Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_styles() expected to be a reference, value given in /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 571

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-includes/plugin.php:571) in /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/spambam/spambam.php on line 37

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-includes/plugin.php:571) in /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/spambam/spambam.php on line 37

Warning: Parameter 1 to wp_default_scripts() expected to be a reference, value given in /homepages/0/d239326961/htdocs/wordpress/wp-includes/plugin.php on line 571
Clash of the Titans XXX: Barry Bonds : Bweinh!

Clash of the Titans XXX: Barry Bonds

June 15, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Debate, Djere, Josh J  | 4 Comments

In this corner, supporting the election of Barry Bonds, is Josh!

And in this corner, opposing electing Barry Bonds to the Hall, is Djere!

Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of his generation, the best player I’ve ever seen and may ever see. To say he’s a Hall of Fame talent gives too much credit to many of those currently enshrined.

Some will argue his alleged steroid use has cast a black mark on the game sufficient enough to warrant his exclusion from the Hall. First, let me start by saying I have no intention of arguing that maybe he didn’t use steroids, or that it wasn’t horribly disappointing to learn of this use. He did and it was. But he still belongs.

The sheer mountain of career stats he’s amassed is nearly undeniable in its own right, but there’s more to it than that. First off, all the evidence we have, both statistical and testimonial, indicates that Bonds started using steroids at the very end of the 1990’s. By that point, he had already put together a Hall of Fame career, including being the only man in the history of the game to amass over 400 homeruns and 400 stolen bases. With the possible exception of Ken Griffey Jr., Bonds was already the best player in the game for a decade, including three MVP awards. Some players under suspicion, notably Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGuire, may have had their careers completely and fraudulently boosted by steroids. Barry Bonds is not one of them.

But it goes even further than that. Raw numbers ultimately prove inadequate at comparing players across generations. For this reason, players are pooled into eras defined by the statistical trends predominant when they played. There are any number of factors that contribute to the development of these statistical trends, and players’ numbers will always be judged first against those who played at the same time and under the same conditions. Like it or not, this has been the Steroids Era, and Barry Bonds has completely dominated this era. Plenty of players we know were taking steroids couldn’t come close to him when he was clean, and when he leveled the playing field by juicing himself, he absolutely leveled the playing field, putting up arguably the best offensive seasons ever against pitchers who were juicing themselves.

I hope baseball cleans up steroid use. But the fact remains that everyone, from the commissioner to the bleacher bum, has been complicit in what the sport of baseball became. Let’s not make Bonds the scapegoat just because he’s the defining player of the era.

Barry Bonds is a 13-time All-Star. He has earned eight Gold Gloves, has the highest On Base Percentage, On Base Plus Slugging, Plate Appearances, Games Played, Runs, Total Bases, Home Runs, RBI, Bases on Balls, Runs Created, Extra-Base Hits, Times on Base, Intentional Walks, Power/Speed Number, and At Bats per Home Run of any active baseball player. He has earned an estimated $172.7 Million Dollars in his career. He holds the record for most home runs hit in one season — 73. Barry Bonds is also no longer human.

Examine this picture. At the beginning of his career, Bonds was first and foremost a base-stealer. During the 90s, however, Bonds hulked himself out on not completely un-illegal steroids.

In his first 12 seasons, Barry averaged 37 stolen bases per season. After he BALCOed up, he earned a scant 7 and a half. In fact, over his last 5 seasons, beginning at age 35, BALCO Bonds averaged 52 homers, slugged over .700, and had a batting average in the mid .300s. Men pushing 40 do not hit .300. After hitting age 35, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron lost their touch, declining in every statistic. Through the miracle of low-down, dirty-dog cheating, Barry Bonds did nothing but explode upwards.

And surprise! After the league started cracking down on steroid use, his numbers have declined again. Then-commissioner Fay Vincent wrote a memo in 1991 that read: “The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by Major League players and personnel is strictly prohibited … [and those players involved] are subject to discipline by the Commissioner and risk permanent expulsion from the game… This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids:”

Barry, ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense. How absolutely stupid do you think I am? A representative from a laboratory brings you a cream and a liquid for you to rub on yourself and you think this is fair play?

As kids, Steve and I rented Super Baseball 2020 for the Super Nintendo. It stank. Why? Because the players were super-powerful robots. Barry Bonds broke both the letter of the commissioner’s rules and the spirit of the game, and for that, he and his ever-increasing head should be barred from Cooperstown.

And God willing, when the robots start playing baseball, they’ll be banned as well.

Which side are you on?
View Results


Comments

4 Comments to “Clash of the Titans XXX: Barry Bonds”

  1. Aaron on June 16th, 2007 5:17 am

    First off, I had BaseWars for Nintendo. Built around the same concept. It was an awesome game. You could fight with robots if you didn’t like a call. Great. Game.

    Secondly, I’m torn on this whole Bonds thing. It’s not been proven by a test that he’s actually used steroids. That said, it’s obvious he’s used them. I’m also not convinced steroids help you hit a 95mph fastball in a split-second. But my doctor-wife says steroids improve hand-eye co-ordination. So…

    His state post-steroids and pre-steroids are quite impressive. Quite impressive. Of course, he’s always been a polarizing figure with the over-zealous media and got into a fight with Jeff Kent (which Josh, you pointed out to me how much of a jerk that made him). But that shouldn’t affect his HOF status(read: Jim Rice).

    Anyway, I’m torn on the whole thing. So I’m withholding my vote. Is there like a purgatory HOF? Where we can pray and pay indulgences to move him into the bliss that is the HOF?

  2. dsweetgoober on June 16th, 2007 11:56 am

    “I’m also not convinced steroids help you hit a 95mph fastball in a split-second”

    Aaron

    I am. All I have to do is look at the home run stats and change in physical appearance that occurred during the Steroid Years in people like Maguire, Sosa and Bonds to see what a mockery they made out of MLB and the home run records.

    I think they should all be shut out and men like Ken Griffey Jr. should have their stats re-examined. Griffey should have been winning home run titles and recognition through those years but he was buried in obscuity with yearly totals in the 40s and 50s. Ridiculous treatment for a class act guy. He average nearly 44 HR’s a year between 1993-2000 (reaching 56 twice) and never even led the league because of the other cheaters. His career average is 41 HRs per year over 14 seasons.

    When they cheated they not only helped themselves they hurt other players in a way that can’t be undone.

  3. Aaron on June 17th, 2007 4:15 am

    Agreed. Griffey Jr., when I tell my kids about the greats, will be included in that discussion. Class act guy, plays with his heart on his sleeve.

    My only point of contention is the ‘if he looks guilty, he’s guilty’ mindset. I agree that many players took steroids and inflated, among other things, their stats. Creating a statistical anomaly for a better part of a decade. Especially among those guys who typically didn’t average great power numbers (Brady Anderson, RIch Aurilla, among others). But training and conditioning also were a factor in changing the power numbers. Don’t forget the juiced ball days. And videotape also helped hitters improve. All I’m saying is steroids weren’t the only reason the numbers got better.

    And I don’t think there’s anyway to weed out the players who did from those who didn’t. But the court of public opinion does that pretty well.

  4. Steve on June 17th, 2007 10:40 pm

    I voted yes because Barry Bonds the player, compiling the stats he did, deserves to be in the baseball hall of fame. A baseball hall of fame that leaves out Barry Bonds is not worthy of the name.

    Why is Pete Rose excluded? In baseball dugouts and clubhouses, there is one rule specifically posted, warning players and managers against one particular transgression. Gambling on the game. It affects the integrity of baseball in a fundamental and dangerous way, worse than steroids. Yet he did it anyway.

    Many pitchers used steroids and Bonds tallied many of his statistics pre-drugs. But even if those things weren’t true, I’d still put him in. Cheating is part of the game and honoring someone’s performance by putting a plaque up on a wall in Cooperstown says nothing about their character. Just ask the fan Ty Cobb beat senseless.

Leave a comment!





Comment spam protected by SpamBam