Bonds is the HR King

Bonds hit #756, and is now the HR king. Prepare yourself for bitter haters to spend the next 40 years trying to delegitimize his accomplishments because they liked Hank better. Ignore them- Bonds has been the most potent offensive baseball player in the modern history of the game.

If you don’t believe me, check out the big brain on Matt:

The man holds the record for most career home runs and most home runs in a single season. What’s more, not only did he hit 73 home runs in 2001, but he also “managed to shatter two of Babe Ruth’s longstanding records — most walks (177) and highest slugging percentage (.863) in a season.” That record of walks stood until . . . the next season when he drew 198. Then in 2004, he drew 232 which helped hold him to 45 homers but helped power him to an OBP of .609, a major league record. He had nine different seasons with over 30 stolen bases, plus two 29 SB seasons and a 28 SB season.

He is, in short, the greatest offensive player in the history of baseball. Not being someone who pays much attention to baseball, I don’t pay a ton of attention to Bonds, but it’s silly for people to just shut their ears and pretend this didn’t happen. Yes, it appears that during the period when Major League Baseball had no steroid policy, he took steroids. And the day when MLB invalidates all the other records from the Steroid Era — rescinds the World Series titles and the division penants, takes back the Cy Young awards and the Golden Gloves, etc., etc., etc. — I suppose it would make sense to take Bonds’ achievements away too. But until that happens, the records are the records and he played better than anyone else.

Exactly. As a side note, can you imagine what Matt would know if he did pay attention to baseball?

In closing- Bonds is the greatest HR hitter. Officially. And watching #756 again this morning, and his swing was just as pretty as it was for the previous 755.

*** Update ***

Captain Ed:

So who really deserves the asterisk? Peter Ueberroth, Fay Vincent, and Bud Selig. They did nothing while steroids flourished, because owners liked what it did to the game. It resulted in more homers, and more spectacular homers at that. It generated interest in baseball during some rocky times and led to the silly Home Run Derbys before All-Star Games. The owners marketed on steroids and they depended on them just as much as the players who used them — and these commissioners didn’t lift a finger to stop it until Congress asserted what little authority it had to embarrass MLB. Only then did Selig start pushing against the Steroids Era.

Agreed.

*** Update ***

One last thing- it is an absolute disgrace that Selig was not there in the stands.






86 replies
  1. 1
    Fwiffo says:

    The other common argument against Bonds is that he’s a titanic asshole. As true as that is, Babe Ruth was a fat, womanizing drunk.

  2. 2
    Marine Corps Proctologist says:

    Bonds is but one of hundreds guilty. And to his credit, he never went before the cameras and said “I have never, ever used performance enhancing drugs”.

    It’s a record, like it (or him) or not.

    Now can all this go away and allow us to actually enjoy the game? A-Rod hit 500, pennant races are heating up, Glavine is a 300-game winner.

  3. 3
    TR says:

    Special Ed makes some sense. I guess it was bound to happen eventually.

  4. 4
    Don says:

    Bonds certainly managed the achievement within the constraints he was given. It’s the people who did nothing who deserve the scorn.

    However why anyone would get excited about someone surpassing a record earned without all those advantages is beyond me. It’s not a fair competition.

  5. 5
    Teak111 says:

    Suicide watch for Giant fans as the reality of theer season now sinks in. Call it a Bonds hnagover. Congrats to Bonds, as Padre fans, we always feared the guy and he killed us many times, and in baseball fear is a sign of real respect. PS: I didn’t know right wingers like Capt Ed even knew about baseball. Could it be that they know about other human stuff too, football, and work, and wives and husbands and children, mowing the lawn and washing the car? Paying bills? Naw.

  6. 6
    BFR says:

    He is, in short, the greatest offensive player in the history of baseball.

    This is debatable. Bonds all-time ranks behind Ruth & Ted Williams in OPS+ which takes into account ballpark effects and level of competition. Ruth (and to an extent Williams) only competed against white people, but neither had access to Bonds’ training & pharmaceutical programs. Also, Williams spent ~5 years in the prime of his career in military service. It’s not a clear-cut argument.

  7. 7
    Dave says:

    (full disclosure…I’m a Giants fan and season ticket holder and was there last night, and yes I cheered).

    However. Justifying Bonds taking steroids because lots of other players were as well is just that: a justification. “He did it too” is not an defense for doing something wrong. The decision to (allegedly) take steroids was his and his alone. The fact that commissioners and others in charge of baseball looked the other way makes them as guilty as Bonds, but does not in anyway excuse his cheating.

    As I’ve said before, the sad thing is he really didn’t need the steroids, but he does deserve “the asterisks”

    Having said all that he does have the pretty swing.

  8. 8
    Prince Roy says:

    Agreed. I don’t think the record is in any way tainted. MLB got what it wanted by not formulating a steroids policy when it knew about them all along.

    For Selig not to have attended Bonds’ feat shows what little class he has. He’s a joke as a commissioner and there is no way an owner should ever be permitted to be commissioner.

    Baseball (the owners anyway) need steroids. Anyway take a look at Pujols or A-Rod over the last few years?

  9. 9
    Otto Man says:

    He is, in short, the greatest

    most

    offensive player in the history of baseball.

    Fixed!

  10. 10
    Face says:

    Bonds has been had access to the most potent offensive baseball player synthetic steriod compounds in the modern history of the game.

    Fixed.

  11. 11
    cmoreNC says:

    John:

    While we’re at it, let’s call off the dogs threatening to void Floyd Landis’s Tour De France title, and let’s re-instate Ben Johnson’s Olympic track medals that were taken away and given to Carl Lewis instead. After all, just like Barry Bonds both were extremely talented athletes with sweet technique in their respective sports to begin with, weren’t they? Steroids simply made them a little better, pleasing spectators. Right?

    BTW, prophylactic concern over the steroid issue has now spread to professional golf, even though there is (as yet) no pro golfer under suspicion of owing success to unfair biochemical enhancements. However, I suspect that steroids will be of little help in that game, since finesse shots and the short game are what really set the top golfers apart from the rest – long hitters who have a tendency to get wild still wind up on the Nationwide tour, if they make it at all.

  12. 12
    BFR says:

    However, I suspect that steroids will be of little help in that game, since finesse shots and the short game are what really set the top golfers apart from the rest – long hitters who have a tendency to get wild still wind up on the Nationwide tour, if they make it at all.

    Disagree. Say you’ve got two identically gifted golfers and one of them starts ‘roiding. The roiding golfer now is able to reach a few more par 5s and is hitting wedge into a few more par 4s. Who is going to make the cut in more tournaments?

    We’re not talking about hackers turning themselves into Tiger Woods here. Look at the positive tests in baseball – most of them are from fringy AAA talent level players trying to make it up to the next level or hang on to a major league job.

  13. 13
    Gus says:

    Maybe Special Ed should stick to sports commentary, ’cause I think he’s right on for a change.

  14. 14
    Cassidy says:

    It definitely deserves an asterisk, but I’m glad it’s over. Unfortunately, official record or not, the glow of the home-run record will always be tarnished over this. You simply cannot compare the quality of Bond’s achievement to the same accomplishments of yesterdays players.

    Can you blame Bond’s? Probably not. He wasn’t the only one. My biggest dissappointment is that prior to the steroids, Bonds was a great player anyway. Maybe he wouldn’t have broken the record, but surely he’d have hit over 500; he was putting up roughly 30 a year as it was. Add to that the stolen bases and golden gloves, because he could field and run before the steroids, he was a 1st time Hall of Famer anyway.

    He is, in short, the greatest offensive player in the history of baseball.

    No way. There are a lot more factors than HR’s in offense. How is his HR’s more important than Pete Rose’s number of hits?

  15. 15
    Cassidy says:

    One last thing- it is an absolute disgrace that Selig was not there in the stands.

    Selig is an asshole anyway. He’s been a disgrace for far longer than this.

  16. 16
    Gus says:

    cmoreNC, the difference is that there was no rule in baseball against steroids until recently. Johnson and Landis broke the rules. Bonds didn’t, or at least hasn’t been caught.

  17. 17
    ThymeZone says:

    Barry won 4 MVP’s at 185 lbs, I think. And ties for 5th place on the alltime Golden Glove list for outfielders with eight. Offense and defense, including the stolen and extra bases, the complete player.

  18. 18
    Prince Roy says:

    While we’re at it, let’s call off the dogs threatening to void Floyd Landis’s Tour De France title, and let’s re-instate Ben Johnson’s Olympic track medals that were taken away and given to Carl Lewis instead.

    Ludicrous argument. Performance enhancing drugs were illegal in those sports at that time, and the athletes failed drug tests. Steroids were not illegal in baseball, there was not testing during the time in question, and after they started it, Bonds has yet to fail a test.

    MLB is just as complicit as any players, particularly the owners. And something makes me think you weren’t out there decrying baseball’s loss of integrity when McGwire hit all those homers in 1998.

  19. 19
    Cassidy says:

    Barry won 4 MVP’s at 185 lbs, I think. And ties for 5th place on the alltime Golden Glove list for outfielders with eight. Offense and defense, including the stolen and extra bases, the complete player.

    Exactly. And this was before the steroids. That’s why I’m so disappointed in him. He was good allready. Now he’s just going to fade into obscurity.

  20. 20
    Elvis Elvisberg says:

    Captain Ed is wrong.

    For three decades, ownership has lost every single conflict with players.

    The players union, citing privacy concerns, was rigidly opposed to testing.

    Now, the commissioners were part of the problem, just as journalists and fans were part of the problem, for turning a blind eye, or at least failing to press the problem. (Obviously, the commissioners had more control than I did, and have more of the blame).

    But I really think it’s misguided to blame ownership, when they were in such a weak position relative to the players.

    In fairness to Ed, it might not be fair to consider pre-Selig commissioners as representative of ownership.

  21. 21
    Cassidy says:

    And something makes me think you weren’t out there decrying baseball’s loss of integrity when McGwire hit all those homers in 1998.

    Big differnece again. McGwire came into this game big. He was putting up big numbers as a rookie. With the supplements he admitted to using and a good trainer, you can achieve the results he’s had. I’m not as convinced that McGwire used steroids, as he doesn’t show the same signs/symptoms as Bonds.

  22. 22
    keatssycamore says:

    Cassidy,

    Agreed. It was much better for Selig not to be there, rather than making us endure another of his patently phony “I didn’t see it? Did he hit it? He did. OK I’ll s l o w l y rise to my feet, then scowl and jam my hands into my pockets assertively so the world can’t see the blood on my hands,” performances.

  23. 23
    gogiggs says:

    “How is his HR’s more important than Pete Rose’s number of hits?”

    Because when you hit a HR, you get 4 bases, and everyone on base and you are guaranteed to score. Despite the hit gap, Bonds has more total bases then Rose in his career and that’s even before you throw in the nearly one thousand more walks he had.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    With the supplements he admitted to using and a good trainer, you can achieve the results he’s had.

    Disclaimer…anecdotal based on my research, my fitness regimen, and the results of those around me.

  25. 25
    BFR says:

    There are a lot more factors than HR’s in offense. How is his HR’s more important than Pete Rose’s number of hits?

    Clearly a HR is way more valuable than a single. Bonds is ranked #3 all time in OPS+ while Pete Rose is tied for #377. OPS+ is an adjusted on-base and slugging metric. Basically, Bonds & Ruth (and Williams) got on base way more often than Rose and hit the ball way harder than Rose.

    Bonds also stole over 300 more bases than Rose. Rose, interestingly enough, had only about 70 more SB than Ruth.

  26. 26
    myiq2xu says:

    We Giants fans endured many a pathetic season, but we consoled ourselves with two things:

    A firm belief that any year in which our boys knocked the Dodgers out of the play-offs was a winning season.
    AND
    The knowledge that the Braves were even worse than our boys.

    There was even a time when the Giants gave out an award to any fan who stayed until the end of an extra-inning night game at the “Stick,” a pin called the “Croix de Candlestick.”

    Then along came Roger Craig and a rookie named Will Clark, and a really cruel era began where our hopes were raised year after year, only to have them crushed. One year, even God intervened just before Game 3 of the World Series. I guess He is a Dodger fan.

    Then in the Spring of 1993 Barry arrived. Within weeks, fans were bowing and chanting “We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy,” every third game, as Bonds smacked another souvenir into the stands.

    If Yankee Stadium is the “House that Ruth Built,” Then AT&T Park (aka PacBell Park) is the “Park Barry Built.”

    To all you haters out there, bitch and moan all you want -Barry Bonds is #1

  27. 27
    Gus says:

    This is one of the great things about baseball, arguing across eras who is the greatest. I’m inclined to go with Ruth myself, just because he almost single-handedly revolutionized the game. He twice had more home runs than any other team in the league. The strike against him is he played in a segregated league so he didn’t face all the best competition. He was a pretty good pitcher, too.

  28. 28
    Cassidy says:

    Clearly a HR is way more valuable than a single. Bonds is ranked #3 all time in OPS+ while Pete Rose is tied for #377. OPS+ is an adjusted on-base and slugging metric. Basically, Bonds & Ruth (and Williams) got on base way more often than Rose and hit the ball way harder than Rose.

    Rose scored more runs…so those singles counted for something. lol

    All I meant was that HR’s do not make “the greatest offensive player ever”. There are other factors. How many more at bats did Cal Ripken Jr. have because of his record?

    a rookie named Will Clark,

    One of my favorites. Always consistent.

    Barry Bonds is #1*

    Fixed

  29. 29
    Prince Roy says:

    I’m not as convinced that McGwire used steroids, as he doesn’t show the same signs/symptoms as Bonds.

    you’ve got to be kidding me. He practically admitted as much in his testimony before Congress. There were rumors about his alleged use for years, that he had been using them his entire career, later confirmed by Canseco. I suggest you compare some photos of McGwire in his rookie year with those from the mid 1990s. He was always a big guy, but significantly leaner.

    His numbers weren’t any higher than Bonds’ until 1996. ‘Supplements’? Your faith in humanity is touching.

    McGwire was just as surly as Bonds in his career, but the media called it ‘guarding his privacy’. When he started jacking the ball out of the park from 1996-1999, they didn’t say a word, unlike Bonds in 2001. But then again, McGwire was The Great White Hope of baseball.

  30. 30
    BFR says:

    I’m not as convinced that McGwire used steroids, as he doesn’t show the same signs/symptoms as Bonds.

    Take a look at some before/after pictures of McGwire before concluding that. Yeah, he was big in the sense that he was 6’5″ when he came up but he didn’t look like a freakshow. There’s as much anecdotal evidence supporting claims against each.

  31. 31
    Eural says:

    I am not a baseball (or sports guy)but I do know that if a student achieved a perfect score on the Math SAT’s while using a prohibited laptop then the scores would be considered inadmissable and the student disqualified for cheating regardless of other circumstances. If 20 other students were “doing it to” than they would receive like treatment – not be used to excuse and reward the cheating behavior. What’s so hard about that?

    For example – according to the Bond argument than no one can hold Bush accountable because he may be breaking the law but other presidents did as well.

    Either we play by the rules or we don’t. And if we reward cheating (in whatever form) than there is no point in abiding by the rules nor in recognizing achievements which are (largely) undeserved.

  32. 32
    Face says:

    cmoreNC, the difference is that there was no rule in baseball against steroids until recently.

    Ya know, I don’t see a a rule in baseball specifically making it illegal to rape your teamate’s wife. Can you show me that rule? So I guess it must be allowed, correct?

    Cuz baseball regs supercede federal law, and all that, right?

  33. 33
    Cassidy says:

    Prince Roy, BFR…

    I’m not saying McGwire didn’t. I’m saying I’m not as convinced he did. He came into the game, as a rookie, with 18 in biceps…quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Over the span of his career, it is beleiveable that a consistent workout routine and OTC supplement regimen could have given him the gains he had.

    Secondly, one tell-tale sign of steroid abuse is joint problems. As the muscles get significantly stronger, the tendons and ligaments do not grow in proportion to compensate and are therefore much weaker than they should be. McGwire didn’t have nearly the problems Bonds did.

    As for the rumors…McGwire was hitting big ones when no one else was, against a much more dominant class of pitchers than exists today.

  34. 34
    Gus says:

    Yeah, that’s exactly the same thing. Honestly I didn’t know that federal law prohibited steroids. I stand corrected.

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    Supplements’? Your faith in humanity is touching.

    Has nothing to do with faith in humanity. I stated previously that this is a conclusion, drawn anecdotally (is that a word), from my own research and the fitness regimens of people I interact with. Andro, specifically, was shown to cause a dramatic increase in muscle mass.

  36. 36
    BFR says:

    Rose scored more runs…so those singles counted for something

    Runs aren’t very useful since they are impacted by the quality of the other players. But since you brought it up:
    1. Rickey Henderson 2295
    2. Ty Cobb+* 2246
    3. Barry Bonds* 2212
    4. Hank Aaron+ 2174
    Babe Ruth+* 2174
    6. Pete Rose# 2165

  37. 37
    r says:

    Not so fast. Bonds may be the best offensive player, blah blah blah. I don’t dispute that. What I dispute is the HR record, period. Look at his career trends, then look at about 2000. He probably hit about 70 too many, which puts him around Mays.

    Yglesias’ and your obtuseness on this point is ridiculous.

    Nobody is saying steroids made him great. Steroids made him a home run champ, a single season home run champ.

    Give me a break, it’s not that hard.

  38. 38
    Prince Roy says:

    Before McGwire started his Ruthian rampage in 1996, he had only twice hit over 40 home runs in one season. Beginning from 1996 he hit 52, 58, 70 and 65 respectively. Yet no one in the media raised any suspicions of steroids, particularly during his run in 1998.

    I haven’t heard any serious accusations that Bonds used steroids before 2000. To that point, he hit over 40 home runs three times. His power statistics before 2000 are not that different from McGwire.

    I think there has been some serious double standards going on, and I believe it is largely racially motivated.

    @Cassidy: McGwire had all kinds of (possible) steroid-related joint and injury problems during his career: ’93, ’94 2000-’01. People just didn’t want to know.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    Heh…where I looked had Rose’s number as higher. My mistake.

  40. 40
    KoC says:

    Has nothing to do w/Bonds, but figured those who don’t read FARK would like to know this:

    Newly elected leader of the Young Republican National Federation forced to resign, under investigation for performing an unwanted sex act on a sleeping 22-year-old male

    Choice quotes:

    On Tuesday afternoon, Glenn Murphy Jr. e-mailed media outlets a letter announcing his resignation from both positions, citing an unexpected business opportunity that would prohibit him from holding a partisan political office.

    However, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department on Friday began investigating Murphy for alleged criminal deviate conduct — potentially a class B felony — after speaking with a 22-year-old man who claimed that on July 31, Murphy performed an unwanted sex act on him while the man slept in a relative’s Jeffersonville home.

    In 1998, a 21-year-old male filed a similar report with Clarksville police claiming Murphy attempted to perform a sex act on him while he was sleeping. Charges were never filed in that case.

  41. 41
    Prince Roy says:

    Ya know, I don’t see a a rule in baseball specifically making it illegal to rape your teamate’s wife. Can you show me that rule? So I guess it must be allowed, correct?

    another ludicrous argument.

  42. 42
    Face says:

    Yeah, that’s exactly the same thing. Honestly I didn’t know that federal law prohibited steroids. I stand corrected.

    What’s the diff? You’re saying anything not specifically banned by baseball is allowed, are you not? Despite what federal law says about any of it? I took your logic and made a mockery of it, b/c it’s the dumbest excuse in the book.

  43. 43
    Tom Hilton says:

    However why anyone would get excited about someone surpassing a record earned without all those advantages is beyond me.

    Which of course is equally true for all the beneficiaries of performance-enhancing racism–i.e., every white player before Jackie Robinson.

  44. 44
    Cassidy says:

    think there has been some serious double standards going on, and I believe it is largely racially motivated.

    Bullshit…the greatest HR hitter of all time is a black man.

    haven’t heard any serious accusations that Bonds used steroids before 2000. To that point, he hit over 40 home runs three times. His power statistics before 2000 are not that different from McGwire.

    Assuming for sake of argument, that we define 200 as the year he started, this only ties into what I said earlier: Bonds was allready a great player and future Hall of Famer without the juice.

    As for McGwire’s numbers…out of that same block he put up over 30 three times; very respectable for that era. I also stated that the quality of pitching was much better during that time frame, so 32, 33, and 39 HR’s is pretty damn good.

    He may have used steroids. I don’t know. I’m just saying I’m not as convinced. Whereas Bonds went from super-skinny (with the Eric Davis/ Darryl Strawberry quick swing) and the ability to run and field, to a swollen freak rather quickly.

  45. 45
    Earl says:

    For what it’s worth, steroids were banned in baseball back in 1991. From a memo from Fay Vincent: “The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players and personnel is strictly prohibited….This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids or prescription drugs for which the individual in possession of the drug does not have a prescription.”

    Of course there was zero enforcement. Still, anyone who says it wasn’t against the rules in baseball is wrong.

  46. 46
    Andrew says:

    What’s the diff? You’re saying anything not specifically banned by baseball is allowed, are you not? Despite what federal law says about any of it? I took your logic and made a mockery of it, b/c it’s the dumbest excuse in the book.

    Well, so you’re saying that doing anything against the law is grounds for expunging a sports record?

    Like if he bought hookers or was a tax cheat, he should be banned from the HoF?

  47. 47
    Cassidy says:

    McGwire had all kinds of (possible) steroid-related joint and injury problems during his career: ‘93, ‘94 2000-’01.

    IIRC, and I could be wrong, those were back injuries…much more typical of baseball players (and weightlifters) in his age group.

  48. 48
    canuckistani says:

    Sorry, I don’t like or respect Barry Bonds, and if he’s a record holder, than I don’t respect the record any more. He followed the letter of the rules and he gets his name in the book, but you can’t force me to think he deserves respect and admiration.

  49. 49
    Prince Roy says:

    Bullshit…the greatest HR hitter of all time is a black man.

    What does that have to do with the difference in treatment by media (and fans) of McGwire and Bonds?

    And if you want to argue quality of pitching, that makes Bonds’ performance during those years even more impressive. I’ve never heard anyone seriously argue that pitching was much better in the AL then, and even if it was, it likely was even better in the NL. Would need to see the stats, though.

  50. 50
    Fwiffo says:

    It would not be suspect by itself that a player would add more muscle over the course of his career. Adding large amounts of muscle takes time. Professional bodybuilders usually peak in their late 30s or their 40s (e.g. Ronnie Coleman won his first Mr. Olympia at age 34 and most recent at age 41.) Steroids would let you get more muscle overall, but someone training consistently throughout adulthood is not going to peak in muscle mass in their early 20s whether they use steroids or not.

  51. 51
    Don says:

    I don’t understand your point Tom. What does that have to do with Bonds using chemicals to exceed a record set by someone prior without them? Are you trying to say that Aaron’s record is negligible because there were few black players before him?

  52. 52
    keatssycamore says:

    Considering that McGwire’s “Bash Brother” was the ‘roid pioneer in baseball (or so his book claims along with the claim that he, in fact, injected steroids into Mark McGwire), I’d say that the evidence is AT LEAST as convincing as the evidence against Bonds.

    I believe they both juiced. But even juiced, only one of them is one of the (hint, hint) true giants of the game. The other one’s just caucasian. Which might actually be the preferable attribute in terms of fan support/attitude about their respective ‘chases’.

    Anyone watch the McGwire/Sosa chase and NOT fully understand that they were completely roided up? Seriously, unless you weren’t yet in double digits in age, you knew.

    I believe Pujols (and some others) are still on HGH as there isn’t an effective test for it.

    And, for you real pollyannas, the real steroid action is in the NFL.

  53. 53
    Prince Roy says:

    I believe Pujols (and some others) are still on HGH as there isn’t an effective test for it.

    I agree completely. And not just Pujols. A-Rod has become massive and sculpted. And as far as HGH giant-head syndrome, look no further than Roger Clemens.

  54. 54
    keatssycamore says:

    Furthermore, Brady Anderson juiced his way to 50 and Len Dykstra juiced himself to the point where his arm would have been as strong throwing underhand as it was throwing overhand.

    And this was being discussed (though gingerly and obtusely at most times) in the media of the day and that’s what drove the cosmetic 1991 ban on roids. That rule along with the strike and the first HR chase and Selig’s leadership fostered an environment where media speculation could be called “irresponsible” because it wasn’t backed up with some smoking gun evidence.

  55. 55
    Doug H. says:

    Funny how steroids only became an issue when it was #25 breaking records. Media-friendly guys like McGwire and Sosa got a free pass, even with Big Mac taking interviews in front of his bottle o’ andro. But once it became Barry “I Hate The Media For What They Did To Dad” Bonds, steroids became icky again.

    This has little to do with race and everything to do with Barry’s hate-hate relationship with the sports media.

  56. 56
    keatssycamore says:

    I just wish everyone would understand that Selig is the douchiest douche of them all and actually mention this fact in any conversation about “steroids”.

  57. 57
    BFR says:

    Brady Anderson juiced his way to 50

    There are a ton of inexplicable, 1-year power surges throughout the history of baseball. Just because Jim Palmer thinks Anderson took roids doesn’t in fact make it so.

    Take Roger Maris for example. In ’59 he hit 61 home runs. In ’63 he hit 23. Sandwiched between were totals of 39, 61 and 33.

  58. 58
    keatssycamore says:

    BFR:

    Just look at a pre-50 and post-50 picture of Brady Anderson. And his numbers stayed high while he was juiced. Not 50, but not the 5 he was hitting.

    But if you want to be obtuse, that’s your choice. But maybe a personal anecdote would help?

    I’ve been in the gym alot and have been an athlete and I was always the skinniest person no matter what weights I slung. I did a round of roids (oral with a mass building roid and a leaning out roid. And I did it at very low doses (especially the mass builder because I wasn’t having bloodwork and stuff done) and, in one 12 week round, I gained 13 pounds of lean muscle mass.

    I never did another round because it’s bad for the liver and my kidneys ocassionally hurt, but it was amazing to see what they did for my body and my workouts. If millions of dollars were on the line, I can easily imagine it would be overwhelmingly seductive. That’s why today’s atheletes are juiced.

    But feel free to continue living in pollyanna land. You can hangout with Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones.

  59. 59

    Bonds’s feat also confirmed something else: Rupert Murdoch deserves to be tarred and feathered. Allow me to explain.

    I desperately wanted to watch that game on television. I knew in my baseball-loving gonads that it was the night. Living in the Bay Area, you would think that This Would Not Be a Problem. Oh no.

    Fox’s local broadcast station, which normally carries Giants games, wasn’t carrying the game… Okay, a little odd, but it happens. Joy of joys, ESPN2 was carrying the game, and in HD. Oh, but ESPN2 blacked out the game in the Bay Area. The only way to watch the game would be to upgrade my programming package in order to receive Fox Sports Network. In other words, Rupert Murdoch, that money-whoring piece of excrement, decreed that thousands of Bay Area baseball fans without access to Fox Sports Network would be denied the chance to watch the game live.

    I am not pleased.

  60. 60
    Cassidy says:

    I’d say that the evidence is AT LEAST as convincing as the evidence against Bonds.

    Maybe…I’m not saying he didn’t. All I’ve said is that I’m not as convinced. There are reasonable arguments to be made that McGwire did not, that give him the benefit of the doubt, in my book. Bonds does not have the same background.

    The comparison to Canseco is a bad one, though. All Canseco had was strength, hence the high number of strikeouts. McGwire was a good hitter. Good technique has just as much to do with HR’s, if not more, as strength.

    Anyone watch the McGwire/Sosa chase and NOT fully understand that they were completely roided up?

    Sosa obviously…classic skinny to huge overnight. Same with Bonds. Once again, though, McGwire went from big to bigger over a significant period of time.

    And if you want to argue quality of pitching, that makes Bonds’ performance during those years even more impressive. I’ve never heard anyone seriously argue that pitching was much better in the AL then, and even if it was, it likely was even better in the NL. Would need to see the stats, though.

    No stats off the top of my head, but that’s not my argument, exactly. What I said was the overall quality of pitching during that early 90’s era, is much better than today. Regardless of league, hitting 30-40 HR’s off a pitcher during that time period was a helluva accomplishment. If I was un-clear in that, I apologize.

  61. 61
    Gus says:

    Face,
    I’m saying that there is gray area there if it isn’t specifically banned by baseball. And I was conceding your point. I didn’t know that steroids are banned by federal law. And a baseball player will use any edge he can get. I think it was Jim Bouton who said that if you offered a pitcher a way to win 20 games with the stipulation that it would take 5 years off his life, most players would take it. No need to be hostile.

  62. 62
    Gus says:

    And Earl, thanks for the correction. I also didn’t know that MLB had specifically banned ‘roids. I’ll shut up now.

  63. 63
    PeterJ says:

    cmoreNC said:

    BTW, prophylactic concern over the steroid issue has now spread to professional golf, even though there is (as yet) no pro golfer under suspicion of owing success to unfair biochemical enhancements. However, I suspect that steroids will be of little help in that game, since finesse shots and the short game are what really set the top golfers apart from the rest – long hitters who have a tendency to get wild still wind up on the Nationwide tour, if they make it at all.

    Golfers get LASIK instead (and so does also baseball players for that matter). Improved eyesight makes them see the slopes of the green better and improves their judgment of distances.

  64. 64
    keatssycamore says:

    BFR:

    I was unfair to you and your Brady Anderson comment. What I said was:

    And his numbers stayed high while he was juiced. Not 50, but not the 5 he was hitting.

    And that isn’t true. He hit 17 in ’95, 50 in ’96, and 18 in ’97. So BFR is way more right than I was.

    Sorry.

  65. 65
    Matthew says:

    The Bonds detractors can take solace that the record may not stand as long as it did for Babe Ruth or Henry Aaron.

    Alex Rodriguez has a decent chance of breaking the record. He has 500 home runs now and is the youngest to ever reach this mark.

    But may be they won’t take solace, A Rod isn’t Mr. popular either.

  66. 66
    MNPundit says:

    Good for Selig. Make that dirty juicer pay.

    C’mon A-Rod, I hate you too but at least you seem cleaner.

  67. 67
    Mike says:

    Barry won 4 MVP’s at 185 lbs, I think.

    Nitpick: only 3, though he deserved 4 or 5. And in 1993, long before the alleged steroid years, he hit 46 HRs and slugged .677. I’m really, really tired of ignoramuses insisting the the young Bonds was a skinny, fast guy with no power.

  68. 68
    BFR says:

    And that isn’t true. He hit 17 in ‘95, 50 in ‘96, and 18 in ‘97. So BFR is way more right than I was.

    I should also point out that it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t either. The point is that if you look at baseball historically, you can find a bunch of guys who had random, one-year power surges going way back to before steroids were around. What you likely won’t find much of are sustained, late career surges along the lines of what Bonds has accomplished (and McGwire and a host of others).

  69. 69
    BFR says:

    Nitpick: only 3, though he deserved 4 or 5.

    Added nitpick, post-season awards are really not useful in evaluating talent/contribution. In 1999, Palmeiro won the AL Gold Glove at 1B despite only making 28 appearances at that position.

  70. 70
    Cassidy says:

    I’m really, really tired of ignoramuses insisting the the young Bonds was a skinny, fast guy with no power.

    Who here has said that? I think we’ve all agreed that the skinny, fast Bonds was a great player allready and didn’t need the steroids.

  71. 71
    keatssycamore says:

    BFR:

    Nitpick of nitpick, you won’t find any MVPs going to players who played 28 games. Unless, there’s a pitcher with 40 starts who has won it.

    But as to Gold Gloves? Yes, those are a joke.

  72. 72
    Pug says:

    The other common argument against Bonds is that he’s a titanic asshole. As true as that is, Babe Ruth was a fat, womanizing drunk.

    The all-time asshole was Ty Cobb. When he died, not a single major leaguer attended his funeral. He’s still remembered as one of the all-time greats.

    Bob Costas and the other “purists” need to get a life. And I like Bob.

  73. 73
    fecapult says:

    Barry won 4 MVP’s at 185 lbs, I think. And ties for 5th place on the alltime Golden Glove list for outfielders with eight. Offense and defense, including the stolen and extra bases, the complete player.

    Exactly. And this was before the steroids. That’s why I’m so disappointed in him. He was good allready. Now he’s just going to fade into obscurity Bolivia.

    Fixed.

  74. 74
    Cassidy says:

    Bob Costas and the other “purists” need to get a life.

    Not that I disagree with you exactly, but what is wrong with expecting a higher standard of our professional sports players, as they pertain to the older ones. There is no doubt that Ty Cobb was a bigoted asshole, or that Reggie Jackson is an arrogant SOB…you can’t change the personalities of those people. But the things they accomplished with so much more skill and “greatness” than todays ballplayers is not to be put to bed. I think most of us remember growing up during a more “pure” baseball time. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but I remember guys who played because they loved the game.

    Thing is, Bonds will always be compared to the home run greats. And pre-steroids, he would’ve earned a place of honor in that conversation anyway. But now, he might as well have hit them out of a Little League field, because he ain’t even in the same ballpark as those older players.

  75. 75
    Tax Analyst says:

    As I recall the Home-Run explosion period of Sosa, McGwire, Bonds had a lot of things going on besides the possible or likely use of steroids by some or all of the above: Juiced baseballs, a return to “band-box” dimensions in many new ball parks, an ever-shrinking strike zone. There also seemed to be a large drop-off in the quality of pitching on most teams beyonds their “Ace” starter’s and some top-flight closer’s. Middle-relief pitching was a much less specialized and sought after commodity…some teams still thought starter’s could and should try to pitch Complete Games, which is mostly an obsolete strategy these days (for better or worse). That said, it’s still hard to tell if the “chicken” (lousy pitching) came before the egg (perhaps the hitter’s really WERE that much better). But as many of you had pointed out, the owner’s, the TV Networks, THE FANS, LOVED high-scoring games with lotsa home-run trots…and there was no drug-testing that I can recall hearing of…there may have been a baseball RULE against “performance-enhancing drugs”, but there was certainly no ENFORCEMENT mechanism, which was largely due to Player’s Right’s specified in their contractual agreements with the team Owner’s. The rules that eventually led to testing procedures that COULD be enforced had to be negotiated between the Player’s Union and Management, which, by the way, is how things are supposed to work. The days when the baseball could appoint an all-powerful Czar with dictatorial powers went away with Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Personally, I think these issues must be part of reasonable and fair negotiations in any business endeavor…unless you like the idea of peeing in a bottle everytime you come in a couple minutes late or don’t sleep well the night before and are seen hitting the office coffee pot more than once in the morning. I’ve been a Business Owner, Manager and Employee at various times in my working career, so I have looked at this from every side. My experiences tell me a level playing field between Management and Labor is the best way to go – it tends to keep both parties more grounded and amenable to being reasonable.

  76. 76
    Tax Analyst says:

    BTW – The “ever-shrinking strike zone” is a much bigger factor in Home Run productivity than the average or casual baseball fan might assume. When the zone is little bigger than a postage stamp the pitcher trying to locate his pitcher’s finds himself with a lot of “2-0”, “3-1” counts and has to bring the ball right into the wheelhouse. Even his first pitches have to be closer to the batter’s “sweet zone”. I believe that the zone has been enlarged somewhat in the past few years, although it is still rather tight by the standards of, say, the 1960’s, ’70’s and 80’s. But it’s a much fairer balance than in those years where several player’s topped 60 HomeRuns.

  77. 77
    BFR says:

    BTW – The “ever-shrinking strike zone” is a much bigger factor in Home Run productivity than the average or casual baseball fan might assume.

    I just looked at some numbers (sampling of one season from each decade) and don’t think this is really true.

    An ‘ever shrinking strike zone’ would lead to a decrease in Ks and an increase in BBs along with any corresponding change in HR rate. The K rate has increased steadily from the 1920s up until today (it spiked in the 60s but was still less than current). BB rates were highest in the mid-40s and have fluctuated since then – the rate in 1986, 1996 and 2006 were just about identical.

    By comparison, the HR/game rate is higher by a fair margin than it ever has been.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    Thing is, Bonds will always be compared to the home run greats. And pre-steroids, he would’ve earned a place of honor in that conversation anyway. But now, he might as well have hit them out of a Little League field, because he ain’t even in the same ballpark as those older players.

    Well, not Hank Aaron’s, anyway. His ballpark was made smaller to accomodate him.

  79. 79
    Tax Analyst says:

    BFR Says:

    BTW – The “ever-shrinking strike zone” is a much bigger factor in Home Run productivity than the average or casual baseball fan might assume.

    I just looked at some numbers (sampling of one season from each decade) and don’t think this is really true.

    An ‘ever shrinking strike zone’ would lead to a decrease in Ks and an increase in BBs along with any corresponding change in HR rate. The K rate has increased steadily from the 1920s up until today (it spiked in the 60s but was still less than current). BB rates were highest in the mid-40s and have fluctuated since then – the rate in 1986, 1996 and 2006 were just about identical.

    By comparison, the HR/game rate is higher by a fair margin than it ever has been.

    Not necessarily. The strategic preference for the long-ball has led hitter’s to become more free-swinging. They hit more Home Runs and they strike out more. Also, today’s pitcher’s seem to clock higher velocity more regularly, but they are not necessarily that good at “location”.

  80. 80
    BFR says:

    Well, not Hank Aaron’s, anyway. His ballpark was made smaller to accomodate him.

    Sounds like you are saying that Bonds has played in a ballpark easier for him to hit in than Aaron. However, Milwaukee County was relatively neutral while Atlanta Fulton County stadium was an absolute launching pad. AT&T/PacBell is harsh on left handed hitters (unless they’re named Bonds).

    While it’s 309 or something down the right-field line, right field is exposed to the Bay – wind tends to blow in off the bay and knock down fly balls. Right-center field (where you would typically see a lot of HRs deposited) is halfway to Oakland – 420 feet. Roids or no roids, what he’s done at that park is pretty impressive.

  81. 81
    BFR says:

    The strategic preference for the long-ball has led hitter’s to become more free-swinging. They hit more Home Runs and they strike out more. Also, today’s pitcher’s seem to clock higher velocity more regularly, but they are not necessarily that good at “location”.

    Ok – but my point is that there isn’t any evidence that there’s been a ‘shrinking strike zone.’

  82. 82
    John Cole says:

    Sounds like you are saying that Bonds has played in a ballpark easier for him to hit in than Aaron.

    I am saying just the opposite. Aaron was accomodated. Bonds had a ballpark that was a nightmare for lefties built for him.

  83. 83
    Pug says:

    Bonds has also been walked over 2,500 times. That is five full seasons of at-bats. He’s been walked intentionally with the bases loaded. I guess they were afraid of the steroids.

    And John is right, Fulton County Stadium where Hank played, was a launching pad where guys like Davey Johnson and Darrell Evans would hit 40 home runs, and they moved the left field fence in 15 feet. Nothing against Hank (I loved the guy when I was a kid), but he had some advantages other players didn’t have, too.

    Cheating is nothing new in baseball. When Bobby Thompson hit the “shot heard ’round the world” in 1951, the Giants were stealing signs from the left field scoreboard. Bobby knew what pitch was coming. Gaylord Perry threw spitters for 20-years and ended up in the Hall of Fame. Maybe it’s not right but it’s not new either.

  84. 84
    Pug says:

    You know, it just dawned on me that all those cheaters I mentioned were Giants.

  85. 85
    just sayin says:

    True that steriods were “banned” in ’91, but there was no enforcement unless the syringe fell out of your pocket in front of the commissioner or something. Sort of like spitters and scuffed baseballs – written vs. unwritten law. Also true that steriods are a controlled substance under federal law – just like the speed that was endemic in major league clubhouses for 40+ years.

    Count me with the people who put Bonds in the same category as Ben Johnson and FloJo, but it’s hard to take all the baseball writers and execs that looked the other way for years real seriously. Selig made his bed, he shouldn’t be such a horse’s ass about sleeping in it.

  86. 86
    croatoan says:

    Bonds hit 140 home runs in seven seasons at Candlestick Park (3 Com Park), and he’s hit 156 in less than seven full seasons at Pac Bell (AT&T Park).

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