Archive for August, 2007

…. Hit the bricks

As in, what happens to a GM on a team that has fallen apart after high expectations, has failed to take advantage of Hall of Fame talent for over a decade, and has no detailed –and clearly working– plan for how to keep a team competitive over the long haul. The Houston Astros their GM and manager, after a two year free-fall from the World Series to one of the worst records in baseball.

…. The last two seasons, let’s face it, have been dual disasters. Remember, just two postseasons ago, in October of 2005, the Astros were in their first World Series. Everybody was happy. The city was beaming. Then came an uneven season in ’06, when the Astros needed a late surge just to eke above .500. This year, they haven’t been above .500 since May 16. The Astros are currently 58-73, in a virtual tie for last place in the National League Central.

…. The Astros, as they stand now, are a terribly imperfect team. They are young and shaky in the rotation after starter Roy Oswalt and just as wiggly in the bullpen. Their shortstop and catcher positions are offensive black holes, and there are questions to be answered at both second and third base. They are weak defensively.

Hmmmm…. This reminds me of some other team. ;-)

Let’s see…. The Giants starting pitchers are young and shaky after, well, by default, you’d have to say Barry Zito. Our catcher is OK with the stick, but slower than grass growing. In fact, other than Molina’s surprising –and certainly not replicable– season with the bat, our entire infield is old, slow, and among the worst offensive players at their respective positions. Our outfield is also old and slow, and can’t throw, and, except for Bonds, also can’t hit. Our farm system has exactly zero prospects who seem capable of replacing any one of these terrible, terrible stiffs that Bochy keeps running out there every day. Our pitching coach seems to have decided that the way to prepare our pitchers is to tell them to avoid throwing strikes, ever, and our bullpen is made up of only one or two players that aren’t a failed starter, a PTBNL throw-in, or a waiver wire pickup.

The Giants have 2 more wins then the Astros, after winning 10 of their last 12, but for all intents and purposes, the failings of the Astros organization are no different than the failings of the Giants organization. Missed opportunities (’01, ’03, 04), poor trades, lack of young talent, no discernable plan or organizational strategy for either the hitters or the pitchers, shitty bullpen results…. I’d even go so far as to say the Astros are closer, far closer, to turning it around then the Giants are. They actually have young players who can hit. The Giants have none, and are facing an off-season in which they absolutely have to replace six of their eight starters.

Seriously, how Magowan decided to re-up with Sabean, after a slow –and decidedly unneccesary– free fall from the World Series to last place that has been four and a half seasons running is beyond me. Reading about how McClane has gotten fed up with all of the losing his group of classy players and coaches have been doing –you know, the proverbial nice guys finishing last– made me grit my teeth. I’m fed up with it, too.

I’d have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Sabean saved his job. I can’t even imagine what he must have had to come up with.

…. Durham’s done

Ray Durham says he feels like shit:

Ray Durham, nursing a sore left hamstring, took a timeout Saturday from a 2007 season he called “embarrassing. By far, this is the worse season I’ve had in my professional career.”

One season after he batted .293 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, earning a two-year contract and a since-lost job as the fifth-place hitter, Durham is languishing at .222 with 10 homers and 61 RBIs. Moreover, his defense has gone south as he fumbles too many routine grounders.

Durham confessed to a no-no, sometimes dragging his struggles at the plate to second base in the next inning.

“They’re always saying not to let your offense affect your defense,” he said. “In a sense, yeah. In a sense, no. Of course, I’m a competitor, so I’m thinking about what I can do differently. If I’ve just lined out, in the next inning I’ll get a groundball I normally catch and my mind is somewhere else.”

He’s driven in just 14% of the runners who’ve been on base for him, he has the worst batting average among all second basemen in the NL, posting an anemic .222/.302/.354 .656 OPS line. He’s grounded into 16 double plays, he’s only got 32 extra base hits…. I mean, for all intents and purposes, he’s playing his way out of baseball…. well, if he were on a real team, that is. ;-)

He’s untradable, and unplayable; which means that, not unlike the Benitez situation, Sabean and Bochy find themselves with little in the way of options. Either keep running him out there every day in the hope that he has a big finish, which might enable you to dump him to somebody; or bench him and play Frandsen.

Neither choice is satisfactory, since he’s making a nice chunk of change, benching him is more than just an admission of failure by management –it’s pouring money on the ground to boot– and playing him is killing the team. Predictably, of course.

UPDATE: Chris thinks I’m being too hard on Ray:

Hi John, occasional reader, first time poster.

He’s had some nagging injuries but I think he’s been solid for the Giants. He was no Jeff Kent, who peaked as a Giant and had some monster years, but Durham was putting up between 4-5 wins per season. Not too shabby from the 2B position.

Durham’s rank among NL 2B by VORP from 2003-2006

2003 – 8th
2004 – 3rd
2005 – 6th
2006 – 2nd

I’m not sure what you were expecting from Durham? He’s been solid (2003+2005) to great (2004+2006). Of course he’s fallen off a cliff this year but his tenure up until now has been a good one.

A quick look at Durham’s stat page makes me wonder what the hell the BP guys use to come up with VORP.

In ’03, he played in only 110 games, and had 8 home runs, 33 RBI, and scored 61 runs. 17 home runs in ’04, 12 in ’05, 10 this season. His Giants career high in walks is 57, his Giants OBP best is .366, not too bad, but nowhere near the league leaders. He’s never come close to a 200-hit season, or a 30-HR season. For crying out loud, he scored over 100 runs five seasons in a row for the White Sox –and a combined 114 the year before he got here– and has failed to crack that barrier one single time in his five years here…. in fact he’s only cracked 90 runs once.

Fine, he doesn’t have Kent’s home run power, but here’s a question; where are the triples? He’s got speed, he’s got doubles power, he plays in one of the most triples friendly parks in all of baseball; how can he not hit 10, 12 triples a year here? In ’05, he had none, this season he’s got 2. Noted speed demon Rich Aurilia also has 2, Ryan Klesko has 3, even Molina’s got one.

I mean, comparing his Giants career to his pre-Giants career is an exercise in agony. He averaged 154 games a year for the seven years prior to his arrival. That’s one missed start a month, for seven straight years. He’s missed 52, 42, 20, and 25 games the last four seasons, which has hindered his production, no doubt; but that doesn’t give him a pass, it’s just one more part of why he’s been such a disappointment.

It’s not a home park disadvantage, if anything, he hits better at PacBell. But he starts each season as if he was cast in concrete…. the last three he’s put up a combined .656 OPS, horrible enough to hamstring the team –counting on him to hit either behind or in front of Bonds– for three straight seasons.

I’d say that he’s just failed to meet my expectations, but I’d bet that inside the walls of Sabean’s office; he too cannot believe how many games he’s missed, how ineffective he’s been at driving in runs, how many double plays he’s hit into, and how little impact –for a supposed All-Star second baseman– he’s really had. I know that’s how I feel.

…. That is the worst loss of the year

Lincecum giving up three hits on three pitches with a 1-0 lead in the ninth, on his way to his first career shut-out. Worst. Loss. Of. The. Year.

…. Absurdity, Part II

Bruce Jenkins, obviously jealous of Alan Schwarz, thinks Sabean is back on track:

In a week of bitterness and frustration for teams unable to sign their high draft picks – or deal with agent Scott Boras without trying to strangle him – the Giants, after signing an exceptional high school pitcher in Tim Alderson last month, signed another, Madison Bumgarner, along with hard-hitting outfield prospect Wendell Fairley.

Sabean’s only significant deal of the summer, sending Matt Morris to the Pirates, could be a major heist. Aside from the minor miracle of Pittsburgh assuming the entirety of Morris’ contract, Rajai Davis has proven beyond a doubt that he can run, bunt, create excitement and play a spectacular center field.

Um, well, Sabean is the man who gave that albatross contract to Morris, there, Bruce. And Rajai Davis needs to do this well for more than, say, two weeks, before we get to the “proven beyond a shadow of a doubt” part of our analysis, don’t you think? Oh, and let’s not forget that Sabean continues to focus on high school pitchers, who, a), he won’t be around to ever see pitch in a major league uniform, and b) are about as likely to pan out as a 200-1 longshot at the racetrack. To suggest that signing your draft picks is some reason for celebration tells you everything you need to know about how far Sabean’s fallen.

Again, we are treated to an opinion that is filled with nothing more than hot air, no more than another hand-job designed to take the pressure off of a man who is failing at his job, and has been for going on four years.

Read the whole piece, Jenkins even goes further, trotting out the old standby, that Barry Bonds is bad for the team:

It seems the Giants have finally realized that Bonds, despite his gaudy offensive numbers, offers little help on the field. The Giants have lost 12 of the last 15 games in which he’s homered, and his defense is a source of major irritation in the clubhouse. Neither Bonds nor manager Bruce Bochy would admit it, but Bonds was benched for his outright laziness on a fly ball that landed in left-center field for a double in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Even announcer Mike Krukow noted Bonds’ indifference in the outfield – saying on KNBR Wednesday morning that it’s been a problem “all summer long” – and Krukow made a good point: Because the Giants actually need two regulars in left field, to cover for Bonds’ time on the bench, it deprives Bochy of having an extra pitcher on the roster.

Yeah, that fucking Bonds, all he does is lead the league in OBP, slugging and OPS, who the hell needs a guy like that? Let’s have our 12th best pitcher on the bench in case we need him once a week.

And Jenkins gets a hall of fame vote?

…. Absurdity

Here’s a taste of today’s article on a recent study that tried to see if there was a racial bias in how umps call strikes and balls:

…. four academics released a study that found that Major League Baseball umpires called strikes at different rates depending on a pitcher’s ethnicity. Specifically, an umpire will — with all other matters such as game score and pitcher quality accounted for — call a pitch a strike about 1 percent more often if he and the pitcher are of the same race.

The variance in baseball was quite small, even smaller than basketball’s. But its mere existence — too great for randomness to excuse — was met with wonder by those who study implicit association, a usually subconscious racial bias found in real estate sales, taxi pickups and other nonathletic areas.

“In sports, we can capture human behavior that is hard to quantify in other areas of society,” said J. C. Bradbury, an economist at Kennesaw State University outside Atlanta. “We can then ask questions like: Why is it there? Can we fix it?”

1% is too great for randomness? 1%?

You’ve got to be kidding me. That’s probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen written. One percent. One. That’s inexplicable. Alan Schwartz should be embarassed.

There’s no doubt anymore that the Times will publish anything –any thing at all– as long as it’s controversial. Unbelievable.

Here’s the text of the email I just sent to Shwarz, I’ll publish anything he sends me in response:

Dear Mr. Schwarz,

I just read your piece about racial bias in baseball umpiring, and I was wondering; did you come up with the idea that there was a racial bias in the study, or did your editor insist that you write the story that way?

I’m asking because I think that that is probably the EXACT opposite conclusion I came to, and more than likely, any other rational, reasonable person would.

A difference of 1% in any statistical analysis is the same as nothing, and you are too smart not to know it. To suggest otherwise is beyond absurd, it is dishonest, and it is manipulative.

You and your newspaper owe your readers an explanation as to why you decide to write an article with such an obvious and heavy-handed bias designed to do one thing, and one thing only; create controversy where none exists.


John J Perricone
Only Baseball Matters

If you want to add your two cents, here’s his email page.

David Pinto links to Dan Agonistes, who also seems to think the conclusion of bias is completely absurd.

…. Missed again

David Pinto notices Jack Cust’s terrific half-season:

Jack Cust homered twice last night as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Texas Rangers 4-3. That gives Cust twenty home runs in eighty three games. With a .404 OBA and a .550 slugging percentage, Cust is having a great half season. As I’ve said many times, if you have a problem at first base or DH, it should be easy to fix. There’s always a Jack Cust sitting out there.

And as I’ve said many times, the Giants have gotten bottom of the league production from first base for a decade, save the great production Andres Gallarraga gave them for a month in 2001, which they treated as if it were a disease:

Andres Gallarraga was acquired on July 24th. In the 20 games after he arrived, the Giants went 17-3, surging from 6.5 games behind the D’backs to just a half game out of first place. Their run production spiked upward, from an average of 4.93 to 6.75 runs per game. During that stretch, Gallarraga was a dominant force, providing a whole new look to the Giants lineup.

Not only offering greater protection for Jeff Kent; virtually everyone in the lineup was able to significantly boost their production. The difference between having the Big Cat instead of JT in the lineup was obvious to even the most casual observer, (my wife, just back in the states after 14 years living in Italy); the team simply looked unbeatable. After the surge, the Giants were a season high 17 games over .500 at 69-52, and seemed a lock to make the playoffs.

By that time, however, JT Snow was healthy, and Dusty was faced with a decision. Should they bench the Big Cat? Should they platoon the right-handed Gallarraga and the lefty Snow? Many articles and columns were written around this time, and there seemed to be a lot of references to someone not losing their job because of injury, (another bogus bit of nonsensical “common sense”).

Dusty made some reference to JT producing in the past, and how they couldn’t expect to win without his bat (really, you could look it up), and then he benched Andres and started playing Snow. And how did that work? Almost exactly as you might expect. When they made the switch from Andres, with a slugging percentage around .600, to Snow, with a slugging percentage around .350; it completely derailed the offense. Over the next twenty games, the Giants offense slumped to only 4.05 runs per game, and the team produced a record of 9-11. (By then even Dusty could see that JT wasn’t going to get it done, he started platooning them, but the damage was done. Andres and the team never got back on track).

That twenty game stretch, in which Dusty Baker’s loyalty to one player superseded his loyalty to the team, the organization and to its fans; cost the Giants the playoffs. From that 69-52 record, the Giants went 21-20 the rest of the way, losing the division by two games to the eventual world champion Diamondbacks.

It wasn’t just Baker, either. I went to the Giants’ fan invite that season, with the playoffs still in question, and I asked the first question of the session. I asked Sabean why he and Baker were putting Snow back in the lineup, and he defended the decision, I actually got to hear him say that Snow saved the team 1000 runs a year with his glove. I’m not shitting you.

That ’01 team was almost certainly better than the ’02 team, and with the kind of run Bonds was on, the Giants would have been a favorite to get the Serious.

The team’s failure to get a real first baseman, one who actually hits home runs, (really, one of the most important offensive positions on the field) was one of the keys to their failure to win a championship during Bonds’ unbelievable run from 2000-2004.

That they continue to trot out first base production of ten home runs a season is enough of a reason to fire Sabean, right now, before he signs Rajai Davis to a three-year, $11 million dollar contract extension that he’s not up for. Oh, and by the way, if Davis is still running out a plus-.400 OBA at the end of the season, I’ll post an “I’m stupid” column and keep it up for a week.

…. Too smart

Eric Neel has perhaps a most intelligent and thoughtful look at the Bonds situation:

Let me ask you a question: As a baseball fan with a sense of history and an appreciation for the game played at the highest level, which of the following scenarios disappoints you more?

1. Barry Bonds using something to dramatically improve his already-high level of performance and to substantially prolong his baseball career.

Or …

2. Mickey Mantle using something that dramatically lowered his once-high level of performance and substantially shortened his baseball career.

…. Mantle, who was further limited by chronic leg injuries, by his own admission began drinking alcohol heavily early in his career. In his 1986 autobiography, “The Mick,” he said he “got a bellyful starting in 1952,” and after being diagnosed with liver cancer in 1994, he urged fans: “don’t be like me.”

At age 32, in 1964, Mantle posted a .303/.423/.591 line, including 35 home runs and 111 RBIs, and finished second in American League MVP balloting. In the last four years of his career, from ages 33-36, he averaged a .256/.386/.455 line, 21 HRs and 53 RBIs over 1,569 at-bats, including a career-closing 1968 season in which he hit .237 and managed a career-low (excluding 1963, in which he played in just 65 games, and 1951, in which he played in 96) 18 home runs.

Which hurts more?

Witnessing what otherwise might never have happened?

Or longing for what might have been?

I made a similar argument vis-a-vis Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. about two years ago:

…. you could argue that Griffey let his fans and teammates down by missing so much time. Cincinnatti fans certainly had to have felt let down, after trading away key members of the team to get him, and then signing him to a huge contract that limited the team’s ability to deal with his missing substantial time.

Griffey’s been in a Reds uniform since 2000, and has played a full season but once, his first with the team. Since that first year, he has hit a total of 63 home runs while playing 317 games out of a possible 648, less than half. And yet, his Baseball Reference page is sponsored by Poisk, who writes, “500+ ‘All Natural’ Home Runs…. Now that’s something to be proud of.”

Something to be proud of apparently doesn’t include being there for your teammates, or the fans, or being able to do your job every day. Why is that a good thing?

I could give a shit about whether it’s sacriligious to have this conversation. You wanna talk about this in terms that really matter? You wanna frame this debate in a way that impacts the future of the game, a team, or a player? Face the facts, first and foremost. Face the facts.

Whether Bonds did steroids or not, he absolutely and clearly did every single thing he could possibly do to be the best. If he chose to use PED’s during a period of time when it was not against the rules of his sport, he did it to improve his performance, to be better, to be the best. He did so in a sport that has asked, in fact, demanded exactly that from it’s participants for over 100 years.

For as long as professional baseball’s been played, professional baseball players have done whatever they could to win, to be the best, to get the most out of their careers. That is the climate of any professional sport. Be the best, play through pain, work harder, longer, be stronger, faster.

But today’s custodians want to make sure you understand that you can’t make these decisions on your own. You can be the best, go for the gold, go the extra mile; but only in the way we want you to. We’re gonna decide what’s best for you, we’re gonna decide how and in what way you do so. And in Bonds’ case, we’re gonna do it after the fact.

It is the highest form of hypocrisy. It is a shame, and it is a travesty.

…. Bullshit

I’m gonna go ahead and link to this Lupica piece, because it’s just too fucked up to ignore.

Ask yourself a question now that he has the record: If Fainaru-Wada and Williams made it all up, if they have told all these terrible and slanderous lies about Barry Bonds, why hasn’t he sued them all the way into that famous McCovey Cove out beyond the ballpark he practically built for the Giants himself in San Francisco?

OK, I’ll play along.

Ask yourself this, Mike; if Bonds is the one who is lying, who lied, why haven’t the feds indicted him? If the evidence that Wada and Williams have is so rock solid, so persuasive, why have they now gone into their fourth year with a grand jury with no indictment?

I mean, it’s not like these writers had any ulterior motives to putting baseball’s reigning four-time MVP on the cover of their book, right?

Ask yourself why his trainer would spend month after month in a jail cell if he has nothing to hide.

That’s a straw man, there, Little Mike. Anderson already testified, and was given immunity –and the promise of being freed from having to testify again– and he already said what he had to say about Bonds.

Now, the Attorney General’s office wants him to come back and do it again. I think it’s pretty reasonable for him to assume that if he talks again, he’s screwed, don’t you? The government’s done nothing but lie to him from day one, why should he have to go through it again? He already talked –remember– got indicted, convicted, sentenced, and now he’s out. And now, after all the cooperating he did, and all the promises that he made and came through on, he’s being held in contempt for not giving more.

Bonds was always going to hit a lot of home runs, for a long time, because he is one of the great talents to come along in 50 years in baseball. He was never going to pass Aaron without help. Two-hundred-ninety-two home runs in his first 10 years, 756 now. Go figure.

Another straw man, Tiny Elvis. The entire world of sabermetrics has looked and looked, and has found that, in particular, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa did what they did due to many different factors, including smaller ballparks, better weight training, expansion, harder baseball’s, and better bats, to name a few. You’re ignoring something that you absolutely should –and almost certainly do– know.

Hank Aaron would never have passed Ruth without help, either. It was amphetamines or the move to Atlanta, or expansion, or the Mets, or the changes made to the baseball mounds, or all of it; but Aaron was no lock to break Ruth’s record at the age of 35, either. Without the help he got, he would have had little chance to finish with many more home runs than, say, Wille Mays. You want to talk about the 292 home runs Bonds hit in his first ten years, let’s look at Hank.

Hank Aaron had 342 home runs after his first ten seasons. How is that some kind of big difference, Mike?

Then, in 1964 (age 30) and ’65 (31), Aaron saw his home run totals drop to 24 and 32, respectively. This was the beginning of the decline phase of his career, and, lucky for him, the team moved to Atlanta. Over the next eight seasons, Aaron hit 315 home runs, a jump from 34 a season to 40, just when his power numbers should have begun to go down. Had he not moved to the Launching Pad, there’s little doubt that he would been out of baseball a lot sooner, and he would not have had the chance to pass Ruth. His home/away splits show that he had more home runs on the road than at home in all but two of his last ten seasons. In 1971, Aaron had 31 home runs at home and 16 on the road. In ’70, it was 23/15. In ’67, it was 26/13.

Bonds has had similar luck. During the decline phase of his career, as he entered his 30′s, the entire league saw a huge jump in offense. I’ve written about this dozens of times, but it bears repeating in the face of this withering media storm of hypocrisy and misinformation:

Bonds peak in offensive production –and McGwire’s and Sosa’s and Palmeiro’s– came during a spectacular surge in offense across the board.

As (Bonds) entered into his thirties, the entire league was entering into a huge upswing in offense. He’s led the NL in home runs twice, once with 46 (1993), once with 73 (2001). Almost exactly at the mid-point of his career, the league baseline for offense surged some 30%. You can look it up. Here’s the league and Barry from 1988, his first full season:

2003 NL 2708 HR .262/.327/.417 ATL 235 (Barry 45) % of top team 19%
2002 NL 2595 HR .259/.327/.410 Cubs 200 (Barry 46) % of top team 23%
2001 NL 2952 HR .261/.327/.425 COL 213 (Barry 73) % of top team 34%
2000 NL 3005 HR .266/.338/.432 HOU 249 (Barry 49) % of top team 19%
1999 NL 2893 HR .268/.340/.429 COL 223 (Barry 34) % of top team 15%
1998 NL 2565 HR .262/.328/.410 STL 223 (Barry 37) % of top team 16%
1997 NL 2163 HR .263/.339/.410 COL 239 (Barry 40) % of top team 16%
1996 NL 2220 HR .262/.327/.408 COL 221 (Barry 42) % of top team 19%
1995 NL 1917 HR .263/.328/.408 COL 200 (Barry 33) % of top team 17%
1993 NL 1956 HR .264/.325/.399 ATL 169 (Barry 46) % of top team 27%
1992 NL 1262 HR .252/.314/.368 Pads 135 (Barry 34) % of top team 25%
1991 NL 1430 HR .250/.316/.373 Reds 164 (Barry 25) % of top team 15%
1990 NL 1521 HR .256/.321/.383 Mets 172 (Barry 33) % of top team 19%
1989 NL 1365 HR .246/.312/.365 Mets 147 (Barry 19) % of top team 13%
1988 NL 1279 HR .248/.309/.363 Mets 152 (Barry 24) % of top team 19%
1987 NL 1824 HR .261/.327/.404 Cubs 209 (Barry 25) % of top team 12%

In 1994 Barry turned 30 years old during the strike shortened season (which I excluded). Broke into two blocks, we can view his career from the 8 full seasons before the 2000 total home run barrier was broken, and the 8 full seasons after the 2000 total home run barrier was broken. Thus, Skip (Bayless’s) sentence would read something like this, “In his eight full seasons prior to 1996, Bonds averaged 30 home runs a year. In the eight full seasons after 1996, Bonds averaged 45 home runs a year.”

And the upswing in offense was througout the entire league, not just the stars, not just home runs, everything went up and stayed up. To call this era the steroids era is an astonishing over-simplification, or, more accurately, a provable misrepresentation, a ploy by the media outlets to generate controversy and money. A tiny percentage of players have tested positive, Bonds not among them, but now drug testing is discounted, because it doesn’t fit the story.

Ask yourself this, Mike; if the Wada and Williams book was so full of facts and is so dead on, why hasn’t Selig suspended or banned Bonds? There is no doubt that Selig has had the power on “best interests of the game” grounds. The fact that he has not done so, even as Bonds chased and finally caught Selig’s “friend” Aaron, says volumes about the verifiable nature of many of the books claims, and the interminable “investigation” that is based on the same heaping pile of supposition, innuendo, and bullshit.

I’m not saying he didn’t, and I’m not agreeing that he did. I don’t know, nobody but he and his trainer really do, but nobudy, nobody has nearly enough facts to treat him as poorly as the major media outlets have. Add in their –and the commissioner’s– continued bad-mouthing of baseball and it’s players, and you’ve got a lot of hot air, and not much in the way of facts.

I wrote this four years ago, and I think it still holds true:

I just want to illuminate the discussion. The drum beat that Bonds alone is somehow defying physics is part of the reason so many people are willing to accept that because Dan Patrick believes he is using steroids, it must be true. But it isn’t Bonds alone. Yes, he’s breaking all the old records. But if the game conditions hadn’t changed so dramatically, he wouldn’t be. He’d still be the best player in the game, he’d still be making a run at Aaron, he just wouldn’t be wreaking havoc on the entire baseball encyclopedia. That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy his assault on the record books, and it doesn’t mean his accomplishments are lessened. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just something to learn from the statistical record. In a way, it’s just a fact of baseball life.

…. 757

And the hits just keep on coming.

Let me just say, the unseemly ESPN coverage, what with the instant call-ins from different sportswriters and media jackoffs telling us how horrible it is, how tainted it is, how fans are disappointed…. What a joke. I will never link to Lupica again, regardless of what he writes about.

The fans have let us know what they think. They cheered. They would have cheered more if the sports media hadn’t spent the last four years telling them they shouldn’t.

By the way, here’s what dignity and class sound like:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to Barry Bonds on becoming baseball’s career home run leader. It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination.

Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball, and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.

My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.”

…. Done

Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run of his storied career moments ago. Interestingly enough, Hank Aaron, after seeming to be uninterested in congratulating Bonds during his chase, had a lot to say about Barry and his terrific career, the chase, and his respect for Barry’s accomplishment.

So much for all the talk about how Hank was dissing Barry as the chase wound down.

Here’s some of ESPN’s “experts” telling us what we should think about Bonds and the record. I’ll rip ‘em up in the morning.

Congratulations to Bonds.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
San Francisco Giants, Major League Baseball, or any other organization mentioned herein.

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