Bonds watch

Now that I’ve had a few days to process the case of one, Barry Bonds

I’ve gotta believe his career is over. I can’t concoct a reason why any team would want to take on his demons and baggage … But then again, I fear there’s a slimey franchise out there that still could make a pitch for Bonds with the idea that his presence will fill seats and rake in some quick cash. Thus, I let out a long sigh of relief today when I read that Oakland, one of the few teams remotely interested in Bonds, appears to be backing away

As for his records? Initially, when the indictment came out Thursday, I was taking solace in the notion that Major League Baseball could turn its record books upside down and wipe them clean … Then I caught an interview with Tim Kurkjian, during which he was asked about Bonds records. A true baseball purist, Kurkjian made an excellent point, saying that questionable numbers are scattered throughout baseball’s history. It’s the makeup of the game. From The Black Sox to Gaylord Perry’s spitball. Even Pete Rose’s all-time hits record. You start messing with those records, and then you’re going to have to start looking at wins, losses, opposing pitchers’ stats and every play that was affected by Barry Bonds. And how do you determine what home runs were hit legitimately and which ones were not? Ultimately, does erasing his records from the books solve anything? … I say leave ‘em. Any decent baseball fan understands this era of inflated numbers, and I think that mystique will linger through future generations. Barry Bonds will never be viewed as the pure hitter Henry Aaron was …

So, then, where do Barry Bonds’ chances of getting into the Hall of Fame stand? … I think I know what Bud Selig would say, and I’m thinking I’ll disagree with him.

I do think Bonds belongs in the Hall, for the same reason I think Pete Rose deserves to be inducted. (Pete Rose, as far as we know, didn’t bet on the game until after he’d finished playing. He’s the all-time hits leader and one of the most exciting players ever to play the game. Period.) And let’s not forget, there’s other racists, misanthropes, drunks, womanizers and villains already in the Hall.

Between 1986 and 1999, Bonds was one of the best players in baseball. During those years, he led Pittsburgh to three straight division titles between 1990 and 1992. He won three MVPs. He became only the second 40-40 man in baseball. And in 1998, he became the first player to hit 400 home runs and steal 400 bases in his career. He batted over .300 six times, over .290 three times. He won eight Gold Gloves …

There. I’ve said it.

Good reads ...
a Barry Bonds indictment
a Feds, not fans, now call Bonds liar, steroid user
a Now what for Bonds, the player?
a Barry Bonds' Hall of Fame hopes hampered
a Bonds would benefit if more get caught
a Hammer falls on Bonds: Major League Baseball knew this day was coming


Anonymous said...

Whether or not he cheated, Bonds was by far one of the best players of his era. That makes him a Hall of Famer. I don't see what other standards you can use. you could throw out so many players based on some modern qualifier - including everyone before Jackie Robinson took the field.
I don't understand the convulsions everyone is having over Barry passing Hank Aaron. Just because he's got more homers, doesn't mean Barry is a better hitter, ballplayer or person. It just means he has the most home runs. Babe Ruth was a better hitter than Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds. Ted Williams might have been better than both of them. Heck, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Ichiro were/are pretty darn good hitters, although they didn't/don't hit many home runs. Take a look at Cobb's average or project the years Williams missed for the war(s). How can you say they aren't just as good, or better?
Of course, Ted Williams couldn't field a question.
And now Pujols, A-Rod and Kenny Lofton are taking it to the next level. (Just kidding about Pujols.)
Now, Roger Clemens - There's a guy worthy of disgust. Throwing bats at Mets players. Really.

OK, enough ranting. Here's my next question: If you could guarantee that signing Barry would win the Cubs the World Series (and remember there's testing now, so he shouldn't be juicing anymore) would you take him? Wouldn't you rather have him on the bench than Cliff Flop?

I know, I know, it's hypothetical. But it's fun!

Horns! said...

I would not sign Bonds under any circumstances. Plain and simple. He's too much of a liability.