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756*

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)


(AP Photo/Ben Margot)


There's a new home run king in Major League Baseball and his name is Barry Bonds. If you don't know what the asterisk is all about clearly you haven't been paying attention...


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Comments (70)

Steroid cheat freak.<... (Below threshold)

Steroid cheat freak.

Asterisk, my ass. Once the legal proceedings are over - it could still take years - we will probably know for certain what seems highly probable: that Bonds used steroids beginning after the McGwire sensation (another steroid cheat freak, along with Sosa, Sheffield, and others). At that point, his records should be stricken.

Alternatively, we could suit up the 73 year old Henry Aaron - one of, if not the most consistent performers of the modern era, half of whose career was spent facing pitchers on higher mounds - and pump his old body full of "The Cream" and "The Clear" and let him take a few more whacks at it. Just to be fair and all . . .

Nah, leave the Hammer alone. His achievements will live forever. They were all his own. He did it the way it is supposed to be done, and for that he will always be the Home Run King.

And he'll be remembered as such long after the mention of Barry Bonds elicits only puzzled gazes and an occasional "Hey, wasn't he the guy who took steroids that swelled up his big ol' head and shrunk his testicles and was banned from baseball for cheating?"

In a perfect world, anyway . . .

If we're lucky A-Rod will s... (Below threshold)
Kevin Author Profile Page:

If we're lucky A-Rod will stay healthy (unlike Ken Griffey) and in six to eight years Bonds will be but an afterthought.

As a baseball fan, this is ... (Below threshold)

As a baseball fan, this is a sad day for me.

I haven't liked Barry Bonds for years. I think he's just an A-1 jerk. But, if he had passed Aaron's home run mark without the cloud of steroids/HGH hanging over him, I could easily give him his due.

The saddest thing is, without steroids/HGH, Bonds would have been one of the greatest to ever play the game. His ego and vanity wouldn't let him settle for that. He couldn't stand the attention and plaudits others were getting, so he likely did something to enhance his performance. Even with him breaking Aaron's record, he's still not receiving the praise and plaudits he craves - he sabotaged the praiseworthiness of his milestone.

One thing that makes me sick about Bonds is that I'm not even sure he likes the game of baseball.

If we're lucky A-R... (Below threshold)
If we're lucky A-Rod will stay healthy (unlike Ken Griffey) and in six to eight years Bonds will be but an afterthought.

Canseco has another book coming out, and he's hinting that he's got dirt on A-Rod. Whether it turns out to be steroids related remains to be seen.

I know some folks don't care for A-Rod a whole lot. Not friendly, hasn't won the big one, doesn't deliver in the big games,etc. And he left a bad taste in the Mariners fans mouths.

Denny Hocking, a former MLB journeyman with the Twins and Royals, is on Fox Sports Radio Saturdays and Sundays, says he met A-Rod when they were both in the minors and has said A-Rod is a decent guy. Said that A-Rod looks physically pretty much the same he did way back when and that even years later when they'd run into each other, A-Rod the superstar still went out of his way to say hi and talk to the journeyman Hocking.

Guys like A-Rod and Junior ... (Below threshold)

Guys like A-Rod and Junior Griffey - and Bonds, up until Big Mac was able to get the spotlight with increased long ball power - could do it the right way, and would/will deserve all accolades for it when and if they do. Henry Aaron would be waiting at the plate to congratulate them.

I'd hate to lose my all-time record to a cheat freak, too.

Oh, well. Willie Mays played the bulk of his career with Candlestick as his home park and hit 660. The swirling bay winds turned 420-foot homers into fly-outs. How many would Willie have hit if he had Yankee Stadium or "Pacifico" or whatever they are calling it now as a home park?

And you can't really get beyond Babe Ruth. For several years, he hit more homers than one or more TEAMS in his league. He was doing it when no one else could. Except maybe Ted Williams, who lost nearly five whole seasons from his prime to serve in WWII and Korea. Adding in his prior years as an average might have given him 670 or so, but that doesn't account for lost opportunities to improve and their enduring effect.

We can have wonderful arguments about baseball, but cheating cheapens them - and the game.

Atlanta Journal Constitutio... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Babe Ruth had a unique career. He pitched for five seasons with the Red Sox before taking to the field full time. Not just some donkey of a pitcher who filled in now and then. He was a full-time starter and won 94 games. In 1918 he set a World Series record for consecutive shutout innings that stood for years. I've read that he always spoke of that as his most treasured record, not all the slugging feats. Even one season as a pitcher, he led the American League in home runs. Hitting 'em, not throwing 'em.

He was 24 years old before he switched from pitching to the outfield full time. Those days the major leagues played a 154-game schedule, not increased to 162 games until 1961, in the American League, long after the Babe was gone. The comparisons between Ruth and the other mighty home-run bombers gets more interesting the deeper you get into them.

Aaron had 12,364 official times at bat. Bonds was up to 9,771 through Monday. Ruth went to bat only 8,399 official times, nearly 4,000 less than Aaron and losing ground to Bonds every week. Along the way his batting average gets lost in all the home-run babble. Babe Ruth was a lifetime .342 hitter, some of that in "deadball" times."

I would add that as a regular starting pitcher, Ruth's ERA was about 2.11, not bad in any era.

Ya know, who cares, drug bo... (Below threshold)
David:

Ya know, who cares, drug boy gets a drug induced record. This is exactly why I do not watch baseball any more.

And you can't real... (Below threshold)
And you can't really get beyond Babe Ruth. For several years, he hit more homers than one or more TEAMS in his league. He was doing it when no one else could.

And The Bambino pitched for five years!

Oops! I guess if I had read... (Below threshold)

Oops! I guess if I had read RtO's comment first I'da known the five years pitching had been noted.

Take the asterisk off.... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Take the asterisk off.

Canseco has another book... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Canseco has another book coming out, and he's hinting that he's got dirt on A-Rod. Whether it turns out to be steroids related remains to be seen.


Fact: Canseco NEVER played on the same team as A-Rod. So how that hooplehead would ever come in close relationship, enough to the point where A-Rod would trust him something like steroids, already sounds like a trumped up Canseco accusation.

And A-Rod has packed on more than a few pounds since his early days as a Seattle Mariner.

Fact: Canseco NEVE... (Below threshold)
Fact: Canseco NEVER played on the same team as A-Rod.

Dood, I never said they did. I'm relating a part of an interview I heard with Canseco. I don't know how he'd know. What I do know is that as much as I think Canseco is a turncoat, he called the steroids thing right in his last book.

A-Rod was 19 years old when he came up with the M's. I don't doubt at that age a guy can still be growing. I'm just relating the anecdotes I've heard. FWIW, Hocking played with the guy in the minor's - as far as I know,you didn't. I'll go with Hocking's word for now.

Despite the fact that Barry... (Below threshold)
Ted:

Despite the fact that Barry Bonds has been investigated for years now, not once has it been proven that he cheated. If he had, you know that MLB would act against him in a flash.

Sure, he's unlikable. He's also the all-time home run champion. He's always denied cheating, and even though he's lived under a microscope for several years he continues to be great.

Nice to see that the standard of proof entirely depends on if you like the guy or not, and whether you agree with the allegations or not. Now where have we heard that before?

Tad, in a very strange sens... (Below threshold)
David:

Tad, in a very strange sense you are Absolutely correct, which is another reason I no longer care about baseball.

Nice to see that t... (Below threshold)
Nice to see that the standard of proof entirely depends on if you like the guy or not, and whether you agree with the allegations or not. Now where have we heard that before?

True. Which is why I didn't need Judge Ito to tell me that OJ didn't do it.

He needs two asterisks afte... (Below threshold)

He needs two asterisks after his name, one for steroids and the second for hitting off pitchers on them. Kinda evens out if you look at it that way. I still don't like him, but it's fair to give him credit for that.

Bonds is the poster boy for... (Below threshold)
pretzel_logic:

Bonds is the poster boy for everything that's wrong with the game. Runaway salaries and juice. I went from a ardent fan to casual observer 20 years ago.

Take the asterisk off.</... (Below threshold)

Take the asterisk off.

Fine. As long as a syringe goes under the image of his face on his plaque in the Hall of Fame, I've got no problem with it. Same goes for anybody else who's tested positive.

Baseball was my favorite sport growing up. I excelled at it, and played softball for a while, too. I loved watching baseball until the strikes, Pete Rose,--the Reds were my favorite team, and he was one of my favorite players, until he totally destroyed memories from my childhood--the current steroid debacle and horribly slow play has completely turned me off to the game of baseball. I admit I'll catch some playoff games but that's about it.

I don't miss it. I took up golf and follow it passionately, and I hope the PGA tour implements steroid testing as soon as possible.

I watch college football and the NFL knowing that football is going down the same path as baseball, unless something drastic happens. The NFL is just as bad if not worse than baseball.

Major sports leagues need to come together and form a consortium to develop standardized steroid and drug testing. Players and management better come together on this or their sports will be trashed and their earnings will go right out the window.

Take the asterisk off.</... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Take the asterisk off.

Why? He has already admitted to using the cream and the clear. Who knows what else he has done. Bonds deserves faint praise for this dubious achievement. He has played in an era with "live" baseballs, watered-down pitching (as a result of expansion, twice!), and shrinking ballaparks, during which time he allegedly used performance enhancement drugs. There will always be an asterisk by his name.

I should care why?... (Below threshold)

I should care why?

I lost all faith in baseball back in the 90s during a strike which destroyed the season. That's when I knew it was over.

Any time I've seen Bonds on TV all he's done is whine about this or that and rage at the press and fans.

I could not care less about... (Below threshold)
Carl:

I could not care less about Barry Bonds nor about any of his records. And it's not about steroids either. It's because he's been a jerk to fans for the bulk (pun intended) of his career and has exhibited classless behavior over and over again.

Personally speaking, I am of the opinion that if racial segregation had never existed in baseball we wouldn't even be having this conversation because I believe that the record holder would have been and still be Josh Gibson. And if medical science would have been better during his time he wouldn't have died at such a young age. It is my personal opinion that if Ruth, Aaron, Bonds and even A-Rod were stacked up against Gibson (all of them in their prime, peak years) Gibson would have them all beat.

All the netword morning sho... (Below threshold)

All the netword morning shows led with this story 1st, along with the inevitable story of who caught the priceless* Home Run ball. Needless to say, I quickly turned the station to my local morning show, where they were leading with local flooding after heavy rains. Never more happy for the mundane stories!

If other posters need a laugh, I suggest you go to this link:
http://www.theheckler.com/news/templates/?a=1134&z=25

"The Heckler" is a local sports satirical paper, usually focusing on the Cubs, Sox, Bears, Bulls, etc. The cover story is about Hank Aaron coming back to reclaim his Home Run record, after putting on 100 lbs. of muscle during the offseason. The pictures is hilarious!

"Gibson would have them all... (Below threshold)
yo:

"Gibson would have them all beat."

Amen.

Take the asterisk off.</... (Below threshold)
taz:

Take the asterisk off.

When it is proven that Barry Bonds took steroids, will you remove his record?

If the answer is no, you need to ask yourself why.

Steroids are being used in all of professional sports, just because the testing can not catch the users doesn't mean that steroids are not being used. (This is the most common defense of Bonds "He has never been caught".)

"King" ...Yeah, I ... (Below threshold)

"King" ...

Yeah, I will give him the record, but he's as bad for the sport as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were.

Look it up, or not. These bums don't deserve the glory.

I only wish I could have ca... (Below threshold)
914:

I only wish I could have caught 755 or 756 regardless of an "asterisk".

A case of guilty before proven innocent.

"But Hes as bad for tv as Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth were."

Why? Its entertainment, not holy matrimony.

For some, Baseball is a rel... (Below threshold)

For some, Baseball is a religion.

For others, a cult.

Anyone remember what happen... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Anyone remember what happened to Pete Rose?

Barry Bonds can have his re... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Barry Bonds can have his record and all the alocades that go with it delivered to him by the slobering droolers that still worship baseball.

I just don't give a damn about him or baseball and have not since the second time the players went on strike. I prefer to spend my entertainment dollars and time elsewhere.

With reference to #25 DJ Dr... (Below threshold)
Don:

With reference to #25 DJ Drummond's comments concerning Babe Ruth.
What is your problem? Are you upset because he drank a great deal or what?
I have never been a New York Yankee fan and by extension not a Babe Ruth fan. My club was the New York Giants. I gave up on baseball when while I was in the US Army the Giants left New York.
It's a long time ago, I think it was around 1940, that my brother dragged me to meet Babe Ruth. I found him to be a amiable gentleman. My only complaint was that he did tease me about my red hair. His record on the feild stands on it's own merits. He never charged money to meet him or for his autograph.

A solid case of BDS going o... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

A solid case of BDS going on here:

Bonds Derangement Syndrome.

I don't miss it. I took ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I don't miss it. I took up golf and follow it passionately, and I hope the PGA tour implements steroid testing as soon as possible.

Tom, you're a smart guy, and you know as well as I do that the ridiculous advancements in equipment, especially the balls, titanium drivers, computer-engineered design, etc. are the real reasons behind the big lengths seen out on tour.

I'm a 5.3 handicap. 10 years ago, I hit my 9-iron 125-130yds, tops. Today? 145-150yds, tops. Know what else? I'm STILL using the same clubs as 10 years ago, Top Flite Tours, (Yeah, I need new clubs.lol), and I'm actually not as good as I was 10 years ago. Most importantly, I'm definitely NOT juicing.

It's the equipment, my friend. The PGA has to put a limit on equipment, before 520yd par 5's become 520yd par 4's.

And while we're on the subject, three words: Maple wood bats.

DJ,Cobb was a murd... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

DJ,

Cobb was a murderer and a rapist and you slander the Babe in trying to make your point by tying him to Cobb.

In an era when baseball ruled, Ruth was followed and respected, if not revered, by almost everyone in America. Aaron has gained grand status over time.

Bonds is reviled by almost everyone in America.

Ruth and Aaron never cheated.

You're right, the Bambino w... (Below threshold)

You're right, the Bambino was just a drunk, a womanizer and a jerk where his team-mates were concerned.

I should compare him to O.J., rather than Cobb.

My 'bad'.

DJ,What is the sou... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

DJ,

What is the source for this? You are usually normal. WTF?

OJ? Another murderer?

Drinking and womanizing? Come on now, probably half the athletes in any era, more.

Truth now, what have you got against the Babe to act so out of character?

I dislike Ruth, Robert. You... (Below threshold)

I dislike Ruth, Robert. You obviously love the guy, so rock your socks and I will let it go at that. Just don't expect me not to spit when I hear that name, he was bad for sports in general and baseball in particular.

And in the interest of disclosure, I played some school-ball (right field) and was a UIL, Little League, PONY, and AAU umpire for 7 years.


I guess we're off topic now... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

I guess we're off topic now anyways, but DJ this statement of yours is just ridiculous:

Just don't expect me not to spit when I hear that name, he was bad for sports in general and baseball in particular.

Bad for baseball? Where the hell do you get that from? Ruth is easliy one of our more adored sports icons, yet you seem to think you know better than most. Why is that? Comparing him to Bonds and then O.J., dude you're one deranged individual!

I "deranged" for not runnin... (Below threshold)

I "deranged" for not running with the herd of popular thought?

LOL, I hardly think so!

I'm siding with DJ on the B... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I'm siding with DJ on the Babe.

If anything, the Babe was the first grossly overpaid, self-absorbed, petulant, egomaniacal athlete if there ever was one. (BTW, he was always loathed by his teammates, including the great Lou Gehrig, as well as managers who wielded little authority over him.) It was the press who glorified the Babe and his character, much in the same way the press has eviscerated Bonds and his character. I have serious doubts about the Babe's popularity should he have played under today's intense media spotlight.

I would contend, however, that the Babe almost singlehandedly saved baseball after the Black Sox Scandal. Much in the same way Sosa and McGwire resurrected baseball in 1998 after the 1994 players strike.

Yes DJ, you deranged... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Yes DJ, you deranged.

Not for going against popular thought, but for spouting off inane comments with nothing to back them up.

how many of you who say bon... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

how many of you who say bonds is innocent because he hasn't been proven guilty, think the same of oj simpson?

I would contend, however... (Below threshold)
taz:

I would contend, however, that the Babe almost singlehandedly saved baseball after the Black Sox Scandal. Much in the same way Sosa and McGwire resurrected baseball in 1998 after the 1994 players strike.

i>PF,

This statement makes me think you are pro-steriods.

No J.R., I merely chose not... (Below threshold)

No J.R., I merely chose not to engage you in a petty dispute.

That's called manners.

how many of you who say ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

how many of you who say bonds is innocent because he hasn't been proven guilty, think the same of oj simpson?

OJ had his day in court, Bonds hasn't, not for what he's accused of doing--perjurying himself on the stand.

A ludicrous attempt to link the two.


This statement makes me think you are pro-steriods.

God no, just merely stating a fact. Sosa and McGwire (along with Ripkin breaking Gehrig's record in 1995), help resurrect the game after the strike.

But there are enough idiots out there who apparently think I am "pro-steroids" because I seriously question whether steroids help you hit a baseball or hit one farther. (I even question players who believe steroids help them be better players.)

Listen, I'm not going to refute that performance enhancers increase strength or help the body recover or even help maintain body strength, they do. But there's little or nothing in the way of science or physics that directly or even remotely says steroids help players hit a baseball, hit a baseball farther or that steroids and HGH are wonder drugs to baseball immortality.

And if it's cheating....(see nogo, the proper use of ellipses!)

Here's a question: Why not consider laser eye surgery a "performance enhancer"? You're artificially bettering your obviously poor/deteriorating eyesight so you can perform better, aren't you? Why isn't THAT considered cheating? The response is usually "well, er, because...well, er, um..." Newsflash, you don't good eyes, you can't hit a baseball, period.

Oh, BTW, laser eye surgery came into prominent use, oh, right around mid-1990's--when the alleged "Steroid Era" began. Funny that.

So, let's put asterisks behind every ballplayer who's had a laser eye surgery!!! (And let's strip Tiger Woods of all his post-laser-surgery majors while we're at it.)

And don't even get me started on the 22 new ballparks since 1991 and their significantly shorter porches...(cough, cough, Coors Field...or Barry's home park as of the year 2000 where it's a whopping 309ft to dead right...sheesh)

Or the 4 new teams since 1993 that help deplete the MLB talent pool....

Or viewing videotapes of your at bats between innings (performance enhancer!)....

Or advanced scouting of pitchers....

Or scouts in the stands radioing down to the dugouts about pitches...

on and on and on....

"But there's little or noth... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

"But there's little or nothing in the way of science or physics that directly or even remotely says steroids help players hit a baseball, hit a baseball farther or that steroids and HGH are wonder drugs to baseball immortality." - Peterf

I was the GM and ran a training center for our Olympic Table Tennis Team. Joke if you like, but it is just like any other sport at that level.

The Olympic standard is the gold standard for drug testing - far more robust than our pro sports - and I am intimately familiar with it. I know them and every single doctor and trainer at the USOC would consider your above statement false.

The very top athletes in any sport are a wonderment of freak ability. Speed, power, endurance, and yes, eyesight. I once had an Olympic medallist read from an article posted on the wall in regular sized print, from our table at a restaurant over twenty feet away. You are right about this.

But make no mistake about the powerful effect of steroids. To those familiar with its effects you can spot it a mile away - more muscle, a sculpted shape, leaner, faster and more powerful. Dramatic difference.

I am reminded of a test one of the bodybuilder magazines did many years ago. They put a group of rats in water and timed how long it took them to drown. Then they tested rats on steroids and the time was more than twice as long (I forget the exact numbers, but the difference was considerable).

Quite simply, steroids produce more power, more efficiency, greater endurance - and the difference is not small. The drug actually enters the individual cells and allows the creation of more protein to be turned into muscle power. And that is the science.

And that difference is known to all Olympic sports where a steroid ban has been in effect for many years, and good reason for it. Every sport, all sports. Absent a ban, eventually every athlete in every sport would be forced to use it to compete, the effect is that strong.

I agree to your point that steroids will not take an average Joe and make him Ted Williams. However, there is no question that steroids would have made Ted better because he would have had significantly more power and speed in that already amazing body. A faster bat speed would have allowed him to wait just a little bit longer. It also would have made long flies turn into homers, as singles would be turned into doubles.

One can argue that other athletes cheated and one can argue that there are other ways of cheating. One can say that Bonds was a hell of player when he was in Pittsburgh, and one can even say that he was never proven to have used. And you would be right.

But one cannot credibly argue that steroids have little or no effect. That is just bunk.

Robert:Appreciate ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Robert:

Appreciate your thoughtful and informed response.

I was pretty clear in saying: "Listen, I'm not going to refute that performance enhancers increase strength or help the body recover or even help maintain body strength, they do."

I think in muscle-powered sports, like track and field events (as in the Olympics) and football, where direct kinetic energy is involved, steroids absolutely make a difference. Yet--and pardon me if I phrase this incorrectly--baseball requires so much the sheer brute strength the energy is more indirect and where success is greatly dependent on technique, consistency and concentration. With steroids, one of the side effects is irritability and a loss of concentration, neither being conducive to being a great hitter. Surely after alleged years of being juiced, Bonds would have seem some sort of reduction in production. That hasn't happened. Many people point to his 2005 as evidence of and the result of steroid abuse. Same thing with Jason Giambi and his 2004 season.

Yet, here we are, testing fully in place and Bonds is STILL putting up really good numbers. Residual after affects of steroids? I doubt it. Same thing with Giambi, who hit 37 homers last year--just 6 off his career high of 43 in 2000. That's not a real significant difference, even for a guy who, for all intents and purposes, has admitted using steroids.

For broken down bodies thanks to steroids, Jose Canseco could use himself as a prime example of how steroids reduce performance. Seriously, his dropoff in production was as eye-popping as was 40-40 season of 1988. I never read "Juiced", but the freakish inconsistency between his great years and the many bad ones in between, suggests that, yes, steroids are detrimental, no doubt.

We could say the same thing about the Bret Boone's career. Or Ken Caminiti.

Yet here Bonds is, still performing; still pounding big home runs (see #757 last night or the 2 bombs hit at Wrigley two weeks ago as examples.) All years after being accused of being a steroid freak during his lone 73-home run season of 2001. The winning batting titles in 2002 and 2004, when the media spotlight was becoming white hot on Bonds and the BALCO scandal (late 2003).

Do steroids have affects? Yes. How much so, no reasonable person can say with any certainty.

hey peter f. the point is o... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

hey peter f. the point is oj was not found guilty in a court of law and yet most of the sane, unbiased portion of the populace of this country believes he did it. do you believe oj simpson killed his wife and her friend? just because you haven't been found guilty in a court of law, doesn't mean you didn't do it. the presumption of innocence is a factor in a court of law, its quite different in the court of public opinion. looking at what is in the public domain - bond's statistical history with the large up tick starting in 2000, his abnormal size increase about the same time, what other players and acquaintances are saying and his association with the drug producers BALCO, i'd say only the naive or bonds syncophants are not of the opinion that bonds was steroid enhanced. bonds has been an outstanding player his whole career, he could run, hit, hit with power, had good leather and arm and longevity, a sure HoF inductee. but, his ego wouldn't allow macguire and canseco and then others to pass him by and put up those big, steroid aided #'s. too bad, he would have been a legend, now, whether its PROVEN he cheated or not, in the court of public opinion HE IS A CHEAT and does not deserve to be the all-time home run champ and enjoy all the prestige that goes with that. he could have proven he was clean. but no he just denied and then shaved his head, no hair-no record of past use. what are you bonds' syncophants going to say when the evidence of his steroid use becomes public?

kepa,With all due ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

kepa,

With all due respect to our court system, thank GOD you're not in charge of it.

You're a friggin idiot for even suggesting that Bonds and the C.O.P.O. actually COUNT for something in our judicial system.

As for the rest of your post, it sounds like you've read and are spewing out the author injections of "Game of Shadows".

trying thinking for yourself, examining other aspects and potential influences on the numbers in the so-called "Steroid Era" before regurgitating all the crap sportswriters spew.

"We could say the same thin... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

"We could say the same thing about the Bret Boone's career. Or Ken Caminiti." peter f.

we can and should, but they didn't cheat to surpass one of the most coveted records in baseball, to take the record away from a baseball great, who didn't do it artifically enhanced.
in the court of public opinion, having your vision corrected with laser surgery isn't considered cheating. YOU might argue that it should be, but the public just doesn't see it your way.
i think you'd agree steroids enable you to maintain your strength as you get older, longevity is a huge advantage when you're chasing a record like all-time home runs. and bonds' biggest years, except for two, were late in his career, after he allegedly started juicing. a quick run thru the stats, doing the math in my head, it appears bonds averaged 31 homers from '86 thru '99, '00 thru '04, his big years and big homer years for the other controversial sluggers, he averaged 51+ at ages 36-40. he sat out '05, he was injured, but thats also when MLB was testing, '06 when he also faced testing, he hit only 26 in 130 games. so far this year he's hit 23 in 100 games. if he had just maintained his pre 2000 average, he'd probably have over 600 homers, pretty damn good, definetly HoF #'s.

sorry peter f., i never hea... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

sorry peter f., i never heard of "Game of Shadows" and rarely waste my time with today's sports writers or ESPN, i can't recall i read a sportswriter or watched ESPN. i've lost interest in big time sports because of just this kind of stuff and the ghetto-rap-ganster-ism that prevails today. i spend months on end, half way around the world, out at sea with very little access to american culture. i'm not reguritating anyone else's ideas.
i argue the exact opposite, the court of public opinion and a court of law are vastly different and not to be confused. in the realm of sports heros, the court of public opinion carries more weight than a court of law. no matter what the courts or any MLB investigations conclude, if the public thinks he cheated, he'll be regarded as a cheat. just like most people, regardless of the court verdict, believe oj simpson did it. by the way, you never answered, do you believe oj simpson killed his wife and her friend?
yeah, there are several factors contributing to the big #'s - small parks, lively balls, diluted pitching talent, more and better off-season training. i'm well aware of this and never denied their contributions, but i'm not deluding myself into believing that steroids don't also contribute. just look at the #'s and the quickly gained size of the sluggers who put up those #'s. listen to people with first hand experience, like Robert the original.
you're sounding very agitated and approaching angry at my posts, calling me " a friggin idiot" and mis-representing what i said, please calm down and discuss this like an adult. maybe if you were calmer, you wouldn't mis-read what i've written. it sounds like you have something personally at stake in this. do you expect to profit from bonds claiming the record?
the big issue in this, in my thinking, is its a further erosion of the moral fabric of our society. he cheated his way to the record, a terrible lesson for our kids, "you want to get ahead kid?, cheat, its alright, bonds did, cheating pays". even many bonds supporters will admit he was juiced, but rationalize it. if you believe that its alright to use steroids or HGH to get a leg up in situations like this, we'll just have to agree to disagree. but if its alright, why do the users do it secretly and deny it and find ways to hide or mask it, why not promote it?

Peterf,Thank you t... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Peterf,

Thank you too for a calm debate.

I agree that the extra number of home runs cannot be quantified. Nor can we quantify the number that would have been hit by Mays or Williams, say, if on steroids.

The Olympics include many sports that are high technique more than power based, including baseball that remains in the Pan Am Games also administered by the USOC. Every single one of the 30+ sports has noted a competitive advantage with steroids. Girls' gymnastics, for example, is a high technique, relatively low power sport, and steroids have been a huge issue there.

They constantly test each athlete and compare the results to a database of same and other sports. The exact motion of each sport is filmed, computerized, measured and analyzed right down to the muscle fiber type.

They have quantified the effects of the drug if not the number of homers. Incidentally, there is evidence that steroids do not often impair concentration, although aggressive personality traits do result. Thus a user might be more likely to charge the mound - or to be a jerk to reporters - but he would not appear amped up as though on speed.

So, I would offer this for your consideration:

"Steroids have been demonstrated to give a powerful competitive advantage in all Olympic Sports."

That would be the USOC finding, and mine.

I know of no testing or analysis by them that would suggest that baseball is the only exception. Indeed, quite the opposite.

As to Bond's usage, I agree we don't know. However, the significant increase in hat size and shoe size over age 30 (at the same time when his home runs took a sharp jump) argues strongly for HGH use, and fairly heavy use at that.

and thank you Robert the or... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

and thank you Robert the original for the calm and reasoned discourse of your first hand experiences with steroid and HGH use and results. you and i have been saying much the same things - similar observations. Peter f. treats you differently, any clues why? not that it bothers me to be treated thusly by someone obviously blinded to reality by his infatuation with barry bonds and his steroid and HGH fueled fetes.

Kepa,We do indeed ... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Kepa,

We do indeed agree on the power of steroids/HGH.

But Peterf has a view shared by many, and deserving of respect, if even we don't agree.

Do you know about the current testing regime for pro baseball? At the start of it, I heard that the testing was infrequent and the time known in advance by the players. Is this still true? Is HGH tested for yet?

I ask these questions because, at least at one time, the testing regime was so full of holes one could get almost anything through.

I heard that the testing... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I heard that the testing was infrequent and the time known in advance by the players. Is this still true? Is HGH tested for yet?

The first test is no longer known by the player. If,however, a player tests positive for a banned substance after the first test, he takes the second test 1 week later. And I believe there is a test now for HGH, but I can't speak to the reliability of the test.

The major loopholes in testing have been closed up since 2005.

a quick run thru the sta... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

a quick run thru the stats, doing the math in my head, it appears bonds averaged 31 homers from '86 thru '99, '00 thru '04, his big years and big homer years for the other controversial sluggers, he averaged 51+ at ages 36-40. he sat out '05, he was injured, but thats also when MLB was testing, '06 when he also faced testing, he hit only 26 in 130 games.

kepa:

"Game of Shadows" author Mark Fainaru-Wada tried that little statistical "comparison" the other day in an article (I couldn't find it in the book), and I think it's a terribly skewed way of somehow proving by stats that Bonds production is solely due to steroids.

First, you're comparing 14 years to 5, and that's just unreasonable and skews the numbers wildly. So let's really look at Bonds' numbers as a Giant, comparing 6 years to 6 year:

1993-1998: 39.1
1999-2004: 48.6

Much closer, but still a difference of 8, but significantly closer.

Now, just for giggles, let's see what happens when we remove the 73 home runs in 2001 and reduce it to 48:

1993-1998: 39.1
1999-2004: 44.5

A big bump downward. Now let's look at them, adding in the 2005-06 seasons:

1993-1998: 39.1
1999-2006: 40.3

But you'll retort, he was injured in 2005 and skews the number. True, and I would point to his 1994 season where he only played 112 games and was well on his way to a 50+ homer season with 37 before going down with a bad hammy.

Moreover, I would point out that statistical monster seasons like his 73-home run 2001 campaign that seem wildly out of character, happen more often than believed.

Roger Maris hit 39 in 1960, 61 in 1961--that's 22 more than he ever hit. Bonds previous career high was 49 in 2000, followed by 73 in 2001--that's 24. Eerily similar to Maris. And BOTH men never came close to repeating those years.

Several other MAJOR factors that cannot be dismissed yet seemingly are by critics:

1993-1999 Bonds played at Candlestick where the wind swirled and howled and the fans froze. After going to countless games before and during Bonds career at the Stick, I can tell you the place was where home runs go to die. AT&T Park, the Giants new home starting in 2000 is the polar opposite of the Stick: It's warm, it's not nearly as windy and, most importantly, it's only 309ft down the right field line--made just for Bonds, like Yankees built a short porch in right for Ruth.

Second, Jeff Kent, the greatest hitting second baseman of all time arrived to the Giants in 1997. He batted clean-up behind Bonds until the day he left the team at the end of the 2002 season. Bonds also Rich Aurilia, Ellis Burks and Reggie Sanders at various times. In short, really, really good line-up protection, and that means lots of fastballs.

Third. maple wood bats. Bonds started using one in 2001. Maples are higher in density and higher in strength than the classic and the most popular white ash bats. The ball just jumps off the bat.

Anyway, that's all I can address now. Work calls.

Peter f., what is your leve... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

Peter f., what is your level of reading comprehension? where did i say steroid use was the sole factor? to quote you : " and I think it's a terribly skewed way of somehow proving by stats that Bonds production is solely due to steroids." READ what i wrote : "yeah, there are several factors contributing to the big #'s - small parks, lively balls, diluted pitching talent, more and better off-season training." where do you get SOLE from that? you can add in the maple bat and the body armor he uses and its advantages go beyond the obvious.(the armor is also a device to mechanically enforce swing discipline) several times i've talked about what a tremendous talent bond is. i was a bonds' fan before you probably even knew he existed. before he was a big leaguer, he played AAA ball in honolulu, i was an Islander fan, back when they still existed. and its not unreasonable to compare 14 years to 5, those years were the steroid years, you want to compare the years pre-usage with the years during usage to show the difference being juiced makes. bonds even admits to taking the substances, but claims he believed they were something else. do you believe that? these multi-million$ athletes don't take stuff lightly, they know what they are injesting, what might effect their continued income.
and bonds' maple bat - is maple heavier than ash?
again you failed to answer : do you believe oj simpson killed his wife and her friend?
why do you totally disregard BALCO, other players, his girlfriend, the obvious correlation between his sudden growth and increase home runs and Robert the original? as i've said several times bonds is a tremendous talent, he couldn't put up those #'s up on steroids alone. but those #'s weren't do-able without the steroids. have you been reading what Robert the original has been writing? and again : why are you so personally invested in trying to show steroids didn't help bonds?
this article by his ex-girlfriend should be interesting. does anyone know if its been published? Peter f will disregard what she has to say as he has disregarded the BALCO info, the leaked grand jury info, what other players say, what the ex-girlfriend has already said, what Robert the original has written and the obvious. bonds has been a tremendous talent, but cheated to get the record.

by the way, you never an... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

by the way, you never answered, do you believe oj simpson killed his wife and her friend?

Yes, but there was a mountain of evidence provided that said OJ killed his wife. The racist jury didn't see it that way; they were stupid. And there was a wrongful death civil lawsuit OJ lost and will cost $33mil.

Again, Bonds hasn't even had his day in court. Period.

calling me " a friggin idiot" and mis-representing what i said, please calm down and discuss this like an adult.

Then make your friggin' point. lol

but i'm not deluding myself into believing that steroids don't also contribute.

And I'm not deluding myself into believing a single drug or combinations are solely responsible or is The Great Explanation for the rise in numbers--there are so many, many, many reasons I've outlined here and over at Wizbang Sports.

listen to people with first hand experience, like Robert the original.

Robert doesn't have first hand experience with MLB players; Olympic athletes, yes. And I'm having trouble being convinced by his arguments that the enhanced results Olympic athletes experience as a result of performance enhancers directly translates over to baseball with similar results.

The only real and believable ways that strength affects anything in baseball would be bat speed--delivering direct energy to the bat via muscles; and pitching, delivering direct energy to the ball. But just because you swing the bat hard doesn't equate to more home runs or a better batting average; so much more goes into the swing than just that. Swing consistency and concentration play key and vital roles--and steroids reduce one's ability to concentrate, particularly over extended use. And that's simple not conducive to being a good or great hitter.

do you expect to profit from bonds claiming the record?

LOL. You're kidding, right? I'm a big nobody. I have nothing to gain from this whatsoever.

he cheated his way to the record, a terrible lesson for our kids, "you want to get ahead kid?, cheat, its alright, bonds did, cheating pays".

I'm from the Charles Barkely School of athlete admiration. "I am not a role model...". Parents are role models. Teachers and priests are role models. Athletes are not. People who follow athletes as role models are lost and sad people. But I agree, he shouldn't have even come close to the stuff.

where do you get SOLE fr... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

where do you get SOLE from that?

Not from you. I'm sorry if I implied that, I didn't mean to do so. What I'm saying is that that is the premise presented to the public by the media, pundits and critics and plain haters of Bonds.

but those #'s weren't do-ab... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

but those #'s weren't do-able without the steroids.

As I've duly pointed out, yes they were doable.

he obvious correlation between his sudden growth and increase home runs and Robert the original?

As 'Game of Shadows" indicates, Bonds went from 210lbs to 225lbs. Big deal. For the modern athlete who trains year-round that is hardly a significant weight gain. It represents only 7.5-8% weight gain.

why do you totally disregard BALCO, other players, his girlfriend...

I don't disregard BALCO, not at all. I think it's more of covered wagon medicine show selling athletes the fountain of youth (or performance); they (steroids) work for in some athletic endeavors (track and field, football), but I'm still not convinced the have the same effectiveness in baseball.

I disregard jilted lovers for two reasons: money and revenge. She'll get her reward with a book deal when this is all said and done. I guarantee it.

I'm very angry about one thing: The ineptitude of our court system to keep grand jury testimony--whether its Bonds, Scooter Libby or Joe Schmo down the block--from leaking out. The authors of "Shadows" should be locked up until they reveal the name of the leaker(s) who then should be locked up. That is one thing that should every American furious.

Peter f, READ, how many tim... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

Peter f, READ, how many times are you going to come back with this "SOLELY" stuff : "believing a single drug or combinations are solely responsible", how many times have i agreed with you about there being MANY contributing factors, "yeah, there are several factors contributing to the big #'s - small parks, lively balls, diluted pitching talent, more and better off-season training." where do you get SOLELY from that? you can add in the maple bat and the body armor he uses and its advantages go beyond the obvious.(the armor is also a device to mechanically enforce swing discipline) several times i've talked about what a tremendous talent bond is". can you read, do you read what i write? if so why do you keep coming back with this SOLELY stuff? anyone with a reading comprehensive of a grade schooler, would come away from reading what i've written with the understanding that i never said SOLELY and in fact mention MANY contributing factors on more than one occasion. "but i'm not deluding myself into believing that steroids don't ALSO contribute." the use of the word ALSO precludes a claim of SOLELY.
you sure act like you're profitting in some way from this. profitting doesn't have to be financially, it can be emotionally or psychologically. if the info doesn't fit your scenerio, just disregard it. like you disregard Robert the original.
and there's the point, even though the court of law says different, most people believe simpson did it, even you. just because a court of law hasn't found him guilty doesn't mean he didn't do it. and most people came to that conclusion before the civil court decision. i'm not a court of law, i'm not bound by the presumption of innocence. thank god we're not bound by that legal constriction, or we'd all be in lock-step with government/lawyer controlled decisions. we can't believe someone innocent or guilty, if that belief is contrary to what the government and some lawyers are saying? is that your belief? there's enough evidence out there, even if it is circumstancial, the preponderence of that info, to make me believe bonds was a user and it did aid his performance. and i don't think i'm in the minority.

"where do you get SOLE from... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

"where do you get SOLE from that?

Not from you. I'm sorry if I implied that, I didn't mean to do so. What I'm saying is that that is the premise presented to the public by the media, pundits and critics and plain haters of Bonds."

you did more than imply, you accused and you did it on more than one occasion.

one thing we can agree on :

"I'm very angry about one thing: The ineptitude of our court system to keep grand jury testimony--whether its Bonds, Scooter Libby or Joe Schmo down the block--from leaking out. The authors of "Shadows" should be locked up until they reveal the name of the leaker(s) who then should be locked up. That is one thing that should every American furious."

and its not only grand jury leaks that should be punished. the NYT printed leaks about the tools used against those looking to harm america and americans, you and me included, should be investigated and punished, no matter where the investigation leads.
its not only ineptitude that allows leaks, many leaks are agenda driven by officers of the court, officers who are supposed to be impartial. and yes, the leaks about bonds were agenda driven. but that doesn't change what the testimony says about your man.

OK, kepa, you're testing my... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

OK, kepa, you're testing my patience. Clearly, I've stated that YOU didn't state "solely", and just as clearly I've stated that too many people believe steroids are the sole reason behind the big numbers. It has been argued and presented that way from the beginning.

You and I agree, there are MANY other factors and steroids MAY be one of them. And that's a big MAY as far as I see it.

Secondly, what part of "Bonds hasn't had his day in court" do you NOT GET?

you sure act like you're profitting in some way from this. profitting doesn't have to be financially, it can be emotionally or psychologically. if the info doesn't fit your scenerio, just disregard it. like you disregard Robert the original.

LOL. Again, what part of "I'm a big nobody" don't you get. I have ZERO, NADA, ZILCH to gain from this, other than being fascinated by the topic as a baseball fan. PERIOD. Get that through your head.

i'm not bound by the presumption of innocence.

Yes, you are (unless you're not an American.) And if you are, please avoid jury duty.

we can't believe someone innocent or guilty, if that belief is contrary to what the government and some lawyers are saying?

Again, innocent until proven guilty. Look it up.

even if it is circumstancial, the preponderence of that info, to make me believe bonds was a user and it did aid his performance. and i don't think i'm in the minority.

I'll tell you what, I think Michael Vick is a pile of dogshit (pardon the pun). The dog-fighting indictment is rife with disgusting details of his ALLEGED involvement. But you know what? Vick still gets his day in court. Vick is still innocent until proven guilty. Vick is afforded that right as an American. And the PUblic Court of Opinion counts for squat, now and after his trail.

Unjust decisions happen all the time, but unless we're sitting in the jury box we don't have a say in the matter. Period.

But your point of comparing Bonds and OJ, other than in the PCOO, is pointless and has no value.

you did more than imply,... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

you did more than imply, you accused and you did it on more than one occasion.

I said it only ONCE in direct reference to you, otherwise I'm addressing the widely held premise. So, you're wrong.

if i'm sitting on a jury, t... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

if i'm sitting on a jury, the defendant truly has the presumption of innocence. but i'm not and i'm entitled to my opinion. where do you get off telling me what i have to believe? you're telling me i have to presume him innocent because a court hasn't found him guilty yet? where do you get the authority to dictate what i believe or presume? the courts and laws have the authority to dictate that i give the defendant the presumption of innocence, IN A COURT OF LAW. no one, not the government, not PETER f. ALMIGHTY has the authority to tell me what to believe when i'm sitting in my arm chair. this is a free country, look it up. and stop tying to dictate what we have the right to think and believe. just because you think you know better and therefore have the right to dictate your beliefs to others doen't make it so.

you're telling me i have... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

you're telling me i have to presume him innocent because a court hasn't found him guilty yet?

Yes.

Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me that with little if ANY of the facts at your disposal, that it is reasonable, rational and right to judge someone based on the little evidence at your disposal and available? Seriously, you're entitled to your opinion, by all means, but I'll be DAMNED if that makes you right or just by ANY stretch of the imagination.

I'm NOT dictating what you should think or say, go ahead and think it, even say it. Obviously, and by all means, pass judgment, do whatever you want. But don't think for a minute I don't get say MY opinion of your opinion that I believe is unjust, moronic and pointless.

END...OF....DISCUSSION.

This is WAY off topic.

ALMIGHTY has the authori... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

ALMIGHTY has the authority to tell me what to believe...

And the Almighty would tell you : "Judge not lest ye be judged."

we all make many judgements... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

we all make many judgements everyday, and get judged everyday, by our peers, our superiors and inferiors. i don't fear being judged by any.
you did call me a "friggin idiot", was that a judgement? based on a few anonymous postings, you have enough evidence to make that judgement? be honest, have you been thinking i'm an a**hole, idiot, moron among others? are they not judgements based on very little evidence : to quote you :

Are you honestly going to sit there and tell me that with little if ANY of the facts at your disposal, that it is reasonable, rational and right to judge someone based on the little evidence at your disposal and available?

and there you go again Peter f. ALMIGHTY :

END...OF....DISCUSSION.

declare it over and then add your two cents, a dictator who doesn't follow his own dictates.

being off topic, let me ask, do you believe socialism is a viable economic system that just hasn't been given a fair chance?

I judged you because I had ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I judged you because I had enough to go on: your moronic (yes, moronic) comparison of OJ to Bonds. LOL

let me ask, do you believe socialism is a viable economic system that just hasn't been given a fair chance?

Oh dear God, you're a liberal, aren't you.

No, it's terrible system that's failing rapidly and bankrupting Europe.

WTF does that have to do with Bonds. ZIP.

Now you're being a twit. And yes, that's a judgement. And yes, I have enough to go on....AGAIN. LOL

you were arguing like a lef... (Below threshold)
kepa poalima:

you were arguing like a leftist, so i thought you might be a fan of socialism. and just when you make some sense with your thoughts on socialism, you revert to name calling and being hypocrtical, first teliing me not to judge and then going ahead and judging me. name calling and a presumption of moral and intellectual superiority, hallmarks of a leftest !! i haven't called you one and i'm not calling you one, i was just explaining why i asked your thoughts on the viability of socialism. if i had judged you by your debating style, as you have judged me, i might have concluded you to be one. i was just chumming the water, if you took the bait i'd have something substantial to base my judgement on. you judged me to be a liberal and you couldn't be more wrong. lets see, what else am i? a friggin idiot, a twit, moronic. step it up a little, add some vulgarity and you'll fit right in at KOS or DU with your name calling and presumption of moral and intellectual superiority. in a way you did take the bait.
if you're discussing our world and events, and you hear people talking like a liberal/leftist, ask them that question about the viability of socialism. it usually draws out the most timid of closet leftist/liberals. frankly, i was shocked by your reply, your style, the name calling and airs of superiority were leading me in one direction, that's why i asked your take on socialism. but i did some more fishing before flapping my jaws and falsing accusing you of something you are not. unlike Peter f. ALMIGHTY.

what else am i? a friggi... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

what else am i? a friggin idiot, a twit, moronic.

No, you're all of those for continuously bringing for a.) Bringing the completely irrelevant OJ aspect into the argument b.) saying I shouldn't judge you when judged Bonds, then me, then got pissy when I said I had enough to go on from what you said to judge c.) finally, moving the goalposts to "socialism" which has ZERO to do with the conversation concerning BONDS. Period.

And I stand by them in reference to a conversation concerning BONDS.




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