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  • pujols goes to bat for bonds

    Albert Pujols might as well be a member of the Barry Bonds fan club. He said he wants Bonds to break Hank Aaron's record and wants everyone to "respect (Bonds') career," that included a rapid climb up the homers chart along with allegations of steroid use.

    Although Pujols, who hit 22 homers in the Cardinals' first 44 games, is on pace to break Bonds' single-season homers record of 73, he's not about to acknowledge it.

    "What pace are you talking about?" he said. "I don't look at pace. I don't look at records. I'm looking at what can I do every night to use my talent to win, and that's what I'm doing.

    "It's not about records. It's not about numbers. It's about what you need to help your team win. If you can do that, at the end of the season, I'm pretty sure (I'm) going to have a pretty good year."

    Rafael Palmeiro is the only big-name player to test positive for steroids and serve a suspension. Pujols said he has been tested "about three times" this season under baseball's new policy and maintains he's clean.

    "I think you guys are taking this steroid era over the (top)," Pujols said. "You still need to see the ball and hit it and hit it out of the park. Are steroids going to make you better? Who knows?

    "That's why I get so angry when they talk and rag about Barry. The guy hasn't done anything, and you guys are already friggin' ragging and wiping the floor with his name, which is real sad. The guy works hard and works his butt off."

    Pujols said he'll be interviewed today for an upcoming installment of ESPN's "Bonds on Bonds." GIANTS NOTEBOOK
    Pujols on Bonds: 'Respect his career'
    -john shea, henry schulman, sf chronicle staff writers, tuesday, 2323 may 2006
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

  • #2
    Pujols demonstrating still more reasons why fans like him better than Bonds. But the whole "turn a blind eye" thing is kind of last year.
    Last edited by va_nats_fan; 05-23-2006, 11:39 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by west coast orange and black
      Pujols: "...Are steroids going to make you better? Who knows?"

      This is a perfect example of why you never ask people like Paris Hilton about world affairs.

      Get a clue, Albert.

      Comment


      • #4
        va_nats_fan: ...the whole "turn a blind eye" thing is kind of last year.

        what is it that convinced you that that is pujols' stance? why would you state that pujols is turning a blind eye?
        "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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        • #5
          elvis: this is a perfect example of why you never ask people...

          i don't know if pujols was asked a question or if he simply volunteered his thoughts.
          but, is it that you think:
          a) that pujols ought not be asked about baseball (as opposed to world afffairs, which he was not) or
          b) that his answer does not agree with you?
          "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

          Comment


          • #6
            my take

            Has been, sure bonds got very big in a short amount of time. But the great part of his swing is how fast it is. Steriods can't do that. Steroids also can't give him the hand eye coordination that he has. Plus he obviously isn't taking them now, and is still cranking bombs. Maybe Pujols isn't that far off base here.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by admode
              Has been, sure bonds got very big in a short amount of time. But the great part of his swing is how fast it is. Steriods can't do that. Steroids also can't give him the hand eye coordination that he has. Plus he obviously isn't taking them now, and is still cranking bombs. Maybe Pujols isn't that far off base here.
              The way he is cranking bombs now and before 2000 is not in question. No doubt that Bonds if he didn't cheat would have at leats 650 homers now IMO. He was a great HOF hitter. The fact that he has 714 instead of what he would've had if he hadn't cheated is the problem, especially since it's all these milestones that have always meant so much to the game and are now forever tainted in the eyes of history.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Elvis9045
                The way he is cranking bombs now and before 2000 is not in question. No doubt that Bonds if he didn't cheat would have at leats 650 homers now IMO. He was a great HOF hitter. The fact that he has 714 instead of what he would've had if he hadn't cheated is the problem, especially since it's all these milestones that have always meant so much to the game and are now forever tainted in the eyes of history.
                What proof do you have?

                You only have the facts and the facts mean nothing in this case.

                Ask anyone from San Francisco.
                "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                Carl Yastrzemski

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by runningshoes53
                  What proof do you have?

                  You only have the facts and the facts mean nothing in this case.

                  Ask anyone from San Francisco.
                  The only thing I'm likely to ask a San Franciscan is where to find a good deal on seafood and where's the nearest Peet's Coffee.
                  Last edited by Elvis; 05-23-2006, 09:22 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Elvis9045
                    The only thing I'm likely to ask a San Franciscan is where to find a good deal on seafood and where's the nearest Peet's Coffee.
                    Just make sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
                    "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                    Carl Yastrzemski

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      "I think you guys are taking this steroid era over the (top). You still need to see the ball and hit it and hit it out of the park. Are steroids going to make you better? Who knows?"
                      "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by west coast orange and black
                        "I think you guys are taking this steroid era over the (top). You still need to see the ball and hit it and hit it out of the park. Are steroids going to make you better? Who knows?"
                        I can only conclude performance enhancing is somewehre along the lines of better.
                        "I think about baseball when I wake up in the morning. I think about it all day and I dream about it at night. The only time I don't think about it is when I'm playing it."
                        Carl Yastrzemski

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by runningshoes53
                          I can only conclude performance enhancing is somewehre along the lines of better.
                          I have seen these projections, on ESPN and elsewhere, saying that if Bonds hadn't cheated, he would still have 600 or 620 or 640 HR's, because although his career HR/AB ratio would be nothing like it now is, he'd have enormously more AB's (and fewer intentional and semi-intentional BB's). As much as I despise Bonds--the man who has made it painful for me, a lifelong Northern Californian, to watch my lifelong team--I have to agree these projections look reasonably accurate.

                          While it's obvious to me that PED's enable those who can already hit baseballs well to hit them much farther, it is NOT AT ALL obvious that PED's give one the gift of longevity in the majors. In fact, the experiences of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, among many others, suggest turning oneself into a small mountain range DEcreases one's playing longevity.

                          And, of course, not many great players have even been good--or, for that matter, able to play at all--past the age of 40. Ruth and Mays sure as hell weren't any good. Schmidt, Mantle, Foxx and countless others who were in the Top 1, 2 or 3 at their spots were gone. Cobb was good offensively at 40 and 41, but a disaster in the field whom many historians feel, along with fellow disaster Tris Speaker, cost the A's the 1928 pennant.

                          Now, Ted Williams and Stan Musial had great years after 40--I still remember Musial's 1962 season, from when I was a kid. But such things are very rare, even for a really great player, and often it's someone like Darrell Evans--a very fine player who is grossly underrated and belongs in the Hall, IMO, but who is certainly not in the aforementioned company--who has magic greatness after age 40.

                          Well, even for the vast majority of fans who, like me, LOATHE Bonds, ya gotta admit he's a great player, even without the cheating. I mean, let's see:

                          1. Probably the greatest defensive LF ever, until he got old. Perhaps some "LF" who played in old Yankee Stadium, Forbes Field or Griffith Stadium was better, but those guys were CF's posing as LF's because of their outrageous park's LF dimensions. As for Rickey, I saw most of his career on TV, and I absolutely don't think he was a better LF than Bonds--though I do think he nails Sid Bream ;

                          2. Allegedly the game's greatest "power/speed" player, though that depends on who does the defining; beyond any doubt at all, however, he'd have gone way past 500 HR's had he not sinned, and in his natural form, he probably would have gone well past 700 steals. I needn't tell anyone here how untouchable that--just as his present combo, the reverse of that one, is.

                          3. A brilliant baserunner, IMO, and I'm sure not giving him any undue credit;

                          4. Despite his sociopathic personality, he's a very bright guy. I write appeals for guys who are either on Death Row or serving life-without-parole, and trust me, there is nothing inconsistent about being a sociopath and being very bright. He's shown us his brightness not only in his judgment on the bases and in the outfield, but also in his uncanny ability to make adjustments at the plate and get reads on the pitcher. He isn't just a great hitter because he has good eyes and athletic bat speed, after all. I think everyone here--or nearly everyone--would agree he wasn't born with nearly Ruth's talent as a slugger, but he has worked like hell at it.

                          The PED's didn't study the pitchers and their subtle tells about what's coming the way Bonds has. They didn't learn to time pitchers like Bonds has. Whereas Ruth tried to hit every pitch to Jupiter, Bonds has a much more compact swing. Yes, it says a lot about Ruth that his lifetime BA was .342 with THAT swing, but it says a lot about Bonds that he hit a lot of legit HR's, before becoming humongous, by doing the kind of homework he did. Whatever else we might want to say about him--and I've pretty much said it all--the guy is damned intelligent.


                          As I noted before--and as most of you doubtless read before--Bill James providentially wrote at the end of the 1999 season that if Bonds never played another game, he was already the 14th greatest player in MLB history, and the 16th greatest player ever, if you include Josh Gibson (#9) and Oscar Charleston (#4). If you lived up here in NorCal and watched Bonds daily, it was OBVIOUS in 2000 that he was using PED's. He was much larger and was hitting the ball much harder and farther than ever before. This was obvious way before nonpareil long-distance HR expert Bill Jenkinson released his data following the 493-foot HR off of Seth Etherton.

                          Until I saw these recent projected stats, I had never thought of trying to make reasonable projections based on the assumptions: (a) Bonds was clearly using PED's, thus tainting his stats; (b) however, he just as obviously could have kept playing at a very good--but not preposterously and incredibly great--level right up to the present time, and beyond, without PED's; and (c) a reasonable approximation of his stats for the years 2000-2005 and counting could be created, by annihilating his HR/AB ratio for those years, but giving him credit for vastly more AB's, and thus giving him back a good portion of the myriad lost HR's.

                          I may be part of about 1% of the baseball fans who feel this way, but it's a FACT that Bonds' career stats are a problem which historians--and I don't mean pawns appointed by Selig--are going to have to deal with, whether by tossing everything from 2000 on in the trash, or by giving him credit for everything with no asterisks, or by whatever.

                          I've looked at the projected stats, which assume a gargantuan loss in bases on balls, and a gargantuan gain in AB's. From what I see, they look pretty reasonable. Does anyone know of anything to suggest the PED's helped PROLONG Bonds' career? If so, it's contrary to what other obvious "Hey, look at me, I'm the size of London Bridge" players have encountered--at least, those who are position players.

                          I think Bonds, because he's so monomaniacally dedicated to staying in shape and getting his sky-high place in history, has done everything he can to keep himself healthy... with the huge exception of using drugs that tripled his muscle size, head size and, for a time, heart rate. I believe that had he not done that garbage, he'd be just as good an athlete today--or better, but without his remarkable musculature.

                          So, despite its great visceral appeal to me, I am backing off of my "Bonds retired in 1999 and is the #14 MLB player of all time" stance. Until and unless some of the MANY (no sarcasm) excellent baseball minds at this site convince me to do otherwise, I'm going to accept these projections--or a slightly reworked version of them, if y'all come up with numbers you can show are more accurate. And I will give Bonds credit for those numbers.

                          As a criminal lawyer, I feel like saying, "He can get NO credit for those years, because his wrongdoing was so egregious he has forfeited any right to profit therefrom"--or some such stodgy nonsense. But dammit, without the PED's, I believe he would have wound up at LEAST in the Top 6, and possibly #2.

                          I'm not nearly as big on Wagner as many of y'all, and since there are SO many who feel like you do, I must be wrong about Wagner, but that's where I am. I do think Mays and Cobb were outstanding, incredible, immortal greats of the game, and without the "magic" numbers, it would take a lot to get me to put Bonds ahead of them, but then, Bonds isn't done.

                          I think Mantle was only a step behind those two, but if one accepts the "projected legitimate" numbers for Bonds, I think Bonds goes ahead of Mantle. Whether he goes ahead of Mays and Cobb, well, that's a lot tougher sell, and nobody can knowingly and dispositively say if he goes ahead of Charleston--the man even those intransigient racists should have made an exception for, and who hopefully then would have played in the A.L. and competed with the ultimate legend, who was only 1 year (!) his senior.

                          Anyway, after seeing all of those projected numbers, and trying real hard to put aside my loathing for Bonds, I've decided a player of his immense talent--and many years of untainted greatness--should be given credit for reasonable projections of the literally INcredible seasons, minus the PED's. The projections I've seen look reasonable, and, like I've said, I've got such respect for the minds on this site that I believe y'all can correctly tweak those projections, if and where they need tweaking.

                          So, when Bonds' career ends, and experts come up with "final, career-total projections" for Bonds sans PED's, I'll be happy to take those numbers, if they seem reasonable, and rate him based on those. And I propose that others do likewise, because it seems to me the fairest way to resolve what is otherwise a really confounding problem of huge historical importance.

                          I have this sickening feeling he'll end up ahead of Cobb and Mays, but... if he can do that in MY book, then hell, he deserves it.

                          OK. I am ready to have everyone tell me how wrong I am. Just keep it polite, please, and realize how difficult it was for me to give this kind of statistical and historical credit to a sociopath and narcissist like Bonds.

                          BHN
                          Last edited by BaseballHistoryNut; 05-24-2006, 02:33 PM.

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