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Baseball: Bonds last season?

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posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 02:54 PM
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Will it be his last season? As he joins up with the team he hints that it could be his last...





I've thought about it a lot," he said after his first workout with the team this year. "I'm just being realistic with myself. Every year that's the last year of my contract, that's how I think. This is it. I don't assume there will be another one. I don't assume I'm going to continue on. If something happens later on, if something happens in the future, I'll make that decision later on."


USA Today




posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 09:31 PM
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I hate to see Bonds leave... I'm praying desperately that I get to see him hit one out when they come play at Coors. The Rockies don't have that good a pitching, so I don't think it will be that hard... so 48 HR's is all he needs... I guess I'm the only one that hopes he breaks it. I don't think he will though... I don't see him getting anymore than maybe 40-45 HR's... falling just short. The only possible way I see him returning next year, is if they have a great team and have a legitimate shot at winning the World Series. With Bonds back... the Giants shouldn't have to worry about too much out there in the NL west.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:43 AM
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I don't suppose I need to state my wishes. But I will state my expectations:

IF they fail to develop a test for HGH, so Bonds can keep on being a "timeless marvel"--or if Bonds can play with unreal effectiveness after they develop the test (I think he'd naturally be a good player for his age, but nothing at ALL like what we've been seeing)--then I think he'll play two more years. I see no way a guy with his ego is going to retire if he has a real shot at breaking Aaron's record without getting in trouble.

At present, I know of no test for HGH and have seen no one else, here or elsewhere, say they know of one. Moreover, though I and almost everyone else I know consider it cheating, using HGH technically is not violative of MLB rules, the last I knew.

The probable reason for that is the same as the reason they cannot test for HGH: They don't know enough about it to define it, which means they: (1) don't know how to search for it properly, and (2) don't know how to define with the required clarity what it is they're outlawing. (In Criminal Law, the Constitution won't let you outlaw something if your law is too "vague.")

As long as HGH remains technically legal, and thus in the same spot as McGodzilla's Andro in 1998, I don't see Bonds retiring until one of two things happens:

(1) He breaks Aaron's record, not merely surpassing Ruth, for whom he obviously has a weird hatred or contempt; or

(2) MLB devises a test for HGH and bans it before Bonds is anywhere near 755, leaving him with the reality that an HGH-free Bonds will need FOREVER to get the 30-or-whatever more HR's... a fact which would destroy his legacy as people watched him perform just as poorly as Mays, Carlton and almost all other all-time greats who stayed active to that age. Just picture it:

In Bonds' most recent real season, 2004, he turned 40 in mid-season, and:

(1) Led the league in batting, at .362--five points better than Ty Cobb at that age, and surely FAR better than any other hitter who played a full season at 40 years old in the Live Ball Era;

(2) Had a preposterous on-base percentage of .609, which is not only the best ever, but also 56 points better than anyone else has ever done at ANY age; and

(3) Had a slugging average of .812, the fourth greatest of all time. Do you know what the COMPLETE list of the members of the .800 slugging percentage club looks like? Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds, twice each. Period.

Bonds' most vigorous defender on this site does not pretend Bonds has done this on his own, but instead says: (1) steroids weren't illegal in MLB until recently; (2) HGH still isn't illegal; (3) some of the game's all-time greatest players, from the 50's and 60's, used illegal stimulants to cheat (a point I'm not sure is true, but he's probably researched it a lot more than I have and I cannot prove Maris, Mays and Aaron are being unjustly maligned); and (4) even Babe Ruth once used a corked bat [this is technically untrue, but it was a rigged bat, so I won't quibble over his terminology].

So all of those points are probably true in spirit. Whether one thinks they excuse, and/or legitimize, what Bonds has done since the telltale Etherton HR in mid-2000 is up to each fan to decide. My opinion has been made obvious.

But Bonds right now is seen as being legitimate enough that MLB has given him an enormous number of MVP's, whereas it was previously an unwritten law that NOBODY got more than 3--even though Mays, Musial, Mantle, Aaron, Schmidt, Teddy Ballgame and probably Ott all deserved far more than 3 after the current MVP Award appeared in the early 30's. Bonds' stats were SO overwhelming that, even though he'd won 3 MVP's with his natural skinny body, early in his career, there was no denying him all the added ones. After all, he literally put up a string of seasons EACH of which was so great that nobody whose name wasn't "Babe Ruth" (or just maybe Ted Williams) had rivalled any of them before.

So if MLB develops an HGH test and can define the substance, and if MLB thereupon inevitably bans the substance and starts testing not only players, but also old blood and urine samples, what do they do if what seems inevitable occurs, and Bonds' old samples are full of it?

If this were a Criminal Law question, I could tell you the answer right now: Under the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Constitution, Bonds absolutely could not be prosecuted, because what he did was not illegal when he did it. PERIOD. Ditto for McGwire and the Andro, and everyone who used steroids before MLB did something about them.

We all know they're not going to treat it that way. Who all thinks Rafael Palmeiro will get in the Hall of Fame? I don't. Ditto several others. But what of the guys--likely including Bonds--who "only" can be proven to have used HGH? He's a mortal lock for the Hall, but how much would his legacy be considered tarnished if and when old samples tested positive for HGH?

Say what you will of Bonds, but he is one bright guy, and I'll bet the day HGH first was available to him, that was the day he stopped using anything else. IF HGH was available in mid-2000, when he hit that Etherton HR 493 feet with no wind, and if he'd had it for a month or two before that to get beefed up, then he's probably done it all with HGH and no steroids.

But I DO think I'm right that if Baseball's scientists or someone else develops an HGH test, and Bonds is still at 708, 720 or even 730, he might quit. He'll be 42 on July 24, and I don't think he'd want the world to see how long it would take the natural, 180 to 190-pound version of him to hit another 26 or 36 or even 48 home runs.

Last, for newer readers who haven't seen me comment on Bonds and the Hall of Fame:

The Hall is teeming with really vile people, including: (1) virulent racists (Cobb, Hornsby, Speaker, Slaughter, Judge Landis, Connie Mack and a zillion others); (2) world-class drunks (Alexander, both Waners, the Babe, Ed Delahanty [who died because of it], etc.); and (3) people who were involved in throwing games, but unlike Shoeless Joe, got away with it (Frankie Frisch, Ross Youngs, George Kelly and quite possibly [in 1919, for show and place money] TY COBB and TRIS SPEAKER. So the fact Bonds is a world-class A.H.--an assertion with which I agree 100%--is no reason at all to keep him out of the Hall. Ted Williams was a real doozy, too.

And since the Etherton HR pretty much nails down the point in time when Bonds started getting chemical help with his HR's--i.e., early or mid 2000--we could even be so radical as to toss everything which happened after that point... all the Ruthian seasons... throw every day of every one of those seasons out the window, and he's STILL a first-round Hall of Famer and one of the 20 greatest players ever. Do that to McGwire or Sosa and what do you have left? Zip.

BHN

Hate him all you want. I sure do. But he's a Hall of Famer.

B.H.N.

B.H.N.



posted on Feb, 24 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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Last night I saw a clip of him taking batting practice. After what appeared to be a weak popfly he grunted and I believe he even cursed. I had to laugh because it reminded me of the movie "Mr. 3000" with Bernie Mac. An old man chasing baseball immortality. Hello, Barry! Anyone home? You ruined it for yourself, you will never be what those two greats are. At this point we all know that you CAN and probably WILL break the record. Whether it takes you 1, 2, or 3 more years doesn't matter. Most of us hope you fail in your quest for the record.

You continue to tell us that it's not about the records and if you break Aaron's record you will be pulling for the next challenger. Whether you break the record or not doesn't matter, you will be just as notorious as Ruth and Aaron are immortal figures.

If that were all true, would a man out stay his welcome? Most rational thinking people will forever discount (some will not care and think he should be banned and excluded from the Hall) at least his accomplishments after 2000. Then there will be those that try to justify Barry's use of illegal performance inhancing drugs by noting Mays' use of greenies. That is a stretch, someone reaching for something as their hero/role model's reputation crumbles like warm cornbread. That's when you hear me laughing, the day Barry is exposed for what he truely is will be a joyous day for me. Most people already know what he truely is, but an admission or solid physical evidence would be music to my ears.

In the time I have been a member at this site I have reformed my opinion on this matter slightly. Through discussion and forming my own understanding of Hall of Fame inductee criteria, I now believe Bonds should be a Hall of Famer. While i do think his all-time records should be *'d, he did earn his way to Cooperstown prior to what BHN referes to as the Etheron HR. Myself, I have not done adequate research to determine a date to start discounting his records. But I'll go with BHN on this one.

The baseball world has spoken many times and it should be clear by now. Barry needs to do what he is going to do, knowing it will be only for his own needs or desires. None of us care anymore, his record compared to Ruth's one-time record, or Aaron's record will be....well....not comparable!!! Then he needs to go away and hold his head in shame for tanting not only his name but his family's name. That brings up something interesting. I don't know if I have ever heard Bobby's take on the whole thing. If someone else has that would probably be amusing also.


iaclonz



posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 12:01 PM
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Dear IA Clonz, and ALL,

Another thing to remember about Bonds, and I say this without having reduced my hatred for the man one iota:

He is NOT Rogers Hornsby. He has not put up four consecutive really good seasons--for four different teams. Pittsburgh hated to lose him, and for all his odious b.s., the Giants have certainly not wanted to lose him. So, as noxious a presence as he is on teams--and there's really no doubt about that--it's a price teams are more than happy to pay to have him in their lineup. I won't bathe you in Hornsby stats, but let's just say he is one of only two hitters, Ted Williams being the other, to win TWO Triple Crowns, and he had a five-year period where his cumulative average was over .400!!! Yeah, BA is a vastly overrated stat, but still....

So there's Hornsby, the guy a lot of historians still (mistakenly) call the greatest right-handed hitter ever, and teams couldn't trade him fast enough. By contrast, NO owner or GM has ever wanted to get rid of Bonds.

I should also toss in a partial retraction on my previous list of notorious racists in the Hall. Tris Speaker was from Texas, born in 1888, and was as strongly racist for MOST of his life as anyone else to whom those two facts applied. He could be violent, though not a stereotype KKK terrorist who lynched, burned homes, etc.

Well, Speaker had his greatest successes with the Red Sox, but he always felt, both when he played with the Indians for years after that, and after he retired, that they were the team with whom he identified. And he was such a great player he won a ring with them, too (in 1920), and SOMEHOW--with a really mediocre lineup and rotation, came within 2 or 3 games of the 1926 Yankees, who were just a hair less than the legendary '27 Yankees. Considering that James estimates 20 to 25% of the people who saw both Cobb and Speaker play (they were in the same league, born 18 months apart) felt Speaker the better player, and now knowing what kind of manager he was, aren't you kind of impressed?

Anyway, in youth and midlife, Speaker was for sure a racist, though nothing like Cobb or many other Hall members born back then. Here is what became of Speaker's hatred of blacks:

Larry Doby, the Cleveland Indian who, in mid-career, "broke the color barrier" in the A.L, one year after Jackie Robinson did so in the N.L., got a LOT of help on hitting, running the bases and ESPECIALLY patrolling the expanses of CF from the aging Speaker. Imagine being tutored on those things by a guy who had a .344 lifetime BA, a lot of stolen bases, more doubles than anyone else in MLB history, more putouts than any OF ever, and was the unquestioned king of defensive OF's until Mays and Ashburn came along.

I have seen pictures of the young Mays, posing with the premturely aging Speaker--they knew, pretty much right off the top, and certainly by THE 1954 "Catch," that Mays, born 43 years after Speaker, was joining him as the co-gold standard for defensive excellence in the OF.

Anyway, unlike the virulent, pathological and often violently racist Cobb, Speaker was a Southern man who grew up with values inevitable for his time, but changed his ways and made a major contribution to the career of a man who may have had it harder, by the time his career ended, than Robinson did. Don't forget, the AL was pretty much a segregated league until the 1960's, including the Yankees.

Finally, as to Bonds:

I, too, think he'll make 756, and certainly 715--passing Ruth, whom he's made it clear he hates, though he knows NOTHING about the most fabulous, complex, inscrutable and probably half-black player in MLB history. Ruth "missed" his first 5-1/2 years as a hitter, because: (1) he was a pitcher, and at best a part-time hitter; and (2) he was hitting a dead ball in a park where it was 488 feet, if I remember correctly, to deep right field. (Fenway, before the bleachers in RF.) Regardless of the seats, he was trying to crush a dead ball. How many HR did those years cost him? Probably 150 to 200. Give him those 5 years in Yankee Stadium, much the laughable Polo Grounds (Y.S. didn't open until 1923), and Ruth would have so many untouchable records that someone would have have to come up at age 19, have phenomenal skills, play phenomenally for 20 or more years, AND have taken HGH, for about 20 years... to have any chance of catching him for HR's, runs, RBI's, etc., not to mentions slugging average.

Remember, please, Ruth's unreal slugging average was .690. Take away those 5 wasted seasons (except in terms of pitching greatness) and you've got a lifetime slugging average well over .700. MLB went from 1958 thru Cecil Fielder's breakout year until it had a .700 slugging season, about a 33-year drought.

But yes, IA Clonz, I try to be fair in my judgments on these things, and I absolutely believe that the Barry Bonds we knew prior to that putrid 493-foot HR off Seth Etherton in mid-2000 should get into the Hall, hands down. And I believe his feats prior to then--including the 3 MVP's that should have been 4 (sorry, Terry Pendleton, who is 100 times the person Bonds is), and his GREAT play in LF, where he was probably the greatest defense LF ever--are first-year inductee stuff.

If y'all want someday, I will write a week's worth of summaries about all the a.h.'s in the Hall. NO WAY is Bonds #1, or even Top 5, material. But that's not for lack of effort.


BHN



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 06:28 PM
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I also have not much nice to say about Bonds, but something has been made clear to me. Bonds (although due to his own actions) will always be scrutinized unfairly. I was listening to one of my favorite sports talk guys, a man that needs no introduction, Jim Rome. He is so interesting to me, he says what he thinks and doesn't care if people don't want to hear it. He was all over Bonds for asking why everyone wanted to know when he was playing in spring training so bad. He said that he wants to be ready for the regular season and thats what he want to be prepare for. Of all the things Bonds has said that is not one that warrants scrutiny. (IMO)

Like I said before, we should let him do what he has to do and go on. None of his records will be accepted like Ruth or Aaron. His quest for the record is all for himself. (he has to know how we feel about him) None of us care but obviously he cares too much.

iaclonz



posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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Let me add this thought: Bonds has said on more than a few occasions that people hate him, in part, because he's an angry, in-your-face black guy. When almost all of us think about it, and I mean REALLY think about it, isn't it true that our feelings toward him are more negative than toward those of his fellow blatant cheat, Mark McGwire, who got twice as big as Bonds, and hit the ball even farther, after his own Godzillification?

And remember, Bonds was a clear, first-round Hall of Famer at the end of the 1999 season. According to Bill James, he was the 14th greatest MLB player ever, as of that point in time. That's terrific. McGwire wasn't, and still isn't, anywhere near that.

I think any sportwriter who votes for McGwire's enshrinement in Cooperstown should hang his/her head in shame.

And yeah, I saw McGwire's first MLB HR on TV, at the end of the 1986 season. The A's were far out of the pennant race, and I was half-watching, and I thought it was the incredible slugger Dave Kingman, who was then unknowingly ending his career with an unprecedented 35-HR season (breaking Ted Williams' record for most HR's in a final season).

McGwire hit his first HR far over the 440 sign in dead center in Tiger Stadium. I of course assumed it was Kingman, because the guy was very tall and right-handed and white, and because I didn't know anyone else in MLB could hit one that far in 1986, including Schmidt. I was shocked to see it was some rookie's first HR.

And, of course, he hit 49 more in his next year, many of them far over 400 feet, though not THAT long.

But he then went into a very long, ostensibly career-ending slump before BOOM, he started hitting HR's at an incredible rate and looked like a circus's muscle freak. Coming from out of nowhere, he passed Kingman (#5), then Ted Williams (#4), then Killebrew (#3), then Kiner (#2), and then, a long long time later, passed Ruth (#1, by a huge margin) for the greatest HR % in MLB history. Ruth had been SO far ahead of everyone else--he had 1 every 11.76 AB; Kiner had 1 every 14.11!--it was unimaginable anyone could do better, and McGodzilla wound up with almost one full AB less per HR!!!

As with Bonds, one would have to be extraordinarily naive to believe that was legit given the times and the team for which he played. Even more so, McGwire's career had nose-dived badly, and upon recovering had been nothing faintly like this until 1995 (39 HR's in 317 AB's).

And, even if one wholly ignores the statistical evidence, how could one ever forget his lugubrious and pathetic performance in front of Congress. "Well, I'm guilty as hell, and I'm not about to lie under penalty of perjury, like some of these other morons, so I'll just cry a bunch and say I'm not here to talk about the past." Mark, you were a lot more impressive than Palmeiro, in retrospect, but that is damning with faint praise.

I saw Frank Howard, baseball's previous behemoth nonpareil, and I have a picture of Hank Greenberg at an All-Star game with Gehrig, Dimaggio, Foxx, Cochrane, Cronin and a couple of others, all of whom were between 5'10" and 6'. Greenberg always listed himself at 6'4", but take one look at that photo and you'll know he was at least 6'7", probably more. No WONDER he hit over 60 doubles in one season, and 58 HR in another.

Anyway, McGwire has forever passed those two natural titans as baseball's all-time circus freak strongman, though giving up 2 or 3 inches in height to each, and he sure didn't do it legitimately. In fact, he at least had the integrity to flout the fact was using that one unhealthy substance, and for that, I guess he is to be credited. Slightly.

Anyway, to summarize my point:

Bonds is a whole lot more disgusting a human being than McGwire, at least in my opinion, and been that way on the steroid/HGH issue, but I hope we all agree that being a disgusting person has nothing to do with Hall enshrinement. If you take away McGwire's incredible (a good word, for sure) power display in his final seasons, he's not within light years of the H.O.F.

And although a lot of people have compared him to Bonds, there are light years of difference between the two in terms of talent. Bonds, if you close your eyes and pretend real hard, is genuinely comparable to Babe Ruth. No other MLB player ever could make that claim. Mark McGwire was a led-footed, one-dimensional player who had a few years of marvellous HR hitting, but otherwise was pretty much worthless because he "ran" the bases like me (and I weigh 280 and am 52). I'd have too look to see how many seasons Ruth had which were better than McGwire's best, but believe me, there were lots of them.

Pretty much everyone agrees Palmeiro took himself out of the Hall. I think McGwire, with his open use of Andro and his pathetic performance in front of Congress, did the same. I like Mac, despite some night-and-day differences between us, and I empathize with the position he was in before Congress--determined not to join MLB's doctor, Palmeiro and others in the tidal of perjury which pervaded those hearings, and thus left with no choice but to clam up and let his guilt emotionally overwhelm him. But that was a consequence of his own misdeeds.

If these were criminal proceedings and I were the judge, I would sentence him lightly because of his obviously genuine remorse. But this is about what happens to him from here, and I say shame on any sportswriter who votes him into the Hall. Just imagine if he were black, even if he weren't such a despicable jerk as Bonds.

BHN



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