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Nolan Ryan at APSE meeting talks about Clemens, steroids, Bonds-Aaron

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Claws for Concern, May 15, 2007.

  1. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    Although he's 60 and walks with a limp, Nolan Ryan would be happy to listen if any team offered a deal like his pal Roger Clemens got.
    “If I can pitch, I'd be there,” Ryan said, smiling wide. “And I think my family would encourage me.”

    The Hall of Fame pitcher spoke yesterday at a regional meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors. The gathering was held at Dell Diamond, home of the Ryan-owned Round Rock (Texas) Express, the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

    Ryan was 46 when he retired following the 1993 season with the most strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (seven). After earning baseball's first $1 million annual salary in 1980, he peaked at about $4.2 million in his final years. The 44-year-old Clemens will make about that much every month he pitches for the New York Yankees this season.

    Good for the Rocket, Ryan said.

    “He's one of those really unique guys,” said Ryan, the only pitcher with more strikeouts than Clemens. “The aging process hasn't affected him as early as it has some other people and he's kept himself in great condition. He's a great competitor and he knows his body, so there's an awful lot of plusses.”

    On steroids in baseball:
    Ryan called them “a big stain on all athletics.”

    “It probably has impacted baseball more than any other sport because the history of the game has benchmarks that are truly a mark of the type of year someone was having, or their career,” he said, adding that 600 career homers should now be the benchmark that 500 used to be.
    He realized how drastically things had changed a few years after he retired, when he was watching batting practice at the Astrodome and guys were routinely putting balls into the upper deck, something that rarely happened when he played there.

    “One of three things happened – the ball was different, the bats were different or the players were different. Obviously, it came down to the players,” Ryan said. “Steroids at its peak was probably more rampant than baseball wanted to admit. And I think it filtered all the way down to the high schools.”

    On Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron:

    So what does he make of Bonds, who is widely perceived to have benefited from performance-enhancing drugs?

    “Under the circumstances, he still had to hit the ball over the fence,” Ryan said.

    Ryan said he considers Bonds among the greatest hitters. He also puts Aaron on his short list, adding that “I pitched against both guys, and know what kind of hitters they are.” Thus, he has mixed feeling about Bonds likely breaking Aaron's career record of 755 home runs.

    “You don't want to see a shadow cast on it,” Ryan said.
  2. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    I love Nolan Ryan.

    And just because...

  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    And I love you, ijag, for posting that picture.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I love Nolan, too.
  6. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    I've interviewed both Ryan (in 1988, years before the photographed incident) and Ventura and both guys are absolutely top notch people. Shameful that Ventura is remembered more for "taking noogies for the team" than the fact he was a solid major leaguer, a great family man and donated funds back to his middle school in Santa Maria, Calif., for a new gymnasium. Ryan was the first really big-name athlete I got to interview and he treated me (at the time I was 19) with genuine respect.
  7. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Seven no-hitters!! What an accomplishment.
  8. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I've read quotes from Ventura about the incident, and he always takes the blame and said he deserved what he got.
  9. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    He signed countless autographs for me while he was in B'ham. Seems to be a top-notch guy, which is more than I can say for High Highness.
  10. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    I loved Ventura as long as he wasn't with the White Sox (evil personified).
  11. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Why does no one, I mean NO ONE, ever mention expansion and watered down pitching rotations?
  12. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Shouldn't the baseball talk be left to people who actually like baseball? :)
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