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Monday, June 02, 2008

How Many HRs would Bonds have Hit Without Steroids?

Nothing like a highly flammable title. 

But the issue came up again!  A pox upon thee, Cameron Martin!

Here are the ZiPS Projections for Barry Bonds, based on his career through 1999.  Since the evidence that points to Bonds being a steroid user also tends to point to after 1999 being the time frame and 1999’s injury problems as why he started using, this strikes me as the reasonable place to start. 

2000:  286/424/583, 35 homers (444 total)
2001:  283/419/578, 31 homers (475 total)
2002:  281/411/564, 27 homers (502 total)
2003:  281/411/561, 26 homers (528 total)
2004:  277/402/530, 21 homers (549 total)
2005:  277/399/516, 19 homers (568 total)
2006:  276/393/486, 16 homers (584 total)
2007:  274/387/471, 13 homers (597 total)

So assuming he doesn’t come back for this alternate 2008, that gives him 597 total homers.  However, ZiPS, working from the uncertainty of 1999, gives Bonds relatively poor health the rest of his career, with game totals of 135, 122, 110, 107, 96, 91, 84, and 74 games.  I do think that after still hitting well in 2007, he would come back to get 600.

However, we actually do know how many games Bonds played.  143, 153, 143, 130, 147, 14, 130, 126.  I think it’s safe to assume,that the vast majority of the discussion among performance enhancing drugs is the performance enhancing part.  So, even if we make the assumption that steroids is responsible for Bonds’s better health as well, that would seem to me to fall under the category of restorative.  One of the primary arguments set forth by the asterisk crowd is that steroids are performance-enhancing, while amphetamines were merely restorative, which has a strong effect on whether something philosophically could be considered cheating.  If we don’t give Bonds the credit for the restorative effects, then by the very definition of the argument, we’re putting asterisks on 4256* and 755* and 660*.

If we give Bonds the ZiPS homer performance but his actual playing time, he instead hits 37, 39, 35, 32, 32, 3, 25, and 22 home runs in those seasons, giving him 225 and a total of 634 career home runs.

There’s also the issue of his injuries.  If steroids causes injuries, should not some blame for his 2005 season be on the steroids?  Based on the high playing time numbers for 2001-2004, he could have lost 25 homers, at least some of which could be attributable to steroids (since he could be injured anyway).

Lastly, there’s the unknowable.  If we assume, again for the sake of the argument, that Bonds became a steroid user as part of an intense workout regimen, would he not have had some type of benefit from an increased focus on working out, if not the results that he actually had?  Maybe he wouldn’t put on 50 pounds in 3 years, but is putting 15 pounds of muscle on in 3 years unreasonable for even an older athlete?

I’m not touching that last question, but I think that depending on how you look at it and frame the main issue, if we assume every last shred of the improvement in Bonds’s play is due to steroid use and give Bonds credit for none of that improvement, it’s still reasonable to consider Bonds somewhere between a 590 and 650 HR hitter; the second-best leftfielder in baseball history.

Dan Szymborski Posted: June 02, 2008 at 08:03 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Mark R. Garber Posted: June 02, 2008 at 08:27 PM (#2803262)
Let the carnage begin.
   2. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 02, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2803275)
There’s also the intentional walk issue. A bit cloudier, but interesting to look at. If Bonds doesn’t have a sudden uptick and play and merely become a slowly declining all-time great, he probably doesn’t see that uptick. Using some mathemagics, I estimate that becoming BONDS instead of Bonds added 172 intentional walks. Given that he was walked in situations where teams most feared him hitting a homer, it stands to reason that those intentional walks were in situations in which it could be considered more than possible that Bonds could hit a homer. So give him his career rate, slowly decline it, and you’re looking somewhere in the 10-15 homer range. Call it 12 and give him 646.


I don't understand what you're doing here. For the 634-HR Bonds, did you give him his actual games played or his actual AB? If the former, then wouldn't you already be projecting a lower IBB rate?

Regardless, it's an interesting exercise and the range you come up with (and it really has to be a range) looks pretty reasonable.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 02, 2008 at 09:00 PM (#2803282)

I don't understand what you're doing here. For the 634-HR Bonds, did you give him his actual games played or his actual AB? If the former, then wouldn't you already be projecting a lower IBB rate?


Was just estimating, so I went by games. I can fix that in the article.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#2803313)
I like this approach you're taking, Dan, since beneath the math there's an honestly agnostic air about your projections.

I think it’s safe to assume,that the vast majority of the discussion among performance enhancing drugs is the performance enhancing part. So, even if we make the assumption that steroids is responsible for Bonds’s better health as well, that would seem to me to fall under the category of restorative. One of the primary arguments set forth by the asterisk crowd is that steroids are performance-enhancing, while amphetamines were merely restorative, which has a strong effect on whether something philosophically could be considered cheating. If we don’t give Bonds the credit for the restorative effects, then by the very definition of the argument, we’re putting asterisks on 4256* and 755* and 660*.

If we give Bonds the ZiPS homer performance but his actual playing time, he instead hits 37, 39, 35, 32, 32, 3, 25, and 22 home runs in those seasons, giving him 225 and a total of 634 career home runs.


And that seems to me to be the most honest and consistent approach, IF in fact one can estimate the effects of "restorative" vs "performance enhancing" with any precision, in the case of steroids. I don't think that any of us can really do that, but the idea of "giving" him the extra games, but discounting the "extra" home runs that he hit during his final years, seems a reasonable way of looking at it.

With one demurral. While the idea of a player---any player---having the extent of those late career spikes that Bonds had is absurd on its face, there's nevertheless the fact that Bonds is (or was) one of the all-time greats before 1999. And as you (Dan) say, even without the steroids it's not unreasonable to assume that Bonds would have found a way to partially make up for their absence.

Which is why I have a hard time imagining that the steroids added that many home runs to his final total. I see him closer to Mays, or maybe even in the 700 range. Of course this is little more than a guess, but then who's isn't? This is not the kind of experiment that you can transfer from a lab to a record book. It's one of the great unanswerable questions.
   5. PreBeaneAsFan Posted: June 02, 2008 at 10:01 PM (#2803320)
I think you can't fully discount his "extra" HR those years back to his career rate since it is very clear that his bulking up coincided with a change in approach at the plate. I don't know how you weight that versus the supposed impact of steroids, but I think Bonds was going to have a HR spike of some sort those years with or without off the field changes.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2008 at 10:04 PM (#2803324)
I think you can't fully discount his "extra" HR those years back to his career rate since it is very clear that his bulking up coincided with a change in approach at the plate. I don't know how you weight that versus the supposed impact of steroids, but I think Bonds was going to have a HR spike of some sort those years with or without off the field changes.

That's more or less what I was trying to say. Bonds was driven to be the best, and while steroids unquestionably helped him achieve that goal, and padded his power totals, there were obviously many other factors at work as well, from workouts to swing alteration to pitcher knowledge and likely more.
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 02, 2008 at 10:22 PM (#2803335)
I think you can't fully discount his "extra" HR those years back to his career rate since it is very clear that his bulking up coincided with a change in approach at the plate. I don't know how you weight that versus the supposed impact of steroids, but I think Bonds was going to have a HR spike of some sort those years with or without off the field changes.

I do imply this in the "unknowable" category. I just don't know. I'm mostly trying to get a reasonable floor here - we know about where the ceiling is (762). Somewhere around 600 seems to be about the absolute floor one can "credit" Bonds with if they feel he's a cheater and assume the entirety of his excellent 2000-2007 aging path is attributable to steroids.
   8. PreBeaneAsFan Posted: June 02, 2008 at 10:34 PM (#2803341)
I certainly agree with that. I cannot imagine any sane person suggesting Bonds would have ended up with much less than <600 HR by now. My (completely arbitrary) guess is that he hits almost 700 and hangs on for dear life for a few more years (say until after the 2010 season)to pass at least Ruth. Then if he has anything left in the tank he goes for the record playing part time as a DH in some random AL city.

I do agree however that it's really too bad that there is simply no way to know much of anything other than the least amount of HR he likely could have hit.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2008 at 10:53 PM (#2803350)
I certainly agree with that. I cannot imagine any sane person suggesting Bonds would have ended up with much less than <600 HR by now. My (completely arbitrary) guess is that he hits almost 700 and hangs on for dear life for a few more years (say until after the 2010 season)to pass at least Ruth. Then if he has anything left in the tank he goes for the record playing part time as a DH in some random AL city.

I do agree however that it's really too bad that there is simply no way to know much of anything other than the least amount of HR he likely could have hit.


Absoutely true, and for this, alas, there's only one person to blame. It wasn't the government that made him do it....
   10. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 02, 2008 at 11:46 PM (#2803386)
Which is why I have a hard time imagining that the steroids added that many home runs to his final total. I see him closer to Mays, or maybe even in the 700 range. Of course this is little more than a guess, but then who's isn't? This is not the kind of experiment that you can transfer from a lab to a record book. It's one of the great unanswerable questions.


If we assume that steroids don't have much of an effect on performance enhancement, then the question is extremely answerable: he'd have finished, in a universe where we are sure he didn't take steroids, with approximately 762 home runs.
   11. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: June 02, 2008 at 11:53 PM (#2803392)
How would George Bailey's life be different if he had jumped off of a bridge? What if The Beatles never smoked pot? What if Bonds had taken heroin before each at-bat? What if I had been born in Florida? What if Rob Thomas didn't suck? I'll file all of these ridiculous rhetorical questions in a folder that I'll never look at again.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 02, 2008 at 11:56 PM (#2803393)
As to the intentional walk issue, before 1998 Bonds averaged 24 IBB per 162 games. After 1998 he averaged 56 IBB per 162 games.

He IBB'd 428 times in 1243 games from 1998 on. If we give him his pre-1998 pace of IBBs, then he only IBBs 185 times instead of 428. Which leaves him with about 243 extra PAs with which to hit home runs (*). Just from IBB alone.

There's also the straight BB issue to consider: without the change in approach he doesn't walk as much either.

All of which is to say that it's not quite so simple -- even assuming a massive increase from steroids -- to pronounce that he'd have hit none of the extra home runs from steroids. Give him his old approach with fewer BB and IBB, and he has more opportunities with which to hit home runs. Obviously he's not going to hit as many as 762 (again, assuming arguendo a massive increase from steroids), but he still gets some of those extra home runs anyway due to having more opportunities.
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 02, 2008 at 11:57 PM (#2803394)
EDIT: That needs to be edited but the edit function has disappeared.
   14. cardsfanboy Posted: June 03, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2803403)
11. The Grich Who Stole Christmas Posted: June 02, 2008 at 07:53 PM (#2803392)

How would George Bailey's life be different if he had jumped off of a bridge? What if The Beatles never smoked pot? What if Bonds had taken heroin before each at-bat? What if I had been born in Florida? What if Rob Thomas didn't suck? I'll file all of these ridiculous rhetorical questions in a folder that I'll never look at again.



yep, no reason to write any hypothetical articles, do anytype of reasonable attempt at guessing, the only thing that matters in the universe is cold hard unyielding facts. Don't comment on the work, quality of the writing or the assumptions, but just blast it because it's an exercise you don't feel is necessary.

I liked the way he went about this, I personally don't care about the hypotheticals because I'm not offended by roids, but this was, I thought a good exercise and I happen to agree with Andy's take on this article.
   15. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 03, 2008 at 12:53 AM (#2803454)
If we assume that steroids don't have much of an effect on performance enhancement, then the question is extremely answerable: he'd have finished, in a universe where we are sure he didn't take steroids, with approximately 762 home runs.

That kind of depends on how you define "much," doesn't it? Since I'm neither a mathematician nor a lexicographer, I still see it as unanswerable.

------------------------------

How would George Bailey's life be different if he had jumped off of a bridge?

I dunno about George Bailey, but my faith in human nature might have been destroyed for good.

What if The Beatles never smoked pot?

If you drink ten shots of vodka, skipping that beer chaser won't make much of a difference.

What if Bonds had taken heroin before each at-bat?

I always thought "Shakey" was a great poolroom nickname for junkies, and if it's good enough for 14th and Irving, it's good enough for baseball.

What if I had been born in Florida?

Depends. Are you fond of Katherine Harris? Would you trade your life of quiet anonymity for a few seconds of public service?

What if Rob Thomas didn't suck?

Who is Rob Thomas?
   16. robinred Posted: June 03, 2008 at 12:58 AM (#2803469)
Who is Rob Thomas?


Lead singer for matchboxtwenty

What is matchboxtwenty?


very vanilla, not-very-talented, pretty popular pop band
   17. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 03, 2008 at 01:01 AM (#2803475)
This is important information, robin. Much obliged.
   18. robinred Posted: June 03, 2008 at 01:08 AM (#2803487)
Thought I'd save us a post by asking and answering, sort of like John Dean during the Watergate trials.

Speaking of Katherine Harris, that HBO movie Recount has gotten a few good reviews and is supposedly reasonably well-balanced.
   19. bunyon Posted: June 03, 2008 at 02:15 AM (#2803652)
I thought it was a swipe at Veronica Mars.
   20. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: June 03, 2008 at 01:03 PM (#2804032)
Also, we'd never have had to hear about Ken Starr, er, I mean, Jeff Novitzky.
   21. Davo Dozier Posted: June 03, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2804162)
I thought it was a swipe at Veronica Mars.


From a Season 3 episode:

Cindy 'Mac' Mackenzie: Hey. Did anyone else hear there's going to be a Matchbox Twenty reunion show?
Stosh 'Piz' Piznarski: So? Rob Thomas is a whore.
   22. MSI Posted: June 03, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2804288)
634 sounds right to me.

Now what about Sammy Sosa? I think he impacted even more. Maybe he's not even a 500 guy. Or just barely.
   23. Harris Posted: June 03, 2008 at 06:13 PM (#2804328)
I originally clicked on this to smarmily write that I'm pretty sure someone else has done this at somepoint, going over all Bonds's roid year homers, figuring out which ones barely eeked over fences, etc blah blah who cares now.

But after reading, I don't feel the need to put that as I think this was a reasonably objective piece that gets to what most people ticked about steroid era feel.

Thanks for the article.
   24. Crashburn Alley Posted: June 03, 2008 at 07:01 PM (#2804359)
If we're even hypothetically adjusting players' home run totals from (alleged) steroid use, then I can't even begin to think about the totals of those who got stronger by lifting weights or drinking protein shakes.
   25. zenbitz Posted: June 03, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2804366)
How many HRs does Aaron hit if you project out the last 8 years of his career?
   26. Boots Day Posted: June 03, 2008 at 07:14 PM (#2804369)
What if I had been born in Florida?

Depends.


Yes, I hear they're very popular in Florida.
   27. tomdaddydollars Posted: June 03, 2008 at 08:30 PM (#2804423)
A more fun exercise: How many games does Roger Clemens win if he doesn't use steroids? There's no clear time frame for him, but that sudden resurgence in 1997 seems like an appropriate point.
   28. RobertMachemer Posted: June 03, 2008 at 08:57 PM (#2804436)
How would George Bailey's life be different if he had jumped off of a bridge?
But George Bailey DID jump off the bridge. He saved Clarence from drowning.

Of course, your being all anti-imagination by referring to a movie scene makes no sense. It's a Wonderful Life didn't really happen, you know. Someone made up a story that never really happened and you (sorta, since you apparently missed parts of it) watched it. I guess not all such creations of the human imagination are so worthy of your dismissal, eh?

Moreover, your bringing up It's a Wonderful Life is extra silly. The most memorable aspect of It's a Wonderful Life is the part where Clarence guides George through exactly what you're complaining about here: namely, "What would have happened, if...?"

So, let's recap. (1) You misremember the movie. (2) Bringing up just about any non-documentary movie runs counter to your point. (3) It's a Wonderful Life itself runs especially counter to your point, since it's famous for using a counter-factual history to convince the main character of how wonderful his life is.

I feel sure there's an appropriate Randal or Billy Madison quotation for this occasion...
   29. RobertMachemer Posted: June 03, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#2804440)
Hey, where DID the edit button go?
   30. RobertMachemer Posted: June 03, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#2804441)
Does this mean I can't explore what would have happened if I'd never sent my last post?
   31. BDC Posted: June 03, 2008 at 09:10 PM (#2804447)
Hmmn ... OK, so, what if the stuff that happened to John Travolta in Phenomenon that made him super smart didn't happen? How smart would he have been then? is my question.
   32. Cabbage Posted: June 03, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#2804449)
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a wood chuck posted on primer?
   33. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: June 04, 2008 at 12:34 PM (#2805458)
Hmmn ... OK, so, what if the stuff that happened to John Travolta in Phenomenon that made him super smart didn't happen? How smart would he have been then? is my question.

His ceiling might have been only as smart as Matthew Broderick in War Games, but possibly only as smart as Robert Carradine in Revenge of the Nerds, or maybe only as smart as Michael Bolton in Office Space.
   34. andrewberg Posted: June 04, 2008 at 12:53 PM (#2805466)
I agree that Bonds isn't going to gain 30-40 pounds of muscle at that stage in his life by taking legal supplements and working out. On the other hand, I think it is very possible that he gains more than the 15 lbs you postulate. With personal trainers, a lot of time dedicated to training, and the best nutritional supplements available, I think it is reasonable that he could get pretty close to 25 pounds, although I'm not sure how much his age affects the discussion.
   35. Mister High Standards Posted: June 04, 2008 at 01:17 PM (#2805475)
Dan,

This is good work.
   36. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 04, 2008 at 02:52 PM (#2805555)
I agree that Bonds isn't going to gain 30-40 pounds of muscle at that stage in his life by taking legal supplements and working out. On the other hand, I think it is very possible that he gains more than the 15 lbs you postulate. With personal trainers, a lot of time dedicated to training, and the best nutritional supplements available, I think it is reasonable that he could get pretty close to 25 pounds, although I'm not sure how much his age affects the discussion.

I did try to be as conservative as I could, mainly because I tend to be pro-Bonds and I wanted to make sure I was being as objective as possible.

To someone on BTF, it's probably fairly obvious that Bonds is a Hall of Famer without steroids, but given some of what the media and public's been saying the last year, I wonder sometimes. Given that I have access to a projection system, it's interesting to construct alternate scenarios - I'm glad I didn't disappoint Harris (and maybe others) given how this subject has probably been beaten to death.
   37. gay guy in cut-offs smoking the objective pipe Posted: June 04, 2008 at 02:57 PM (#2805558)
I'm amazed that this thread hasn't exploded. That it hasn't is pretty good testimony that it was a fair-minded and even-handed treatment.
   38. Boots Day Posted: June 04, 2008 at 03:02 PM (#2805561)
As I understand it, the edit function, as well as things like the Ignore feature, work only on the BTF Newsstand but not on the other forums and blogs. If that's not right, I'll go back and edit this post to correct it.
   39. SoSH U at work Posted: June 04, 2008 at 03:09 PM (#2805563)
Isn't one of the other variables in this hypothetical world whether McGwire and Sosa also (allegedly) used steroids. If the home run chase of 1998 doesn't happen, how does that impacted Bonds' motivation to change his approach.
   40. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 04, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2805579)
To someone on BTF, it's probably fairly obvious that Bonds is a Hall of Famer without steroids, but given some of what the media and public's been saying the last year, I wonder sometimes. Given that I have access to a projection system, it's interesting to construct alternate scenarios - I'm glad I didn't disappoint Harris (and maybe others) given how this subject has probably been beaten to death.

As I've said, Dan, I think you've presented a very fair and balanced (apologies to Fox) way of looking at these alternate scenarios.

But you do have to remember that there's a certain (unquantifiable to this point) number of BBWAA writers who know that Bonds would have made the HOF without steroids, but who will vote against him for the simple reason that he did use steroids. To them it's not a "steroid discount," it's a "steroid disqualifier."

Admittedly it's often hard in some cases to tell where one ends and the other begins, but in the case of Bonds, I'd say that 95% of the negative votes are going to come from writers who will freely grant that if Bonds hadn't juiced, he'd be an obvious HOF choice. But they'll vote against him anyway.

My tendency at this point is to think that he'll get in, at least by the second if not the first ballot, which would indicate that the "steroid discount" rather than the "steroid disqualifier" would be in play for the majority, assuming that few writers are going to believe that he didn't actually juice, and that only a minority of writers are going to ignore steroids altogether.

And when you look at the McGwire vote, it doesn't necessarily foreshadow Bonds's, because you don't really know the percentage breakdown of these two different "steroid factors," either of which might have caused a writer to omit McGwire.

In fact, in terms of the HOF, you might better direct your analysis to McGwire, whose career numbers and steroid story put him much closer to the dividing line of yes/no than Bonds.
   41. Mike Green Posted: June 04, 2008 at 03:42 PM (#2805593)
Right on, Dan. If you do a "ZIPS PED-adjusted McGwire" and compare it with Fred McGriff at some point, that would make a nice follow-up.
   42. detta Posted: June 07, 2008 at 06:31 AM (#2810833)
Hi,

I read this article, it is very interesting. I agree with Bonds said. I liked it

===================

detta

Problem With Drugs or Alcohol? This Drug Rehab has Helped Thousands of Individuals to Recover.

Drug Rehab
   43. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 09, 2008 at 04:02 AM (#2812475)
How many HRs does Aaron hit if you project out the last 8 years of his career?


bump?
   44. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 09, 2008 at 09:00 AM (#2812524)
Any chance we can do Nolan Ryan's strikeouts too?
   45. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: July 01, 2008 at 05:11 AM (#2838608)
Wow, this is really really good. I mean it. Usually these threads' ledes contain some snotty comment which pushes all my even snottier buttons; but not this time. I especially appreciate the accurate and sneerless restating of the other side's (my side's) position:

One of the primary arguments set forth by the asterisk crowd is that steroids are performance-enhancing, while amphetamines were merely restorative, which has a strong effect on whether something philosophically could be considered cheating.


Now as for the what-if, this --

it’s still reasonable to consider Bonds somewhere between a 590 and 650 HR hitter; the second-best leftfielder in baseball history
--

wholly ripped from its mitigating context, strikes me as about right. If all other things are equal but steroids/cheating, I think Bonds's trajectory results in about 590 HRs.

But then, this doesn't account for Bonds's personality and ego. The first "best" reason for Bonds cheating was his resentment of McGwire and Sosa. Let's say steroids don't exist, but Bonds -- again all things being equal especially wrt where his career was at the time -- still resolves to a)pass McGwire/Sosa in season/HRs and therefore glory and then if that goes right and the math looks good b)try to pass Hank Aaron in all-time glory. I think he works out so much and changes his approach so much that, at his age, he turns to garbage. At best, something like Dave Kingman's average years, but briefly. More likely, an earlier career-ending injury. At any rate, he fails to pass Hank Aaron, and decent people are happy. Bear in mind that what he's done early in his career already proves that he was a great all-around hitter and HOF-bound; Bonds knows this, but his ambition's changed and he's *personally* secure about his previous exploits; his purpose is to change other people's minds by destroying the record book. Bonds is smart: he knows that strength = power. He's gonna get ripped then because all he's after is HR power. But without steroids he has no ability to get nearly as big nor even to get bigger (at that age) without serious risk of injury.

Put another way, for Bonds's existing talent level (superb), with what he wanted to do (get HR records), his willpower (strong), his previous body-type compared to his potential body type, at the age and career stage in which he made the decision, there was no better material for the perfect steroids Frankenstein -- the enhancing effects were not merely additional but exponential. It's for this reason that I think even a 590HR/minus steroids estimate may be, if reasonable, still probably too high. Every ballplayer for the next hundred years could inject steroids to their heart's content and not one would gain more (HRs) from the experience than Barry Bonds did. In Bonds, steroids really did build the perfect beast.
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 01, 2008 at 05:33 AM (#2838617)
But then, this doesn't account for Bonds's personality and ego. The first "best" reason for Bonds cheating was his resentment of McGwire and Sosa. Let's say steroids don't exist, but Bonds -- again all things being equal especially wrt where his career was at the time -- still resolves to a)pass McGwire/Sosa in season/HRs and therefore glory and then if that goes right and the math looks good b)try to pass Hank Aaron in all-time glory. I think he works out so much and changes his approach so much that, at his age, he turns to garbage. At best, something like Dave Kingman's average years, but briefly. More likely, an earlier career-ending injury. At any rate, he fails to pass Hank Aaron, and decent people are happy.

Totally likely. It's basic logic. So next, the physically crippled but mentally twisted Barry invents three metal cyborgs surrounded by living tissue. He sends two back to the early 1970s (Pomona, California and San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic), and the third to Mobile, Alabama in 1940.
   47. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: July 01, 2008 at 05:55 AM (#2838622)
So next, the physically crippled but mentally twisted Barry invents three metal cyborgs surrounded by living tissue. He sends two back to the early 1970s (Pomona, California and San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic), and the third to Mobile, Alabama in 1940.


If Bonds had a time machine available I don't doubt for a minute that he'd go the Terminator route.

But then, unlike some people, I don't think that ballplayers are much different from the general population. Everyone knows someone who is utterly ruthless in chasing their ambitions. I know some people think we have to have a full psychological profile of public figures before we grade their characters (and for many, even that isn't enough when it comes to evaluating sainted ballplayers), but most of the time people are what they seem and it's perfectly all right for the observer to proceed from that basis.

Or, just because some sportswriters abuse routine character analysis doesn't mean that it's always wrong to do or gives wrong results.
   48. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: July 01, 2008 at 10:45 AM (#2838648)
Well, look what the cat hocked up!

Retardo ... good seein' ya man! I can't speak for everyone but this place is a lot more fun when you're in da house.

I hope all is well.

Best Regards

John
   49. marko Posted: July 26, 2008 at 09:43 AM (#2874630)
What retardo said sounds reasonable about Bonds, though I do think that Mcgwire and Sosa benefited from the steroids just as much as Bonds, though it doesn't look as suspicious due to the fact that both started earlier.

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