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Thread: Me on Bonds

  1. #1
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Me on Bonds

    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.

    Code:
    [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.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-13-2007 at 02:13 PM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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.

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    vs their position in the 90's, 3000 PA's to get in the door

    Code:
    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

  5. #4
    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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.

  6. #5
    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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.

  7. #6
    Worth The Wait
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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?

  8. #7
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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.

  9. #8
    Party like it's 1990 Blitz Dorsey's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    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?

  10. #9
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    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 Under your watch you created the gilded age of baseball.

  11. #10
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    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:

    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  12. #11
    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    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.
    If you're watchin' a parade, make sure you stand in one spot, don't follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction, you will fast-foward the parade. --Mitch Hedberg

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    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    If Bonds wasn't juicing, he would have sued the pants off the writers of "Game of Shadows".
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  14. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    And just remember, there still isn't a reliable test for HGH.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #14
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ch...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.

  16. #15
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Me on Bonds

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    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.
    Last edited by RedsManRick; 08-14-2007 at 10:55 AM.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.


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