One of my all-time favorites. Jeff Passan, who does a solid column for Yahoo!, interviews him here and discusses (what else?) base stealing. The column points out that as home run numbers have dropped (more juice testing) base stealing numbers are picking back up. And what's interesting, is that stealers are succeeding at a higher percentage than in the past. I find it fascinating, for example, that A-Rod, in additional to his 50 HRs and 150 RBIs, is approaching 30 steals, and almost never gets caught. The stolen base as a weapon is very much back in vogue, but managers/players are being more cautious about when they go.
Hendeson, for example, stole 130 bases (a record) one year, but he also get caught 40 times. Tim Raines stole a zillion bases at the same time, and there were guys like Vince Coleman and Willie Wilson running around as well. In fact, the stolen base really characterized early '80s baseball very well. That was at the height of articial turf, cocaine use (instead of steroids, which characterized the power days of the late 1990s), and everything was fast, even the junk bond trading and Miami Vice. Then, of course, it all collapsed, and we've only began to rebuild that art of the stolen base. Artificial turf is also making a comeback on football fields as least. Can concaine and junk bonds be far behind? I think they already tried to bring back Miami Vice, but mercifully failed. Then again, with YouTube arguably becoming new version of MTV, who knows what could appear next.