Sport Giancarlo Stanton Stokes Baseball's Great Home Run Debate

22:10  11 september  2017
22:10  11 september  2017 Source:   The Wall Street Journal

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Giancarlo Stanton ' s 2017 baseball news from around the web. Plus injury news, add or drop advice, graphs, and more! Fantasy Baseball Podcast: Giancarlo Stanton and the Real Home Run Record. Posted 1 hr ago. via razzball.com.

Giancarlo Stanton , the finest masher of taters in baseball , won the home run derby last night with a record 61 total home runs . He hit 18 of the 19 longest homers of the evening, and his 61 dingers traveled a total of 5.1 miles. In the second round alone

As Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton continues his march toward 60 home runs, his power surge has reignited one of baseball’s fiercest debates: What makes a player the “true home run king"?

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From a strictly numerical standpoint, this isn’t a complicated question. Regardless of one’s opinion about performance-enhancing drugs and their legacy in the game, Barry Bonds holds the single-season home run record with 73, a total he reached in 2001. As Major League Baseball’s official historian John Thorn puts it, “There’s no getting around the arithmetic.”

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So now, and by a lot, Giancarlo Stanton is the home run hitter to talk about in a home run season for baseball . And the person who understands this as well as Stanton is his manager, Mr. Mattingly, who is the greatest Yankee to never play in a World Series; who didn't get his first at-bat in the

If only it were that simple. Bonds’s connection to PEDs has cast a shadow of illegitimacy over his achievements in the eyes of many. The same goes for Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, two other steroid-era mashers who surpassed Roger Maris’s hallowed mark of 61. Stanton himself has stoked these flames, telling local reporters last month that “considering some things” he views 73 as tainted and that 61 had “always been that printed number.”

“But at the same time, it doesn’t matter,” Stanton said. “The record is the record.”

There is perhaps no record in all of sports that inspires as much passion and scrutiny as home runs. They are “linked to male potency,” Thorn said, while singles and doubles “are described as ‘artistry.’”

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Giancarlo Stanton hits a three- run home run for his 21 st career home career at Citi Field, which is the most ever for a visiting hitter. Mike Moustakas is about to break one of baseball ' s most meager home run records.

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You might think Maris’s record is the one that should count. Well, Maris needed 162 games to do what Babe Ruth did in 154. Plus, 1961 was an expansion year, with two teams added to the American League, thinning the quality of pitching. So that should make Ruth’s 60 homers the “real” record, right? Well, Ruth played before MLB was integrated and therefore faced subpar competition.

Go back nearly a full century, and people were already arguing about this topic. Thorn said that in 1919, the baseball community initially celebrated a new record when Ruth hit No. 26, surpassing the 25 hit by Buck Freeman for the 1899 Washington Senators. But not long after, researchers uncovered that a player named Ned Williamson had actually hit 27 home runs for the Chicago White Stockings in 1884. The New York Times referred to Freeman’s as the “modern home run record,” with Williamson’s mark “discovered in the dusty archives of the game.”

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Giancarlo Stanton hit his 38th home run of the season last night, an arcing 438-footer to the centerfield bleachers at Nationals Park. It marked his career-high home runs in a season, and there are another 50 games in the Marlins’ season.

Giancarlo Stanton took his timeout early on during last night’ s Home Run Derby. He got off to a rough start, slapping a handful ground balls and liners rather than monster dingers, and he was clearly frustrated by the time he’d already eaten up.

Naturally, this sparked a whole new controversy: The fence in some areas at Williamson’s home park was less than 200 feet away from home plate, so balls hit over it were ruled doubles. Except in 1884, that is, when the White Stockings changed the ground rules to make those balls home runs. Williamson’s homer total jumped from two to 27, with 25 of them coming at home.

Thorn shared this story to raise a larger point, that “home runs are a product of context.” If Stanton becomes the first hitter since 2001 to top 60, he will do so within a context all his own.

“It will mean he is the best home-run hitter in a season marked by a home-run bump,” Thorn said.

Indeed, home runs are flying out of ballparks this season like never before seen. Teams across the league are on pace to smash more than 6,000 homers, shattering the all-time record of 5,693 set in 2000, the heart of the steroid era.

Plenty of theories have abounded as to why this is happening. Some pitchers, like Houston’s Justin Verlander and Boston’s David Price have pointed to the physical properties of the baseballs themselves, suggesting that they are flying farther. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has denied that any changes have been made and insisted that the balls fall within the league’s specifications, though independent studies have uncovered some evidence that balls are behaving differently.

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One of Giancarlo Stanton ' s massive Derby home runs -- projected to be on a 510-foot path -- wowed the crowd at Target Field. (USA TODAY Sports). It shouldn't take more than 10 words to explain the Home Run Derby.

Giancarlo Stanton Hit Another Mammoth Home Run And A Fan Snagged It With His Bare Hand. On Saturday afternoon, Stanton once again postmarked a baseball for the cheap seats when he launched a 474-foot bomb into the upper deck in dead center field at Marlins Park.

Hitters, meanwhile, attribute the homer barrage to pitchers going away from sinkers and sliders and toward high fastballs, as well as batters moving to an offensive approach that emphasizes hitting the ball in the air. Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder J.D. Martinez, who famously resurrected his career by overhauling his swing to incorporate a slight uppercut, said in a recent interview that, “10 years ago, nobody knew what a good swing was.”

“There’s just more work being done and more study being done about the swing now,” Diamondbacks hitting coach Dave Magadan said. “For a lot of years it was, ‘Swing down, swing down.’”

Whatever explains the massive home-run spike, Stanton’s power stands alone. He has 54 home runs, 13 ahead of his closest competitor, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, entering Monday’s action. There hasn’t been a larger gap between the home-run leader and No. 2 over a full season since 1933, when Jimmie Foxx hit 48 to Ruth’s 34.

That’s a testament to Stanton, a 6-foot-6, 245-pound specimen consisting almost entirely of muscle. Eleven of his home runs this season have traveled more than 450 feet. Injuries had limited him to an average of about 115 games a year from 2012 through 2016. This season, he’s showing the extent of his capabilities.

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But this year Giancarlo Stanton wrote in a few dozen new memories of his own It might well have been the greatest single exhibition of raw home run -hitting power in baseball history.

Very likely, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins and Aaron Judge of the Yankees are going to be neck-and-neck for the MLB home - run lead all season. Stanton has hit eight home runs since the All-Star break, which is tied for the most in baseball .

“Guys like Stanton are extremes,” Martinez said. “How the heck are you going to find a guy like him? The guy is built like a freaking freight train. Stanton’s going to hit homers if he’s hitting lefty or is holding the bat upside-down.”

Then there’s the issue of steroids, and the possibility that the use of illegal substances have returned in force. Lloyd Smith, the director of the sports science laboratory at Washington State University, said, “The last time we had a big controversy in the game and people were wondering about juiced balls, it turned out to be juiced players.”

But while the total number of homers are surpassing the steroid era, the distribution of those homers is dramatically different. Outside of Stanton, it appears nobody else will even hit 50 home runs, let alone 60. Instead, nearly 125 players are on pace to hit at least 20 homers; in 2000, the year with the most home runs ever, 102 players reached the 20-homer mark, but 16 had at least 40.

All of this is the context in which Stanton is chasing 60 homers. Lots of homers are being hit, but nobody is hitting them like Stanton. He is on track to become the first player to hit 60 since MLB started testing for PEDs.

What Stanton won’t have, however, is the single-season home-run record. Neither will Maris or Ruth. The record belongs to Bonds. That doesn’t mean Stanton shouldn’t be celebrated.

“This sudden nostalgia for Maris or Ruth has something to do with our need to have heroes and villains in this game,” Thorn said. “This is a game of mythology, baseball.”

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