From Dan last week:
This could mean absolutely nothing. Or, it could mean something.
As with 'All things will pass', those two sentences together will always be true.
It is up to us to make the determination in our own minds in whether something means something or not.
The other day, a fella was telling me how great Albert Pujols is.
This happens a lot when a player is passing a milestone.
At 2,999 hits, he told me something I already knew in that Pujols would be the 32nd member of the 3,000 hit club.
I responded that Pujols was already the 32nd member of the 2,999 hit club.
It only made him grimace.
As much as I love baseball, I have never been much for even number milestones.
Al Kaline hit 399 home runs. I respect him for hitting 399 home runs.
I wouldn't respect him more if he had hit 400.
Fred McGriff hit 493.
Some say that is what is keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.
If so, again, shame on you Hall of Fame voters.
Anyway, he kept on jabbering away about Pujols when saying, "And all of his home runs were meaningful".
I quit listening.
And while he kept on talking, I thought to myself that I'm going to have to dig into home runs.
I can't pick out 'meaningful' home runs.
A solo home run hit in the first inning is hardly ever considered 'meaningful', but if the final score is 1-0, it becomes the most meaningful offense in the game.
I smiled as I thought about 'GWRBI's'. Good times.
So while he kept yammering about Pujols, I thought I would look up home runs from March-April and September- October.
I cut him off in mid-sentence and said I had to find a computer.
After all, the time of year had to mean something.
Well, maybe not. I don't know.
I refer you to the first two sentences of this post.
Anyway, here is the raw data...
Suddenly, I didn't care about the Pujols meaningful home runs.
I was struck by the early homers hit by steroid-heads over the late homers hit by players long past.
I thought, small sample size...so I elongated the list...
Almost all of the players of the 'modern' era...
McGwire, the only steroid-head
Part of this is because in the older days, baseball season started a little later, limiting Mar-April homers.
At the same time, there were less off days, so the season ended earlier as well.
And in Ruth's case, there were eight less games played.
So, what does this mean to me?
It meant that the meaningful homers were mostly hit by the older players. A time when team loyalty came before contracts.
I also was not surprised to see Bonds head each list.
First, for the amount of homers he hit, and secondly, nobody was driven more by ego in the game of baseball, than Barry Bonds.
This is very limited information. It had only succeeded in making me think even less of the steroid-heads.
So, I tried one more test.
Extra inning home runs.
EVERY extra inning home run means something. Ok, at least most do.....
Here is the list.....
Jack Clark- 18
Frank Robinson- 16
NOT ONE STEROID-HEAD! NONE.
These are the players who were truly team-driven.
Hitting 'meaningful' home runs.
My friend can take solace that Albert Pujols did, indeed, hit a lot of meaningful home runs.
Again, I refer you to the first two sentences of this post.
Whatever your thoughts are, this data made me smile.
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