Re: Bonds bombshell: Book details slugger's steroid use
I do not advocate wiping statistics off the books, but we also do not have to simply look at a set of numbers and salute either.
Ross Barnes once hit .429 in a National League season and hit .359 for his major league career. That doesn't mean that I will or should conclude that he was a better hitter than Ted Williams. I do not regard a .429 average in 1876, at the very dawn of the sport as a professional activity, baseball to be as impressive an achievement as a .406 average attained once the game had matured.
Old Hoss Radbourne once won 59 games in a single season, but I don't regard him to be a greater pitcher than Bob Gibson, who never won even half that many in a single season.
Yes, Chuck Klein put together some impressive batting numbers, but that doesn't mean that I must ignore the conditions he played in or how he benefitted from having a bandbox as a home park.
Barry Bonds's complied batting numbers from 2001 through 2004 that, on the surface, are the greatest performance by a major league hitter, ever. There is overwhelming evidence that he did so in part because he was able to buy chemical enhancements to allow him to put together a string of seasons after age 36 that he incapable of achieving on his own physical ability alone. Excuse me if I don't salute.
If in some future season bionics allow a hitter to hit 100 HRs in a season or to pitch a 500 mph fastball, that doesn't mean that I'm going to say, well Bud Selig never got around to banning bionics so the bionic man is now the greatest player of all time, or at least until the Terminator arrives from the future.
I find honest human athletic achievement to be of interest. I have little interest in better baseball through chemistry.
"Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."