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Monday, January 23, 2012

Barry Bonds

Eligible in 2013

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM | 145 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 23, 2012 at 02:47 PM (#4043376)
I'm not familiar with this gentleman.
   2. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 23, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4043384)
You can't spell steroids without using 's'.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 23, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4043395)
I get it, this is going to be one of those "divide him in half and he's still a Hall of Famer" arguments.
   4. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: January 23, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4043426)
For my money, George Lazenby was the best Barry Bond.
   5. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 23, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4043443)
For those late to the party, the snark above is because we are pouncing like nasty school children on the simple mistake of posting this initially as "Barry Bond" and not "Barry Bonds", and while I am not proud of my post, I won't apologize either ;)
   6. A triple short of the cycle Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM (#4043448)
Never seen anyone hit like Bonds, during his second peak. He would calmly ignore ball after ball, staying in the batters box through ball four, then would take off his wrist armor and take his stroll down to first. BUT if the pitcher threw just ONE strike... WHACK there it went into the stands. It really seemed like he homered on almost every swing he took.

Daniel Craig is pretty good, yes? I wouldn't say he is the Barry Bonds of James Bonds, but then there really isn't one.
   7. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4043452)
Since this is the Hall of Merit and not the Hall of Fame, isn't a unanimous vote pretty much a foregone conclusion?
   8. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4043455)
triple

Given the slugging record and walk record achieved I think it's safe to say that NOBODY had ever seen anyone hit like bonds until Barry broke down the door.
   9. Don Malcolm Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4043457)
You're a dirty rat, Bitter Mouse!! :-)

Andy: didn't you know that Murray Chass is voting in the HoM under a pseudonym?? We will poisson the voting results, Mr. President...
   10. AROM Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4043461)
Since this is the Hall of Merit and not the Hall of Fame, isn't a unanimous vote pretty much a foregone conclusion?


What's a unanimous vote in the HOM? It's not a yes/no thing but a ranked ballot. I would not assume that Bonds will get the #1 spot on every ballot, simply because Clemens will be there too.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4043463)
We will poisson the voting results, Mr. President

I doubt Chass understands distributions......
   12. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4043474)
The Daniel Craig version is about the only version of James Bond that I can actually watch. Though the last one wasn't that great. The scripts in the Sean Connery ones were just plain old bad and the action scenes were terrible. Perhaps the British liked Roger Moore but he was to action films what Rick Moranis would be to action films. After Moore they basically didn't have anything to film since the Cold War was pretty much dead and they were left with going after criminals or terrorists and a white middle aged British bloke isn't the most secretive of agents when you are trying to infiltrate a cave in Afghanistan.
   13. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4043495)
What's a unanimous vote in the HOM? It's not a yes/no thing but a ranked ballot. I would not assume that Bonds will get the #1 spot on every ballot, simply because Clemens will be there too.

Good point, but if you're going by year-to-year consistency of excellence with no down years, not to mention a 43.3 difference in WAR, I can't see how anyone could favor Clemens over Bonds. In fact, if you don't take pitching and pioneering into account, and if you allow for the relative quality of the competition, I don't see how anyone could place Bonds below Babe Ruth.
   14. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4043512)
Why do I have the ability to "Edit" Andy's posts above? I've never seen that on any other thread.
   15. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 23, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4043513)
And after that post, those "Edit" links are gone. Huh.
   16. Rob_Wood Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4043521)
Hey, I tried to edit TDF's post (just to see if it could be done) but nothing happened when I clicked the "Save" button. Oh well.

-----

(and here is an attempt to edit my own post)
   17. Ebessan Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4043522)
Yeah, I see an editing link on yours (TDF), right now.
   18. OCF Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4043544)
Some fun with WAR (bb-ref version).

Bonds played in 22 seasons, 1986-2007. For the purposes of this exercise, I'll leave out his first year (113 games played) and his last three (2005 in which he barely played, and 2006-7 in which his playing time was somewhat limited.) That leaves an 18-year consecutive stretch. Is that "cherry-picking"? Hey, it's 18 consecutive years. For each of those years, I'll list WAR for Bonds and WAR for the best non-Bonds player in the National League:

1987 Bonds 5.4 Gwynn 8.1
1988 Bonds 6.2 Gibson 7.3
1989 Bonds 7.7 Clark 9.4
1990 Bonds 9.7 Dykstra 8.3
1991 Bonds 8.3 Glavine 8.0
1992 Bonds 10.0 Maddux 8.4
1993 Bonds 10.6 Rijo 9.3
1994 Bonds 6.4 Bagwell 8.9
1995 Bonds 7.3 Maddux 8.7
1996 Bonds 10.9 Bagwell 8.3
1997 Bonds 8.8 Biggio 9.6
1998 Bonds 9.3 Brown 8.7
1999 Bonds 4.0 Johnson 7.7
2000 Bonds 8.7 Helton 8.8
2001 Bonds 12.5 Sosa 11.4
2002 Bonds 12.2 Johnson 8.5
2003 Bonds 10.3 Pujols 10.9
2004 Bonds 12.4 Beltre 10.1

Total: Bonds 160.6, Other NL 160.4

So there it is: over an 18 year span, Bonds matches the best other player in the NL, the whole rotating cast of them. It's an average of 8.9 WAR per year.

The best American League player over the same 18 years had 161.7 WAR. If you then choose the best other player in either league it goes up to 172.6, or 9.6 WAR per year.

Part of this is that early-career Bonds was getting fabulous defensive ratings in this system. I'm not sure I 100% buy into him being THAT valuable on defense. For instance, that 7.7 WAR in 1989 - was he really a near-MVP level player at .248/.351/.426? But even so ...
   19. Randy Jones Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4043549)
Bonds was a really, really good defender when he was younger. The WAR numbers don't really look that out of line with what observers at the time were saying.
   20. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4043561)
So there it is: over an 18 year span, Bonds matches the best other player in the NL, the whole rotating cast of them. It's an average of 8.9 WAR per year.


IOW, Bonds over those 18 seasons equals:

The best Tony Gwynn year
The best Kirk Gibson year
The best Will Clark Year
The best Len Dykstra year
The best Tom Glavine year
The two best Greg Maddux years
The two best Jeff Bagwell years
The best Jose Rijo year
The best Craig Biggio year
The best Kevin Brown year
The best and 3rd best Randy Johnson years
The best Todd Helton year
The best Sammy Sosa year
The best Albert Pujols year
The best Adrian Beltre year

Simply amazing.

   21. AROM Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4043565)
I can't see how anyone could favor Clemens over Bonds.


I couldn't really justify it. But from a large field of voters, I expect at least somebody to do so. All it takes is one person.

Besides that, HOM voters are allowed one year boycotts. I imagine there will be at least a few of those. I see two people did not vote for McGwire back in 2007.

   22. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 23, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4043566)
Bonds would have been a centerfielder almost anywhere else. But he didn't want to play there and Leyland threw him that bone because he had Van slyke
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 23, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4043600)
Total: Bonds 160.6, Other NL 160.4

So there it is: over an 18 year span, Bonds matches the best other player in the NL, the whole rotating cast of them. It's an average of 8.9 WAR per year.


That really is amazing. Bonds vs. the field was a fair fight.

But of course to many people he's not a deserving Hall of Famer. <rolls eyes>
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 23, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4043605)
I can't see how anyone could favor Clemens over Bonds.

I couldn't really justify it. But from a large field of voters, I expect at least somebody to do so. All it takes is one person.

Besides that, HOM voters are allowed one year boycotts. I imagine there will be at least a few of those.


Won't be me, anyway.

   25. alilisd Posted: January 23, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4043644)
Daniel Craig is pretty good, yes? I wouldn't say he is the Barry Bonds of James Bonds, but then there really isn't one.


Sure there is. His name is Connery, Sean Connery.
   26. OCF Posted: January 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4043665)
Never seen anyone hit like Bonds, during his second peak.

A common scene: LH power hitter at the plate. The pitcher comes inside with the fastball, maybe in off the plate. The batter opens up, gets out in front, and launches a long, impressive drive, bringing the crowd to its feet. It's long - it's hooking - it's hooking - foul. And the crowd sits back down, deflated.

When Barry Bonds swung at that pitch, it didn't hook. It stayed fair (and maybe landed in the water). How did he do that?
   27. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4043689)
What's a unanimous vote in the HOM?

I think it would be placement in an "elect-me" slot on every ballot, which would be either top-3 or top-4 in the 2013 election (not sure if this has been decided yet).
   28. Juan V Posted: January 23, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4043692)
Actually, there have been a few guys placed #1 in every ballot on a given year. Rickey! being the most recent case.
   29. OCF Posted: January 23, 2012 at 09:38 PM (#4043726)
We've had cases of candidates who were unanimously placed at #2 on every voter's ballot. For instance, Rogers Hornsby, who became eligible in the same year as Babe Ruth. And some others who were close.

Mel Ott got 48 2nd place votes (and 1 1st, and 1 5th) out of 50 voters, behind Josh Gibson.

Yogi Berra got 45 2nd place votes out of 48, behind Stan Musial who got all 48 1st place votes.

Eddie Mathews got 51 2nd place votes out of 52, behind Mickey Mantle, who got all 52 1st place votes.

Frank Robinson got all 56 2nd place votes, behind Hank Aaron.

I think Hornsby and Robinson were the only unanimous 2nd place, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

There were other unanimous 1st place candidates; that often tells you more about who else was on that ballot than about the top candidate.

The closest election to 2013 in sheer abundance of riches of newly eligible candidates was 1934, which featured Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins, Pop Lloyd, Joe Williams, and Cristobal Torriente. Cobb did get 52 out of 56 first place votes. Perhaps even more remarkable was Williams getting a majority (31) of the 5th place votes and Torriente getting an even bigger majority (38) of the 6th place votes.

The elections in 1933 and the next several years after that were all elect-2. All of those top candidates for 1934 went in as soon as feasible, although Torriente had to wait until 1937 because Pete Alexander became eligible in 1936. And starting out in 1936 didn't seem to shut out those starting out lower on the ballot, since Stan Covaleski made it soon enough.
   30. Mefisto Posted: January 23, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4043730)
Just for fun, I did for Mays what OCF did for Bonds. Mays only has a 14 year run, interrupted by military service on one end and injuries/illness on the other. The first number is Mays, then the next player and his WAR.

1954 10.2 Roberts 8.3
1955 9.3 Snider 8.9
1956 6.8 Snider 7.7
1957 8.5 Aaron 7.5
1958 10.4 Banks 9.7
1959 7.5 Banks 10.0
1960 9.7 Aaron 8.4
1961 9.4 Aaron 9.2
1962 10.6 Aaron 8.8
1963 10.2 Aaron 10.0
1964 10.2 Allen 9.1
1965 11.0 Marichal 9.3
1966 8.7 Koufax 9.9

Totals: Mays 122.5, Aaron & Co. 116.8. Just a couple of notes as well: Frank Robinson never once got mentioned. Neither did Eddie Mathews. Mays had every single season above 10.0 and 6 of the 8 at 10.0 and above.
   31. base ball chick Posted: January 23, 2012 at 09:51 PM (#4043739)
i knew baggy was best in 94 but i didn't realize he was also best in 96. amazing to see that biggio had a year he was better than barry lamar Himself

one of the reasons i'm so sorry that biggio played so long after he really shouldn't have been playing is thatthe memory of an old washed up guy is fresher in the mind than the unbelievable 90s version when he was one of the best players in the NL year after year

only year i missed barry lamar coming to the Box is when i was too pregnant and too sick to care

people talk about watching mcgwire hit BP - well watching barry lamar take BP was a lot more instructive in seeing someone HIT he's take some swings, seeing how the ball carried to left, to right, to center, and each time he hit the ball, it went further and further.

bagwell was foolish enough to say on the record that barry lamar was the best ballplayer he'd ever seen - and this is why we all know that baggy must have done drugs and shouldn't be let into the HOF
   32. OCF Posted: January 23, 2012 at 10:10 PM (#4043756)
The blacklist question: what do you figure Bonds was likely capable of in 2008-2009 had he played? Not peak value of course; his playing time would have been limited and he wouldn't have had much defensive value - including that he might have been a DH.
   33. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4043869)
The blacklist question: what do you figure Bonds was likely capable of in 2008-2009 had he played? Not peak value of course; his playing time would have been limited and he wouldn't have had much defensive value - including that he might have been a DH.


130-150 OPS+.
   34. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4043917)
The blacklist question: what do you figure Bonds was likely capable of in 2008-2009 had he played?


Melting plastic with his urine.
   35. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:28 AM (#4043930)
Never seen anyone hit like Bonds, during his second peak. He would calmly ignore ball after ball, staying in the batters box through ball four, then would take off his wrist armor and take his stroll down to first. BUT if the pitcher threw just ONE strike... WHACK there it went into the stands. It really seemed like he homered on almost every swing he took.


Really enjoyed reading this as I saw Bonds the same way during his spaz mode.
   36. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:35 AM (#4043932)
they basically didn't have anything to film since the Cold War was pretty much dead and they were left with going after criminals or terrorists and a white middle aged British bloke isn't the most secretive of agents when you are trying to infiltrate a cave in Afghanistan.


True. Very true. But the other reason you didn't see a Bond takes on middle eastern terrorists plot was because the subject was completely ignored in the 90s and in the 00s the liberal media went out of their way to not fuel the stereotype of terrorists being middle eastern.

Since the birth of American cinema, has there ever been a period of war that has been as ignored by Hollywood as America's "war on terror"? Films on this subject have been few and far between. 10 years post WWII there were dozens upon dozens of classics on the subject.
   37. Ned Garvin: Male Prostitute Posted: January 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4044025)
Since the birth of American cinema, has there ever been a period of war that has been as ignored by Hollywood as America's "war on terror"? Films on this subject have been few and far between. 10 years post WWII there were dozens upon dozens of classics on the subject.


It's a lot harder to do that when the home country is actually the bad guys. Be patient. Like Vietnam, the films will come.

Watching Bonds during his later silly years always reminded me of watching someone play RBI baseball.
   38. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4044057)
To me, Bonds' ultimate at-bat was his mammoth shot off K-Rod in Game 6 of the 2002 WS:
Pitch 1 - A fastball down the pipe, as he's taking all the way. A writer described it as a man, after putting a token into a pitching machine, getting a measure of the speed.
Pitch 2 - Homer into a tunnel of the grandstand in RF. Hit Tracker measured it at 447 feet but it sure seemed much longer than that.
   39. Mefisto Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4044068)
Two homers stand out for me. One was the day he came back after his father died. He pinch hit in the 10th and hit a game winning homer. The other was off Gagne in 2003. Dodgers were up 3-1 going into the 9th and Bonds led off. Gagne challenged him mano a mano. First pitch was 103 on the stadium gun and Bonds hit it out but pulled it foul. Just think about what that means. Next pitch was 101 and he hit it into the CF bleachers. Gagne then retired the side.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4044069)
I think that Jim's come up with the perfect solution to what I guess he perceives as a problem: I'm seeing "[ignored comment]" after all of Ray's posts, and also after all of my own! Got to love the man's droll sense of humor, even though in any Hall of Merit thread Barry Bonds is my hero.

EDIT: And now those "[ignore comment]" thingies are gone. I'm smelling those dental implants, I am.
   41. AROM Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4044073)
My favorite was his game 2 homer off Percival in the 9th inning. I call it the intentional solo homer. Percival had a 2 run lead to protect, nobody on base, and the last thing he was going to do was walk him. He put it down the pipe and dared Barry to hit it as far as he could. One of these days that ball is bound to land so we can measure how far it went.
   42. AROM Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4044075)
Andy, you're not alone. I saw "ignore comment" under both your posts and Ray's. I certainly didn't put either of you on ignore. I clicked on the screenname, clicked "view all posts" which took me to a forum, then came back here and everyone's comments were visible.
   43. dlf Posted: January 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM (#4044096)
May 18-20, 2001. A three game series in Atlanta. I had tickets for all three. Bonds came to the plate 13 times and walked three. In the 10 at bats, he had 6 homers and 1 double. Smooth little 3369 OPS. By the end, even the Braves fans gave him loud ovations.
   44. Sweatpants Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4044107)
May 18-20, 2001. A three game series in Atlanta. I had tickets for all three. Bonds came to the plate 13 times and walked three. In the 10 at bats, he had 6 homers and 1 double. Smooth little 3369 OPS. By the end, even the Braves fans gave him loud ovations.
I remember that series well. Shockingly, the Braves took two out of three (of course dropping the middle game, as it was the one that I attended).
   45. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4044117)
True. Very true. But the other reason you didn't see a Bond takes on middle eastern terrorists plot was because the subject was completely ignored in the 90s and in the 00s the liberal media went out of their way to not fuel the stereotype of terrorists being middle eastern.

True Lies
The Siege
The Kingdom
Syriana
Munich
Sum of All Fears
Navy SEALs
Executive Decision

that's just off the top of my head.
   46. AROM Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4044125)
I assumed the Lion was being sarcastic in #36. But let's not limit this to films just because that was the dominant media in the past. You've got TV shows like 24, and all kinds of war video games so you too can be a black ops soldier, protecting the world from terrist scum from the safety of your mother's basement.

What do you know, a war game is advertised right at the bottom of this page.
   47. McCoy Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4044138)
A lot of those you'll notice came after 9/11 while the 90's saw a lot of weird terrorists. Russians, Irish, Americans, Eastern European, Colombians, and such

Patriot Games
Air Force One
The Peacemaker
Blown Away
The Devil's Own
Face Off
The Rock
Sudden Death
Under Siege
Swordfish
Executive Decision
Passenger 57
Fight Club
Arlington Road
Die Hard and sequels
Speed
The Sum of All Fears (which came out after 9/11 but was made before it. The original baddies were Arab but were changed to Neo-Nazis for the movie)

While before 9/11 and after the 80's you had:
The Siege
True Lies
   48. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4044152)
Regarding Bonds, I was visiting the Bay Area (Work or training I think) and I was going to a game with my brother. The day before (might have been two days before, not sure) Bonds had hit a homer to win the game and I remember being sad that was not the game I was at. Sure enough my brother and I are at the game (great seats down the first base line, BTW) and it is in the ninth, Giants are losing and Bonds is up with the chance to win. I think no way they pitch to him.

I have never seen a swing like his. Like a predator he uncoiled and crack the ball was gone, but only when it was a strike. It was crazy.

Anyway they gave him a pitch to hit and the ball was gone. The park exploded in cheers, but the dominate thought wasn't how did he do that, it was why did they pitch him. He was that good, you just expected it. Amazing athlete.

I should try to find that game and check my memory.
   49. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4044156)
Regarding movies and such, we may never see villains as perfect as the Nazi. I think we see so many goofy villains is there is a lack of good two dimensional villains in the world. Communists (USSR flavor) were OK and terrorists work for some movies on some levels as do criminal syndicates, but nothing matches the Nazi jack boot thugs.
   50. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 24, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4044198)
Since the birth of American cinema, has there ever been a period of war that has been as ignored by Hollywood as America's "war on terror"?

Starship Troopers is the perfect WoT movie.
   51. fra paolo Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4044249)
nothing matches the Nazi jack boot thugs.

Nobody respects the Spanish Inquisition.
   52. Mefisto Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:17 PM (#4044277)
May 18-20, 2001. A three game series in Atlanta. I had tickets for all three. Bonds came to the plate 13 times and walked three. In the 10 at bats, he had 6 homers and 1 double. Smooth little 3369 OPS. By the end, even the Braves fans gave him loud ovations.


I remember that series. I've never seen a hitter that locked in. He slugged 1.036 that May and then 1.078 in Sept. Slugged, not OPS.
   53. plim Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:36 PM (#4044305)
Let's not forget, while not the the silver screen, the first season of 24 was written and produced before 9/11.
   54. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4044310)
In the month of June, 1998 Sammy Sosa hit 20 homers. And still didn't slug as high as Barry Bonds did in his big season.

   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4044317)
I was trying to come up with movies about middle eastern terrorists from the 90's and 00's. It's a little odd to say that terrorism by Arabs and Muslims was ignored pre-9/11 when True Lies was one of the biggest hits of the 90's.

The Siege is underrated IMO.
   56. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM (#4044321)
Two of the hottest hitters on a month basis are Frank Thomas of May, 1994 and Albert Belle of July 1998.

Neither came close to Barry.

   57. McCoy Posted: January 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4044348)
If you go by the box office the most important ethnic group that we were concerned about in the 1990's was aliens.

Star Wars I
Independence Day
Men In Black



Alien 3
Alien Resurrection
Star Treks
Stargate
Fifth Element
Spaced Invader
Species
Predator 2
Galaxy Quest
Space Jam
   58. CrosbyBird Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4044354)
Regarding movies and such, we may never see villains as perfect as the Nazi. I think we see so many goofy villains is there is a lack of good two dimensional villains in the world. Communists (USSR flavor) were OK and terrorists work for some movies on some levels as do criminal syndicates, but nothing matches the Nazi jack boot thugs.

I think this is in large part because there aren't still Nazis hanging around that we need to deal with as members of the world community. If we practically exterminated fundamentalist Islam as an ideology, to the point where Islamic cultures themselves rejected the ideology even more strongly than we do, you'd see terrorists as cardboard cutout villains as well.

I think we've actually gone the other way. We'd almost see a giant explosion of protest if there were a movie coming out that made Nazis out to be even remotely sympathetic.
   59. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4044367)
The President's Man (not to be confused with All the President's Men) pretty much hits the Middle Eastern Islamo-terrorist stereotype to a tee. I came out less than a year before 9/11.
   60. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4044377)
I think we've actually gone the other way. We'd almost see a giant explosion of protest if there were a movie coming out that made Nazis out to be even remotely sympathetic.

I'm not sure that's wholly true, unless you think that the critical reception to Downfall amounted to a "giant explosion of protest".
   61. McCoy Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4044396)
Or Seven Years in Tibet.

Valykrie
   62. CrosbyBird Posted: January 24, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4044405)
I'm not sure that's wholly true, unless you think that the critical reception to Downfall amounted to a "giant explosion of protest".

I meant movies that were in English. Those are the only ones that matter, of course.

Seriously, does Hitler come off as particularly sympathetic in Downfall? I haven't seen the whole movie yet, but my impression is that he comes off as an insane, broken shell of a man, and that his subordinates are desperate rather than at all remorseful. Maybe you feel a bit of sympathy for Traudl Junge or the child soldier, but they're not the power structure.
   63. Moeball Posted: January 24, 2012 at 10:09 PM (#4045045)
Memories of mister Barry Bonds...

BB - his initials are appropriate since he had the most BB's of any player in history. Given that his father was Bobby Bonds (himself underrated IMHO), his godfather was Willie Mays and his cousin was Reggie Jackson, if Barry wasn't born to be a baseball legend, I don't know who could be.

As many of you know, Mr. Bonds terrorized Padres pitchers over the years, hitting far more HRs against them than any other team. It was almost comical to watch them try to deal with him in every way imaginable.

Put "The Shift" on - it looked like a game of "Over the Line" with left field closed - but to work that strategy you have to get the batter to hit it to the right side of the field where all the fielders are. To get a left-handed batter to hit it to the right side you need to pitch him inside...but if you do that he's likely to crush it to a location where no fielders are, such as the right field bleachers. So sometimes the Padres would actually shift all the fielders over to the right side...and then pitch outside to Bonds so he couldn't pull one for a HR to right. Most of the time he just took the walk but a few times I saw him just reach out and poke weak little grounders to left field for the easiest singles you could imagine (of course, if he was actually running, he could have turned some of those into doubles, but that kind of hustle wasn't exactly the Barry way).

His patience was legendary. Once saw a game where his first 3 times up the Padres walked him on 4 pitches each time - only one of those was "intentional" - 2 were of the "unintentional intentional walk" variety where the catcher doesn't stand up and hold his glove out, but the pitcher still doesn't throw anything remotely near the strike zone, as if to say to the batter "If you want to swing at these and get yourself out, be my guest, but I'm not throwing you anything you can hit."

BTW - does Strat-O-Matic still remove intentional walks from a batter's stats in calculating what to put on his card? I haven't seen the game in years but I know they used to do that and it drove me nuts that they didn't give the batter any credit for those. Quite frankly, if the pitchers are so afraid of pitching to you, you've earned that walk (well, except for #8 hitters that get passed in order to set up the pitcher batting).

But I digress - after 3 straight walks on 4 pitches each, Bonds' 4th time up started with two more wide ones - that's 14 straight pitches outside the strike zone for those counting at home - and then with the count 2-0 the pitcher finally threw one over the plate - and of course Bonds hit it a mile. Who has the patience to wait through 15 pitches for one good chance to swing? The guy was unreal.

Another example of his impact on the game - one time I was watching Los Padres vs. the Gigantes on TV - I think this was around the 2000-2002 timeframe IIRC - as you recall, Dusty often couldn't decide whether to put Bonds in front of Kent in the lineup or Kent in front of Bonds. I seem to recall Dusty trying both versions of lineups several times. At any rate, this particular game Kent was batting in front of Bonds in the lineup and Jeff came up with 2 runners on. The Padres didn't want to walk Kent and load the bases for Bonds, so they decided to pitch to Kent. The first fastball he saw was right down the middle and he fouled it off. The second one was hit way down the line but just barely foul. The third one(!) got crushed for a 3-run HR. As Kent was rounding the bases the Padres announcers were laughing, commenting on how lucky Kent was to have received that kind of pitch selection. They noted how Bonds wouldn't see 3 pitches that fat in a whole week's worth of games, much less all in one AB. They even joked about how Bonds should get credit for the HR on his stats since he was the reason it looked like the Padres were pitching batting practice to Kent.

Speaking of BP, I admit I was one of the people who would go to games 2 hours early just to watch the big-name hitters take their cuts. It actually was quite fascinating to contrast the differences between McGwire and Bonds. Mac would hit the booming, towering drives that would land deep into the uppper deck. Bonds wouldn't hit as many HRs in BP as Mac, and the type of HRs were very different. Barry's HRs would often be line drives that barely cleared the fence. But he was a very different style of hitter to start with. Barry was a truly great hitter (batted over .300 11 times in his career, won 2 batting titles) who also could hit for power. Mac was purely a slugger in the Killebrew, Kiner, Schmidt, Jackson-type mold.

Actually, now that I think of it - the top 4 guys on the all-time career HR list - Bonds, Aaron, Ruth, Mays - were just great hitters, period. All won batting titles, could hit for high averages as well as power.

Finally - speaking of Aaron - I was at the game where Barry hit #755 to tie Hank. When they announced the lineups at the beginning of the game, of course the San Diego fans thoroughly booed Bonds. I asked the guy next to me why he was booing and he looked at me like I was crazy. "Because he's a cheater" was the reply. So then they announced Clay Hensley was pitching for the Padres and the fans all cheered, including the guy next to me. I asked him why he was cheering Hensley who, unlike Bonds, hadn't just been suspected of taking steroids, but had been caught red-handed taking them and had to serve the ensuing suspension as a result. "How come you don't boo him?" I asked. "He's a cheater - don't you boo all cheaters?" If looks could kill I never would have made it home alive that night...which only serves to show, once again, the hypocrisy of most people when it comes to steroids/enhancers, whatever you want to call them. Particularly here in San Diego. "Your guy takes steroids, he's a cheater who should be banned and have his name erased from the record books. My guy takes steroids, he's a hero." But even worse - they absolutely idolized Shawn Merriman here, especially after his steroid suspension.
   64. toratoratora Posted: January 25, 2012 at 03:20 AM (#4045255)
The Epic 2001 Bonds strat card

http://www.kpslonline.com/abouttheleague.html
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 25, 2012 at 08:49 AM (#4045283)
I'm not sure that's wholly true, unless you think that the critical reception to Downfall amounted to a "giant explosion of protest".

I meant movies that were in English. Those are the only ones that matter, of course.


Drollery aside, Downfall had widespread distribution throughout the English-speaking world and was widely reviewed. It's also spawned literally over a thousand parodies, to the point where instead of forcing YouTube to keep removing them, the rights holders are now selling advertising on them.

But if you're talking only about American blockbuster military movies about WWII, I have no idea, since other than the two Clint Eastwood films, which are about Iwo Jima, I doubt if I've seen any of those in so many years I've forgotten the last one. AFAIC (hyperbole alert) 90% to 99% of the first rate WWII movies have been made outside the U.S., probably because those other nations experienced WWII's horrors firsthand in their own backyards and not just via radio and telegrams, or in a movie theater. We were never occupied, and once war had been declared, our homeland was never under bombardment. Such experiences (which we never suffered, thank God) are bound to be reflected in the perspectives of a nation's popular movies.

Seriously, does Hitler come off as particularly sympathetic in Downfall? I haven't seen the whole movie yet, but my impression is that he comes off as an insane, broken shell of a man, and that his subordinates are desperate rather than at all remorseful. Maybe you feel a bit of sympathy for Traudl Junge or the child soldier, but they're not the power structure.

Well, not sympathetic in the sense that his depravity isn't obvious, but both Hitler and a few other key Nazi leaders are shown in quite a few "small" moments of kindness that did arouse more than a few critics to a bit of unease. These moments add a lot of credibility to the overall portrayals without in any way trying to minimize or "relativize" the Nazis' basic monstrosity.
   66. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 25, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4045309)
True. Very true. But the other reason you didn't see a Bond takes on middle eastern terrorists plot was because the subject was completely ignored in the 90s and in the 00s the liberal media went out of their way to not fuel the stereotype of terrorists being middle eastern.

True Lies
The Siege
The Kingdom
Syriana
Munich
Sum of All Fears
Navy SEALs
Executive Decision

that's just off the top of my head.


The bolded movie speaks directly to the bolded part above. The Sum of All fears, the novel, was about Arab terrorists building and exploding a nuclear device on US soil. In the movie, the terrorists were European Neo-Nazis.
   67. Xander Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4045328)
Great post, Moeball.
   68. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4045336)
The bolded movie speaks directly to the bolded part above. The Sum of All fears, the novel, was about Arab terrorists building and exploding a nuclear device on US soil. In the movie, the terrorists were European Neo-Nazis.

Oops. I haven't seen the movie, so I was going off the plot of the book. In any event, I still think it's silly to say that hollywood has avoided movies about middle eastern terrorists.

My favorite Bonds moment is actually from 1993. I was a Cubs-Giants game in Wrigley in mid-June, and Bonds had one of the hardest hits I've ever seen -- an absolute laser to the alley that hit the wall. It ended up as a triple IIRC, but if the angle had been a few degrees higher it might have been a 500 foot HR.

   69. OCF Posted: January 25, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4045670)
Just for fun, I did for Mays what OCF did for Bonds. Mays only has a 14 year run ...

Totals: Mays 122.5, Aaron & Co. 116.8.


I could cut the Bonds version down to 15 years by starting in 1990. (That still includes his injury year in 2000 - no fair cutting anything out of the middle). In the 15 year version, he opens up a lead over Bagwell, Maddux et al of 141.3 to 135.6.

Willie Mays was amazing, of course.
   70. zenbitz Posted: January 25, 2012 at 08:54 PM (#4045822)
If any of post 1999 Bonds is due to PEDs they should put that straight into the water supply.
   71. Srul Itza Posted: January 25, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4045870)
Drollery aside, Downfall had widespread distribution throughout the English-speaking world and was widely reviewed. It's also spawned literally over a thousand parodies, to the point where instead of forcing YouTube to keep removing them, the rights holders are now selling advertising on them.


Is that the scene where Hitler is in the bunker raving, orders everybody out except a few and then starts ranting again?
   72. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4045929)
Somebody want to run that side-by-side WAR comparison for Babe Ruth between, say, 1919 and 1933?
   73. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2012 at 12:29 AM (#4045939)
BTW - does Strat-O-Matic still remove intentional walks from a batter's stats in calculating what to put on his card?
Yes.

Presumably, it is impossible for them to simulate a season like 2004. If they give him a 232-walk card, then you might not IBB him at all (and you might be right that that is the lesser of the evils). By leaving out the IBB, I suppose they at least open up the possibility that you might IBB him 120 times. (Although, really, it's not gonna happen. When I had him, I think it was around 35 or 40 IBB. Then again, you could argue that IBBing him 120 times was stupid and SOM is just letting its managers be smart by not forcing them to do it.)

Anyway, SOM can't re-create (what we presume to be the) fact that if Bonds had been pitched to more often, he would have had a much better BA/SLG than .362/.812. Doing that would be the only real way to get him both 120 IBB and 112 non-intentional BB. But because it is a replay sim, if they gave him that better card, then his BA/SLG would end up being those better numbers.

In any event, even with the card he had, I quickly learned never to steal or go 1st-to-3rd with anyone if there was a chance Bonds would be up later in the inning. (PS, he still put up arcade-game numbers and I still won the World Series ;)
   74. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4045942)

I have no interest in the steroids debate, or any Bonds-bashing, in general.

But

"Never seen anyone hit like Bonds, during his second peak. He would calmly ignore ball after ball, staying in the batters box through ball four, then would take off his wrist armor and take his stroll down to first."

The suit of armor was absurd.
He had a very good eye that the umpires made even better, it seemed to me.
I think too many pitchers were too chickenshiat.

The guy was awesome, but leading off an inning and other spots - please. It may have seemed to some like he hit every mistake out of the park, but that didn't make it true.

His offensive effectiveness was undeniable.
Was it entertaining?

meh

   75. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 26, 2012 at 12:54 AM (#4045952)
This thread is weird. I do not have anyone on ignore, but several of our more prominent primates have [Ignored Comment] under their names.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4045964)
Drollery aside, Downfall had widespread distribution throughout the English-speaking world and was widely reviewed. It's also spawned literally over a thousand parodies, to the point where instead of forcing YouTube to keep removing them, the rights holders are now selling advertising on them.

Is that the scene where Hitler is in the bunker raving, orders everybody out except a few and then starts ranting again?


Yeah, and there are now literally over a thousand parody versions of it.
   77. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 26, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4045967)
Somebody want to run that side-by-side WAR comparison for Babe Ruth between, say, 1919 and 1933?

Ruth vs. the rest of the AL, 1918-33: 163.9 to 147.1. His competitors are 4 Gehrigs, 3 Foxxes, 3 Johnsons (one of them a tie with Herb Pennock), 2 Sislers, 2 Heilmanns, 1 Uhle, and 1 Faber - not too shabby a group. Against all of MLB, he actually loses 165.6 to 163.9; he'd win if you left '33 off of the end. Adding 5 of Rogers Hornsby's best years, along with an Alexander and Dolf Luque's ridiculous '23 season, makes things tough on him.

I wonder if this wouldn't be a decent test for inner-circle players - how long a period can you use for this sort of comparison and still have them hang in with the best of everyone from the rest of the league?
   78. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 01:51 AM (#4045969)
The Bonds discussion is wonderful. Sorry for hi-jacking, I'll post this response to a few people and go back to respecting Bonds.

In any event, I still think it's silly to say that hollywood has avoided movies about middle eastern terrorists.


Silly? Silly is the response I got from #45 - #47. Inarticulate and almost pointless.

Then it turns out you didn't even know basic facts about a movie you listed and yet you still stand by your use of "silly" when you really don't posses any basic facts to make your point. I don't know about you, but it would bother me to cite examples of "evidence" but no noting about the evidence.

My biggest issue is reading comprehension. People tend to remember about 50% of what they read, but that's for large passages, I wrote no more than 3-4 sentences and you could go back and refer to it if you forgot. The lack if reading comprehension here borders on illiterate.

The vast majority of the movies listed don't cover the war on terror. The majority of movies listed don't have middle eastern terrorists portrayed and in several of those films listed, as McCoy correctly points out, "saw a lot of weird terrorists. Russians, Irish, Americans, Eastern European, Colombians, and such"

Some of the films did cover the subjects related to the middle east but either didn't touch on the war on terror, hardly dealt with middle eastern terrorism as it related to the war on terror, or covered historical topics, some from the 1970s. Several of the Clancy movies didn't even touch middle eastern terror and occurred way before our war on terror.

I am aware of True Lies. At the time tt was possibly the only movie in several years that dared make a terrorist middle eastern. Middle eastern terrorist in a film even made news, current events discussions in the 90s when the film was released.

There was more than one film that changed terrorists from middle eastern to non-middle eastern from original scripts or books. Not only were fewer films made on this subject than previous wars over a similar number of years, we have proof hollywood redacted middle eastern people from original works and replaced them with other ethnic groups as stand in villains.

Nobody's list is even close to related to my comments.

There were less than 10, probably less than 5, films in the 90s that touched middle eastern terrorists. In fact McCoy lists most of the films that chose to invent another terrorist foe, instead of middle eastern terrorists in a current setting.

There was no uptick in middle eastern terror films even after 9-11. For a solid 5 years after 9-11, again, there were few films that touched the subject "war on terror". Few and far between (I recommend you look up this phrase). Only 4-5 years ago did we start to see an increase and still a tiny list. We had dozens upon dozens of WWII films immediately after WWII.

Do I expect the same surge after the War on Terror? No. But you would expect the subject to get covered like every other subject that holds our attention for as long as that issue has. There is no question the "war on terror" has gotten less coverage from Hollywood than any other major military conflict 10 years out.

There are certainly reasons why this is the case. Hollywood was pro military in the 40s/50s and had no problem making several dozen feel good films portraying America positively. The "war on terror" is (debatable) as murky as any war we have been involved in which makes it more like the cold war, which also started slow in Hollywood, but not as slow as the war on terror. Maybe WOT a more difficult subject? Hollywood is liberal today and struggles to make America look positive in this war and "America is evil" films sell like ####.

Maybe you can debate those with me if you wish, don't waste your time on a response if you can't understand what you are reading. "United 93" was the most profitable "war on terror" film to date. Even more than "The Hurt Locker" which won best picture. This should tell you all you need to know about the difference between hollywood in the 40-50s and today.



   79. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 01:58 AM (#4045972)
Never seen anyone hit like Bonds, during his second peak. He would calmly ignore ball after ball, staying in the batters box through ball four, then would take off his wrist armor and take his stroll down to first. BUT if the pitcher threw just ONE strike... WHACK there it went into the stands. It really seemed like he homered on almost every swing he took.


One thing I'd like to add to #6 great Bonds observation. Often when Bonds was in one of those games or series vs a club, where he saw nothing but balls, one after another AB after AB. Bonds would rarely take a pitch off, he usually would wait until after the pitch to show disgust. Bonds would intensely watch every pitch, BALL-BALL-BALL-BALL-WALK, then again..... until suddenly there was a very close pitch, in fact it was even a strike on the black. Bonds would take that too, watch it into the mitt and the umpire, 9 times out of 10, would flinch and fail to pull the trigger.

You could almost read the umpires mind, as he said, "Here it comes.....that's a strik....oh ####, wait, did Barry just take that?" (pause) "oh ####, Barry just took that......but it was on the black." (pause) "Damn, it was a strike, but I've waited too long."

Bonds would dictate to the umpires balls and strikes. This happened and I'm sure others saw it too.
   80. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4045973)
Back to the Future had Middle Eastern terrorists. And Barry Bonds was awesome.
   81. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:05 AM (#4045976)
Back to the Future had Middle Eastern terrorists.


Correct and it was the 80s. I said nothing about the 80s regarding this subject.
   82. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4045977)

"Bonds would dictate to the umpires balls and strikes. This happened and I'm sure others saw it too."

Yes, I posted that angle.
Ted Williams did some of it, too, but he walked to the plate unarmed, at least...

   83. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4045980)
I know, I just watched for the first time in forever so it was on my mind.
   84. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2012 at 02:33 AM (#4045982)
How many Pearl Harbor films did we get after Pearl Harbor?

I do think the changing nature of film and film production plays into this as well. The 80's was the end and quite possibly the height of the B type movie. We just don't see the same kind of action hero that we saw in the 80's and beginning of the 90's anymore.

Chuck Norris
Sylvester Stallone
Arnold Scwharzenegger
Steven Seagal
Jean Claude Van Damme
   85. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:00 AM (#4045985)
Favorite Bonds game was this one, from when he first arrived in SF, 1993: the Giants put aluminum bleachers in the previously-empty space behind the LF fence, and the fans got this HUGE, 'Stick-filling sound by drumming their feet behind him... good times. Bonds homered to put the Giants ahead midgame, and made what would prove to be a game-saving diving catch in the seventh (staying down to the point where everybody in the park thought he must've been hurt), before getting the game-winning hit with two outs in the 11th. Seemed like he did that stuff all the time that year....
   86. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:43 AM (#4045991)
Good observation McCoy, that is a first ballot HOF list of action stars. Of course your forgot Charles Bronson.
   87. LionoftheSenate (Brewers v A's World Series) Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:46 AM (#4045992)
I remember Bonds in 1993, there were several finishes where he basically ended up in the crowd getting mobbed. That city loves Bonds. If Bonds was seen by most as a prick to the media, I don't believe that was true in SF.
   88. ronw Posted: January 26, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4046306)
As a Bay Area resident, I can say that seeing Bonds was hugely entertaining. Most of us didn't care about the armor, didn't care about the steroids whispers, didn't care about the reputation.

When Bonds was up during 01-04, the whole ballpark seemed to stop. People would run in from the restroom, stop ordering food, and it seemed like the entire park would quiet down a bit. I have never seen a player like that, and probably never will again.
   89. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4046721)
End of the B movie? Someone forgot to tell Nicolas Cage.
   90. Howie Menckel Posted: January 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM (#4046749)
"When Bonds was up during 01-04, the whole ballpark seemed to stop. People would run in from the restroom, stop ordering food, and it seemed like the entire park would quiet down a bit. I have never seen a player like that, and probably never will again."

Mets Dave Kingman (who debuted as a Giant) and early Darryl Strawberry also were like that.

I imagine most guys who ever might hit the ball 600+ feet, had crazy power with limbs like a 2-year-old colt, or someone who bashed 50+ HRs produces the same effect.

You may be too young, but McCovey in the late 1960s had that vibe, with the massive front shoulder and the relatively toothpick bat.

It is an interesting phenomenon.


   91. Mefisto Posted: January 26, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4046832)
I was there for McCovey and even Mays, but the crowd impact for their at bats was nothing like it was for Bonds. Mays was electrifying on the bases and in the field, but at bat Bonds was the one the fans dropped everything to see.
   92. toratoratora Posted: January 27, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4046927)
I was there for McCovey and even Mays, but the crowd impact for their at bats was nothing like it was for Bonds. Mays was electrifying on the bases and in the field, but at bat Bonds was the one the fans dropped everything to see.


McGwire was like that for a couple years there. As mentioned above, Bonds scorched line drive HR's, just flat out ripped em. Big Mac though, he hit moonshots. Every time he came to the plate, looking like some giant Viking, I thought he had a chance to do something epic.

Folks would come out early all the time to catch his BP.

Matter of fact, maybe my favorite BB moment came after he won the 96 HR derby, beating out McG. He was so excited when interviewed afterwards, a rare moment of emotional transparency-he looked like a kid, exulting, semi-stunned at his own success, "I beat the great Mark McGwire, I can't believe it."
It was a lovely minute of humility-Bonds seemed genuinely awed that he had won and completely thrilled by the fact that he had.
   93. Howie Menckel Posted: January 27, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4046937)

Of course, that's before Bonds entered the Mutual Destruction campaign a little late.

I mentioned Kingman because while he was a bad baseball player, his longest home runs were just preposterous. It's common to hit a Wrigley HR onto the street, but he hit one off Tom Dettore in the 1970s that practically rang the doorbell of a woman living ACROSS THE STREET.

And this with a lanky frame that was unrecognizable 20 years after that.
   94. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 27, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4047618)
Of course, that's before Bonds entered the Mutual Destruction campaign a little late.

I mentioned Kingman because while he was a bad baseball player, his longest home runs were just preposterous. It's common to hit a Wrigley HR onto the street, but he hit one off Tom Dettore in the 1970s that practically rang the doorbell of a woman living ACROSS THE STREET.

And this with a lanky frame that was unrecognizable 20 years after that.


I recall Kong hitting a homer with one hand at Shea sometime during the '80s (and not a cheap one, either). Despite his faults, I loved watching him launch baseballs.
   95. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4047635)
Of course, that's before Bonds entered the Mutual Destruction campaign a little late.


Maybe, maybe not.
   96. Moeball Posted: January 27, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4047887)
If you wanted to know about Dave Kingman, all you had to do was ask Tommy Lasorda...still one of the all-time great tirades where Tommy just went ballistic with a record-setting number of "bleeps"! :)
   97. Josh1 Posted: January 27, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4047927)
Since most everyone considers Ruth the best of all time, I'll make a case for Bonds.

If you you don't timeline it's tough, but it's almost possible:

By career WAR, they are equal as position players, but Ruth opens an 18 WAR lead from his pitching. However, WAR credits Ruth with 8 defensive wins above average, which seems quite high from his reputation, and only deducts 1.4 baserunning wins, which seems optimistic considering Ruth stole bases at under 50% for the seasons we have CS data and was known as being reckless. I'd consider cutting Ruth's lead by 7-10 WAR.

Bonds lost at least 4 WAR from strikes probably 5+ from collusion. Add those credits back and they're roughly equal. Ruth still had a better extended peak.

If you timeline for improving athletic skill in all other sports, the vastly increased player population pool, a better system of bringing the best players into MLB, or account for segregation, Bonds is clearly better.

Ruth also benefited from the particular environment in which he played, and I doubt he would have been nearly as dominant at any other period in time. If he had played his career mostly in the deadball era, he wouldn't have been as good relative to the league because his home run output would have been limited by the ball, and he wouldn't have been able to tower over his peers nearly to the same extent. He enjoyed the innovator's edge as the first home run hitter -- he was a disruptive technology. The #3 home run total in the AL during the decade of the 1920s was typically in the low 20s and sometimes in the teens. He dominated the other hitters, because they weren't selected for home run prowess, and the pitchers couldn't stop him because they hadn't learned the art of home run suppression and hadn't been selected for home run suppression skill. Not surprisingly, Ruth's three best seasons were in the 4 first seasons of the lively ball era when his innovators edge was maximized and before the league could begin to adapt.

Had Ruth come along in the 1930s and 1940s (assuming someone else "invented" the home run in 1920), all else equal he would have hit less well in an absolute sense because pitchers knew better how to suppress home runs, and he would have hit less well in a relative sense because other home run hitters were in the league to bring up the league average hitting skill. My guess is a 1930-50 Ruth would have a career OPS+ more in the context of Williams or Bonds rather than significantly above them.

I'm still amazed how Bonds put up Ruthian numbers in a fully developed sport. I doubt any of us will ever see the like of it again.
   98. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 28, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4048192)
Ruth also benefited from the particular environment in which he played, and I doubt he would have been nearly as dominant at any other period in time. If he had played his career mostly in the deadball era, he wouldn't have been as good relative to the league because his home run output would have been limited by the ball, and he wouldn't have been able to tower over his peers nearly to the same extent. He enjoyed the innovator's edge as the first home run hitter -- he was a disruptive technology. The #3 home run total in the AL during the decade of the 1920s was typically in the low 20s and sometimes in the teens. He dominated the other hitters, because they weren't selected for home run prowess, and the pitchers couldn't stop him because they hadn't learned the art of home run suppression and hadn't been selected for home run suppression skill. Not surprisingly, Ruth's three best seasons were in the 4 first seasons of the lively ball era when his innovators edge was maximized and before the league could begin to adapt.

Had Ruth come along in the 1930s and 1940s (assuming someone else "invented" the home run in 1920), all else equal he would have hit less well in an absolute sense because pitchers knew better how to suppress home runs, and he would have hit less well in a relative sense because other home run hitters were in the league to bring up the league average hitting skill. My guess is a 1930-50 Ruth would have a career OPS+ more in the context of Williams or Bonds rather than significantly above them.


I completely agree with this, Josh. The Babe figured out a new and better way to score runs that couldn't be duplicated by others overnight, so that's why he dominated to such a great extent as he did. A great, great talent that still would be in the running for greatest of all-time had he been born 40 years ago instead of 117, the Bambino was still not born on Mount Olympus.
   99. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4048324)
Hard to know greatest, but Ruth is clearly the most iconic. And from what I know of the Babe he would prefer that to being the best if he had to choose.
   100. cardsfanboy Posted: January 28, 2012 at 07:55 PM (#4048388)
By career WAR, they are equal as position players, but Ruth opens an 18 WAR lead from his pitching. However, WAR credits Ruth with 8 defensive wins above average, which seems quite high from his reputation, and only deducts 1.4 baserunning wins, which seems optimistic considering Ruth stole bases at under 50% for the seasons we have CS data and was known as being reckless. I'd consider cutting Ruth's lead by 7-10 WAR.


None of this makes any sense. Penalizing him some numbers in a system, while not doing the same for the other player is somewhat a dubious defense of Bonds.

1. Ruth was one of the handful best athletes of the time, with a rocket for an arm, it's beyond ridiculous to think his defense was anything other than stellar in his youth. If anything War's defensive numbers underestimate Ruths defense.
2. just grabbing a random year, 1925 there were 751 sb, 701cs. other years the caught stealing rate seems to be roughly 40%, his 50% cs isn't really that out of line with the average of his time period. -1.6 seems perfectly legit.

I'm still amazed how Bonds put up Ruthian numbers in a fully developed sport. I doubt any of us will ever see the like of it again.


Good comment

Ruth is the greatest of all time, it's really is that simple. The what and whys of it don't matter, the fact is that Ruth dominated the sport at a degree that cannot and will never be duplicated. You can argue timeline, time machines etc, but it doesn't change the fact that Ruth is the greatest MLB player of all time.
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