Not trying to minimize David Ortiz "importance" as a Red Sox legend or hero.
I am just saying that the pitching in the years during which Yastrzemski was a major force in the American League was superior to today's pitching.
You do not have to believe me, you can scoff all you want. The numbers prove it, the amount of pitchers that are in the Hall Of Fame proves it. Expanding the league umteen times to Arizona, Florida , Colorado , etc. Increasing rosters to 25 men. And creating bullpen specialists has all watered down pitching in baseball. Today's pitchers are obsessed with radar guns. I'll tell you right now, a Major League hitter will hit a 97 MPH fastball or a 92 MPH fastball , if he knows a fastball is coming ( and they all sit on the fastball nowadays, this is why strikeouts are also higher) But drop the hammer ( curveball ) or develope a devastating change ( ala Pedro Martinez) and this is the key to successful pitching.
My advice to MLB to improve pitching would start with elimination of the radar guns ( except for the scouts) . Teach these guys to pitch , not just throw fire. But, MLB knows this and they do not want good pitching because they are obsessed with offense. They know ratings would drop if we had more 2-1 and 3-2 games.
Today's batters see more mistake pitches, more missed locations and they have the added bonus of video technology to study oppossing pitchers.
There is little doubt that pitching in MLB is severly watered down and sub-standard.
I give you Exhibit #1: Daisuke Matsuzaka- All World pitcher in International baseball , superstar in Japan, in MLB he is an also ran.
I give you Exhibit #2:Jose Contreras- Highly regarded , he came with ultra high expectations. Another also ran.
I give you Exhibition #3: Stephen Strasbourg- top prospect #1 draft pick. Has good numbers, still a work in progress...so far appears he will be a top pitcher...if he can stay healthy. They baby him so much, it is highly unlikely he will ever amass any career stats that will allow for consideration in the HOF at the end of his career.
I give you exhibit #4: John Lester - Ace of the 2013 champion Red Sox staff, lifetime ERA 3.75....good number for a pitcher in 2014, but in 1972 this would be considered only a little above average....and he would be slotted as a #3 starter.
Sorry , but the pitching Carl Yastrzemski faced in his TRIPLE CROWN season of 1967 was quite superior to today's pitching , Minnesota pitcher Jim Kaat had an ERA of 3.04 and won 16 games....he was the #2 starter on Minnesota behind Dean Chance.....2.73 ERA and 20 Ws.
I know , younger people are saying Dean who?...Jim WHO?....but the fact is there were so many quality pitchers during that era that the names of the good ones have become lost in the huge list of GREAT pitchers that pitched during that era.
But, again, those that weren't alive or aware will scoff at that...because to the majority of Bandwagon Nation Red Sox history began in 2004 or maybe 2003. Everything before that is meaningless because the Red Sox did not win a championship....Am I correct in my assessment?