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RedsManRick
08-13-2007, 02:08 PM
Even in a court of law you can have... a preponderance of circumstantial evidence to convict somebody. Now, maybe I'm wrong, but when you get enough stuff on a guy, you can make a decision and it's just really a no-brainer. The guy would have become one of the great ones, anyway. ... But now, he sucked the fun and the life right out of it. I mean, there is enough evidence to me to say without a doubt he used performance-enhancing drugs. He hit 73 home runs when he was 37. I mean, Hank would have hit 855 if he had the same advantage." - Dale Murphy

This is the most well reasoned response I've seen by any person directly involved in baseball, past or present. It is exactly my perspective as well.

I don't need a failed test to believe Bonds used drugs which allowed him to build muscle mass and, more importantly, recover quickly and maintain energy. This should not really be the center of the debate. The entire debacle centers on the supposition that the things he used were undetectable, even were he subject to testing at the time he was using. Let's move past that.

Barry Bonds' performances leading up to 1999 were nothing short of amazing. By most accounts, Bonds started using largely as a reaction to the media attention that he wasn't receiving, but was instead going to Sammy and McGwire, who Bonds felt were not only inferior players, but were reaching their achievements through medical enhancement. I think the true irony is that while Bonds supposedly started taking steroids because he felt his greatness was being overlooked, the focus is now squarely on the inflated 2nd half of his career, overshadowing his amazing first 10-12 years.

As the chase piqued my interested, I started to do a little more reading on Bonds. I always remember him being pretty good, but never remember placing him in the pantheon of great stars. While he certainly brought it upon himself, I think the media did do him some injustice in the lack of attention paid to his greatness.

For those who may not have looked, here are Barry's numbers from 1990 through 1998 compared to Junior's, aka, the player of the decade.


[b]
Year Ag AB BA OBP SLG *OPS+ HR SB
1990 25 519 .301 .406 .565 170 33 52
1991 26 510 .292 .410 .514 161 25 43
1992 27 473 .311 .456 .624 205 34 39
1993 28 539 .336 .458 .677 206 46 29
1994 29 391 .312 .426 .647 182 37 29
1995 30 506 .294 .431 .577 168 33 31
1996 31 517 .308 .461 .615 186 42 40
1997 32 532 .291 .446 .585 170 40 37
1998 33 552 .303 .438 .609 177 37 28
Per 500 AB .305 .437 .601 180 36.0 36.1

1990 20 597 .300 .366 .481 135 22 16
1991 21 548 .327 .399 .527 155 22 18
1992 22 565 .308 .361 .535 148 27 10
1993 23 582 .309 .408 .617 172 45 17
1994 24 433 .323 .402 .674 170 40 11
1995 25 260 .258 .379 .481 120 17 4
1996 26 545 .303 .392 .628 153 49 16
1997 27 608 .304 .382 .646 164 56 15
1998 28 633 .284 .365 .611 149 56 20
Per 500 AB .304 .383 .582 153 35.0 14.0
Per 500 AB 93+ .299 .388 .620 157 43.0 13.6

Of course, defense goes in to the equation two, and even if you consider Bonds a gold glove left fielder, he had less defensive value than did Junior. Still, higher BA, OBP, SLG, and SB. If you take Junior's first few season out of the equation, Bonds is still a superior offensive player thanks to his OBP and speed (Bonds was stealing bases at an 80% success rate).

I don't mean for this to be a debate on whether or not he did steroids. Right or wrong, I think it's evident he did. However, even if we were to rewrite history and give Bonds an unmedicated aging curve, Bonds is an historically gifted and productive player. Throw in Rob Neyer's take on the way to handle Bonds historically, letting history define the context of the era and the achievements therein, and there you go. In light of the media deluge of "tainted this", and "asterisks that", let's not let the smudge ruin the masterpiece.

dougdirt
08-13-2007, 02:21 PM
Barry Bonds compared to the rest of the leagues left fielders pales in comparison to what Griffey did compared to the rest of the leagues center fielders. Griffey out homered every CF in baseball in the 90s by over 200.... no other CF had even 190 HR. Griffey was the best player of the 90s when you take his stats and his position into consideration.

westofyou
08-13-2007, 02:26 PM
vs their position in the 90's, 3000 PA's to get in the door


CAREER
1990-1999

EXTRA BASE HITS DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
1 Ken Griffey Jr. 294 709 415
2 Barry Bonds 270 702 432
3 Albert Belle 250 711 461
4 Larry Walker 213 612 399
5 Juan Gonzalez 207 637 430
6 Mark McGwire 184 578 394
7 Edgar Martinez 172 567 395
8 Frank Thomas 161 628 467
9 Barry Larkin 156 457 301
10 Jeff Bagwell 148 598 450

HOMERUNS DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
1 Ken Griffey Jr. 256 382 126
2 Mark McGwire 239 405 166
3 Barry Bonds 201 361 160
4 Albert Belle 184 351 167
5 Juan Gonzalez 177 339 162
6 Sammy Sosa 143 332 189
7 Matt Williams 140 300 160
8 Mike Piazza 138 240 102
9 Greg Vaughn 130 287 157
10 Jose Canseco 129 303 174

RUNS CREATED DIFF PLAYER LEAGUE
1 Barry Bonds 644 1370 726
2 Ken Griffey Jr. 472 1206 734
3 Frank Thomas 471 1275 804
4 Edgar Martinez 427 1089 662
5 Barry Larkin 393 922 529
6 Mark McGwire 389 1065 676
7 Larry Walker 379 1041 662
8 Jeff Bagwell 368 1124 756
9 Craig Biggio 365 1082 717
10 Mike Piazza 352 789 437

camisadelgolf
08-13-2007, 03:08 PM
I basically see it like this: If Barry Bonds should have his records taken away from him for juicing, shouldn't wins be taken away from the Giants? I mean, if the Giants won a World Series, should they still be entitled to it if they had cheaters on the team?

People are trying so hard to make things fair. Obviously, Bonds juiced, but it's also obvious that others did. The right thing might be to discredit all of Bonds' accomplishments for cheating, but it wouldn't be the fair thing unless you did it to all the other cheaters (and there have probably been thousands of them over the years). Unfortunately, that's not reasonable, so I think you just have to live with things how they are. It's a pain in the butt to accept something that isn't fair, but life isn't fair either. Just put an asterisk on the era--not just Bonds--and move on.

WVRedsFan
08-13-2007, 05:16 PM
A lot of this investigation and argument has more to do with Barry Bonds the person than whether or not he juiced, which all evidence says he did. Barry Bonds was a belligerent, self-centered man and still is. He got what he wanted, was apparently willing to cheat to get it, and was nasty to all the peons in the process. Had he been a nice, friendly guy, he would have been cut some slack.

Now he sucks all the joy out of watching him reach his goal. That's my problem. Most people just didn't care. Some were upset to the max and others, like me, just ignored him. The record he broke deserved mush fanfare and he didn't get it excpet from ESPN who would sell their grandmother to make anything a spectacle. For that, he doesn't deserve my attention and never will.

Edskin
08-13-2007, 05:18 PM
People are trying so hard to make things fair. Obviously, Bonds juiced, but it's also obvious that others did. The right thing might be to discredit all of Bonds' accomplishments for cheating, but it wouldn't be the fair thing unless you did it to all the other cheaters (and there have probably been thousands of them over the years). Unfortunately, that's not reasonable, so I think you just have to live with things how they are. It's a pain in the butt to accept something that isn't fair, but life isn't fair either. Just put an asterisk on the era--not just Bonds--and move on.


Well said.

IMO, a guy like Clemens is JUST as suspicious as Bonds. I have no proof that either did anything, but the circumstantial evidence is there. And clearly, it goes way beyond those two, or even those two hundred.

Agreed that if you are going to "erase" Bonds' records from your memory, you might as well erase all records, wins, etc.. set from the early 90's to now.

And what about the 70's where several players have admitted never playing "naked"-- without taking uppers?

Blitz Dorsey
08-13-2007, 08:56 PM
One of the important things to remember about the Bonds debate (as the vast majority here already know): The pitchers were juicing too. This wasn't just about Bonds trying to keep up with the hitters who were cheating, the pitchers who were throwing him pitches were also juicing...

The guy who gave up Bonds' 755th HR had been suspended for roids (can't remember his name off the top of my head). Roger Clemens is an obvious user (don't ask me for proof... I see better than I hear as Marvin Lewis likes to say).

So, while I don't excuse Bonds' actions, he was just one of the 80-90 percent of players who were using some type of illegal performance enhancer during this era. And he was simply the best. As much as he is a total prick, he was the best of his era.

Blitz Dorsey
08-13-2007, 10:05 PM
Barry Bonds compared to the rest of the leagues left fielders pales in comparison to what Griffey did compared to the rest of the leagues center fielders. Griffey out homered every CF in baseball in the 90s by over 200.... no other CF had even 190 HR. Griffey was the best player of the 90s when you take his stats and his position into consideration.

Just to be clear, are you saying this in some way makes Griffey's career more impressive than Bonds', or were you just throwing it out there?

bucksfan2
08-14-2007, 08:52 AM
A lot of this investigation and argument has more to do with Barry Bonds the person than whether or not he juiced, which all evidence says he did. Barry Bonds was a belligerent, self-centered man and still is. He got what he wanted, was apparently willing to cheat to get it, and was nasty to all the peons in the process. Had he been a nice, friendly guy, he would have been cut some slack.

Now he sucks all the joy out of watching him reach his goal. That's my problem. Most people just didn't care. Some were upset to the max and others, like me, just ignored him. The record he broke deserved mush fanfare and he didn't get it excpet from ESPN who would sell their grandmother to make anything a spectacle. For that, he doesn't deserve my attention and never will.

Bonds may have been a belligerent, self-centered man, however so was Ted Williams, so was Ty Cobb, so were a lot of the greats in baseball. Bonds will forever be the poster face for the steriod era of baseball. The sad thing about it is that every owner owes a lot of their financial success and baseball's popularity to Bonds. He will forever be the fall guy for an era when management needed revenue and attendance so much that the decided to look the other way when a large portion of your players started juicing. Would you guys consider any recored set in the 60's, 7o's or 80's tainted is the record holder admitted to taking amphetamines? Would you reconsider Pete Rose's 4256 hits less significant if he came out and said that he used greenies often?

So while Bonds will take the brunt of the blame for this era of baseball he is what I have to say. Cheers to you Bud Selig:beerme: Under your watch you created the gilded age of baseball.

nate
08-14-2007, 09:28 AM
Bonds may have been a belligerent, self-centered man, however so was Ted Williams, so was Ty Cobb, so were a lot of the greats in baseball. Bonds will forever be the poster face for the steriod era of baseball.

I know what you're saying but, for me, that poster is:

http://www.gluethemoose.com/graphics/poster31525788.jpg

Dom Heffner
08-14-2007, 10:03 AM
The entire debacle centers on the supposition that the things he used were undetectable, even were he subject to testing at the time he was using.

Ah, yes. The old, "innocent until proven guilty" clause has been worked to the hilt, hasn't it?

You must prove it, but the only way to prove it is through drug testing, and well, we just made the drug so you couldn't detect it with a test.

Realize the audacity it takes for Bonds to hammer the "you can't prove a thing" mantra at us when he knows good and well that it isn't provable.

When you think about the absurdity of Barry Bonds having a close friend/personal trainer that developed detection free performance enhancing drugs and that man is sitting in a jail cell right now because he doesn't want to testify against his friend- I mean, that's pretty damning.

The Bonds supporters are going to look back on that fact in twenty years and be embarassed they defended the guy.

RFS62
08-14-2007, 10:15 AM
If Bonds wasn't juicing, he would have sued the pants off the writers of "Game of Shadows".

Roy Tucker
08-14-2007, 10:19 AM
And just remember, there still isn't a reliable test for HGH.

westofyou
08-14-2007, 10:33 AM
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=342


R.J. (Washington, DC): Jim, I didn't see your take on the BP staff reactions. How did *you* react to 756?

Jim Baker: I was watching and, to be honest, I let out a cheer. I thought it was an exciting moment. I've said this to friends but have probably never written about it, but my younger self would have been livid about Bonds but my older self is pretty mellow about the whole thing.

That's me in nutshell.

If 1/2 the anger at this was directed at something that is really bad... like say.. WAR... then maybe... just maybe I'd give a rats ass about complaining about it with everyone else, as well as drag my soapbox to every thread about it throughout the rest of time.

RedsManRick
08-14-2007, 10:44 AM
Ah, yes. The old, "innocent until proven guilty" clause has been worked to the hilt, hasn't it?

You must prove it, but the only way to prove it is through drug testing, and well, we just made the drug so you couldn't detect it with a test.

Realize the audacity it takes for Bonds to hammer the "you can't prove a thing" mantra at us when he knows good and well that it isn't provable.

When you think about the absurdity of Barry Bonds having a close friend/personal trainer that developed detection free performance enhancing drugs and that man is sitting in a jail cell right now because he doesn't want to testify against his friend- I mean, that's pretty damning.

The Bonds supporters are going to look back on that fact in twenty years and be embarassed they defended the guy.

Firstly, I don't think that most Bonds "supporters" honestly believe he's clean. They just believe that it doesn't really matter in the whole scheme of things.

Secondly, you're 100% right. He's pulling the "you can't prove it card" precisely because he worked so hard and carefully to make sure he couldn't be caught. Just to be clear Dom, I have no doubts at all that Bonds juiced hard and that the advantage he gained helped him break the home run record. I also think he's an egomaniac and a jerk. Point made.

However, he also was one of the best, most complete players of this generation before he started taking steroids. The primary shame is not that he took steroids. Surely hundreds of players did and perhaps still continue to do so. Nobody is protesting the career accomplishments of Alex Sanchez, Jorge Piedra, Agustin Montero, Jamal Strong, Juan Rincon, Rafael Betancourt, Ryan Franklin, Mike Morse, Carlos Almanzar, Felix Heredia, Matt Lawton, Yusaku Iriki, Guillermo Mota, Juan Salas, Neifi Perez, Derrick Turnbow, and Terrmel Sledge, all of whom have actually tested positive.

Heck, nobody is talking about the other guys implicated in the BALCO testimony, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios, and Benito Santiago.

The only people for whom the steroids cloud is really an issue is Bonds, Palmiero, Sheffield, and Giambi. It's not about us caring about the health implications, "the children", or integrity. Rather, it's about fans, and more importantly media, wanting to be able to continue to mythologize athletes for better and worse. We don't care as much about the players as we do the thing that they represent to us. Bonds is ruining our image of his accomplishments. Palmiero ruined our image of who he was. We care a lot more about the integrity of "our" records than the integrity of the game itself. You can lie and you can cheat, but only about things that I don't really care about, like whether or not Benito Santiago plays until he's 40.

Ty Cobb was a class A jerk. Players hated him, fans hated him, media hated him. He won just 1 MVP. But guess what, people remember him as both a jerk and one of the best players of all time. The shame is that Bonds could've followed the same path. He could be remembered as being a jerk, but one of the best players of all time. Instead he'll be remembered as baseball's King Midas.

camisadelgolf
08-14-2007, 10:46 AM
People (and I'm not specifically saying RedsZoners) sometimes have trouble accepting change. It's especially difficult if it means acknowledging the greatness of a jerk. In time, I think Bonds being on top will be more accepted, but with A-Rod probably passing him up, we won't have to worry about it too long, so I'm just not going to think about it.

westofyou
08-14-2007, 10:46 AM
He won just 1 MVP

Of course they only gave the award out for 5 years during his career.

Dom Heffner
08-14-2007, 11:02 AM
Obviously, Bonds juiced, but it's also obvious that others did. The right thing might be to discredit all of Bonds' accomplishments for cheating, but it wouldn't be the fair thing unless you did it to all the other cheaters (and there have probably been thousands of them over the years).

When Barry Bonds said, "Hank Aaron will always be the home run king in our hearts," I said aloud, "In our minds, too, Barry."

I honestly do not think anyone really wants to put an official asterisk next to his name. But we all have a solid basis to think he cheated. And that's enough for me, really. Barry Bonds name is in the record books but nobody thinks it is real. It's like holding a $100 bill in Monopoly money.

The only problem I have with the argument above is that cheating does not equal cheating. It just doesn't. Fixing games would be worse than scuffing balls. Steroids is worse than a corked bat.

To put everybody under the same blanket of cheating minimizes what Bonds did. He didn't just cheat; he cheated on a level that allowed him to surpass individual records. He won several MVP awards.

Clay Hensley used steroids but nobody raises a ruckus because at the end of the day he's still Clay Hensley. I think it is a stretch to say that we would- as human beings- be as mad at him as we are at Bonds. Maybe that's not fair but that's the way it is.

RedsManRick
08-14-2007, 11:27 AM
To put everybody under the same blanket of cheating minimizes what Bonds did. He didn't just cheat; he cheated on a level that allowed him to surpass individual records. He won several MVP awards.

Bonds won several MVPs and deserved at least one other before he ever took steroids. Hence my entire first post. It's sad that what he's done has now conflated his clean accomplishments from his "tainted" ones.

It's not that the level of the cheating was any worse than everybody else's. It's the stage. The way you phrase this, you make it sound like if Neifi Perez had cheated as much as Bonds, than he could've broken records too.

Bonds was in a position to break records because of his immense talent and work ethic. Steroids may have put him over the top of a record, but that doesn't make his cheating any worse, ethically, than anybody else's.

Personally, I think it's stupid of us to be more mad at Bonds than Clay Hensley. Apparently, you disagree.

Dom Heffner
08-14-2007, 12:17 PM
Bonds won several MVPs and deserved at least one other before he ever took steroids. Hence my entire first post. It's sad that what he's done has now conflated his clean accomplishments from his "tainted" ones.

But he didn't deserve 4 of them. I don't care that he was good enough before he took roids. It doesn't matter. What if, what if what if...


The way you phrase this, you make it sound like if Neifi Perez had cheated as much as Bonds, than he could've broken records too.

Not what I meant at all.

I was saying that those who put steroids on the level of a corked bat are incorrect in my opinion. The other poster, whose post I was debating with, seemed to suggest that a cheater is a cheater. I do not believe that to be true.

Neifi Perez on steroids does not equal Barry Bonds on steroids. I did not suggest otherwise, or at least I didn't mean to.


Bonds was in a position to break records because of his immense talent and work ethic.

And when that work ethic is helped considerably by steorids, then it just isn't "talent and hard work." You posted Bonds' numbers before 2000, at which we all could have marvelled, "Imagine what Bonds would be like on steroids?"

And then we found out.

If Barry Bonds could have done it with talent and hard work, why did he take steroids? There's a reason people take them and that's because they work.


Steroids may have put him over the top of a record, but that doesn't make his cheating any worse, ethically, than anybody else's.


The point I'm making is that we could say, well, Clay Hensley is just as bad as Barry Bonds.
And maybe he is at a base level. But there are some distinctions to be made here.

With Bonds, there is emotional and historical value associated with his accomplishments. He has surpassed another's lifetime achievement and talent and hard work by taking performance enhancing drugs.

Clay Hensley is maybe earning a roster spot; Bonds has altered literal as well as personal history.

Bonds has taken over one of the most hallowed records in sports with absolutely no shame and thrown it on our faces: "The record is not tainted. Period." That takes some serious audacity and reckless regard for reality to say that.

To attack a record as he did, knowing the kind of natural talent he had, and to alter that performance in the shadows with no transparency, and then to act like he has some sort of historical respect for the game- I don't know, you go on hating Clay Hensley and I'll make Barry Bonds my villian. Deal.

And poor Hank Aaron. He went through the awful chase the first time, which became a racial issue with some people and then he has to be put in the position of how to act when somebody comes along and busts his record 30 years later. If he gets caught up in it, it looks like he's endorsing Bonds. If he doesn't, it looks as though he thinks Bonds is guilty. What a terrible position to be placed in by a guy who supposedly has a ton of respect for nothing but the game. Right.

All of Aaron's true hard work gets him second place, all because poor, selfish Barry Bonds felt like he was being ignored and had to be number one. Did Clay Hensley do that to Hank Aaron? Was ESPN covering every pitch Clay Hensley made for two weeks? Did anybody put any emotional investment into Clay Hensley?

All that stuff Aaron, baseball fans, and the integrity of the game goes through and you want to look at Clay Hensley and Barry Bonds in the same light.

Go for it. I'll just keep being stupid.

bucksfan2
08-14-2007, 02:17 PM
What irritates me is that there is this holier than thou attitude that a lot people are taking. Lets get facts straight. Cheating has, and always will be a part of baseball. Amphetamines were taken by many players in the 70's however no one looks down upon them for their usage of illegal drugs. How about the pitchers in the hall who scuffed up the baseball. Where do you draw the line? How about players with poor vision who wear contacts or have corrective eye surgery. Using logic above should a superior athlete (Bonds) not wear contacts because he is better than an inferior athlete (Perez)?

camisadelgolf
08-14-2007, 02:23 PM
I'm going to maintain my holier than thou attitude, thank you. By the way, if people we were meant to fly, they would've been born with wings. I demand we end any and all service immediately.

Edskin
08-14-2007, 02:45 PM
If 1/2 the anger at this was directed at something that is really bad... like say.. WAR... then maybe... just maybe I'd give a rats ass about complaining about it with everyone else, as well as drag my soapbox to every thread about it throughout the rest of time.

Well put WOY.

Like it or not, cheating is a part of LIFE. Not everything we say and do in our daily lives is exactly as it appears.

Bonds just so happened to play in era where everyone turned a blind eye-- it sucks that this remarkable record is somewhat "tainted," and perhaps that will be his ultimate "punishment."

But if we go around lamenting about the things that could be "clean" that aren't, man, we'd never smile.

Blitz Dorsey
08-14-2007, 08:20 PM
When Barry Bonds said, "Hank Aaron will always be the home run king in our hearts," I said aloud, "In our minds, too, Barry."

I honestly do not think anyone really wants to put an official asterisk next to his name. But we all have a solid basis to think he cheated. And that's enough for me, really. Barry Bonds name is in the record books but nobody thinks it is real. It's like holding a $100 bill in Monopoly money.

The only problem I have with the argument above is that cheating does not equal cheating. It just doesn't. Fixing games would be worse than scuffing balls. Steroids is worse than a corked bat.

To put everybody under the same blanket of cheating minimizes what Bonds did. He didn't just cheat; he cheated on a level that allowed him to surpass individual records. He won several MVP awards.

Clay Hensley used steroids but nobody raises a ruckus because at the end of the day he's still Clay Hensley. I think it is a stretch to say that we would- as human beings- be as mad at him as we are at Bonds. Maybe that's not fair but that's the way it is.

You make some interesting points, but this is where we differ: I have more ill-will towards some joker like Clay Hensley who likely would never have even been in the Majors if not for the juice than I do for someone like Bonds who was great before he used, and only started using because most of the hitters and some of the pitchers were also using.

There are a ton of scrubby pitchers like Jason Grimsley who never would have made to The Show if not for cheating. Those are the guys who are truly lucky IMO. Dustin Hermanson, guys like that.