FanDuel - WFBC

August 07, 2007

756.:

posted by kirkaracha to baseball at 11:05 PM - 105 comments

Fantastic! The way the balls were flying out of there it was clear that tonight was the night. I thought the 'special message' from Hank Aaron was pretty cool. Barry's obvious emotion was great. Good stuff.

posted by geekyguy at 11:13 PM on August 07

He just needs a triple to hit for the cycle. I thought Aaron's congratulatory message was very classy.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:16 PM on August 07

Someone had to post it first. Good on ya, Barry. Now go hit 800 and shut everyone up. :) Best player in history, IMO, and the stats pretty much prove it out. He'll likely finish with the most homeruns in history, the most walks, over 3000 hits, over 2000 RBI, and an OPS/OBP/SLG that's likely going to be behind only Williams, Ruth, and possibly Gehrig. In addition, he's a 7-time MVP, a Gold Glove fielder, and oh yeah, the only member of the 400/400 and 500/500 clubs. He'll have a decent chance to be the all-time runs leader along with the all time walks leader, and possibly the all-time extra base hits leader, and also... You know what? He'll be at the top of, or in the top 10, of almost every single offensive category that is tracked. That has nothing to do with any chemicals, and everything to do with him being the best player of our generation.

posted by hincandenza at 11:18 PM on August 07

Our long national nightmare is finally over. I listened to the broadcast on XM Radio. Jon Miller did a fine, if emotionally hollow, job of calling the shot and the ensuing ceremony, giving detailed accounts of Bonds' actions and the responses of key characters. I'm happy for baseball. I'm happy that the chase is over. I'm happy that the most hallowed record in sports has a new face and a new story. I'm happy that Hank Aaron participated in the way he did. I'm happy that Bonds allowed himself to expose the emotion that we all assumed he must be feeling about this stressful run, but that he had shown so infrequently. And I'm sad for baseball. It sucks that Selig wasn't there. It sucks that the end of the chase is almost certainly not the end of allegations and persecution. It sucks that I'm not able to embrace this record the way I want to because the guy who broke has gone so far out of his way to make himself difficult to wholeheartedly root for. Weird night. I wonder how I'll feel in the morning.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:22 PM on August 07

personally, i don't have any feelings either way about bonds breaking the record. "juiced" or not "juiced" I have the utmost respect for bonds as a player. looking at it from a pure talent standpoint I am in awe of his continued plate discipline throughout his chase for the record and his ability to hit the ball squarely most of the time he gets a pitch that he can handle. never once did he start pressing and swinging at bad or borderline pitches in order to get to the record faster. in my opinion, hands down the most talented player to ever play the game. period.

posted by erkno11 at 11:22 PM on August 07

Actually, I wonder if this is his last season; the only thing to play for at this point is a couple of records that aren't quite within reach this season, but which he could reasonably attain with one more year under his belt. But a career like this... it doesn't deserve an asterisk, it deserves an exclamation point. The numbers are simply staggering- over at baseball-reference.com, check out not only those career numbers, but look at single season records for things like Walks, OBP, SLG, and OPS: he's as dominant as Ruth every was, and tops the leader boards of the stats that measure as much as a few numbers can how effective a hitter is at doing the most basic thing required of a hitter.

posted by hincandenza at 11:24 PM on August 07

now let's focus on the pennant races. GO CUBS

posted by erkno11 at 11:29 PM on August 07

It sucks that Selig wasn't there. Actually, I'm kind of glad he didn't show up. I mean, he's been a dickhead this whole season (mealy-mouthed comments, not clapping at 755), so the fact that he couldn't be there to ruin the night (even though I've said many times before that he SHOULD be there) makes it better. By the way, that ball was CRUSHED.

posted by grum@work at 11:34 PM on August 07

The nicest part about this is that now after tomorrow's lovefest we can actually start seeing highlights of Giants games on Sportscenter again. I don't think they've shown anything other than Barry's at-bats for 3 weeks.

posted by Bernreuther at 11:36 PM on August 07

Mark Cuban's got Barry's back.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:43 PM on August 07

Interesting fact: Mike Bacsik was an intern for two sports radio hosts in Dallas 2 summers ago and have since stayed in touch with each other. They've been recently talking about the possibility of giving Bonds an easy pitch so that Bacsik could be the one in the history books. They were supposed to have Bacsik on the show today but decided that he shouldn't talk about laying one up for Bonds on the air before it happened. Now he's supposed to be on the show tomorrow.

posted by puke & cry at 11:46 PM on August 07

If that's what happened then Bacsik's an asshoie.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:51 PM on August 07

Generally, I thought that the entire thing was handled with dignity and class. Give the Giants' organization credit for that.

posted by Howard_T at 11:51 PM on August 07

It sucks that Selig wasn't there. Well, he did make a Herculean effort.

posted by justgary at 11:52 PM on August 07

Mark Cuban's got Barry's back. In 25 years any controversy associated with Barry's quest for the record will be long forgotten. -cuban Mark Cuban isn't living in reality.

posted by justgary at 11:56 PM on August 07

Interesting fact: Mike Bacsik was an intern for two sports radio hosts in Dallas 2 summers ago and have since stayed in touch with each other. They've been recently talking about the possibility of giving Bonds an easy pitch so that Bacsik could be the one in the history books. They (Bob and Dan) also talked extensively about how funny it would be if Bacsik straight up beaned Bonds every time he faced him. It's smarmy sports-jock radio, and there's no way that a guy taking his last stab at his shot in the Major Leagues - to the point of pinpointing the Nationals as having a weak minor-league pitching staff in the hopes of making it to the bigs - would risk that kind of controversy. If anyone's interested, you can listen to that local Dallas station online here. Bob and Dan are on 12-3 CST. I don't know for sure if they'll have Bascik on tomorrow or not, but if your interest is piqued enough, there's the link.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:10 AM on August 08

*

posted by commander cody at 12:23 AM on August 08

If that's what happened then Bacsik's an asshoie. As Ufez said, the Bob and Dan show's pure tomfoolery. Their advice wouldn't have been offered or received seriously.

posted by rcade at 12:28 AM on August 08

Also note that Dan talked to Bacsik yesterday discussing this with him. I'm not saying he did it, but it is suspicious.

posted by puke & cry at 12:28 AM on August 08

Good...now I only hope that Costas, Abom, and the rest of the holier-than-thou media SHUT THE HELL UP! For that matter, Curt Schilling and Selig can shove it, too. This record, like Barry's whole career is impressive, but the 2004 season was, to me, the pinnacle of his career....and I consider it relatively "taint-free". "In 2004, Bonds had perhaps his best season. He hit .362 en route to his second National League batting title, and broke his own record by walking 232 times. He slugged .812, which was fourth-highest of all time, and broke his on-base percentage record with a .609 average. Bonds passed Mays on the career home run list, hitting his 700th near the end of the season. Bonds hit 45 home runs in 373 at-bats, and struck out just 41 times, putting himself in elite company, as few major leaguers have ever had more home runs than strikeouts in a season. Bonds would win his fourth consecutive MVP award and his seventh overall. His seven MVP awards are four more than any other player in history. (The MVP award was first given in 1931.) On July 4, 2004 he tied and passed Rickey Henderson's career bases on balls record with his 2190th and 2191st career walks.[6]" I don't think that sort of offensive season is likely to be repeated in my lifetime. Surprisingly (to a stats wonk, like myself), this season went largely unnoticed.... Ichiro's record-breaking season, though not as impressive, gained much more media attention. Thanks Barry!

posted by slackerman at 12:38 AM on August 08

Can we go back to ignoring him again?

posted by commander cody at 12:39 AM on August 08

We get it commander, twice. You hate the guy. If you have nothing substantial to add, please move on.

posted by justgary at 12:40 AM on August 08

Ah well, if he's done that many roids, he'll be dead soon anyway.

posted by Drood at 12:40 AM on August 08

I'm glad it's over. I did not want this dragging into September. The nicest part about this is that now after tomorrow's lovefest we can actually start seeing highlights of Giants games on Sportscenter again. I don't think they've shown anything other than Barry's at-bats for 3 weeks The Giants are 13 games back at .436, are you sure there were highlights other than Bond's at bats?

posted by dviking at 12:41 AM on August 08

* Hey Cody, it's obvious how you feel about the guy, and you have the right to your opinion. I was just wondering what your opinion was of Bonds hitting 755 off of a steroid user (Hensley)? What do you think about that? I'll also say it again. If steroids made Bonds into Hank Aaron, how come they didn't make Hensley into Cy Young? Opinion?

posted by Aces Full at 01:20 AM on August 08

So, does he retire now? Stay on a year to take a run at 3,000 hits? Does the Giants ownership and front office think it's more lucrative to have him around, or do they concentrate on building a competitive team, given that they've basically had to throw away this season for the Bonds 756 Roadshow? Heck, what do they do for the next seven weeks?

posted by etagloh at 02:19 AM on August 08

Meanwhile, Greg Anderson tries to catch a little baseball on the communal TV, and tries to avoid being someone's bitch in the shower. I'd hoped that Barry would manage a couple of seconds during his "thank you all" speech to thank his buddy Anderson, who not only helped him bulk up, but who continues to languish in jail rather than testify regarding Bonds' alleged steroid use.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:55 AM on August 08

Congrats are in order for the new Home Run King, #25 Barry Bonds. Now the Barry Bonds rookie card that I have will be worth more than when I traded a Paul Molitor & Wally Joyner card for it back in '87 when I was 10. Thank you Mr. Bonds.

posted by BornIcon at 06:08 AM on August 08

I was really glad Aaron chose to deliver some sort of message. In my opinion, that made quite a few people feel a bit better about the entire situation, and allowed them to enjoy the feat more. Classy move, Hank, and this in no way, shape or form diminishes your legacy as a home run king. As for Selig, he's the one I can't stand, and my dislike for the guy increases by the day. Not showing up when the stands are full, fans are buying tickets and enjoying the spectacle, and he has the audacity to call himself the commissioner? He's a joke. It probably was better he wasn't there, actually. To have to watch camera shots of his basset hound face while he plays pocket-pool? Forget it. As for Bonds' future, I would predict he hangs 'em up after the season. He just doesn't look to be having much fun out there, overall.

posted by dyams at 07:15 AM on August 08

I must give Barry Bonds credit for one thing last night other than his 756th homerun, since that is amazing in itself. The Barry Bonds that hit that homerun did it with some class, a simple little two arm raise followed by a run around the bases, a good video from Hank Aaron. Finalized with a classy speach by Bonds that thanked everybody, he even showed some emotion, this is what people are not usd to seeing from Bonds. He actually appeared human last night after hitting that shot. BTW Grum you are right he did CRUSH that one.

posted by jojomfd1 at 08:06 AM on August 08

I was just wondering what your opinion was of Bonds hitting 755 off of a steroid user (Hensley)? What do you think about that? I'll also say it again. If steroids made Bonds into Hank Aaron, how come they didn't make Hensley into Cy Young? You aren't really trying to make an argument that steroids aren't performance enhancing drugs are you? I don't think that many people will deny Bonds' skills. He was one of the best the world will ever get to see. Nobody is saying he isn't good, but if he did in fact do steroids are you prepared to say it didn't help at all? Burying your head in the sand and pretending like nothing is wrong (very selig-ish) won't make the dark cloud over this record go away. That being said, congrats to Mr. Bonds, and I hope for baseball's sake that he didn't use steroids.

posted by Steel_Town at 08:35 AM on August 08

I was just wondering what your opinion was of Bonds hitting 755 off of a steroid user (Hensley)? What do you think about that? I'll also say it again. If steroids made Bonds into Hank Aaron, how come they didn't make Hensley into Cy Young? Opinion? That doesn't even make sense. Pitching != Hitting. If you can't hit the ball in the first place, you can't hit it any further with roids. I doubt a pitcher takes roids so much for baseball mass as he does for rehabilitation. At the MLB level, a pitcher's velocity is greatly influenced by his "snap action," which is created by the snapping of his arm ligaments. Certainly he needs muscles, but not in the bulked sense that Bonds would want. Something that's lost in the shuffle is one steroid's greatest strengths is how it can allow athletes to heal from injuries quicker than normal. Also, if you can't hit the strike zone or throw a pitch without leaving it over the middle of the plate, it doesn't matter.

posted by jmd82 at 09:07 AM on August 08

If steroids made Bonds into Hank Aaron, how come they didn't make Hensley into Cy Young? Let's have that argument when Hensley claims a cherished record under a cloud of steroid allegations. The argument that steroids wouldn't even help Bonds anyway is the weakest offered in his defense. If you believe that he used them, don't you also have to accept that he's not a total imbecile who would risk his legacy and his playing status for an illegal drug that brought him no benefit? Bonds is a great hitter who's been in terrific physical condition for years. Don't you think he'd know, upon experimenting with steroids for the first time, whether they were helping him? If you don't believe he ever took them, fine. But to say that it didn't matter whether he took them or not -- because steroids couldn't make the five percent difference between a great home run hitter and the greatest of all time -- defies logic. World-class athletes would not 'roid up if it didn't have concrete benefits to their performance.

posted by rcade at 09:26 AM on August 08

Bonds is a great hitter who's been in terrific physical condition for years. Don't you think he'd know, upon experimenting with steroids for the first time, whether they were helping him? It is possible, though, that while we who think Bonds did take steroids assume that he took them for muscle mass and another few feet on his fly balls, Bonds was, in fact, taking them only for their benefit in recovery. It's been stated in another thread that his arm hasn't changed in size for years. If recovery is the principle benefit to baseball players then they weren't making Clay Hensley any more than Clay Hensley, and they weren't making Bonds any more than Barry Bonds, All-The-Time. I guess you could argue the issues are one and the same. Maybe the steroids are adding feet to Bonds' fly balls because his naturally weakened muscles would have hit shorter balls than his artificially rejuvenated 100% muscles. But I do think there is a different emotional reaction to maintaining 100% production than there is to creating 110% production artificially.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:39 AM on August 08

Opinion? posted by Aces Full at 1:20 AM CDT on August 8 Can't. As per instructions, I've moved on.......

posted by commander cody at 09:47 AM on August 08

What a sham. I watched last night and realized how truely great Arron's accomplishment was and how truely great A-Rod's will be. But Bonds cheated plain and simple. He cheated the game, he cheated the fans and he cheated himself. I say that because without using steriods he would have still been a hall of fame player. But by using steriods Bonds discredited the last 7 years of his career. At a point where all baseball player begin to show signs of age, Bonds hit a career high in HR in 2000 with 49 and the next year broke the single season HR record hitting 73 followed by seasons of 46, 45 and 45. That is 258 artificial HRs. I say that because steriods like "the clear", which Balco officials have stated Bonds used, do not only increase strenght but also increase bat speed, aid in recovery of weakened muscles (due to age) and even more frightening improve eyesight. Steroids made Bonds a better baseball player. That cannot be argued, the same way steroids helpped Tim Montgomery breaks the 100 meter world record in sprinting. I am most upset because Bonds has now diminished his own accomplishments. Now in the eyes of so many fans his statistics, as impressive as they are, will always carry an asterisk.

posted by the legend at 10:39 AM on August 08

Mitch Albom received so much love in another thread that I thought I would post his reaction here. I was too lazy to read so it may be the best piece of journalistic writing he's ever done. However, Jason Richardson and Mateen Cleaves told me it wasn't and they were there when he wrote it. I swear.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 10:40 AM on August 08

Fortunately for me, the Giants were playing the Nationals last night, so I got to watch the game. It was fantastic. His reaction was great. The crowd went crazy. His teammates were thrilled. The talking heads, of course, try to ruin it, but, thankfully that came later.

posted by bperk at 10:59 AM on August 08

Among the many things I wish ended last night, but probably didn't, is the hubris of sports writers (I could end there, but I have a smaller point to make) who are certain they've got Hank Aaron's position on Barry Bonds all figured out. You want irony, Albom? Irony is purporting to be acting in defense of Aaron's character and legacy while doing him the really unforgivable injustice of misrepresenting yourself as the voice of his conscience. Write what you saw -- Aaron made a very generous gesture to Bonds with a very eloquent and poignant recorded message -- and quit telling me what's "really" in his head as though you're picking it up on XM 755.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 11:01 AM on August 08

From Bacsik: "It's pretty special," Bacsik said, "to be part of history like that. ... As a kid, you always dream of this moment. Unfortunately, as a kid, you dream of being the one hitting the home run, not giving it up."

posted by bperk at 11:05 AM on August 08

Great quote by Bacsik. If I were in his shoes, a pitcher pushing 30 with 37 career appearances whose Major League career might not be long, I would have challenged Bonds. Either you have the thrill of beating him at a historic moment or you put yourself on the autograph circuit for the rest of your life.

posted by rcade at 11:14 AM on August 08

So, does he retire now? Stay on a year to take a run at 3,000 hits? Does the Giants ownership and front office think it's more lucrative to have him around, The stand-in morons on PTI a week or 2 back were arguing about "if he comes back next year, what team would take Barry and his baggage?". Yea, I mean what team wouldn't want a guy that gets on base half of his appearances and has an OPS this season of 1.064. I can't imagine any team willing to put up with some media headache in return for a guy who still produces at the plate (rolls eyes).

posted by bdaddy at 12:20 PM on August 08

That cannot be argued I disagree. It will be argued for many years. Now in the eyes of so many fans his statistics, as impressive as they are, will always carry an asterisk. For fans of Barry Bonds, there won't be any "asterisk", just like there wasn't one for Roger Maris.

posted by grum@work at 12:31 PM on August 08

Mitch Albom received so much love in another thread that I thought I would post his reaction here. He starts out his column with this gem: Don't believe everything you read. I'm guessing the irony is lost on him.

posted by justgary at 12:32 PM on August 08

Among the many things I wish ended last night, but probably didn't, is the hubris of sports writers (I could end there, but I have a smaller point to make) who are certain they've got Hank Aaron's position on Barry Bonds all figured out. I think for a lot of fans on the anti-barry side of the debate aaron not showing up and seemingly not wanting to discuss the situation was the feather in their cap so to say. Aaron is universally respected. It solidified their position and gave it substance. Now that aaron surprised everyone with his taped appearance, acknowledgment and apparent approval of the passing of the record there's a lot of scrambling going on to minimize his comments.

posted by justgary at 12:42 PM on August 08

Yea, I mean what team wouldn't want a guy that gets on base half of his appearances and has an OPS this season of 1.064. The problem is he's Chris Duncan with a lot more walks, but you have to pay Barry Bonds dollars to sign him. The question isn't "can he produce," the question is "are your market dollars best spent on Bonds to fill that role?" Is he good for business? Absolutely, he puts back sides in seats. Is he good for winning? Not if you're working with any kind of budget. The only direction I can conceivably see Bonds going other than San Fran is back to Pittsburgh. And even there they kind of already have a left fielder. On edit: maybe Texas.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 12:45 PM on August 08

The problem is he's Chris Duncan with a lot more walks.... I didn't know that Chris Duncan was the Home Run King? That comparision is non-existent since Barry Bonds is a Hall of Famer and Duncan is most certainly not.

posted by BornIcon at 12:59 PM on August 08

Barry Bonds is the Home Run King? How did I miss that? Imagine Omar Minaya's surprise when, after shelling out $20 million, he discovers that he doesn't get those homers retroactively, and in fact has to settle for a 43-year-old part-time outfielder who hits a homer a week and walks a lot. If you read the rest of my post, I acknowledge that his reputation will put people in the seats. But right now, as a player, he is not worth -- in on field production -- what it will cost to get him. If your team is focused on winning, Bonds is not the guy to go get.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:14 PM on August 08

I can't imagine Bonds going to Pittsburgh. If I'm not mistaken, he's wasn't much liked when he played there even though the team was good... And he's hated even more now for leaving while they were good. Plus the question is less 'who would want Barry?' and more 'who would Barry play for?' I'd think no where else. As for last night: Putting opinions aside, it was a neat moment to watch. Bringing opinions back in, it seemed almost like Bonds was forcing it, acting like someone who knew he cheated, and put on a show he felt he needed to put on. But that's my bias I suppose. Listening to ESPN drove me nuts. Crediting the Nationals for not pitching around Bonds is a joke. The Nationals haven't played a meaningful game since last May.

posted by SummersEve at 01:21 PM on August 08

At a point where all baseball player begin to show signs of age, Bonds hit a career high in HR in 2000 with 49 and the next year broke the single season HR record hitting 73 followed by seasons of 46, 45 and 45. That is 258 artificial HRs. I think Barry's biggest mistake was hitting the 73. If he had only hit 48 that season, for example, he would still only be 25 HR's away from the record. A lot of players have hit 40+ home runs in a season. If Bonds broke the record without ever having a season of 50+ home runs, would that change how people felt about him?

posted by chamo at 01:45 PM on August 08

That comparision is non-existent And yet, it's right there. Weird.

posted by yerfatma at 01:57 PM on August 08

You know I watched that game, and I think that Dale Murphy's comments hit the nail right on the head there is no doubt that Bonds' will forever be known as "the sultan of steroids" he cheated and added his own asterisk. How many other 37 year olds have blasted, even 50+ homers. And I say blasted because even though he's only 12 short years from recieving a senior citizens discount, he still can reach McCovey(? sp) Cove on the fly. Anyone else's grampa have that natural ability? I thought not.

posted by smalz24 at 02:44 PM on August 08

For fans of Barry Bonds, there won't be any "asterisk", just like there wasn't one for Roger Maris. I wasn't referring to Bonds fans. I was referring to fans of the game. But to your point about Maris, he could not help that MLB added 8 games to the schedule. What Bonds did was a choice. Not to mention that Maris wasn't pumping himself full of "the clear" during that 8 game stretch.

posted by the legend at 02:54 PM on August 08

he cheated and added his own asterisk He didn't cheat. If he did take steroids, it was not cheating as it was not a banned substance at that time How many other 37 year olds have blasted, even 50+ homers How many 45 year olds had struck out 150+ before Nolan Ryan came along? How many 41 year olds caught 60+ balls before Jerry Rice came along?

posted by bdaddy at 03:23 PM on August 08

If he did take steroids, it was not cheating as it was not a banned substance at that time Great article on asterisks, banned substances, and records across eras. None of it hasn't been said before, but it crystalizes how I think I feel about this (and all) records if I have to give a short answer. How many 45 year olds had struck out 150+ before Nolan Ryan came along? How many 41 year olds caught 60+ balls before Jerry Rice came along? Although I admit to being guilty of using it in the past in a variety of ways, the "but it's never been done before" really is a terribly weak argument. You're absolutely right to challenge that, bdaddy.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 03:36 PM on August 08

If Bonds broke the record without ever having a season of 50+ home runs, would that change how people felt about him? Good question. My opinion is that the negativity would be softened had Barry not had his juggernaut homerun season. But this is coming from a guy who loves old, seemingly unreachable records. Even though I got caught up in the McGwire/Sosa chase for 62, I still wince at the thought of how badly the record was beaten. There were similar publicized opinions at the time from those who don't mind seeing records fall, they just don't like them masaccared. Apply this to Bonds and remove his 'peculiar year, I think you're left with a rough around the edges personality who might only be accused of too many trips to buffet.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 03:43 PM on August 08

it doesn't take muscle to catch a one yard "gimmie" pass and did Nolan Ryan have a 109 mph fastball at the end of his career. and it has been done before, mark mcguire, rafael palmiero... we could go on. as for 45 year olds, ever hear of a guy named cy young?

posted by smalz24 at 04:40 PM on August 08

it doesn't take muscle to catch a one yard "gimmie" pass and did Nolan Ryan have a 109 mph fastball at the end of his career. Steroids won't help any pitcher reach 109- let alone 100. It's not really a muscle mass thing. Quicker recovery time? Though that's a different issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Rice caught more than one yard "gimmie" passes.

posted by jmd82 at 05:17 PM on August 08

true he did catch more than gimmies. the point that I wanted to make it i don't care how strong you are either you can catch the ball or you can't 'roids won't help that. but yes, precisely, pitching is like real estate location location location. Ryan had great control, muscle mass doen't help this in the leaps and bounds that it does for hitting the ball.

posted by smalz24 at 05:27 PM on August 08

Great article on asterisks, banned substances, and records across eras. Thanks. Good article.

posted by justgary at 05:29 PM on August 08

mark mcguire Oh, for the love [diety of choice], why can't anyone spell this guy's name correctly? It's not like it's Mr. Eye Chart we are talking about! did Nolan Ryan have a 109 mph fastball at the end of his career. Actually, he never had 109 mph fastball at ANY time in his career. Everyone mistakes 100.9 with 109. Ryan had great control, See, now you're just making sh*t up. Nolan Ryan had pretty much the OPPOSITE of control. The man holds the record for the most walks allowed in a career. He led the league in walks 8 different times. Since they lowered the mound in 1969, Nolan Ryan has the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 11th ranked seasons in most walks allowed. Nolan Ryan simply reared back and threw the ball hard. Sometimes it was over the plate, sometimes it wasn't.

posted by grum@work at 05:35 PM on August 08

Nolan Ryan simply reared back and threw the ball hard. Sometimes it was over the plate, sometimes it wasn't. Precisely what made him so good, that combination of smoke and who-the-hell-knows-where-this-one-may-go. Try digging in with the Ryan Express bearing down on you.

posted by dyams at 05:46 PM on August 08

.

posted by scully at 06:39 PM on August 08

excuse me for not glueing myself to the internet and quizzing myself all day long. so he had no control. big deal, Ryan did not use drugs to enhance his performance bonds did. I don't recall anyone point a finger at Nolan saying this guy is juced OR anyone from a clinic saying, yup I 'roided him up. do we? No 'cuz it never happened. Did Hank Aaron Launch 500 footers at the end of his career?

posted by smalz24 at 07:00 PM on August 08

Nice work grum. You rock! Maybe now I can hope Pete Rose can get back into baseball?? I played against a pitcher like Ryan. The kid threw fast, the only problem was he had 0 control. I hated it, because you never knew where the ball was coming. Sure, it wasn't 95-100 mph, but at 12 yrs. old, the 65-70 mph fastball, looked it. Right, the Ryan Express. Go Bonds!!

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 07:04 PM on August 08

smalz, the longer you stick around, you'll find this is a difficult place to win an argument if you don't have the facts to back up your position. You'll also find that grum's stat-fu is ridiculous, and very few even bother to challenge him, because he'll actually go out there into the internet and do the research. He's a sick man, that one.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:20 PM on August 08

excuse me for not glueing myself to the internet and quizzing myself all day long. so he had no control. big deal, Well, it's kind of a big deal since you used his "control" as part of your main point in defense of Nolan Ryan. Don't get into a tizzy just because you make sh*t up and then get called on it. If you take the time to put together a reasoned argument instead of just typing random thoughts that pop into your head, maybe you won't be ripped apart. Ryan did not use drugs to enhance his performance bonds did. Really? Are we sure? I mean, something might be fishy about a 45 year old man who is able to throw that hard for that long. I mean, isn't this the same argument that people are leveling at Roger Clemens? Nolan Ryan was in the MLB during the steroid era. More pitchers have been caught using steroids than hitters. It's not completely unfounded to wonder about his work. He got out of the game before the steroid witch hunt investigation began, so nobody has had a chance to put him under the microscope. Did Hank Aaron Launch 500 footers at the end of his career? Why are you asking this question? Bonds hasn't hit any 500 foot home runs.

posted by grum@work at 08:27 PM on August 08

I watched the videos on u-tube. One thing that stood out to me was that none of the Washington infield players offered a hand shake to Barry as he rounded the bases. Was it a snub or just respect?

posted by danjel at 09:03 PM on August 08

I mean, something might be fishy about a 45 year old man who is able to throw that hard for that long. Not to mention that his teammates included this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy, this guy, and this guy (for starters). Why are you asking this question? Bonds hasn't hit any 500 foot home runs. Nor have I seen any indictation that Aaron was prone to 500 foot home runs even in his prime. 1962 June 18 Aaron hits what most consider to be the longest home run of his career -- a 470-foot shot to straight-away center at the Polo Grounds in New York.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 09:09 PM on August 08

so I guess that it's less than 500 to McCovey Cove from home plate?(real question. I don't know, but I'm sure grum does) if he's so innocent then why all the "dark clouds"? also did he come forward the minute the BALCO scandal broke, or are people still sitting in jail to protect the fact that he knowingly used performance enhancing substance? please if I'm so half cocked show me the evidence that Bonds is a pure player and I'll stand corrected.

posted by smalz24 at 09:31 PM on August 08

please if I'm so half cocked show me the evidence that Bonds is a pure player and I'll stand corrected. Sorry to pile on, but you'd make a great prosecutor in Stalin-era Russia.

posted by holden at 09:37 PM on August 08

it doesn't take muscle to catch a one yard "gimmie" pass and did Nolan Ryan have a 109 mph fastball at the end of his career. worst...argument....ever.... Besides, the point I was making was not about either of those 2 taking steroids (not sure where you made that leap) but pointing out your illogical argument that "just because someone hasn't done it before, that means it can't be done".

posted by bdaddy at 10:02 PM on August 08

please if I'm so half cocked show me the evidence that Bonds is a pure player and I'll stand corrected. You want us to prove the absence of something. All you friendly fellows who are so sure of themselves need to get together and spring for a logic class, then come insult us sensibly.

posted by yerfatma at 10:43 PM on August 08

Whew. That was a tough read. Crappy posts. The part that keeps coming back for me is, for whatever reasons - and they are legion - one of the biggest records in the history of sports gets set and it seems without any luster. It's a big deal in the media, but are you talking about it at work? It's so... meh. Anyway - Bonds is pretty much the greatest hitter I ever saw play. Maybe history will be kinder to him.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:10 PM on August 08

so I guess that it's less than 500 to McCovey Cove from home plate?(real question. I don't know, but I'm sure grum does) I don't know off the top of my head, but a few minutes of research gives me a pretty good answer. According to Google Maps calculations, from home plate to splashdown, it's at most about 430 feet. The right field pole is only 309 feet from home plate. if he's so innocent then why all the "dark clouds"? Where exactly did I say that Bonds was "innocent"? What is with the straw man arguments? One thing that stood out to me was that none of the Washington infield players offered a hand shake to Barry as he rounded the bases. Was it a snub or just respect? Well, the catcher stayed on one knee after the home run and clapped as Bonds circled the bases. The pitcher tipped his cap to Bonds as he rounded the bases. I'm not sure what the other players did at the other positions, but anything more than that would seem VERY odd, as the man did just hit a home run to give his team the lead over the Nationals.

posted by grum@work at 11:12 PM on August 08

Bonds is now at 757 homeruns. Imagine if he'd actually been pitched to more often.

posted by Newbie Walker at 12:31 AM on August 09

First off, let me say that if it comes out that Bonds was clean through this whole thing than I say congrats to Barry and say that we witnessed one of the greatest careers in team sports history, obviously, and he would have to go down as one of the top five players in baseball history and a surefire first ballot HOFer. That being said, I wonder if some of you out there are having the same problem I am with this whole thing. I'm in my late twenties and started watching baseball in the late '80s, I was a huge A's fan and still followed McGwire when he went to the Cards, so my whole baseball watching existence feels like it has been completely tarnished by steroids. I think I'm not unlike a lot of people when I say that part of the reason that I love sports as much as I do is the appreciation of the almost unreal natural athletic ability of the athletes I am watching. It just saddens me to think that I have no idea if anything I've rooted for in the past twenty years has been real or if it was manufactured in a lab. Anyways I would much rather they figure out who definitely wasn't on the stuff so we have something to look at and say that "this guy did something amazing and he did it himself, without having to turn to steroids to help him out."

posted by grad2480 at 12:35 AM on August 09

without having to turn to steroids to help him out Apparently they don't help everyone out, they have the ability to choose which performance they are going to enhance. I want to make sure I'm understanding this correctly. Steroids helped Bonds break the all time home run record, but didn't have any effect on Hensley? PED's enhance one's performance correct? So which ever performance you perform, it makes it better or else why take them. Right? Or are you actually saying that steroids know why they are being taken? The steroid says, ok, I'm going into a pitcher so I will only make him feel better faster. Now I'm going into a hitter so I will make him bigger and stronger. I'm not saying steroids had no effect on Bonds, I'm saying maybe they were about as effective on him as they were on Hensley. Talk about a weak argument, steroids made Bonds the home run king, but only made Hensley, well...Hensley. From Wiki- No injury history documented until 07'. So no reason to take steroids for recovery purposes while he was in the minors. He was taking them so he could be a better pitcher, and they didn't make him one.

posted by Aces Full at 02:04 AM on August 09

And yet, it's right there. Weird. Even weirder, the Bonds/Duncan comparison was made by only one individual.

posted by BornIcon at 07:04 AM on August 09

This guy is a superb hitter and a fantastic all around player. Which makes it even more offensive that his hat size, shoe size, and overall muscularity grew so rapidly and unnaturally at an inappropriately mature age. The guy was already excellent, and didn't need to take a damned thing to improve his performance! But yet he did it anyway. Definitely put him in the hall of fame (unlike McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa) and give him his respect, but as far as the record is concerned, "This Don't Count." Let's not put a man who sacrifices his health just to excel (even more) on the baseball field on too high of a pedestal. It's sickening, really, and sets a bad example for others to follow. Aaaron is still the career home run king, and I'll look to Maris as still being the single-season king.

posted by BCHockey at 08:32 AM on August 09

It's a big deal in the media, but are you talking about it at work? It's so... meh. That's because the media has talked negatively about it so much, that the sheeple think it was not important. I generally refuse to watch that "around the horn" on ESPN, but decided to after the milestone..and 3 of the 4 "sportswriters" tried to say how unimportant the mark was. It's pretty much that same ratio across the nation in that field, so 75% of what the people are reading/watching/hearing is telling them they shouldn't be impressed, and people are more influenced by the media then we may think...especially the casual fan. It just saddens me to think that I have no idea if anything I've rooted for in the past twenty years has been real or if it was manufactured in a lab That's a bit extreme, don't you think? Do you think if you or I mainlined steroids that we could do anything remotely similar to what these athletes are doing out there? Don't let that tarnish your feeling of the game or the people who play it. There is no concrete proof of what affect steroids even have on baseball. If Bonds DID take them, did it add 100 HRs to his career? 50? 5? Who knows? Did it have more affect on his psyche than anything else? The most likely affect is that it aids in recovery. And is that such a bad thing? And nevermind through all of this that it wasn't banned at the time these players were potentially using it.

posted by bdaddy at 08:32 AM on August 09

Which makes it even more offensive that his hat size, shoe size, and overall muscularity grew so rapidly and unnaturally at an inappropriately mature age. Is there evidence that anabolic steroids makes your head grow bigger? People often use that as an argument against Barry, but I can't find any evidence (clinical or otherwise) that this is a documented side effect to steroid use. If someone could direct me to that information, I would appreciate it.

posted by bperk at 08:57 AM on August 09

As far as Ryan goes, it's well known in baseball circles that he was cheating big-time during the last portion of his career with Texas. He was throwing spitters and other such things; that's how Ryan had his best seasons rate wise in his late thirties and early forties. The media never brings this up, however, because Ryan is such an icon. I think it's also safe to say that Ryan, like virtually everyone else in baseball in the sixties through nineties, was using stuff a lot more powerful and less legal than the Motrin he was endorsing in commercials to keep going. Ryan had truly bad control for most of his career, leading the majors in walks year after year. a problem that prevented him from being one of the top pitchers in baseball on the level of Seaver, Carlton, Palmer, etc. During those last years in Texas, though, he was able to get hitters to swing at his spitters and thus walked a lot fewer people per inning than he had during the earlier part of his career.

posted by spira at 08:58 AM on August 09

The point I was making was that there are people who played baseball during this era that didn't use performance enhancers and those are the athletes I choose to look up to and respect. I don't know how many home runs it added to Bonds' total, and if it turns out that it didn't do anything, then like I said before I would congratulate him if I got the chance. It seems to me like performance enhancing drugs must be doing a little bit more than nothing for athletes, since they have the power to strip Olympic athletes of their medals, brand an entire sport as somewhat of a joke (cycling) because of how rampant the use is, and cause what seems like the vast majority of the nation to pretty much view the breaking of the most historic record in sports with indifference, among other things. Maybe I'm naive but I just want to see athletes build themselves up naturally without the benefit (whatever those may be) of performance enhancers and then somewhere down the road have to suffer the consequences of the drawbacks that they may pose.

posted by grad2480 at 09:03 AM on August 09

Aaron was a truly great home run hitter his entire career. The reason he snuck up on people when he broke the record was that he had played the first park of his career in a home ball park that suppressed home runs, and then moved to the Launching Pad for the second half of his career, a stadium which boosted his home runs. Here are his home runs on the road year-by-year: 1954 12 1955 13 1956 11 1957 26 1958 20 1959 19 1960 19 1961 15 1962 27 1963 25 1964 13 1965 13 1966 23 1967 16 1968 12 1969 23 1970 15 1971 16 1972 15 1973 16 1974 9 1975 8 1976 4 Aaron had one significant weakness compared to the other all-time great hitters of his time; he didn't get on base nearly as much as Mays or Mantle or Frank Robinson. But as a home run hitter, Aaron never was second best.

posted by spira at 09:18 AM on August 09

grad - There have been very few ballplayers over the last 50 years who haven't used any type of illegal performance enhancer. The only player of the last 50 years I'm convinced never used anything illegal is Tony Gwynn. I haven't heard of anybody else who clearly went out of his way to avoid any substance in the clubhouse that might be "loaded."

posted by spira at 09:30 AM on August 09

Definitely put him in the hall of fame (unlike McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa) and give him his respect I can understand the logic behind leaving Palmeiro out since he DID fail a drug test. However, if Bonds were to be voted in, then I have to believe that McGwire and Sosa also deserve to be voted in (if they are, in fact, deserving). They failed just as many drug tests as Bonds (zero). The only remote possibility for letting Bonds in and keeping McGwire and Sosa out is to split the infinitely small hair and decide that Bonds was a "HOF player" BEFORE he might have begun using PEDs, while McGwire and Sosa were not "HOF players" before their suspected use. That's a distinction that is much too vague and wishy-washy for me to endorse.

posted by grum@work at 11:20 AM on August 09

It seems to me like performance enhancing drugs must be doing a little bit more than nothing for athletes, since they have the power to strip Olympic athletes of their medals, brand an entire sport as somewhat of a joke (cycling) because of how rampant the use is, and cause what seems like the vast majority of the nation to pretty much view the breaking of the most historic record in sports with indifference, among other things. I don't see anything there in your list that suggest PEDs are "doing" anything for athletes. What I do see is a list of events that are triggered by the drug testing and the media speculation. It's like saying that illegal drugs are a leading cause of incarceration for young adults. It isn't the drugs, it's the politicians, judges and media that push/prosecute/publicize the laws that incarcerate the people for using the drugs. but as far as the record is concerned, "This Don't Count." Which records don't count? Just the home run ones (single season, career)? What about the walks? What about the OBP, SLG and OPS records? What happens to those home runs? Are they stricken from the books? How does that affect the pitching records? What about batters that have faced pitchers who have tested positive for PEDs? Basically, you can't go ripping through the record books and deciding what can and cannot count.

posted by grum@work at 11:29 AM on August 09

The point I was making was that there are people who played baseball during this era that didn't use performance enhancers and those are the athletes I choose to look up to and respect But do you really know who those people are that, "played baseball during this era that didn't use performance enhancers?" None of us do so we can only speculate, which is what everyone does these days anyways. Why can't we just enjoy the game and let the suits do whatever they're supposed to be doing?

posted by BornIcon at 12:27 PM on August 09

It seems to me like performance enhancing drugs must be doing a little bit more than nothing for athletes, since they have the power to strip Olympic athletes of their medals, brand an entire sport as somewhat of a joke (cycling) because of how rampant the use is, and cause what seems like the vast majority of the nation to pretty much view the breaking of the most historic record in sports with indifference, among other things. a) The cycling scandal isn't about steroids, it's about blood doping. Unless I'm mistaken it's a form of taking out your own blood, freezing it, then pumping it back into you to give you a boost. (I think they also do artificual boosts like EPO in that transfusion, but concept is the same). b) Your example of Olympic athletes (sprinting, shotput, etc.) would definitely benefit from something that makes you stronger/faster. The argument is how much of a difference does that make on a baseball player where it's more contact and bat speed then it is muscle strength. I'm not saying it doesn't help, but it's not as tangible to me at least as say, running a 40 yard dash.

posted by bdaddy at 01:11 PM on August 09

Why can't we just enjoy the game and let the suits do whatever they're supposed to be doing? Because some of us are old enough not to trust "the suits." To be honest with you, I can't think of a time when thinking for myself ruined my enjoyment of the game. Shit, I still enjoy baseball; I just know it's full of cheats and liars and Seligs.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:47 PM on August 09

Then you're not really enjoying the game if you "know [that] it's full of cheats and liars and Seligs" because the moment someone is going to break a record or just has a marvelous season, you'll be looking at it with skepticism instead of enjoyment. I don't blame you because most fans will be doing the very same but that's like Chipper Jones accusing Alex Rodriguez of having to answer questions about steroids if/when A-Rod breaks Barry Bonds' home run record because of the era he played in.

posted by BornIcon at 06:43 AM on August 10

Is there evidence that anabolic steroids makes your head grow bigger? I think the enlarged head is supposed to be more indicative of not steroids, but someone who uses HGH, human growth hormone, of which Bonds has been accused in the past. I tried to find a link through google, but came up a bit short. Most websites I found were associated with companies pushing HGH and HGH therapy, so they pretty much glossed over negative side effects. One recurring theme, though was acromegaly, whoch is an enlargement of the extremeties. The articles, if you care to look, also describe bone growth as an effect of HGH. They also say it could lead to diabetes, hypertension, colon polyps, and decreased libido. So maybe we should let Mr. Bonds future medical problems (or lack thereof) condemn him (or not.) Like Johnny Cochrane would say, "If the body stays fine, you got to enshrine!"

posted by tahoemoj at 12:42 PM on August 10

What I found in a brief search was that HGH thickened soft tissue, but that's about it. Pronounced brow and jaw are symptoms of acromegaly, but if Bonds actually had that he would have all kinds of other issues that would likely keep him off the playing field, most notably arthritis and carpal tunnel. The most frequent response to the illness seems to be surgery, and from that site: "If the surgery is successful, facial appearance and soft tissue swelling improve within a few days." Props for that Cochrane line, Tahoe. That made me chuckle.

posted by The Crafty Sousepaw at 01:18 PM on August 10

BI, I can still enjoy stuff even though I know it has pitfalls and negatives. To wit: I enjoy several servings of Johnnie Walker now and again, even though I know it's not very good for me; I smoked for 15 years, and have many fond memories of some extremely enjoyable smoke breaks, even though I knew they were eating holes in my lungs; Back in my reckless youth, I squired many a lady, and often didn't use protection. I knew the possible consequences, but I still enjoyed the sex. I also enjoyed a cigarette or two after the reckless sex...talk about living on the edge! I know there are cheats, liars and outright shitheads in every sport I watch. I still enjoy them, and you can't sit there and say with any sort of certainty or credibility that I don't or can't enjoy them, because then you're trying to tell somebody else how they feel, and that's impossible, even for you.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:44 PM on August 10

Barry Bonds ruined baseball with one swing ... he is the person i would have least liked to see break baseballs most historic and respected record. he is a cheater that will now be glorified. all of you san francisco fans dont be blinded, your team is in last, have a little character. everyone else push and write and yell and scream until you get an asterisk.

posted by kdrisck at 03:15 PM on August 10

Barry Bonds ruined baseball with one swing And you ruined your credibility with one sentence. Baseball's seen worse and survived. Is this really worse than a league-wide strike?

posted by yerfatma at 04:14 PM on August 10

Baseball's seen worse and survived. Is this really worse than a league-wide strike? Or the Black Sox scandal? Or Pete Rose? Or Hal Chase? Or the "colour line"? Or the cocaine years? Or the greenie years? Or the Expos fiasco? Or the Federal League?

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on August 10

Or Morganna, the kissing bandit?

posted by tahoemoj at 04:57 PM on August 10

She has larger breasts than Barry. But like Bonds, they are perhaps the result of something other than hard work.

posted by yerfatma at 05:52 PM on August 10

Earlier this week I opened the newspaper and discovered Bonds broke the record. The entire front of the sports page was covered with a picture of Bonds hitting the home run. I was so moved by this effort that I cut the page out and looked for an apt location in my house to place it. After considering all options, the bottom of my bird cage was the preferred alternative. Bonds messed on baseball, the bird messed on Bonds, and people are glad this mess is over. While discussing Bonds with others at the beginning of the year, one individual stated that he did not care enough about baseball to want to watch someone like Bonds pursue a record. I retorted that I did care enough about baseball not to want to watch someone like Bonds pursue a record. Bonds has not fooled anyone - he reacted to steroids like Popeye reacted to spinach. This resulted in Bonds influencing the outcome of baseball games and messing with the integrity of baseball. Fly balls that should have been caught for outs go over the fence and ground balls that could have been fielded for outs get through the hole. Baseball would not be worth watching if it were turned into an exhibition similar to professional wrestling or the Harlem Globetrotters. In a sport that pays a lot of attention to records, the home run records have become meaningless. They disrespected Roger Maris and singled him out with an asterisk for no legitimate reason other than he had the audacity to pass Babe Ruth. I don't think Bonds should have an asterisk - that should be given back to Maris, this time as a sign of respect to indicate he has the non-steroid single season home run record. As for Bonds, they can enter his name in the record books with disappearing ink and he can fade away, please.

posted by longgreenline at 02:58 AM on August 12

I know you'll hate me but Barry Bonds is my hero.

posted by Joe188 at 06:41 PM on August 13

I suppose there are worse players you could idolize.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:03 PM on August 13

They disrespected Roger Maris and singled him out with an asterisk for no legitimate reason other than he had the audacity to pass Babe Ruth. I am no baseball historian, but wasn't Maris' record going to be astickted because he played more games and therefore had more chances to pass Ruth? I think this is a more legit gripe than Bond's and all his steroid speculation. More games played in a season is a more tangible advantage than speculated stereoid use. Also, Bond's feat is more impressive because he hit his last homerun off a known steroid user. Who knows how many other "juiced" pitchers Barry faced in his career. I think every other person who played before this imaginary steroid era should have a footnote next thier respectiv homerun total denoting the fact that they faced pitchers who did not have access to PEDs. Quick question, where does somthing like cortisone fit into the MLB drug hierarchy? It is considered a steroid but is widely used as an anti-inflamitory. Do these relativly benign forms of treatment warrent the same punishment?

posted by HATER 187 at 01:12 AM on August 14

Quick question, where does somthing like cortisone fit into the MLB drug hierarchy? It is considered a steroid but is widely used as an anti-inflamitory. Do these relativly benign forms of treatment warrent the same punishment? it's not considered a steroid, it is a steroid. just a different type. cortisone is a corticosteroid. the PED kind of steroid is anabolic. I don't see why anyone receiving cortisone injections should receive punishment. It's perfectly legal and has different effects than anabolics. It can't really be abused like a PED. in fact using too much cortisone can be rather harmful. it can lead to bone thinning, muscle or tendon weakness, etc. kind of the opposite of what anabolics/PEDs are used for.

posted by goddam at 02:01 AM on August 14

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