Think back in the "good old days" of baseball, the characters in the league, the personalities, the killer instincts each of those guys had. Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Mariano Rivera, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay (RIP Doc), Dwight Gooden, Pedro freaking Martinez, Roger Clemens. Each of these guys had a reputation of "crap man I don't really want to hit against this cat today." They also had another thing on their side, intimidation. If you leaned out over the plate to take the outer half away, they had no issue sending a 93+ mph fastball up towards mission control to let you know this was their game. HELL, Roid Rage Clemens threw a damn broken bat at a guy for looking at him wrong. Pedro INVITED the "Who's Your Daddy" chant, and then shoved it down the Yankees throats. The Iconic image of Nolan Ryan getting back on the mound after beating the absolute sense out of Robin Ventura (avoids getting ejected, cc: Captain Softness Angel Hernandez) and continues to throw 98 mph bullets. Bob Gibson was a notorious headhunter, only because when communists (hitters) leaned out over the plate taking away his bread and butter, the outside corner.
Who in baseball now has that reputation of being an absolute killer? This man. This man is the only one that even enters my mind in this category.
Max Scherzer. People see that guy and think "that mother f****r is nuts, he might kill me for getting a hit. You cannot convince me that that is not in the back of every hitter who steps in against him's mind. The guy is nuts, but the man can pitch. Now this all is fine and good, but also poses the question, "why are pitchers not like that today?"
The answer is simple yet complicated and multifaceted. For one, it is the way the game has changed at the youth level. No one worth a dollar plays local Little League anymore, no kid is in the same ballpark for a whole season anymore, leaving no chance to build a reputation. Gone are the days of "crap y'all we play the Astros tonight, they're gonna throw Big Tim and hes gonna kill us or strike us all out." Also, coaches no longer emphasize using individual strengths to better kids abilities. Everybody wants the cookie cutter, lesson flooded, overcoached, "just throw strikes Johnny and let us win" pitcher. Nobody teaches the kid to go out, let his rooster swing and absolutely dominate every son of a gun that steps in. They all want happy Jimmy smiling the whole time. I cannot tell you how many times before college I heard "Rut, no emotion lets go!!" because I would drop a silent F bomb because I'd walked a guy. Then I get to college and the current pitching coach of the Twins is telling me, "hell no, let it hang, be an absolute rooster out there and beat the will to live out of every hitter." That type of coaching is gone, nobody wants to embarrass the other team because they lose that kid's daddy's 2 grand next summer. This is what in my opinion has led to the softening of baseball. The Latin players never went through that, and who are the best players? Exactly, the Latins. They play with fire, emotion, and will fight at the drop of a hat. And soft Americans say, they are "ruining the game." No sir, you are ruining the game with all your "daddy ball BS" as a college teammate of mine would say.
The other reason for this lack of attacking guys from the mound is the financial investment the teams and league have in these athletes. A baseball to the control tower could end a life, nobody wants that. And no one wants to see a 27 million dollar a year arm get hurt in a brawl. Also, at the minor league level winning is more of an afterthought, Guys do what management says to move up in the ranks. This is all acceptable, I am by no means saying go playing dodge ball with 100 mph fastballs. I am saying be a bulldog one time and go that complete game, be that guy your team plays with energy behind, go win the damn thing. But eventually it has to be a pride thing, you should want to embarass the guy in the box! Lions do not care what that gazelle they just ripped in half feels like, other than good in their stomachs. I am tired of seeing this daddy ball tournament style BS infect the big leagues. Play to win and beat the living hell out of the other team or don't play at all.
Credit to https://www.si.com/extra-mustard/2017/06/07/max-scherzer-washington-nationals-heck-frick-goshdarn-shoot for Scherzer image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3niGu9d_pY for Ryan image