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Monday, April 20, 2015

Barry Bonds: would MVP voters select him greatest living player?

This is a hypocrisy test.  I'm skipping all the baggage associated with Hall of Fame voting.  The league started it with its  "greatest living" players promotional vote, which wimps out by having four players selected.  I'm guessing that the mess was created by the previous commissioner, Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, and that part of it is that Selig didn't think that his personal candidate, who played many years in Milwaukee, would be chosen as the number one greatest living player.  That would be Hank Aaron.

Let's put some of my recent posts together.

Barry Bonds: greatest living player. Friday, April 17, 2015

MVP by team franchise. Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mug shot of Barry Bonds Nov. 15, 2007 by U.S. Marshals Service [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Barry Bonds won seven MVP awards: three with the Pirates when he was probably not using performance enhancing drugs (PED) and four consecutive with the Giants Pirates when he probably was using PED.

Five of the 30 franchises have zero MVP and another five have only one.  That's 33 percent of the franchises.  Only nine franchises (30%) have more than seven MVP.

The baseball writers voted those four PED MVP to Bonds in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.  Bonds was blackballed after leading the National Conference in on base average in his final two seasons: 2006 and 2007.  After the five year waiting period Bonds has failed to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the writers in 2013, 2014, 2015, most recently with only 37% of the votes (75% is needed to be elected).

So the last two of the four consecutive MVP votes are only ten years before the first two Hall of Fame votes.  Obviously based on his performance as a player and without the character component that is 66% of the criteria for the Hall of Fame, the writers were either oblivious to the use of PED by Bonds when voting for MVP or they feel that the issue is important enough to bar Bonds from the Hall.

So let's put the writers to the test.  Suppose there were an actual vote by those same writers for the greatest living player.  Would they choose Bonds as they had when he was an MVP player or would they reject him as achieving his greatest status by cheating?  If they now reject Bonds for cheating, then why didn't they reject him as a cheater back when they voted him his last four MVP awards?

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