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Old 05-29-2006, 01:17 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
not for nothing, someone just passed babe ruth and there's not even a post on it.

now, obviously the steroid use is of issue. but not for nothing, wether he would have gotten here without the steroids or not, there is no question in my mind... barry bonds is the greatest player i've ever seen. period.

and one day, when i have kids... when i have grandkids... i'll tell them of the times that i saw barry bonds in person. i'll tell them of the time when i was 12/13 years old, the mets are playing the pirates, i tell my parents i'm going to the bathroom, end up watching barry bonds hit from the screen on the field level behind the left field wall, and barry hits a rocket shot off the screen right in front of me. i'll tell them o 9-10 years later when i got to the ballpark early to watch bonds take batting practice... of the shot he hit off the top of the centerfield-side scoreboard pepsi sign durring BP, and then the two bombs he hit over the strikeout sign at shea durring the game... i've never seen anyone do what he did.

now of course, people are pissed about the steroids. but frankly, half the game was on the juice at the time. why are we so quick to deamonize bonds when we know very well that every single last one of us rooted for a player who was using steroids... that person may not have ever been caught, but you know... there was at least one player on every single team using 'roids. and you rooted for him. and not for nothing, you probaly still root for him.

yet bonds we're all supposed to hate. i, for one, don't. i actually sympathize with the man... the man who was considered to be the best player in baseball and a first ballot hall of famer before he stuck a single needle into his body... a man who saw his own star being eclipsed by mark mcgwire and sammy sosa, men who he who he knew were juicing... so he went out to prove a point, the point that if he was juicing, too, he'd put their numbers to shame. and he did.

was it right? no... but i'm not going to be the hypocrite who hates on one when i rooted for another who did the same things, just with less success.
I'll tell of the time Kevin Millwood no-hit his team!
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Old 05-29-2006, 03:04 PM   #47
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Originally posted by phillyfan26

Kevin Millwood



I have very conflicted feelings about the man so far this season.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:15 PM   #48
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I have very conflicted feelings about the man so far this season.
Oh, well he sucks. He was a one-hit wonder. The man is so overweight I was scared whenever he had to move for a ball.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:41 AM   #49
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I liked Giambi before and I still like him, maybe moreso. He admitted, or didn't deny what he did. Bonds never did.

It's not just about the roids. Likability comes into play. Bonds is a prick. Look at the way he carries himself, the way he dances after a homer. The guy gives you a lot of reasons not to like him.

He is a great player without the roids. One of the best. Perhaps the best us younger fans have ever seen. I can't shoot you down on that one.
manny ramirez stands there for 5 minutes and admires his homeruns, consistantly asks management to trade him, shows up late to spring training, more or less dogs it for entire games, sometimes entire weeks until he feels like playing... but he's a loveable character. after all, it's just manny being manny.

all in the eye of the beholder i guess.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:20 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
not for nothing, someone just passed babe ruth and there's not even a post on it.

now, obviously the steroid use is of issue. but not for nothing, wether he would have gotten here without the steroids or not, there is no question in my mind... barry bonds is the greatest player i've ever seen. period.

and one day, when i have kids... when i have grandkids... i'll tell them of the times that i saw barry bonds in person. i'll tell them of the time when i was 12/13 years old, the mets are playing the pirates, i tell my parents i'm going to the bathroom, end up watching barry bonds hit from the screen on the field level behind the left field wall, and barry hits a rocket shot off the screen right in front of me. i'll tell them o 9-10 years later when i got to the ballpark early to watch bonds take batting practice... of the shot he hit off the top of the centerfield-side scoreboard pepsi sign durring BP, and then the two bombs he hit over the strikeout sign at shea durring the game... i've never seen anyone do what he did.

now of course, people are pissed about the steroids. but frankly, half the game was on the juice at the time. why are we so quick to deamonize bonds when we know very well that every single last one of us rooted for a player who was using steroids... that person may not have ever been caught, but you know... there was at least one player on every single team using 'roids. and you rooted for him. and not for nothing, you probaly still root for him.

yet bonds we're all supposed to hate. i, for one, don't. i actually sympathize with the man... the man who was considered to be the best player in baseball and a first ballot hall of famer before he stuck a single needle into his body... a man who saw his own star being eclipsed by mark mcgwire and sammy sosa, men who he who he knew were juicing... so he went out to prove a point, the point that if he was juicing, too, he'd put their numbers to shame. and he did.

was it right? no... but i'm not going to be the hypocrite who hates on one when i rooted for another who did the same things, just with less success.
Yes, he passed Babe Ruth, so it's a milestone of sorts. But it's not like he set a new record this weekend. He's in second now. As much as everyone idolizes Babe Ruth, he hasn't been the home run king for over 30 years. For me, this downgrades the importance of reaching 715.

Now, when he becomes the all-time home run king and passes Hank Aaron, he should be respected for reaching that plateau, regardless of what he may or may not have done.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:30 AM   #51
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innocent until proven guilty.

but one does wonder about his increased head size and the fact that he was known for hitting 35-40 hrs until he he hit the latter stages of his career and began to hit 73......when just about every other player is on the downside of his career.

Not to mention that once they really started testing for roids, he had/has chronic knee problems.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:57 AM   #52
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He just eats a lot of KFC mashed potatoes...they'll do that to your head.
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Old 05-30-2006, 11:26 AM   #53
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well here's yet another reason why the outrage over the steroid numbers by people is rediculous...

look at this year's numbers... the ball is clearly juiced. so if pujols sets the record this year, should we put an asterisk next to it?

shit... babe ruth played with a differently wound ball than, say, ty cobb. bob gibson's greatest years were done with a raised mound.

the game has never had a level playing field... ever.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:00 PM   #54
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Eric Byrnes hit a one handed HR on a cureball or something that was at his shoe tops.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:01 PM   #55
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


the game has never had a level playing field... ever.
not to mention that the ball parks were larger back then too.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:06 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
well here's yet another reason why the outrage over the steroid numbers by people is rediculous...

look at this year's numbers... the ball is clearly juiced. so if pujols sets the record this year, should we put an asterisk next to it?

shit... babe ruth played with a differently wound ball than, say, ty cobb. bob gibson's greatest years were done with a raised mound.

the game has never had a level playing field... ever.
For me, the issue is not the all-time HR record. People can argue that all they want on a number of different levels.

The issue for me is that ordinary players who didn't juice up have been getting hosed for the last 10 years.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:21 PM   #57
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Perceptions of history are slippery
By Gary Gillette
ESPN Insider


Barry Bonds has hit home run No. 715, passing "The Sultan of Swat" and taking sole possession of second place on the all-time list. Now he continues his pursuit of Hank Aaron and No. 756 -- the most important record in professional sports.

Congratulations. Sincerely, congratulations. Frankly, the hysteria displayed by both the fans and the media over Bonds' pursuit of the The Babe's and Hammerin' Hank's magical numbers has been truly revolting.

Regardless of what Bonds has done, regardless of whether he cheated to achieve the record, regardless of whatever performance-enhancing drugs he might have ingested or injected, the past few weeks have been as close to a witch hunt as America has seen since Salem, Mass., was a member of the colonial big leagues in the 17th century.

Whether Bonds can catch Aaron is an open question. In either case, under normal circumstances, whether Bonds hits 756 home runs or retires a little short of that mark, his legacy will be secure.

Needless to say, however, these are not normal times. Pundits and politicians alike have been grandstanding on the issue, with some calling for an asterisk next to Bonds' records and his statistics. Others go much further, fanatically demanding that Bonds and his controversial numbers be stricken completely from the record books in some illogical attempt to rewrite history.

As the editor of "The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia" -- the only up-to-date, in-print encyclopedia that covers all of baseball history -- I have more than a passing interest in this controversy. And I have one thing to say to everyone who wants to treat Bonds' records differently from the myriad other records in our book or in any other baseball book:

Enough is enough.

The outcry against Bonds and his records should seem just plain silly when viewed in the context of baseball history. Bonds' "record" is no more "tainted" than many -- if not most -- of the great records in baseball history. And while Bonds enjoyed several significant advantages on the way to 715, so did every other great home run hitter.

Babe Ruth had the incalculable advantage of playing his whole career during a segregated era, when he and every other white hitter didn't have to face great black pitchers such as Smokey Joe Williams, Bullet Joe Rogan and Satchel Paige. Nor have their batting statistics compared to legendary blackball sluggers such as Josh Gibson, who many feel might have broken Ruth's single-season home run record. Ruth also enjoyed playing all of his games during the daytime while having to travel no further west than St. Louis and no further south than Washington, D.C. Furthermore, Ruth didn't have to face the fresh arms and blazing fastballs of the great relief pitchers who would intimidate so many hitters decades later.

Hank Aaron benefited from hitting in the many cozy neighborhood ballparks still in use in the 1950s and 1960s, just like contemporary sluggers have benefited from playing in the retro ballparks. Though Aaron's home parks in Milwaukee and Atlanta were not neighborhood parks, he did play in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when it was known as the "Launching Pad," giving him an overall home-park advantage for his career. Aaron took advantage of the newly implemented designated hitter rule at the end of his career, adding 22 home runs to the lead he had over Ruth. And, paradoxically enough, the great Henry Aaron also benefited from a lack of true integration in the game, as the level of discrimination in baseball meant that it was extremely slow to allow African-American pitchers to play a prominent role -- even as great black hitters such as Aaron, Willie Mays and Roy Campanella were knocking the stuffing out of the ball. Finally, Aaron played much of his career in an era when offense dominated in the NL, just like Bonds during the so-called "steroids era."

None of the above takes anything away from the greatness of Aaron, Ruth or Bonds. All players play in the era that they were born into, and all of them play with significant advantages and some disadvantages. As one might expect, great records tend to be set during years and eras when the natural advantages point in a particular way, aiding one group of players while simultaneously penalizing others.

Perceptions of baseball history are slippery, especially for those who have gone around the bend over the usage of steroids and the offensive explosion of the 1990s and early 2000s. Consider these facts for a moment. The top-scoring decade in modern NL history (i.e., since 1901) was from 1921 through '30 with 9.8 runs per game. From 1991 through 2003, NL scoring was 9.2 runs per game. Forget steroids, what kind of performance enhancers were those guys using in the 1920s?

The American League saw 10.4 runs scored per game during 1931-1940, a modern high for a league. That mark still stands, even after the offensive peak of 1991-2000 (AL: 9.9) and even when counting 2001-03 before testing as a "decade" (AL: 9.7). Yet when AL scoring hit exactly that same average with 10.4 runs per game in 1999, the hue and cry about how "arena baseball" had made a mockery of the game was unbelievable.

From 1951 through '60, NL hitters slammed 1.8 home runs per game, barely different from the 1.9 per game hit from 1991 through 2000. What was the hidden secret, other than the prodigious talent of the great sluggers such as Aaron and Mays?

So all of the hand-wringing over the integrity of baseball's records boils down to this: During 1991-2003, home runs were hit at a rate higher than ever before, and some of that increase had to do with performance-enhancing drugs. Big deal. The common belief that the new steroid-testing regimen of 2004 caused offense and home runs to drop is a fallacy. The fact is that scoring and home runs both peaked in 2000 and had dropped approximately 8 percent in the following three years.

Steroids were only one part of the offensive equation, and probably not the most important element. There were several other major reasons and a dozen minor factors that also contributed to the barrage of long balls. Furthermore, all steroid usage was not against the rules, depending on the year in question and the drugs taken. And even when it was, MLB deliberately chose to look the other way when the game needed to bring back the fans and the record-setting rules-breakers were packing ballparks.

So if the "blame" for the home run binge can't be laid upon steroids, then why the outrage? Because using steroids was cheating? C'mon. Really? Cheating has been part of major league baseball since the beginning, and a review of baseball history indicates that pitchers have been far bigger cheaters than hitters for most of that time. Cooperstown is full of pitchers who cheated for decades; let's get a retired U.S. senator to investigate their careers.

Many older baseball fans fondly remember the great 1968 season, when Hall of Famer Bob Gibson seemed invincible -- at least until he faced the Detroit Tigers in Game 7 of the World Series. Gibson posted an unbelievable 1.12 ERA that year, going 22-9 with 28 complete games and hurling 13 shutouts. (Gibson's ERA is widely, though erroneously, believed to be the best in modern history.) In response to the dearth of offense after that "great" season, baseball owners lowered the height of the pitching mound from 15 to 10 inches.

In a recent panel discussion about steroids and Barry Bonds, hosted by Bob Costas on HBO, Gibson complained about that rule change, calling it "illegal" and implying that all batting records set after 1968 were suspect. Gibson conveniently failed to mention, however, that his career season was possible only because those same owners had made another rule change in 1963, when they enlarged the strike zone from the armpits to the top of the shoulders. Giving this huge advantage to pitchers in a high-strike environment immediately caused scoring to drop 15 percent to deadball-era levels in the National League.

In 1968, Gibson enjoyed pitching in a league in which offense was lower than at any time since 1908. Why hasn't that made the pitching records set during the mid-1960s suspect? Or "illegal," to adopt Gibson's standard?

Let's take another prominent example: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. It is often cited as the paradigm of an unimpeachable record by those who feel that the integrity of all home run records has now been destroyed. Did you know that DiMaggio's legendary streak was prolonged by a highly unusual stratagem, employed solely to help preserve the streak? In the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 38, with a runner on base and one out and New York leading by two runs, Yankees slugger Tommy Henrich laid down a sacrifice bunt. Why? To avoid hitting into an inning-ending double play with the hitless-on-the-day DiMaggio on deck.

Henrich hit 31 home runs that year, sacrificing only seven other times and grounding into only six DPs. He never would have laid down that bunt if not to guarantee DiMaggio would get another chance to extend the streak. Does that call into question the integrity of that record?

Barry Bonds is unquestionably one of the greatest players ever to play the game. He is also one of the greatest home run hitters in history. He will end up holding many important records. He is not a perfect person, nor has his career been without controversy. As such, he fits perfectly into the imperfect history of the national pastime.

Enough is enough.

Gary Gillette is the editor of "The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia," which was published in March by Sterling.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:50 PM   #58
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Barry Bonds has been on my "Pay No Mind" list for 2 years. Do I think he's a total douchebag? Sure do. Do I care how many homeruns he hits? Sure don't. Will I tell my children and/or grandchildren about him. Probably not. Well, maybe to mock him, much like Sammy Sosa.

However, I have to draw the line somewhere. Yes, players in the past have enjoyed advantages as noted in the above article. I find it hard to compare playing in a cozy ballpark and injecting one's self with a cocktail of god knows what. Sorry. Regardless of what records Bond's breaks or doesn't break it won't change my opinion of him. I do love it so when sports writers tell me what to think though.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:53 PM   #59
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so injecting a steroid into your body is more reason to ignore a record than, say, having the record set at a time when only whites were allowed to play.

really?
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:40 PM   #60
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Did I say that?

What I meant was that Bond controlled what he put into his body. Ruth and Aaron did not control who was allowed in the league and what stadium they played in.

That is the difference.
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