FanDuel - WFBC

January 23, 2006

Bonds says he doesn't want to risk injury: Barry being Barry.

posted by dbt302 to baseball at 09:56 PM - 79 comments

He's all about breaking Aaron's record. I can't blame him, but I can't root for him either.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 10:10 PM on January 23

i used to be a bonds fan but i'm sorry he knew he was taking steroids,and he needs to stay rested to try for the record a player holds who was never questioned about steroids.

posted by polish at 11:04 PM on January 23

Of course he will lose weight after he gets off the juice! I don't want him to break Aaron's record either---even if he does it will be tainted! But he is right to put the Giants first and not play in the WBC.

posted by mr padre at 12:02 AM on January 24

they should take him off the list. It`s not fair to give him a chance to break the record

posted by adeberardinis at 12:05 AM on January 24

Does anybody have Tonya Harding's number? Iron rod to the knee.....Barry is the ipitamy of all that's wrong with professional sports....It's all about ME and not about WE!!!

posted by Grrrlacher at 01:10 AM on January 24

Don't be silly guys- if Barry doesn't want to play in the WBC, why should he? And why should a 41 year old risk injury before what could be statistically the most important season of his career- if healthy he'll definitely pass Ruth, and possibly pass Aaron. The chance to do that- literally a once in any lifetime event. Heck, Clemens was right to take an easier, not-always-travel-with-the-team strategy, the Astros were happy to oblige, and it made for yet more great seasons from one of the greatest pitchers ever. When you attain the ranks of the Clemens or the Bonds, you get special dispensation for a reason: you are better than anyone else. A healthy Barry is all about team: there's no indication to the contrary that I've ever heard. Barry's job is to be Barry- turning him into a banjo-hitting singles machine would be a fucking waste. Look at how he pulled and lifted that Giants team into the playoffs and World Series a few years ago, and look how badly they play when he's not around. His terrifying presence in that lineup chances the whole complexion of two or three innings at a time. Why should he risk not only his personal statistical accomplishments, but also the team's success this year, for a stupid fucking joke of a tournament that no one really gives two shits about except Bud "league mismanagement" Selig? Anyway... Aaron's not exactly innocent- while it wasn't steroids in the 60's, it was amphetamines; players of his era, and even Aaron and Robinson and others admit, popped greenies to give them that "boost". I fail to see why one is pure and the other is evil incarnat, other than some misguided and foolish nostalgia. I've been a long time defender of Bonds, and I'd love to see him get that record. I think people who want to asterisk are being as ridiculous as any "61*" nonsense. They might as well start pushing for a re-segregation of the game, and an end to international scouting and player development. If a whites-only game was good enough for Ruth, why let black players in? If American-only players were good enough for Aaron's time, why allow people from the Dominican Republic to play? Why should good ol' American players have to compete with some Japanese pipsqueak like Ichiro for a batting title? Granted, a fair number of all-stars wouldn't be playing in the game today if it weren't for these developments, but don't let that stop you from ham-fisted notions of how Barry will never "measure up" to false gods of times past. It appears some of you think the game should never change, and players should never adapt to changing times and changing technologies, so that we can always call the records pure, and the game something unchanged from times gone past.


Besides, I'm quite convinced that far more than any steroid use, Barry's success has come from insane natural talent, dedication and mental improvement over the years- Bonds has been as devoted to his craft as Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn were. Take the son of a near-hall-of-fame player, raised in the presence of people like Willie Mays, groomed from infancy to be a baseball titan, with the benefit of modern strength training and video learning... why even try to make excuses like steroids? Oh... and let's not forget the maple bats. A move predicted in part by Robert Adair's "The Physics of Baseball" years prior, when analyzing the strengths and weakness of old hickory bats, Adair noted that experimenting with some alternate woods could be a huge boon to players. Lighter bats such as ash bats swing quicker, but tend to break easily, and be less forgiving of the mis-hit ball. Heavier bats like the old hickory bats of Ruth's time swung slower, but would allow mis-hit balls to still get significant power (much like aluminum bats). As pitchers got faster and stronger with each passing decade, the move to ash became a necessity to still get around on these 95mph heaters and 87mph sliders and curves... but at the sacrifice of the friendlier energy transfer of the denser bats. Now maple bats, their use pioneered in part by Bonds himself, allow players to get close to the speed of ash bats, but still have near the energy transfer of the hickory bat/aluminum bat. Since the mis-hit ball- the one hit off of the perfect "sweet spot"- is the norm, a maple bat allows those hits to still get more power than they would from an ash bat. Use a maple bat, and those slightly mis-hit, warning track balls are now homeruns. Barry can put all his muscle- natural or otherwise- into his swings because he's a brilliant hitter who works the count to his faovr, and because his bat allows him to be off by a centimeter without losing as much distance on the fly ball as if he took the same swing with an ash bat. I'm stating physics facts here, folks. You can believe steroids- and he's probably taken some performance enhancing elements that may or may not be steroids or even technically illegal- but I think it gives him at most a couple of homeruns he wouldn't have had anyway. So yeah- he'll have to hit 760 instead of 755 to account for the BALCO juice. Fine by me....

posted by hincandenza at 03:49 AM on January 24

he should sit out ...I don't believe he has earned that right, as for Tonya's #....lets ask PETE ROSE. PETE?

posted by andyzonk at 04:03 AM on January 24

Hal, thank you.

posted by qbert72 at 07:01 AM on January 24

Hal, that was a lucid, informative, well-thought-out argument in Bonds' favor. I agree with the premise that, steroids or not, Bonds is a very special hitter. During a period in which he was hardly the only one enhancing himself, he still managed to put quite a bit of distance between himself and the rest of the field. Nobody has a better sense of the strike zone, or punishes a pitcher's mistakes more consistently. A concern, though, is that my reading of your post left me with a sense that you were walking the line of forgiving his steroid use as not a big deal. Bonds use of steroids is fact, regardless of how ill-gotten that information was. While there is a question about how much and for how long, that fact remains that he did use steroids, and that is a very bad thing that should not be waved off as inconsequential. Your suggestion that, well, Aaron cheated so it's okay for Bonds, is a very dangerous comment. First, it leads to an increasing level of tolerance for cheating where a zero-tolerance policy should be. Second, there is a very, very big difference between Aaron and Bonds. I have never seen this admission by Aaron or Robinson that they took greenies (and I would love to see you cite a source for that comment), but even working with the presumption that Aaron did, the difference is that nobody knew about it while Aaron was breaking the record. Aaron's record was celebrated as being pure because at the time, by all accounts, it was. There was no reason to believe he was cheating, and there was no mixed message in it. With Bonds, it's completely different. We are aware, AS he is approaching the record, that he cheated to some degree. Knowingly, unknowingly, doesn't matter. I'm not suggesting that Bonds has to be stopped at all costs, but the context of his record needs to be made clear right now. It is essential that we challenge the authenticity of his accomplishments, because if we don't show that his feat is tainted then we are establshing a poor precedent, sending a very bad message to generations of athletes AND fans, and creating an atmosphere of permissivenes that is likely to continue to deteriorate as the bar goes lower and lower. And I believe in saving the world for our children (though not for our children's children, because I don't think that children should be having sex).

posted by BullpenPro at 07:08 AM on January 24

Wonderful debate gentlemen. Kudos to Hal and BullpenPro. We need to keep one thing in mind, there's no doubt that athletes are under much more scrutiny today as compared to years past. I do not know if we'll ever know the truth about cheating in past years. The problem today is that cheating has become pervasive in our society, not just in sports. Proof of that can be found by looking at our federal government or state gov't (Ohio). Whatever happened to players like Bench or Czonka..........(I think).

posted by Cambo at 07:49 AM on January 24

Ahh.... bringing pete rose into this thread. You know it is total BS that he is being punished like he is for gambling. I think using roids is worse than anything, and these players getting free passes. I mean a lifetime ban?? for just gambling? but these same people are looking the other way when it comes to roids. Well i could go on and on, like anyone else on this filter we could talk about this forever, i am done with Bonds and roids. I don't wanna talk about the past anymore.

posted by chuy at 08:21 AM on January 24

OK...First off, I am absolutely thrilled that the head of the roid freaks will not be playing in the WBC. Let a more deserving player have his spot. Second, to the lively debate about Bonds being a "special player." Bonds is only special because he cheated. If you look at his stats before going to the Bay area, they were not astonishing by any means. Then all the sudden you see a great increase in BA, HR, SLG, etc. Now, I understand that improvement happens. But let us not forget that if you are juicing you are going to be much stronger. When you are stronger, you are more likely to push sloppy hits through the gaps and hit more line drives that drop for hits. Bonds may have a "good" eye, but the 'roids will definitely help that. Third, if we want to celebrate players, lets look at the guys who have done great things WITHOUT the need of juice. If you think that Bonds is a special player, what about Pujols. He has put up consistent, "Bonds like" numbers since day one. Or what about Ortiz, Manny, Ichiro, and on and on and on. Bonds is a cheater, plain and simple. He should be tarred and feathered and run out of the sport. And Hal, as far as the comment about barry being all about the TEAM, did you read the latest article where he said that he would not bat second because he did not feel that was what was best for him at this point in his career. That does not sound like team spirit to me.

posted by mcstan13 at 08:42 AM on January 24

I am Hater's complete lack of suprise.

posted by HATER 187 at 08:46 AM on January 24

Barry's use of steroids is not a fact. There are just a number of different allegations out there, some with merit and some without any. This idea that he somehow admitted doing so in his grand jury testimony just ain't so. He only admitted to using something clear and some sort of cream. You can make the leap that they must have been the BALCO steroids, but that doesn't make it a fact. Furthermore, I disagree with the idea that we baseball fans know that Bonds cheated. Even if we believe that he used steroids, how is that cheating without a rule prohibiting its use? Cheating means to dishonestly violate rules. You cannot cheat without a rule in place in the sport. And, I agree with Hal that steroids use is not the explanation for why Bonds is such a fierce hitter. 5% of major leaguers tested positive for steroids during the first year of anonymous testing. Yet, no one even comes close to him. "Cheating" ain't what makes him special.

posted by bperk at 08:46 AM on January 24

Bonds says he doesnt want to risk injury. No matter whagt you feel about him, you cant really blame for thinikng that way. He really only has the one chance (this season) to break the HR record.

posted by daddisamm at 08:49 AM on January 24

I for one don't want to see him break Aaron's record. Bonds does not deserve to have the honor. I hope he doesn't break it and if he does...asterisk tiiiime!

posted by the Judge at 09:15 AM on January 24

bperk, Don't forget that Bonds trainer was the guy at the center of the BALCO scandal and that it was Bonds who talking up BALCO to other players. To qoute Judge Judy, "If you lie down in dirt, you're going to get dirty." If he didn't use roids, PLEASE explain to me the sudden jump in his statistics when he went to the Bay area. In 19 seasons, he is a career .300 hitter. Now how does a "GREAT PLAYER" who has hit .328, .370, .341, .362, in four of his last five seasons, only have a career .300 average. Why does he not have a .313 or .323, or .333 career average. Well it is because he was averaging .263 his first five years in the league. Albert Pujols is averaging .332. Let us not be naive about the writing on the wall. No one can improve as much as Barry without some kind of help.

posted by mcstan13 at 09:18 AM on January 24

I HOPE BONDS GOES BLIND JUST BEFORE THE START OF THE SEASON, THEN MAYBE HE COULD SING AND PLAY THE FUCKING PIANO IN THE SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTCLUB CIRCUT.

posted by USAGTO at 09:27 AM on January 24

If I am wrong about Bonds' use being a fact, I'm not alone. Barry Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. Bonds told a U.S. grand jury that he used undetectable steroids known as "the cream" and "the clear," which he received from personal trainer Greg Anderson during the 2003 season. According to Bonds, the trainer told him the substances were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a pain-relieving balm for the player's arthritis.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:33 AM on January 24

I HOPE BONDS GOES BLIND JUST BEFORE THE START OF THE SEASON, THEN MAYBE HE COULD SING AND PLAY THE FUCKING PIANO IN THE SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTCLUB CIRCUT. Yep, I remember when I had MY first beer. You may want to turn your radio down, there, caller.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:40 AM on January 24

Has anyone seen the pictures of Barry playing golf in the Dominican Republic? He looks awful. If he doesn't weigh 250 I'd be surprised. No wonder he doesn't want to play. He has to drop all the weight before the season starts. I'm not a fan of Barry. He has already told Felip Alou that he isn't going to bat 2nd or 3rd. He is batting 4th. Team guy? I don't think so. It wouldn't bother me if he never played again.

posted by dbt302 at 09:44 AM on January 24

I think Bonds decision to opt out of the world cup is the probably the right decision for him. He is 41 years old and does not have much left in his tank. He needs to save his AB's for the season. I have a couple of disagreements with some of the earlier posts. 1. Even though there is not much excitement in the US about the world cup, the rest of world, particularly the Latin American countries are excited about it and see it as an opportunity to showcase their abilities on a worldwide stage. Having spent the last 3 months in the Dominican Republic, I can tell you that there is genuine excitement and anticipation for the upcoming tournament. 2. Steroids can't help improve your "batting eye". Bonds and other star players hit with a different strike zone than your average major leaguer. The strike zone is smaller for them and a smart hitter, like Bonds, can exploit that and look for pitches in that smaller zone and take the rest. It is a lot easier to hit the ball hard when your strikezone is about the size of a shoebox. 3. "Greenies" do not help you hit a baseball farther or throw harder. They were a way to help get you through the rigors of playing 162 games in 180 days. Players will now start guzzling red bulls, coffee, and other stimulants to help them get through the grind of a long season. Others will just go to GNC or vitamin world and purchase Xenadrine, Ripped Fuel, or dozens of other over the counter stimulants that can produce similar results. And all of those are legal to consume.

posted by erkno11 at 09:46 AM on January 24

Long and short of it... Barry Bonds is a jerk. A very special jerk. I persopnally hope he never plays another inning of baseball and I am relieved to know we won't have him representing us. That's what all the Dominincans and Japanese are for.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 09:53 AM on January 24

3. "Greenies" do not help you hit a baseball farther or throw harder. They were a way to help get you through the rigors of playing 162 games in 180 days. Players will now start guzzling red bulls, coffee, and other stimulants to help them get through the grind of a long season. Excellent point. Good one, erkno.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:21 AM on January 24

If you look at his stats before going to the Bay area, they were not astonishing by any means. It's amazing how people forget what Bonds did in Pittsburgh (6 3/4 seasons). He did this from age 21 to age 27, which is considered by many experts to be before a player reaches their physical peak as a hitter!

  • Top 10 in HR 3 times
  • Top 10 in OBP 4 times
  • Top 10 in SLG 4 times
  • Top 10 in Runs 6 times
  • Top 10 in RBI 3 times
  • Top 10 in SB 4 times
  • Top 10 in extra base hits 6 times
  • Two MVP Awards
That doesn't seem "astonishing" to anyone else?

posted by grum@work at 10:32 AM on January 24

There is a difference between physical peak and FREAKISH developement. If he put up Pujols numbers and then went to Bonds numbers. I could call that development, BUT come on. Are you serious. However, thank you for quoting all that above. I agree that he was a GOOD player in Pit. But I am not talking about his stats in reference to the rest of the league, I am talking about the sudden jump in his own numbers.

posted by mcstan13 at 11:04 AM on January 24

Barry Bonds testified to a grand jury that he used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. all ILLEGALLY leaked grand jury testimony, which he nor anyone else involved can legally ever comment about, even to deny or confirm. but even working with the presumption that Aaron did, the difference is that nobody knew about it while Aaron was breaking the record. only because he didn't live in the current day and age of news scrutiny and media bias that has the world thinking a guy who doesn't do interviews is the ultimate sports villian while guys like Cal Ripken, who refused to stay in the same hotel with his teammates, is some kindof idol (and a bunch of sheep who fall for that hook, line, and sinker) I mean a lifetime ban?? for just gambling? He bet on his team. Unforgiveable. Some say "so what, he bet on them to win"...well suppose he has 50grand on winning a game. Think he may leave that ace starter in longer than he should to get the win? Or play a guy who's a little banged up and shouldn't be playing? Damn some future games in concern for the current one? It corrupts the game and he is rightfully banned If you look at his stats before going to the Bay area, they were not astonishing by any means. You are absolutely high. He was an multiple-MVP and posted hall of numbers well before he ever was thought to begin taking steroids.

posted by bdaddy at 11:13 AM on January 24

Since they are using the Olympic kind of drug testing for the WBC, maybe Barry is worried that he isn't exactly "clean" yet. Just a thought.

posted by dbt302 at 11:28 AM on January 24

The very mention of Barry stirs up more shit than a tornado crossin a pig farm............. But, some well articulated comments here gentlemen. Purely by the numbers, Barry has posted such huge ones as to make the term Ruthian obsolete. But, has anyone's numbers ever gotten so much better at his age? I think not.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:36 AM on January 24

But, has anyone's numbers ever gotten so much better at his age? I think not. Define "numbers", and I can run a query in the Lahman database to give you the results. HR? SLG? OPS? And what "age" are we talking? 1 year span? 3 year span? And what are we comparing it to? Players in their own era? Are we taking into account difference in eras (comparing baseball in the 2000s with baseball in the early 1960s and to baseball in the 1920s will require some "rebalancing").

posted by grum@work at 11:59 AM on January 24

Since they are using the Olympic kind of drug testing for the WBC, maybe Barry is worried that he isn't exactly "clean" yet. Just a thought. Possible, but at the same time it should be pointed out he did pass the MLB drug tests during the summer.

posted by grum@work at 11:59 AM on January 24

Bonds is undoubtedly a cheater - a 'roider. That is really no longer the issue. What is at issue is his place in the pantheon of great MLB players. I would echo the sentiments of some on this board that his numbers pre-Giants are impressive to the point of HoF worthyness. Frankly, he is a special case and is now one of the top five (or even top three) hitters of all-time. The degree to which you attribute this to steriods is really a choice, since the evidence is debatable both ways. However, the undeniable truth is that Bonds is the most feared hitter in the game, and if all that took was a couple of pills and some practice, we'd see more Bonds-like players out there. But we don't. The laser-like focus (the guy sees maybe ten pitches a week that are hittable - and he hammers them all), eye-hand coordination and impossible bat speed are not simply products of pharmaceuticals, but of a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He absolutely should skip the WBC as a 41-year old with a shot at one of the biggest records in sports.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:02 PM on January 24

Forget what I said earlier I would agree that sinceThe drug testing used for the World Cup will be the Olympic model., That means they will be testing for Human Gorwth Hormone. While these tests wouldnt effect his status in the MLB, they could him to break his training routine. (assuming that he may be using HGH.

posted by daddisamm at 12:04 PM on January 24

bdaddy... just wanted to let you that the secrecy of the grand jury only applies to the prosecutor, court reporter and the jurors, NOT the witness. Bonds can leak anything he wants. And since no one was prosecuted for contempt, you have to wonder where the subject of the leak came from???? Bonds could have told someone what he testified to and they leaked it... who really knows the truth. grum@work...query it all. But I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone with the kind of mammoth improvement as Bonds. All of you who are all up on Bonds can continue to delude yourselves into thinking that he didn't juice, but when it comes right to do it they are simply that ... delusions. If you like Bonds, then like him. If you don't care that he juiced, then say so. But to keep claiming that you don't think he used steroids is ludacris. Especially when the evidence of it is so overwhelming.

posted by mcstan13 at 12:07 PM on January 24

Balco, greenies, ash bats. whatever, It is Bonds right to not play in this ill-conceived, poorly timed Classic. I don't think any more of Bonds than alot of you but I respect his decision. I bet that A-Rod wishes that he had the good sense to say he did not want to play rather than dancing around the issue for weeks. The WBC is not good for MLB. At least Bonds won't be a causality and we can have this same discussion as he nears the record(s). Clip and save this thread for future use.

posted by Termite at 12:25 PM on January 24

I wish the "JERK" would play that way he would undergo Olympic drug testing. Does anyone think he could pass? I don't.

posted by packerfan4ever at 12:53 PM on January 24

Well, he might pass now. Of course, it is a little suspicious that his decision to play did not come until there was discussion about using Olympic style drug testing. We'll see how fast his exit from MLB is if they ever go to that type of testing in the majors.

posted by mcstan13 at 01:09 PM on January 24

Numbers: BA, OBPS, SLG PCT, AB per HR. Age: Comparism of average of above numbers from age 18 to 35, then above age 35. Era: ANY Grind em up and spit 'em out. The results may be, well, ludicrous.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:29 PM on January 24

all ILLEGALLY leaked grand jury testimony, which he nor anyone else involved can legally ever comment about, even to deny or confirm Illegally leaked testimony is still admissible in the court of public opinion. Whether Bonds had the freedom to confirm or deny or not, chances are his position on it in the past year-plus would not have been any different. He has already told Felip Alou that he isn't going to bat 2nd or 3rd. He is batting 4th. Team guy? I don't think so. I don't think Alou was suggesting that Bonds bat second for the good of the team. I think the intent there was to get Bonds as many early-game at bats as possible so he could be taken out to rest him. Why on earth would any manager bat a 41-year-old with bad knees second for the good of his team? Alou was looking out for Bonds, and somehow Bonds managed to make himself look bad by declining the offer. only because he didn't live in the current day and age of news scrutiny and media bias... That Bonds plays in a day of closer scrutiny than Aaron did might not be "fair," but it is part of the culture of today's game. Any athlete today has to accept that notion, work within the framework of that scrutiny, and accept the consequences. Fair? Perhaps not, but neither is taking steroids. I'm sure there are inequities of fairness that go in the other direction as well.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:31 PM on January 24

As a Giants fan and a fan of Barry Bonds I think this is a very good idea. The WBC isn't paying his salary, the Giants are, he doesn't need to get and show what he can do for a meaningless game. He needs to stay as healthy as possible for his team this year. Why wouldn't Alou bat Bonds third? He'd get nearly the same number of at bats and would have a much better chance of having someone on that way.

posted by fenriq at 01:37 PM on January 24

I wish the "JERK" would play that way he would undergo Olympic drug testing. Does anyone think he could pass? I have no reason to suspect he wouldn't. There were thousands of you detractors that were saying that he was acting hurt worse than he was last year because he didn't want to get tested under the new policy. Guess what, he came back and passed all tests thrown at him. Now you guys are coming up with this "olympic standards" example and that's why he's not playing? If he played and passed this, you'd come back with something else.

posted by bdaddy at 01:45 PM on January 24

Bonds' name was on a provisional roster of 52 players that Team USA was required to submit Jan. 17. That day also marked the start of the tournament's drug-testing program. Players are subject to Olympic-style testing, with a two-year suspension from international competition for a first positive test. However, baseball lawyers said names of players who test positive in out-of-competition testing will not be announced. Anyone really think this was just a coincidence?

posted by irunfromclones at 01:47 PM on January 24

The idea that Bonds has pulled out of the WBC because of the stringent steroids testing is ludicrous. Defeating testing, regardless of how stringent it is, is what the BALCOs of the world are all about. The stringest testing wasn't able to catch any of the Olympic athletes that allegedly worked with BALCO (see Tim Montgomery). So, I seriously doubt that it would impede anyone with Bonds' wealth from defeating that very same testing. I am not sure why the number comparisons of Bonds alleged miraculous improvement would prove something either way. The people who believe he is using will point to steroids at the culprit. While the people who doubt steroids as the culprit would indicate that 5% of baseball players were using and none of them had such an improvement. So, debating the numbers gets you absolutely no where. The question as I see it is: if steroids are so miraculous, why can't any other players compare to Bonds? And, bullpen, the SF Chronicle who got to look at the leaked transcripts says that Bonds never admitted to steroids, but admitted to using some cream and something clear that the prosecutors says were steroids.

posted by bperk at 01:52 PM on January 24

Illegally leaked testimony is still admissible in the court of public opinion so is fictional, made up news stories (the Dan Rather piece springs to mind). The question should be, how willing are you to be influenced by something of which you have 2% of the information on and is blantantly painted a certain way by people(the San Francisco Chronicle) who have an obvious bias of the person in question (Bonds)

posted by bdaddy at 01:53 PM on January 24

There is a lot of people out there that want to contribute to the success of their respective "teams" or themselves, at the expense of others who are trying to play fair. I don't know, if anyone has been passed over for a job, or experienced cheating in your own sportslife, seen the political bull that scams our lives or any other unethical behavior and u think thats OK. Well lets just pin that great big blue ribbon on Barry, but please make it a special olympics ribbon.

posted by westbranch at 03:03 PM on January 24

Bonds' name was on a provisional roster of 52 players that Team USA was required to submit Jan. 17. That day also marked the start of the tournament's drug-testing program. Players are subject to Olympic-style testing, with a two-year suspension from international competition for a first positive test. However, baseball lawyers said names of players who test positive in out-of-competition testing will not be announced. Anyone really think this was just a coincidence? That's pretty funny, considering it's pretty much the same response people had when Barry sat out most of the 2005 season after his knee surgeries. "He's doing it to avoid the testing!", was the accusation. Except, of course, he was tested during that time. And he passed. But now, if he gives a perfectly legitimate reason to not play in the WBC, it's another round of "Barry is avoiding testing!" Which leads to the question: "What if Barry passed that test?" Would we see all the naysayers suddenly proclaiming they were wrong and that Barry isn't juicing any more? Probably not. Instead, we'd get another round of the classic "Coverup!" and "He's bought a better masking agent!" and "MLB is paying to hide the results!"

posted by grum@work at 03:15 PM on January 24

Grind em up and spit 'em out. The results may be, well, ludicrous. Sadly, my day job procludes me from trying to run hundreds of queries to prove someone else's point. I will provide this result, which I found interesting. The initial reason for my queries was to see if Bonds' first 7 seasons (with Pit) were completely out of whack with his next 7 seasons (with SF). AB/HR is a good measurement of power. It shows how many AB (not PA, which includes the unhittable walks) a player needs on average to hit a HR. There are 94 players who hit at least 100 HR between ages 21 and 27, and also hit at least 100 HR between ages 28-34. I used these limitations (100HR) to weed out any slap happy singles hitters and one season abberations that might throw the stats out of whack. The idea is to include only probable "power" hitters (although, averaging 14HR/season doesn't seem all that "powerful", but otherwise the test data is just too tiny). I measured their AB/HR values in both time periods. Here are the top 25 players with the greatest decrease in AB/HR (meaning they hit HR more often in the later years than they did in the earlier years):

 Sammy Sosa 49% Barry Bonds 40% Rogers Hornsby 39% Ivan Rodriguez 36% Gary Sheffield 33% Jeff Bagwell 33% Duke Snider 31% Willie Stargell 26% Reggie Smith 25% Chili Davis 24% Mark McGwire 24% Jim Thome 23% Al Kaline 22% Ron Gant 21% Vic Wertz 21% Jack Clark 20% Vern Stephens 20% Ken Griffey 20% Matt Williams 19% Gil Hodges 18% Lou Gehrig 17% Andre Dawson 17% Albert Belle 16% Mike Schmidt 15% George Scott 15% 
Well, what does that mean? I don't know. It seems that Bond, Sosa, Sheffield and Bagwell are a little suspicious in their ability to hit HR. I guess you can slap the "ROIDS!" tag on them if you want. However, someone better exhume the body of Roger Hornsby and run some tests if that's the case. The average for the 94 players was 2%. However, almost 30 of them had an increase in the number of AB/HR (meaning they got worse). Go figure that out.

posted by grum@work at 03:46 PM on January 24

The most truthful statement on this thread: The very mention of Barry stirs up more shit than a tornado crossin a pig farm............. Personally, I don't much care if he took steroids, which may or may not help your performance, when there was no rule against such steroids, and of which we have no concrete proof of him knowingly taking in the first place. I don't much care for Barry but I'm becoming endeared to him because people consistently crap on the guy.

posted by tron7 at 03:50 PM on January 24

Okay, I can't help it. I love running these queries. AB/HR, comparison of prime years (28-34) vs post-prime (35+). Only players who hit 100HR in their prime years were examined (239 players qualified). Here are the top 25 decreases in AB/HR from prime to post-prime (in other words, they got better at hitting HR after 35 than they were between 28-34):

 Bobby Murcer 38% Darrell Evans 37% Glenallen Hill 36% Barry Bonds 35% Eddie Robinson 31% Donn Clendenon 31% Rob Deer 29% Andres Galarraga 28% Gary Matthews 28% Will Clark 28% Frank Thomas 27% Steve Finley 26% Ken Caminiti 26% Mark McGwire 25% Marquis Grissom 25% Harold Baines 21% Carlton Fisk 21% Joe Gordon 18% Bob Watson 15% Chili Davis 15% Ellis Burks 13% Rick Monday 13% Vern Stephens 13% Ted Williams 13% Hank Aaron 13% 
I guess his ability to hit HR at the age of 35+ isn't that "ludicrous" after all. Or Darrell Evans is a 'roid user. Your call.

posted by grum@work at 04:02 PM on January 24

grum@work, I appreciate the data, but , if you could include said data for the ages of 34 and above, i think Bonds will stand out like a sore thumb. (Not unlike Sammy Sosa above.That does not raise a red flag?) Also, i am not sure how to interpret your findings. For instance, does that mean that Sammy required 49% fewer at bats per hr as compared to the previous time period? Again, i appreciate your efforts, and your arguments as well.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:03 PM on January 24

Personally, I don't much care if he took steroids, which may or may not help your performance, when there was no rule against such steroids... A few people have made similar comments. Here's what confuses me about this issue more than anything else (and I'm sure I'm exposing some real ignorance here): isn't steroid use ILLEGAL in the U.S.? I don't understand why baseball has to have a special rule prohibiting something that is illegal. And furthermore, I don't understand why baseball players who have been caught using steroids haven't been facing prosecution. I was under the impression that the legality issue was the reason Congress got involved with it in the first place. Baseball also doesn't have a rule against murder, but ballplayers don't seem to be taking quite as much advantage of that loophole.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:11 PM on January 24

The second most truthful statement on this thread: ...if all that took was a couple of pills and some practice, we'd see more Bonds-like players out there. But we don't. The laser-like focus (the guy sees maybe ten pitches a week that are hittable - and he hammers them all), eye-hand coordination and impossible bat speed are not simply products of pharmaceuticals, but of a once-in-a-lifetime talent. Damn straight.

posted by JohnSFO at 04:19 PM on January 24

we all know why he isnt going to play........ The Wbc is using the same roids policy as the olympics. Huh harsher tests and the wunderkin has decided not to play.

posted by anaheim angels not la at 04:23 PM on January 24

But let us not forget that if you are juicing you are going to be much stronger. When you are stronger, you are more likely to push sloppy hits through the gaps and hit more line drives that drop for hits. Any athlete that uses steroids will tell you, that you only get the benefits of juice while you're actually on it. They will also tell you that joe shmoe can't take juice and become a world class athlete. Juice merely enhances your own natural ability. You also have to workout religiously. Taking juice and sitting around doesn't help anything. If any of you are implying that Bonds records are merely possible because of juice, you are mistaken. While the juice does aid in his performance, it's not responsible for his pure ability. If you want to put an asterisk next to his achievements, then I think its only fair that we examine all record holders, in all sports. Was Michael Jordan ever tested? And being an old school philly fan, the first person I want to question is Wayne Gretzky. The way he skated circles around opposing teams with superhuman speed and agility, he certainly would be a candidate for investigation. Its now well known how NHL players prepare for games using stimulants and so forth. Is that cheating? If it was ever found out that Gretzky used enhancing substances, does he then become a cheater? Or would he still have been the greatest ever? No one can make that determination. Likewise, no one can make that determination about Bonds. The fact is, none of us know how good he would have been if he never juiced at all. And no one knows if the people whos' records he has broken or will break, were on the "juice" of their day either. Its unamerican if we call 1 record setter a cheat, without even investigating the others with which he competes. If investigating the others is not possible, do we assume they didn't cheat? Do we assume that they set some superhuman record that has stood for so many years because they were just that good? Do we assume that, because someone had to cheat to break the record, that it proves that the person who set it must have cheated as well? Or can one athlete be that much better than the rest? Bonds was already good. If he was average, then took juice and became great, you have an argument. But because he was already great, no one will ever know for sure if it was the juice or not. So, since it can't be proved without a doubt, you can't put an asterisk next to any of his records. If you do, then you have to put a question mark next to all great record holders, because nobody knows if they cheated or not.

posted by BlogZilla at 04:38 PM on January 24

The reason why the steroids are illegal and therefore wrong /cheating thing doesn't really work is because use of illegal drugs is not the focus of our drug policies. What is defined as illegal is possession, distribution, sale, etc. of illicit drugs. People are not convicted of having used drugs in the past because they have failed a drug test or admitted to past drug use (see, Presidents Clinton and Bush). To attempt to do so would be a huge shift in U.S. drug policy. Furthermore, everything that is illegal is not cheating. Speeding is illegal, but that is not cheating. What makes an action cheating is that it violates the rules of the game.

posted by bperk at 04:41 PM on January 24

grum@work, I appreciate the data, but , if you could include said data for the ages of 34 and above, i think Bonds will stand out like a sore thumb. (Not unlike Sammy Sosa above.That does not raise a red flag?) Also, i am not sure how to interpret your findings. For instance, does that mean that Sammy required 49% fewer at bats per hr as compared to the previous time period? Again, i appreciate your efforts, and your arguments as well. I provided the 35+ data just before your post (obvious timing issue there), so I hope you can use it. And yes, it means that Sosa required 49% less AB to hit a home run when comparing prime (28-34) to pre-prime (21-27) seasons. And just in case anyone was suggesting that Bonds 73 HR is an obvious sign of steroid use ("It's WAY more than his average!"), I ran one final query. Find the biggest "freak" HR seasons in MLB history. I do this by finding all HR seasons of 30+, where the player played at least 10 seasons and had at least 200 career HR. Compare that season to the average season for that player (excluding the "freak" season). So where does Bonds 73HR season rank? 148th. (118% increase over the rest of his career average) Topping the list? Brady Anderson's 50HR season in 1996 (368% increase over his remaining career average) And, just to tie it to my first stats post, Roger Hornsby has 3 seasons that stand out as bigger HR "flukes" than Bonds' 2001 season. I'm tellin' ya...someone better investigate that Hornsby character... ;) we all know why he isnt going to play........ The Wbc is using the same roids policy as the olympics. Huh harsher tests and the wunderkin has decided not to play. posted by anaheim angels not la at 4:23 PM CST on January 24 Wow. I'm guessing you just joined today and didn't even bother reading the other posts. /checks Yup! I was right. Thanks for your insightful and original comment!

posted by grum@work at 04:51 PM on January 24

nice researchin' grum :)

posted by JohnSFO at 05:03 PM on January 24

Except, of course, he was tested during that time. And he passed. Except of course, that those were private tests, administered by Balco, not the MLB.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:29 PM on January 24

The stringest testing wasn't able to catch any of the Olympic athletes that allegedly worked with BALCO (see Tim Montgomery) Have you been on another planet for the last year? Mr. Montgomery was caught, admitted to using, was subsequently banned, and had all of his medals and records revoked. Anyone think there is a coincidence between Sosa becoming a complete non-entity during the same period when Bonds basically sat out nearly two seasons?

posted by irunfromclones at 05:42 PM on January 24

does anyone not from the bay area or PIT sincerely believe barry anymore?

posted by ninjavshippo at 06:11 PM on January 24

It seems that the Commisioner would do a little more exstensive testing than the old piss in a cup.Maybe a blood test or maybe even start to look at there dna. Thats how you catch the cheaters,the clean players won't mind and the dirty players will have every excuse not to be tested in these manor's.

posted by ccrist at 07:05 PM on January 24

My own statistical analysis (using career stats and a handheld calculator) shows that from 1990 to 1999, (I did not factor in Barry's stats from 1986 to 1989, allowing for a "learning curve " (pun intended) ) Barry had 4894 AB's and 361 HR's for average of one HR per 13.55 AB's. (Projected over the length of career he has had,Hall of Fame avg. fer sure !) In the period from 2000 to 2004, (throwing out last season's injury marred campaign) he had 2122 AB's and 303 Hr's, for an average of 1 HR per 7 AB's !!!!????? Ruthian is out the window as a baseball term, and the whole record book is reinvented. I agree Bond's is a hell of a ballplayer, but is this not off the charts? To quote President Lincoln, (when told General Grant was a drunkard) Get me a barrel of whatever it is he is drinking!!

posted by mjkredliner at 09:03 PM on January 24

I would like to thank grum for fighting the good fight one more time. The good book says we'll win it. /Stryper

posted by qbert72 at 10:07 PM on January 24

wow....its getting windy in here

posted by GoBirds at 01:23 AM on January 25

windy indeed. If anyone does not think 1 hr per 7 ab's over a 5 year period at an age when almost all athletes skills begin to erode is not an a pharmacological aberration, check out Ruth or Aarons or even Mcgwire's best five year period put together over the 5 BEST YEARS OF THEIR CAREERS in this stat. I suggest a new term for baseball excellence: BALCOIAN. Sorry for beating this old dead horse y'all, but it irks me, and apparently others as well. Barry's run at history is a sham.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:54 AM on January 25

If anyone does not think 1 hr per 7 ab's over a 5 year period Try using plate appearances, not at bats, since we all know how much Bonds gets walked by pitchers who are afraid to give up home runs. You might also try to examine the numbers rather than massaging them to fit your already-drawn conclusions.

posted by yerfatma at 05:38 AM on January 25

Precisely - ABs is a hollow argument, considering the guy walks 200 times a year and only records 3-400 ABs. Of course his HR/AB is going to be lower than ever one else's.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:40 AM on January 25

uh the comparism is invalid if you use plate appearances, unless you have the ability to determine PRECISELY which walks were intentional and which were the result of someone actually pitching to Bonds. Give him 150 more legitimate AB's per year, and we would really have no use for this discussion, as the record books would be obsolete. As for massaging the numbers for my already drawn conclusions, they were drawn by Barry the incredible hitting machine , not by myself. Mr. Mcsmokey, if fewer ab's automatically translate into a lower HR/AB ratio., then by golly, the secret is out!

posted by mjkredliner at 09:10 AM on January 25

Well, you're 0/2 on sensible stat-related comments. Intentional vs. unintentional walks is not important. You can't discount intentional walks like they're not earned; on the contrary, they are an admission by the manager that he doesn't think his pitcher can handle Bonds. Either way, you do have the amazing ability to determine PRECISELY which were: chiggity-check the IBB column in season stats and deduct that from the BB column.

posted by yerfatma at 09:14 AM on January 25

I don't believe that determining whether walks are intentional or not has anything to do with what is being measured. The argument at hand is whether Bonds' physical condition has dramatically improved at any point in his career with a spike substantial enough to indicate the possibility of chemically-enhanced development. Steroids would have no measurable influence on walks OR strikeouts (unless you argue that steroids influence eye-hand coordination). I say use HR/AB-K to see what ratio of HR's Bonds has when he actually puts bat to ball, and gauge how that ratio behaves through the course of his career.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:26 AM on January 25

Steroids would have no measurable influence on walks OR strikeouts Why? If steroids turned more fly outs into HRs, that would make pitchers more likely to nibble and make managers more likely to intentionally walk or semi-intentionally walk once the pitcher got to 2-0, 3-0. I'm not clear on the value of "HR/AB-K" (I'm assuming you mean "HR/(AB-K)"); how does subtracting strikeouts from at bats solve the objections raised up thread to the use of At Bats?

posted by yerfatma at 10:21 AM on January 25

That Bonds' performance has influenced the way pitchers pitch to him is irrefutable. Whether or not he is on steroids, nobody wants to pitch to this guy. But steroids, in and of themselves, do not affect walks or strikeouts -- the argument is that they affect a player's physical power to the extent that they turn fly outs into HRs, as you pointed out. Discussing walks exhibits that Bonds is talented -- that is not in dispute -- but neither walks nor strikeouts would show any physical effect of steroids, only batted balls would. So the formula HR/(AB-K) -- you were right to put the parens in there -- would analyze ONLY batted balls and how many of them went over the fence. I went ahead and did the numbers, just in case anybody cares. Following is the ratio of home runs per at bat (minus strikeouts) for every season of Bonds' career. The numbers are given as a percentage of the time, when bat met ball, that it left the park. I've also included Bonds' age on the last day of each year. 1986: 5.145% (22) 1987: 5.400% (23) 1988: 5.263% (24) 1989: 3.901% (25) 1990: 7.569% (26) 1991: 5.721% (27) 1992: 8.416% (28) 1993: 10.000% (29) 1994: 10.632% (30) 1995: 7.801% (31) 1996: 9.524% (32) 1997: 8.989% (33) 1998: 8.043% (34) 1999: 11.604% (35) 2000: 12.159% (36) 2001: 19.060% (37) 2002: 12.921% (38) 2003: 13.554% (39) 2004: 13.554% (40) The behavior of these numbers, it seems to me, shows a natural rise to a peak at ages 29-30, then the beginning of a decline until 1999 when the numbers jump up and plateau a little (except for the EXTREME spike in 2001). Now, an article I found indicates that Bonds and Anderson started working out together right around 1998 -- just before Bonds' big jump. There's no way to confirm that Bonds used steroids by this, but it is certainly easy to draw the conclusion that, one way or the other, Bonds' association with Anderson had a profound effect on his career.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:50 AM on January 25

BullpenPro - I don't have access to my database right now, but maybe you could do a check and see how Darrell Evans numbers (HR/(AB-K)) look in comparison. As you can see in one of my previous posts, he had a more dramatic uptick in HR-hitting ability after the age of 34 than even Bonds.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on January 25

This one's by request... Darrell Evans: 1969 0.000% (22) 1970 0.000% (23) 1971 5.825% (24) 1972 5.278% (25) 1973 8.350% (26) 1974 5.176% (27) 1975 4.772% (28) 1976 3.385% (29) 1977 4.136% (30) 1978 4.141% (31) 1979 3.527% (32) 1980 4.073% (33) 1981 3.704% (34) 1982 3.990% (35) 1983 6.787% (36) 1984 4.834% (37) 1985 9.524% (38) 1986 7.214% (39) 1987 8.193% (40) 1988 6.322% (41) 1989 4.783% (42) Definite surge from '83 on. '83 itself is a little odd, but '84 - '88 might be explained by his move from large NL parks (ATL & SF respectively) to a much smaller AL park (Detroit). It may be worth noting that in '83 Evans was moved, after years at 3B, to 1B. He got a lot of action as a DH in Detroit. Maybe playing the field wore him out too much.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:32 PM on January 25

Interestingly, SBC park opened in 2000... perhaps the stat guys here could look up homerun comparisons between SBC and Candlestick, and especially focusing on left-handed hitters. SBC's RF line is only 309 feet, which despite sloping out rapidly is pretty much for Bonds a mirror image of what Fenway is to right-handed hitters- only with a wall about 12 feet shorter. Or you might compare Bond's rate over time for away homeruns only, if you have those splits. That'll negate the homefield benefits he might get from any of his home parks. The likelihood is we'll not find one source of his amazing abilities- he's been great his whole career, and superhuman over the last few years. It's a perfect storm of ungodly talent, increasing intelligence in this player about the game as he ages, advancing equipment technologies like maple bats, a home park designed for his left-handed power hitting, a general imbalance in the hitter/pitcher dynamic in the game, a small strike zone, an elbow protector that allows one to crowd the plate, greater strength possibly caused by steroids, etc, etc, etc. In Barry, talent more than anything is the reason he's so successful, but he's been a perfect storm of hitting prowess unequaled in baseball. And we as fans have the privilege of seeing a player so good, Ruth wouldn't be fit to carry his jock.

posted by hincandenza at 05:02 PM on January 25

Ruth wouldn't be fit to carry his jock. Wrong. You may have just been using hyperbole to enhance your point about Bonds, but this comment is ridiculous. You just finished listing half a dozen advantages that today's hitter has that have absolutely nothing to do with Bonds' talent. Ruth did what he did in a dead-ball era, and it is still taking Bonds over 20 years to match what Ruth did in 16 (shorter) seasons as a regular hitter. Plus, there's the whole "Ruth was the best left-handed pitcher in the game when he pitched" thing, yadda yadda. If you want to argue that Bonds is a better player than Ruth I'll listen and politely agree to disagree, but this jock-carrying thing is an outlandishly silly assertion.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:12 PM on January 25

Ruth wouldn't be fit to carry his jock. Always killing your own points with hyperbole.

posted by yerfatma at 06:32 AM on January 26

Well most everything has been covered except Barry's short compact swing....beautiful to generate bat speed. Isn't that what makes the ball fly? Ask any golfer if club head speed makes a differance. Like him or not I do like to watch him hit with that swing

posted by Pa Winemaker at 10:16 AM on January 26

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