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NPR's Morning Edition
Broadcast 27/08/1999, Story 6

This is n. p. r.'s morning edition i'm renee montagne it was last september eighth the law me tuesday night in saint louis when cardinal first baseman mark mcguire swung his back and shattered one of baseball's most hollow the record

Mark why are we going to hit seventy home runs up until the end he waits to drilling battle with sammy sosa of the chicago cubs to finish with sixty six

Baseball has never seen a season like it unless of course you include this season itself n. mcguire both have more than fifty home runs already and could even eclipse last year's record breaking numbers and once again they're not alone in recent years bunches of major league players have fueled an unprecedented home run peratis n. p. r.'s tom goldman considers why all

It's nearly impossible these days forget mark mcguire and sammy sosa for a moment and think about all the other players

Bashing home runs in relative obscurity would have then there wouldn't have been last year's record total of five thousand sixty four home runs a record that could fall again this year

Baltimore outfielder be case or hot beverage to six hundred and two year his first nine seasons and twenty one over the past four years arizona second baseman jane bell was never a power hitter until this season is rising home run so often has been nightly news on the e. s. p. n. sports network on the plate on top of the incident armando ahmanson fails to achieve it and you know we want any war

And we're trying to run for the year frankly i would have a home run numbers go higher theory behind the church keep growing as well

Many factors appear to be responsible but like a classic baseball rhubarb there is widespread disagreement on which factor is most important

Instead of this

And and author of the respected baseball abstract

Says it's the stadiums ten years ago

Major league baseball men generally believed it would be good if we can have more on that and i do think that was reflected in the kind of parts that were built a smaller more

Informant park says james with fences closer to home plate proponents of the stadium affect also say since most of these new parts are building in downtown areas that density creates more humid air which makes a ball carried for her so it's the ballparks right

Now we are completely blameless

Yes there is an architect with a trip a sport that turned that has designed many of the new parts he says some of the new stadiums actually have larger dimensions than the ones they were placed so it's gonna be something else says spear maybe all the big beefy

There's you know athletes are training hard are becoming more of a specialized in better physical of a thousand

There are people who have this theory has merit particularly when you consider the prevalence of popeye forearms and tree trunk lines in his seven years as strength and conditioning coach for the baltimore orioles condition says weightlifting has become quite popular in the major leagues bishop agrees stronger player swing the bat faster and drive the ball farther than know the real culprit he says he is an expanding lead with out and that's good pictures i think

Teachers are rushed to the major leagues nowadays that they're they're not grown to nearly as long as as they were in the past

And how about what those pictures are throwing for many years conspiracy theorists have posited the juice of all theory behind all the home runs than a lively tempered with baseball was flying off that sent out of stadiums the john hodge and has experimental proof that the bonds that useful period

Hodgman's works for rawlings sporting goods which makes all of baseball's baseball at a factory in costa rica each ball is tested for it it's so efficient of restitution and oppressive term which means the ball is hurled at a wall and measured to see how far it flies back

A ball that would be taking a hundred miles an hour at a surface could not rebound on that surface of more than fifty seven miles an hour we would be rejected as a major league baseball and it's been a weekend since nineteen seventy two

There are plenty of theories you know and answers the basic question about the home run glad you did good for baseball maguire success of home run race is really helping their respective teams

The cardinals and cuts have lost more games and they want and are out of the playoff picture and while they're julie is fun for many fans baseball historian bill james things alternately homeruns have limited appeal

If you get a lot of montserrat is accorded no longer makes any sense to sacrifice it in the whitewater make it is at the box the strategies in baseball a bill on the percentages and all of the percentages have been more let's turn out the window quote going back to more normal baseball would be a probably an improvement for now

Lots of fence nevertheless will continue to cheer as baseball's fly through the air and sammy sosa mark mcguire and others continued to push the boundaries a record that once seemed untouchable tom goldman n. p. r. news washington

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