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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Posnanski:  A Barry Bond thought

‘Elo kiddies, ‘elo kiddies
Whatcha gonna do when your head’s exploding?
You lead a life of crime
You know they’re out to get you

Baseball Reference has this cool thing called the Fan EloRater, where they have fans rank players against each other and then use the millions of rankings to form a list of the greatest players in baseball history. It’s a great concept and great way to show what fans think about the game.  Trouble is … it really is what fans think about the game — unfiltered and unaltered. Barry Bonds, at this moment, is ranked as the 84th best player ever. EIGHTY-FOURTH! Here are some of the players rated higher:

83. Roger Connor(???)
82. Derek Jeter
81. Kenny Lofton
80. Tim Raines
79. Joe Cronin
78. Ivan Rodriguez
77. Ryne Sandberg
76. Andre Dawson

But, of course, we know the reason why Bonds is ranked so low — people think he cheated. People don’t like him. People think he was a discredit to the game. And that’s fine; Barry Bonds basically asked to be despised with his attitude and the way he treated many people. I say: Loathe away. The trouble begins for me when people move on from loathing and try to change obvious history in order to fit into a neat narrative that fits how they want to see the game.

I guess this gets to the heart of why I really dislike the idea of keeping Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and a handful of others out of the Hall of Fame. By doing so, we replace history with moral judgment. We replace what happened with what we think should have happened.

Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 19, 2014 at 05:16 PM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: bonds, clemens, posnanski

 

 

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