Originally Posted by MISoxfan
There seems to be a general opinion in this thread that strike outs are bad and that the hitters of yesteryear were better and less selfish. Sure you can make a case that increased run production is entirely due to the watering down of the league's pitching, elbow pads, and lowering of the mound, but you are ignoring other factors like the increased use of a bullpen when a starter is struggling, and that expansion teams bring in worse hitting as well as pitching. There are also a lot of years between 1968 and 2000 if you want to ignore the changing of the mound.
All excellent points. Another thing to take into account is the newer ballparks that have the tantalizingly close HR fences. Players from Jim Rice's era never hit in a place like Minute Maid Park with 363 foot power alleys. Let's face it, lots of these newer parks were built for HRs. Who could blame some of these hitters for a HR swing when a huge chunk of the parks they play in are launching pads?
The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -George Carlin