August 8, 2007

756

Photo from San Francisco Chronicle

27 comments:

Pokerwolf said...

Does he retire this year?

He might, depending on how he feels physically.

Part of me is glad he did it, it's a major achievement. Another part of me is upset, because he used drugs to alter his body to do it. Another part of me doesn't really care because A-Rod is projected to break his record in a few years.

The final part of me is cringing because I'm rooting for A-Rod to break the record.

L-girl said...

I'm so happy to have seen it! Now I've seen this record broken twice. Very cool.

Every statistic and record in baseball is subject to variables. Depending on the era, the balls were different, the season was a different length, the pitchers were only facing white players, there was a less demanding travel schedule, there may or may not have been cheating of any kind, on and on. When it comes to raw numbers for records, we don't distinguish.

Bonds's record needs no asterik.

redsock said...

As far as the offensive explosion over the last 10-15 years -- not seen since the offensive explosion of 1920-1935 -- steroids is (for me) way down the list of contributing factors.

These things have had more of an impact than steroids:

smaller ballparks
livelier baseballs
a outright refusal to call the rule book strike zone
the trend against not pitching inside
legal training methods

Until we can get an accurate list of everyone (pitchers and hitters) who has done steroids, then I'm not going to waste precious energy fretting about rumours of one guy here or another guy there.

(And honestly, when I think of players who have caused suspicion as they went from small to huge to (as testing began) small, I think of Nomar before I think of Bonds.)

Woti-woti said...

Redsock: I like your list, plus don't forget the 4-team expansion in the 90's that watered down the talent, at least for awhile. I don't think enough 'expert' attention has been given to that. When Maris broke Ruth's record in '61, the main bitch back then wasn't the expanded schedule (from 154 to 162 games) but that there were 2 expansion teams and 20 new pitchers who maybe didn't belong. I don't know how you'd measure pitching depth, but I'm sure some stat. genius could figure it out.

L-girl said...

Re expansion, why would expansion dilute pitching, but increase hitting? That's one thing I never get when people say "talent dilution".

Also expansion/dilution may be balanced out by recruiting players from more countries.

L-girl said...

Allan, I just poached part of your comment for my own blog. Thanks.

Pokerwolf said...

Re expansion, why would expansion dilute pitching, but increase hitting?

Because the available talent pool for fielders is larger than it is for pitchers. Because of that, you'll find bad fielders (Wily Mo Pena) replaced a lot more easily than pitchers (Mike Timlin).

Woti-woti said...

Sure, it dilutes hitting by creating jobs for minor leaguers, but the good individual hitters already there feast on bad pitching. The dilution happens year 1 and gradually evens out as the years roll by. I think 4 new teams between 93 and 97 was too much, too fast.

redsock said...

But the good individual pitchers are also able to feast on bad hitting.

Fans don't remember all the nameless scrubs who played a little bit, sucked and quickly vanished when they were kids, and they certainly don't know them from decades earlier, but they were there.

Run scoring has gone up and down throughout history (was there a sudden dilution in hitting during the 1960s?) for a variety of factors.

Woti-woti said...

Absolutely, there are many factors. In fact, the mound was lowered in '68. It all serves to highlight the fact that baseball has played through many different 'eras'. Fans should be careful when tub-thumping about who was or is 'better' and who's 'best'. It's all relative.

Jere said...

"because A-Rod is projected to break his record"

pokerwolf: I'm glad you at least said you're cringing for rooting for it--but, I still don't get why A-Rod becomes this default "great non-drug hope." He's like 250 HR away from a record that's still going up. Yet people talk about it like it's a guarantee. I also say, Is he who parents want their kids to be like?

Personally, I'd rather my spouse do something that helps them do their job better that everyone else at their job is doing, too, than be out at strip clubs with other dudes. You know, if I had to choose.

Also, why are A-Rod's methods of cheating (which you can see right there on the field) worse than Bonds' unproven methods?

CaKeY said...

The only record I care about is the Sox W-L.

Jere said...

Cakey: Great point. Me, too.

And that the Yanks have a bad W-L. Oh, and that no Yankees ever hold major individual or team records. And that the ones they do hold are soon broken in ways that involve errors and bloop hits and freak accidents. But that's it!

redsock said...

Will Alex Rodriguez be breaking the HR record before or after Ken "A Sure Bet" Griffey does it?

Pokerwolf said...

Will Alex Rodriguez be breaking the HR record before or after Ken "A Sure Bet" Griffey does it?

Before. I don't see Griffey having a long enough career in order to break the record. The only way he might do it is if he switches to the American League and becomes a DH after he can't field anymore. If his knees can take it that long, that is.

Beth said...

a sad day for baseball. a sad day for hank aaron. my thoughts are with him, not barry.

there's what you can empirically prove, and there's what you know is right or wrong. at the very least, it's very wrong that a man who suffered ACTUAL adversity during his lifetime is having his greatest achievement taken from him by a misogynistic, obnoxious scumbag who throughout the last decade has brushed off critics of his noxious personality as perpetrators of the same adversity aaron actually faced.

it's impossible for me not to see bonds as a pretender, both to aaron's record and his legacy.

L-girl said...

I think Redsock's comment about Griffey was sarcastic. Griffey was supposed to be the sure bet to break Aaron's record, and we see where that went. Alex Rodriguez seems to be the frontrunner now, but that could easily change, too.

Sad day for baseball? I think it's sad that any baseball fan would feel that way.

9casey said...

Only three men have hit over 61 hr's since Roger Maris.....Bonds, McGwire and Sosa, McGwire twice and Sosa three times.....All of three of them used steroids, at least there is very little doubt in my mind that they all did....Not livelier baseballs , smaller ballparks, strikezones, or legal training methods had anything to do with that.They all hit over 61 because they cheated.......If anyone should be pissed it should be the family of Roger Maris

Jere said...

"Will Alex Rodriguez be breaking the HR record before or after Ken "A Sure Bet" Griffey does it?

Before. I don't see Griffey having a long enough career in order to break the record. "

I think he meant the fact that when Junior was younger, people were certain that he would one day break the record. Countless injuries later, I have to say, I'm amazed he got this close, and is still playing, but, the point is, baseball teaches us every day that you never know what's gonna happen, yet people will always think they do know what's gonna happen. I just hate how instead of a debate opening up about who might one day surpass Bonds, it's "heyyyyy, don't worry, Jack, A-Rod's breakin' the record! Tomorrow, I believe!" He's so far from it, the last thing people should be doing is assuming.

Beth--good point that Aaron went through a lot of horrible stuff. I don't think anyone could ever debate that.

Barry got death threats, too, though, and even if he's a scumbag, that's serious stuff. Also, I'll never know what it's like to be a black public figure, but I'm sure there are lots of times when it's not exactly fun. And all black athletes/stars go through that, even the ones who might be pricks anyway. And to further that point, maybe it's having to go through that that makes someone a prick.

Jere said...

"or legal training methods had anything to do with that"

The game should've made it illegal, then, instead of letting it slide.

redsock said...

You know what's amazing in all this Bonds blather?

No one -- media, players, fans, bloggers -- mentions the worst scandal in baseball history.

redsock said...

good point that Aaron went through a lot of horrible stuff. I don't think anyone could ever debate that. Barry got death threats, too, though

I'll bet what both of what they went through was smallpotatoes compared to Jackie Robinson.

I'm more than a little wary of playing the "he suffered more than he did" game.

And I know that if the media (in its b&w view of the world) has painted Bonds as pure evil, then Aaron has to be portrayed as a saint. But was he? We have no idea.

Jere said...

Just as an aside, to anyone who thinks A-Rod is hitting 62 this year (as if that would somehow make him the "people's champ," like the Daily News said):

He's at 36, with 49 games left. So he needs 26 HR in 49 games, which would be like hitting 86 over 162 games. He'd basically have to repeat the crazy April he had, HR-wise, but keep up that pace for twice as long (til the end of the season).

9casey said...

redsock said...
You know what's amazing in all this Bonds blather?

What do you consider blather?

redsock said...

All the sideshow shit. His personality, how he's pure evil, his anger and damn uppity he is.

Basically what 99.9999% of columnists are saying. Though, hopefully, now they will stfu.

redsock said...

Which includes all the holier-than-thou shit from the media. But that is a daily thing, not limited to BB.

FPEC said...

Aaron was also a doper. He admitted to taking amphetamines during 68. It's in his autobiography.

Slam Bonds all you want, but don't make Aaron out to be some kind of angel. The guy was just as much a cheater as most players have been at some point in their careers.