after last night\’s twins loss, i\’m tempted to skewer terry ryan (again), but a) that\’s exhausting and 2) aaron gleeman is so much better at it than i am.

instead, i\’d like to talk about barry bonds and that little piece of history he made last night against the washington nationals. we\’ve discussed my feelings on bonds, and that hasn\’t changed. i think he\’s an ass, and i think he\’s cheated. however, i\’m reading a lot of sentiments like this today:

I can\’t pretend Bonds is the legitimate successor to Aaron because there are simply too many questions and too much evidence to suggest otherwise.

so, i get that. but, i think we all need to give that attitude up. yes, i think bonds juiced. but do think he was the only one? certainly not. in fact, i\’m betting that many of the pitchers who gave up homeruns to bonds over the past ten years have been doing similar things; i would argue that neither side had a competitive advantage there. and, what of all stats accumulated and records set between 1996 and 2003? do we go back and erase them completely? do we do just the stats of players who we think were cheating? use some sort of multplier? brady anderson\’s \’96 total of 50 HRs * the steroid multiplier of .7 means his actual HR total is actually 35.

absurd? absolutely. to me, just as absurd as being upset with bonds for breaking the record. no one was tested; you can\’t prove anyone was using performance enhancement drugs, so you have to assume everyone was. (well. not jay canizaro, i suppose. but you get my point.) bonds is only a part of an entire tainted era of baseball where *all* number should be viewed with some suspicion. there should be questions about all numbers put up during this timeframe.

so, we have two options. either we do what the author states above and make a stink about bonds\’ 756, brady anderson\’s 50, mcgwire\’s 70, sosa\’s 63, vaughn\’s 50, heck– randy johnson\’s 372 Ks, clemens\’ 20 wins (you see where i\’m going). or, we just acknowledge that a lot of the numbers produced during that era were likely inflated and move on. and, after that, congratulate barry bonds on being baseball\’s all-time homerun leader. even if our teeth are slightly clenched when doing so.







5 responses to “756”

  1. alex Avatar

    Thank you Wade for keeping me from having to write this post. Surprisingly, I’m pretty much gonna back you up on this one. Prior to 2001, Bonds was near 500 home runs, near or past 500 steals, had three MVP awards, and was a hall of famer. Perhaps he juiced. Perhaps a lot of people did. And not to gloss over the if, but EVEN IF he juiced, he still had to work his ass off to create all that new muscle. So then what percentage of his home run total is enhanced by “supplements”? Probably enough that he wouldn’t have set the record. Not even remotely enough that we should say his legacy as a ballplayer is tainted. He’s a fantastic batter, and even with the cloud of suspicion, I admire what he’s accomplished, even if like you, I think the man’s a jerk.* (*Although even I have reservations about calling an unwillingness to put up with the bull*#(@ reporters that he’s had to put up with the same as flat out jerkishness… but it’s a close call either way.)

  2. alex Avatar

    Oh, but don’t let that stop you from skewering TR. When the manager’s choices for starter at 3B boil down to Punto vs. L-Rod, the GM has failed. Ditto for when you’re not sure if the DH can run because he hurt himself SKIPPING. IN APRIL! … and you’re still not sure he’s 100% healed yet. That stinks of poor planning.

  3. Explosive Bombchelle Avatar

    No big deal… A-rod will beat the record soon.

  4. wadE Avatar

    494 HRs to be precise… prior to 2001. I agree as well. I don’t know if he would have broken the record, but he was a very talented ball player, and someone who would have ended up in the hall of fame (although I still don’t think he would have been a first ballot guy, I really don’t). Wade, you should have called into Barreiro today, he said “on this program, Aaron is still the home run king”.
    p.s. Ryan could be doing better, but does pretty damn well considering the financial constraints he is given.

  5. anderswa Avatar

    > p.s. Ryan could be doing better, but does pretty damn well considering the financial constraints he is given.

    to some degree i see your point, but i’m afraid i need to call b.s. on that. $3M for RAYmon ortiz? $2.5M for ro white? $2.1M for little nicky punto? not that i expect him to not miss once in a while, but i think we could have spent that money more wisely.

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