Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And then there was only one......

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new home-run champion of all time, and his name is Barry Bonds, with a nod to Milo Hamilton, the Hall of Fame broadcaster who called Henry Aaron's 715th homer to pass Babe Ruth.

Love him or hate him, you CANNOT deny that Barry is the greatest all-around hitter of our lifetime.  Unless you wipe out ALL MLB records from 1985 on, you can't take this away from him, regardless of whether you want to or not.  Like John Kruk said tonight on SportsCenter, if you go after one, you'd better go after ALL of them and you'd better GET all of them.

I love Henry Aaron, he was a remarkable player and is a great humanitarian and leader.  What happened  tonight in no way denigrates his achievements, and his statement on the video board at AT&T Park once again reminded us of the class with which he has led his life.

Even before Barry ALLEGEDLY took steroids, he had won THREE Most Valuable Player awards (and I argue he should have won a fourth, in 1991) and was on his way to Cooperstown.  Nothing Bonds has done since should change that.

Yes, many people whom I hold dear have commented on my earlier post that he cheated, that he doesn't deserve it, yada yada yada.

Bless your hearts, I still love you all.

I have NEVER seen any other batter in my lifetime intentionally walked with this bases loaded, like Barry.  I have never seen any other player in my lifetime who frightened pitchers the way he has.  As a hitter, he has no peers.  NONE.

Barry, relax and enjoy this record, because Alex Rodriguez will take it from you by 2015!


leftwingcarolinablue said...

OK: your guy broke Mr. Aaron's record and much of what I can do is mourn. I have no qualm about Bonds' accomplishments in the early portion of his career and I think he deserved to be the MVP the three times you mention. You correctly, in my view, state that with his early accomplishments, Cooperstown lay ahead. Terry Pendleton, however, still deserved the nod in 1991 for what he meant to the Braves and their pennant run (damnit, we should have won the 7th game!).

Where I have more than a few problems, as you know, is the latter years of Bonds' career. To ask a sort of combined question, what are Bonds' statistics on intentional walks before (say) 1999? How can you measure the fear he instilled in pitchers before the allegations (a-hem) began to take public notice? You and I could cause fear in pitchers if we allegedly (a-hem)juiced ourselves to the extent that Bonds is supposed to have done. As you correctly say, one of the best hitters in the last 40 years would have no trouble in causing deep anxiety to even the best pitchers of our generation (Bob Gibson would have approached him, shall I say, somewhat differently, I think).

The simple reality of your logic is that Bonds had increased bat speed which increased the pressure on a given pitcher to make a perfect pitch which led to the greater probabability of a home run type of mistake. You can't argue, on the one hand, that his alleged enhancement doesn't matter and on the other ("Kiss MY Asterisk" and your Who Cares entry from last week), to say that it mattered in his ability to instill fear among pitchers.

As I've said previously, when Bonds comes up for Cooperstown induction, the writers ought to make him wait a year, then elect him. If that happens, Bonds will demonstrate yet again the narcisscism of his personality (as he did in 1991 when he lost the MVP to Pendleton), but if he had just continued in his latter years as the incredible talent he was even in the face of temptation, he would have been elected on the first ballot by an overwhelming majority.

joe4444 said...

I've been reading these posts for awhile now, and I am finally ready to risk a potential debate to argue my point out loud.

Leftwing, you have been quick to dismiss the argument of Bonds cheating, because that is a "small offense" not worthy of referencing in the eyes of such a big record.

You previously reference the old saying "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'!" So a scandal that was put on the same scale as the 1919 Black Sox World Series is just "trying" to play the game?

Tim Donaghy was just trying, right? He's an ok guy for an NBA referee because everyone else cheats, so no big deal...

In the past 9 years, 3 players have broken a 37-year single-season home run record, and 2 of them have either evidence against them for steroid use, or have made it all but evident under oath of their steroid use.

I know its the record now, but in my humble (and probably worthless) opinion I do not think an asterisk should be next to Bond's record. There is really nothing to suggest against treating Bonds in the same light as Pete Rose or Daryl Strawberry.

I take that back, I'd rather watch someone who gambled on baseball than someone who illegally juiced himself for his own personal glory. I could care less about his attitude or personality.

Mr Turnbow said...

He hit 757 last night and he sounds like he's coming back next year if that evil halliburton loving US Justice Department doesnt get him first.