An Era when Major League Baseball Gmes Start

             Don't ask why, just wave goodbye, Baseball WeeklyBlame it on the juiced baseball. Blame it on the juiced players. Blame it on the shrinking strike zone. Blame it on the shrinking pitching talent pool. Blame it on the easy-to-hit new ballparks. Blame it on the easy-to-see baseball. Blame it on all the new bat companies. Blame it on all the underground steroid use. "Hell, blame it on global warming," Toronto Blue Jays manager Jim Fregosi says. "We're blaming all these damn homers on everything else, so why not?" Welcome to the era when major league baseball games start looking like your kids' T-ball games, when Jermaine Dye and Tony Batista become household names, and when we yawn at 40-home run seasons. Just wondering, but considering that Fregosi, 58, was a six-time All-Star who hit 151 career homers, how many would he hit in today's environment? "I wouldn't want to hazard a guess," says Fregosi, who saw 180 runs scored in the Blue Jays' recent 10-game homestand, "because the figure would sound ludicrous. "But you can't even compare players from the past anymore. You've got to judge the players by decades, not their overall stats. "You look at the Hall of Fame, and there are guys today who are in there who hit 140 homers and drove in 700, 800 runs. "You do that now, and you'd get laughed out of Cooperstown. "It's a different game, a different time." Nowadays, we're seeing things we never thought possible. Just a week ago, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada became the first teammates to hit homers from each side of the plate in the same game. Mo Vaughn, Tim Salmon and Troy Glaus of the Angels became the first trio to hit home runs in an inning twice in the same game. The Minnesota Twins, who hit just 105 homers all last season, hit six in one game. Kevin Elster of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who retired and didn't even play last season, hit three homers in one game.

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