Comments on: 25+ Starts In A Season By 2+ RHP Age 36 Or Older http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897 This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109301 Sun, 01 May 2011 04:57:59 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109301 There was a 24-man roster for four seasons 1986-9? That sounds very wrong to me. I see there's no source given for that (hard thing to source, I understand). I was sure it was just one year and while I'm fully cognizant that memory is faulty, four years sounds crazy to me. I think my memory is based more on stuff I've read after the fact, anyway.

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By: John Autin http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109293 Sun, 01 May 2011 04:01:06 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109293 When did teams try the 24-man roster? According to B-R Bullpen:

"Major League teams decided to play with 24-man rosters during the first half of the 1978 season (i.e. until July 1) and during the entire season - except for the period of expanded rosters - from 1986 to 1989, as a cost-cutting measure in the face of escalating player salaries. The settlement of the 1990 strike made the 25-man roster a part of the basic collective bargaining agreement and it has not been touched since."

Much more roster information and history is available on that page -- including the fact (previously unknown to me) that until the early '60s, rosters were expanded during the first month of the season, as well as the last.
baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Roster

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By: John Autin http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109290 Sun, 01 May 2011 03:55:35 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109290 @21, Artie Z -- Outstanding points. Your opening -- "it's an open question as to who was using what and when" -- is something that everyone should contemplate for a moment before starting any discussion about steroids.

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By: Johnny Twisto http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109235 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 23:58:34 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109235 I'm no expert on roster rules but I think the 25-man roster has been in force since at least 1920 or so. There was one season in the mid-late '80s when they tried 24.

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By: Artie Z http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109214 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 21:41:20 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109214 @17 - I think its an open question as to who was using what and when they were using it. If we are going to perform a witch hunt on today's players, why do stars from yesteryear (or at least the 1970s and 1980s) get a free pass? Steroids certainly existed prior to Jose Canseco's appearance in MLB, and so it is not impossible to believe that some players used steroids in the 1970s and 1980s. Do we really believe the East German women's swim team, bodybuilders, football players, track and field stars, and probably some other athletes I'm forgetting used what would be classified as performance enhancing drugs, but baseball players of this era were "pure" (or only took amphetamines or did cocaine)? Steroids' ability to speed up recovery time and hence allow athletes to train longer and harder was definitely known by the mid-to-late 1980s.

I believe Ryan was famous for having a grueling workout regiment - he's not the only one (I happen to be reading one of the Win Shares books again right now, and Steve Carlton comes to mind as another pitcher who is mentioned as having a grueling workout regiment) but I don't see how he can be above suspicion. He may be a medical marvel (there are outliers in performance), but in looking at Bill James' list of "best pitchers over 40 with the most career win shares" - Quinn, Niekro, Wilhelm, Young, Ryan, Spahn, Hough, Alexander, Perry, Faber, John, Doug Jones, Satchel, Dennis Martinez, Leonard, Lyons, Wynn, Vance. If you look at cumulative WAR>=5 for pitchers 40+ you get basically the same list with some new guys (Moyer, Clemens, Unit, David Wells) thrown in the mix. There are a lot of knuckleballer/junkballer types, some really old time greats like Alexander and Young who were pitching in a vastly different game (and may have been junkballers back then), and Jack Quinn (who I know little about but who appears to be a junkballer - even in 1928 28 Ks in 200+ IP seems to be low). I suppose Dazzy Vance is the only "fireballer" pre-Ryan who is on that list, but (1) he's way down the list and (2) his arm probably had less mileage on it than others' arms as he only pitched 33 Major League innings before he was 31.

If you read through New Historical Abstract, and really look at some of the stories told about some of the players, it makes you wonder. Read the passage on Brian Downing (pg. 678) if you have the book or the story about Lance Parrish showing up to spring training with 10 extra pounds of muscle (pg. 307). I doubt it was as prevalent in baseball as in other sports because of the idea that one did not want to be "muscle bound"; of course, I don't think anyone would consider Ben Johnson (the sprinter) as "muscle bound" so one does not have to be a big hulk-like individual to be using anabolic steroids, a point which seems utterly lost in public discussions of steroids in baseball.

Also, I'm pretty sure Ryan didn't beat Father Time without any medical help - either that, or he endorsed Advil but didn't use it. I always find it funny that many people (I don't mean many people on this board, but who I have talked to in general conversation) seem to think that taking steroids is like taking an aspirin - all you need to do is take it and results happen. I would guess that many players who take/took steroids are exactly like Nolan Ryan - fitness fanatics or at least training fanatics or perhaps they are just paycheck fanatics. These players likely took steroids so they could train harder, not because they were lazy.

I don't really mean to rain on anybody's parade, and to use Nicholson's line "I'm an educated man but ... I don't have the first clue about Ryan's habits", but if his career started 10 years later there may be some suspicions - then again, maybe not, since the media seemed to love him.

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By: Rich http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109208 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 20:20:45 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109208 Nevermind, it looks like they just experimented with 24 in the 80s

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By: Rich http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109207 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 20:17:54 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109207 @14
"Almost every team now carries at least 12 pitchers on its 25-man roster, and several carry 13. In the '70s, 10 was pretty standard."

May have been but I'm pretty sure it wasn't a 25 man roster either. Wasn't it 24? That would only be the difference of one bench player.

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By: Rich http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109206 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 20:14:38 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109206 Given they're both getting by on luck right now (although Colon not as much, but I imagine he's probably been a bit lucky) I can't imagine they will unless the Yankees are insane. Garcia has 15 strikeouts in 18 innings, but also 9 walks which is really bad. A lot of smoke and mirrors to have only a 2.00 ERA.

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By: Neil L. http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109161 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 13:10:28 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109161 @15
Nash, thanks. I re-read Dvd @1 and realized he meant Nolan Ryan was using. I missed that the first time through.

Don't know what planet I've been on, but I always thought Ryan beat Father Time naturally without any chemical help.

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By: Nash Bruce http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/archives/10897/comment-page-1#comment-109129 Sat, 30 Apr 2011 10:00:32 +0000 http://www.baseball-reference.com/blog/?p=10897#comment-109129 @13: Clemens.............Ryan.........now you truly know, why, "everything is bigger and better in Texas".........

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