more home runs than he ever did before or after? Ken Griffey, Jr. also played 162 games. Again, the most home runs he ever hit in a season is 56.
Roger Maris played for 12 seasons and hit 275 career home runs. Ken Griffey, Jr. hit 438 home runs in his first 12 seasons.
To put it in perspective, Roger Maris' record season home run total was 22.2% of his career total. Ken Griffey, Jr's 56-home run season was only 12.8% of his first 12 years total.
Roger Maris hit 22 more home runs than he'd ever hit before and never came within 25 again. Ken Griffey, Jr. had multiple 40+ home run seasons prior to hitting 56. In fact, he hit 56 the following year and tapered off into the 40s in the following two seasons.
How does Roger Maris' record season not raise red flags in more people's minds? It's a complete outlier in an otherwise career of consistency.
I'm not sure what edge Maris had in 1961; the fact remains that he hit almost 1/4 of his 12-season career total home runs in 1 season; how could anyone possibly give him the benefit of the doubt?
HOOTZ said 07/18, 10:55 PM
I can appreciate that Ken Griffey Jr is important to the point you're trying to make. But, for myself personally, I would never compare Maris to Griffey Jr. These two players are very dissimilar.
Griffey Jr was a childhood prodigy who's father was a Major Leaguer from the day he was born in 1969 until the day he himself stepped up to the MLB plate in 1989. Griffey Jr was born into baseball heritage, being the son of one of "The Big Red Machine" World Series winners. Obviously Griffey Jr should have/and did fair better in the Majors.
Maris was injury prone. So, the number of games he played each season has relevance to me. I wouldn't have expected him to hit 61 homers in 1963 while playing in only 90 games OR in 1965 when he played in only 46 games. He played in 161 games only one time in his entire career...1961!
1961 could have been a fluke, a career year or the luck of the Irish for all we know. You need to argue something substantial. What did Maris do wrong that has made you feel this way other than you not trusting anyone by nature?
Of course Maris SHOULD get the benefit of the doubt. Derek Jeter is getting it isn't he?
DO_WORK_SON said 07/19, 04:26 PM
Benefit of the doubt: a favorable opinion or judgment adopted despite uncertainty.
The flaw in your argument is that you keep demanding evidence. I need no evidence. I only need uncertainty.
The fact that there was not adequate drug testing, Roger Maris never approached that level of performance before or after, and Mickey Mantle recently had an authenticated corked bat go up for auction creates uncertainty.
Why should Roger Maris receive such a favorable opinion despite all this uncertainty.
Games played? I don't care about Games Played. At Bats is what matters:
1959 - 16 HRs/433 ABs = 3.7%
1960 - 39 HRs/499 ABs = 7.8%
1961 - 61 HRs/590 ABs = 10.3%
1962 - 33 HRs/590 ABs = 5.6%
1963 - 23 HRs/312 ABs = 7.3%
Compared to Maris' performances before and after, the 1961 season is an enigma.
I don't need evidence; evidence would PROVE my theory, and there would be no need for this debate. I only need uncertainty.
Roger Maris was a mediocre player that had one, unexplained shining season in 1961. He did nothing to deserve the benefit of the doubt.
HOOTZ said 07/19, 10:10 PM
In this specific situation, where you're taking an otherwise innocent man who you claim cheated ONE time in his whole career and then telling everyone he shouldn't be given the benefit of the doubt requires something to go on...Yet, you are uncertain of what he may have done wrong.
I say, until you have good reason to accuse him of wrongdoing, give him the benefit of the doubt.
There have been times in my own life where I suspected someone I knew of being underhanded and untrue. Only to find out that I was WRONG!
The flaw in your argument is trying to nail Maris to the cross because he had one great season. You have presented no discernible pattern of cheating.
In 1962 Maury Wills stole 104 bases. By far his most productive season. He's still getting the benefit of the doubt though. Why is that? Is it just because he wasn't a power hitter and Maris was?
Between the three seasons from 1985-87 Vince Coleman stole 316 bases and never came close to those totals again in his career. Why aren't you blaming him? Why is he getting a free pass?
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