yeah it was not the ball. ted williams commented on this in his book written in the late 60s or so:
Originally Posted by willshad
The longer season is blamed for the decline in hitting, and the pitching over-all is supposed to
be better. Logistics are definitely a factor—the increase in night games, the size of the new
parks (Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles is a pasture compared to cozy old Ebbets Field), the
disturbed routine of cross-country travel that forces you to eat different hours, sleep
differently. Certainly a week should be cut off both ends of the season for no other reason than
to get away from some of that lousy cold weather. It’s hard to hit in cold weather. But I
wonder. If it were the longer season you would expect a few of the better hitters to average
higher—.360, .370 or better—for at least 100 games, and they don’t. When the season’s only a
couple months old neither league will have ten guys hitting .300.
How, too, can the pitching be better when there are fewer pitchers in organized baseball (fewer
leagues, fewer everything, actually)? When expansion has made starters out of fifty or more
who would otherwise still be in the minor leagues?
After two years of managing the Washington Senators, the one big impression I got was that
the game hasn’t changed. It’s the same as it was when I played. I see the same type pitchers,
the same type hitters. I am a little more convinced than ever that there aren’t as many good
hitters in the game, guys who can whack the ball around when it’s over the plate, guys like
Aaron and Clemente and Frank Robinson. There are plenty of guys with power, guys who hit
the ball a long way, but I see so many who lack finesse, who should hit for average but don’t.
The answers are not all that hard to figure. They talked for years about the ball being dead.
The ball isn’t dead, the hitters are, from the neck up. Everybody’s trying to pull the ball, to
begin with. Almost everybody from the left fielder to the utility shortstop is trying to hit home
runs, which is folly, and I will tell you why as we go along—and how Ted Williams, that
notorious pull hitter, learned for himself.
I will probably get carried away and sound like Al Simmons and Ty Cobb sounded to me when
they used to cart their criticism of my hitting into print. I don’t mean to criticize individuals
here. Not at all. I do criticize these trends.
I think hitting can be improved at almost any level, and my intention is to show how, and what
I think it takes to be a good hitter, even a .400 hitter if the conditions are ever right again—
from the theory to the mechanics to the application.
I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and can’t run, most of the time he’s clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. – Dusty Baker.