Sep 3, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana (41) celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
At first blush it seems like a crazy idea. Surely someone has already thought of this, rather than getting caught up with what’s cool, pitching and defense. There’s smart people in baseball. I mean, who just says “hit more home runs” like it’s something to do? What’s next, the US converting to renewable energy? Madness.
But really, it’s not that terrible an idea. Teams in the 80’s and 90’s took advantage of it and they won lots of games. The Montreal Expos were so good I’m pretty sure that team was banned. There’s loads of benefits too. For instance, by hitting more dingers the Tribe will have more rest. When you hit one you get to jog slowly around the bases, rather than running in fits and starts from base to base with singles or doubles, or a soft trot as the opposing pitcher walks the bases loaded. The extended jog would elevate the heart rate to a nice aerobic level, rather than the muscle destroying anaerobic dashing from base to base. This leads to more endurance and the team would hold up better during the long slog of the baseball season.
Players also wouldn’t be stuck on base as much if more homers were hit. Standing in the hot sun where you’re sweating and dehydrating is exhausting, and it’s even worse if it’s drizzling or something. It’s better to be in the dugout, enjoying a fine Gatorade beverage. Plus we never hear about the debilitating impact of a bad sunburn. Surely if they get burnt bad enough it could affect their play. I once got sunburned through my shirt, and it made life miserable. Misery can only lead to worse baseballing.
There’s also the “fear of God” factor to consider. If the Indians hit more homers the opposing pitcher will be more afraid throughout the lineup. Now, this could backfire, because fear can cause a person to achieve great things, much like Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars movies. Through fear he eventually became the second most powerful man in the galaxy, ultimately throwing that dastardly Emperor Palpatine down a big, bottomless chasm that led to the Death Star reactor for some reason.
Skywalker did have to go from fear to anger to hate to suffering in order to realize his potential though. Pitchers would be scared, then possibly during the game reach anger, perhaps even hatred of the Indians constant dongs, but unless they start hitting every batter they wouldn’t reach the suffering level. The manager would pull him anyway. With the increased specialization of pitching there wouldn’t be a chance for opponents to go full Sith on INdians hitters, and instead they would just cower in fear, counting down the days until the series is over. On the mound they would be hesitant, unsure of their stuff, and that would just lead to more homers.
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