Talkin' about the age-33 falloff phenomenon (cont.)
Joe: This amazes me... you know from 1983 to 1990, Alan Trammell put up a 124 OPS+. Over those same eight years, Cal Ripken Jr. put up an OPS+ of ... yes, 124. I personally believe Trammell is a Hall of Famer, but I don't think he will get elected and the reason seems to be that he never played a full season after age 32.
Bill: Maturity in a player is the development of talents; not the development of NEW talents, but the development of those talents that the player has always possessed.
Aging is a narrowing of talents, and the narrowing of talents begins long before the player reaches the major leagues. Players, as they age, don't run as well, don't throw as well. They continue to develop those talents that they have, but the range of talents continues to narrow. What I'm trying to get to ... I don't think that "maturing" as a player is one thing and "aging" is a different thing. I think it is one continuous process, that helps the player up to some point, and hurts him beyond that point.
Joe: You will hear players say, all the time, "I wish I knew then what I know now." There's no doubt that David Ortiz is a smarter hitter now than he ever was. No question that Alex Rodriguez knows more about how pitchers are trying to get him out now. No question that Lance Berkman knows more about the game than he did at 26 when he mashed 42 homers and drove in 128 runs.
That's the cruelty of 33 for so many players ... and every player eventually hits that age. The brain is sharper than ever, but the body can't quite get them there.
Bill: It's like baking bread, or cooking an omelet. The baking of the bread helps the bread up to a point, and then, if you leave the bread in the oven beyond that point, the same things continue to happen, only they don't HELP the bread any more; they begin to ruin the bread.
Eight more players:
26) George Bell
27) Cecil Fielder
28) Albert Belle
29) Brian Jordan
30) Bill Mueller
31) Jason Giambi
32) Cliff Floyd
33) Ivan Rodriguez
The human body is like bread that won't stop baking. Age 33 is about the age at which you KNOW the bread is getting over-done and you wish that you could turn off the oven, but you just can't.
MLB Truth & Rumors