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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Suppose Bonds was likable?

Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Bud Selig has gone all Howie Spira in trying to ruin Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez.  Braun was likable until he failed a test for performance enhancing stuff and had the temerity to beat it on a technicality.  Rodriguez is somewhere between less likable and not likable.

David Ortiz on the other hand is generally considered likable and has escaped the type of ridicule that Rodriguez has received.

This brings us to possibly the most disliked, unlikable, hated baseball player of all time: Barry Bonds, the home run (HR) record holder for both a single season and career.  Personally, when I think of Bonds the word obnoxious comes to mind.

Making Bonds even more unlikable are his occasional flashes of charm, suggesting that his sourness is acquired.

Now before taking an all too typical baseball knee jerk position consider these posts:

Monday, June 3, 2013
Does Rico Petrocelli make us stupid?

Does baseball make us stupid or are we interested in baseball because we are already stupid?
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010
More on possible steroid use by Nolan Ryan.

And after all these years I'm the only one who has noticed?
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Those 1973 Atlanta Braves: was there something in the water?

Aaron if not actually improving with age certainly performed very well late in his career.
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Notice how even I treated Nolan Ryan and Hank Aaron differently.  All of my comments deal exclusively with baseball stats.  I don't particularly like Ryan so I pretty much came out and said what I thought.  With the saintly noble warrior Aaron I practically stood on my head to avoid the obvious conclusion: that Hank Aaron may have used steroids or equivalent late in his career.  There I finally did it, mentioned Aaron and steroids in the same sentence.

Among these three top players the stats suggest steroid use in this order:
Bonds - overwhelming
Ryan - second only to Bonds
Aaron. - strong.

However, even when confronted with impartial evidence we are inclined to bring down the hammer so to speak on Bonds and search desperately for explanations if not outright excuses for Aaron.

About ten years ago we learned that in 1963 San Diego Chargers coaches in the old American Football League (AFL) gave steroids to their players and insisted that they take them.  Given that, anything is possible in subsequent years.

The 40 HR that Hank Aaron hit in 1973 took him to the door of baseball immortality: 713, one short of Babe Ruth's unbreakable record.  At the time we all figured that Aaron had achieved some sort of baseball karma, a unique combination of wisdom and undiminished skill.  We don't want to even consider much less believe that Aaron of all players might be tarnished in much the same way as Bonds.

Remember my Rico Petrocelli admonition earlier in this post?  Don't start doing back flips coming up with dumber and dumber explanations and excuses for what you do not want to consider.  No, Aaron did not hit even 50 HR, much less 73 as the obscene Bonds did.  But that's not the point is it?

We like Aaron.

We dislike Bonds.

1 comment:

Chad said...

Why not point a finger at Ted Williams then, too? He had his best season in 16 years at age 38.

I think Bonds and Clemens are guilty because there is ample evidence to arrive at that conclusion. However, to me, guys like Williams, Aaron, and Nolan Ryan had provided their ceiling type numbers, and late in their careers they matched them. Bonds, beyond the evidence in the Balco case, didn't match his previous achievements, he annihilated them.