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Barry Bonds and #714


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For you guys in the Songfactors league you know I got Bonds by luck of the draw after I was so down on him. Well, he just hit number 714 about thirty minutes ago and I am still so down on him.

For years before Hank Aaron surpassed Babe Ruth that number 714 was the Holy Grail of all sports. That number meant more than any other number in sports. When Hank Aaron surpassed the Bambino he earned the right to do so. He was very much a gentleman and was modest of his new record.

On the other hand Barry Bonds tainted the number 714 while doping up on steroids. I am sorry if some of you disagree but while I believe Bonds is a great player in his own right, I do not believe he would have made it to 714 without a "little help from his friends". Hank Aaron deserved the record, Barry Bonds doesn't.

In my opinion Ruth is still the greatest home run hitter. If he had as many at bats as Aaron did he would have hit over a thousand homers. Ruth had 8398 at bats, Aaron had 12,364; almost 4000 at bats more. I believe if you do the math it comes out to 1051 homers for Ruth if he had that many at bats. And he did it on hotdogs and beer!!

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While I find merit with your Ruth/Bonds connection comments, the Aaron /Bonds comparison requires I distance myself from your premise, Jimmy. Aaron maintained his physical conditioning and had immense dedication to baseball. Ruth could not have possibly gone to the plate another 4000 times. He was dedicated to a moderately destructive lifestyle and satisfying his rather large ego. Ruth's baseball playing abilities were, at his end, diluted to below-average, bordering on laughable. Perhaps it would be more fair comparing Ruth's final 3 years stats to Aaron's. THAT might convince you as to how much more production the Bambino's hotdogs and beer would have garnered him over the additional 8 years he would have had to play in order to get another 4000 ABs.

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A very nicely thought out arguement. I've never thought of that before, but it makes sense as far as Ruth is concerned.

As far as Bonds is concerned, the statement I saw him make seemed as though he didn't want the spotlight, turning attention to Pujols. I thought that was rather telling...

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I believe Aaron deserves to be the all-time home run king...number of at-bats can't really be included in the equation....they don't include it in the seasonal home run leader standings, why career.

I think Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all-time...the home runs, the pitching, etc.

The thing that amazes me about Ruth, is that he did it in an era where nobody else was doing it. Dead balls, oversized bats and stadiums, pitchers that would love to nail you in the temple (no batting helmets).....Babe hit more homers than entire teams.....there are batting records that Ruth still holds...he was an anomaly for sure.

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I grew up with two number 44's as my heroes. One of those was "Zeke" from Cabin Creek, Jerry West. The other number 44 was Hammerin Hank. In 1958 I took a baseball card out of a Topps pack that said Hank Aaron, Milwaukee Braves and I never turned back. I was a Braves fan all of my life and particularly one Hank Aaron. I would stay up half the night listening on my transistor radio to the expolits of Aaron and West.

I saw Aaron get his 3,000th hit live at Crosley Field in Cincinnatti. I was listening the night that Aaron hit a home run I think against the Cards and the home plate ump called him out because he said Hank stepped out of the batters box. Aaron had very little success against the Red's Jim Maloney, but he owned Don Drysdale of the Dodgers. In fact I think he has more homers against Drysdale than any other pitcher.

Aaron was the consummate team player and gentleman. Plus as Ronjon said he took care of his body and kept himself in great physical condition. All those years following the Braves I seldom remember Aaron missing too many games due to injury.

I just wish he could have finished up his career in a Braves uniform. However, he did finish up in the city that gave him his start, Milwaukee.

rtstuff

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I have often wondered Ronjon that perhaps it is the weight training. Weight training shortens the muscle fibers if not done in combination with an extensive stretching regimen to maintain flexibility. I agree with your assesment that with today's increased knowledge of nutrition and "legal" supplements along with better training techniques you would think that today's athlete would have less injuries.

Back in the "Day" it just seemed like there was less players on the DL than today.

rtstuff

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Excellent thought CeeCee. On the other side of the coin fans coming to the park want to see the big name players play.

This is just my opinon,but I think the older era players were just a little tougher. It seemed that it took much more to keep them out of the lineup than it does today's players.

You have a very valid point in your post CeeCee.

rtstuff

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Wally Pipp asked his manager if he could sit out a game because he didn't feel well. The Yankees let him sit and asked rookie Lou Gehrig to play that day...Lou wouldn't leave the line up for a long time. This is a good story about Wally Pipp.

http://www.thediamondangle.com/archive/oct01/pipp.html

So, it used to be that everybody could be replaced by somebody, younger, stronger, better, faster, cheaper...so just tough it out and play.

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I agree with you both. I was going to add that you just don't see guys playing hurt anymore. Managers or whoever may try to keep the big names in as long as possible (I believe most want to play), but I don't think fan approval is very important any more. It's a business, they all say. You would think the paying fans would count for something!

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The increased frequency of players coming out of today's lineups over any number of lineups of the teams of the 1950's and before is due to a number of good reasons. Prime would be that the talent is more broadly developed and the manager has many more acceptable options for lineup cards. Prior to the 50's, not as many young boys had an opportunity to learn the game, hence the talent pool was much shallower than what it is today. A manager contemplating replacing a starter with a "bench" player saw a much greater degree of drop-off in ability and hence was less likely to make that replacement and instead was willing to risk the possibility of worsening a minor injury to a reliable player. Relief pitching was equated with mop-up or desperation work before the specialists of the 60's were developed for specific roles, so a pitcher hit by a linedrive was asked to "shake it off." A manager's best 9 was about all he really wanted to see during any given game.

Sports medicine has become so much more sophisticated since the days of the local general practitioner "Doc" who sat on the hometeam's bench for $50 a game, taking care of anyone (fans as well) who needed attention for any reason. More times than not, his advice offered was, "Aw, you'll be OK, kid" because he knew he'd probably never see this ball player again. Today's orthopedists and other specialized practitioners who travel with the teams take their jobs very earnestly and will be heard over the desires of the fans. The number of players whose careers are "cut short" due to injury was much greater prior to the 1970's explosion in travelling team doctors. Today, odds for successful rehab and a quality life after baseball have more signifigance than just winning a pennant. Most of today's players have watched their former heroes limp pathetically from a golf cart parked at first base over to the pitcher's mound to throw out a first pitch and think, "That's not going to be me in 25 years."

If you watch old film clips, you will see the game was also played at a slower speed. Less speed equates to fewer injuries and any number of baserunning, fielding or other muscle tear-type injuries. Today's average major leaguer is about as fast as Jackie Robinson, who could dominate a game with his speed because most all the other players of his time were much slower. Even in the days of Willie Mays, one rarely saw a player get to a fly ball near enough to the fence to bang into it and injure himself, because the vast majority of the outfielders weren't fast enough to run down the ball, so they backed off and played the carom instead. I doubt the Babe EVER stole a homerun by reaching over the fence like Griffey does almost weekly.

And the aforementioned financial considerations add a great amount of hesitancy to play even a tough player, because of it is like running a thoroughbred horse on a gimpy leg.

But there are probably no fewer gamers than there have ever been. Ruth's, Gerhig's, Cobb's and many other's records have all been broken because of mental/physical toughness, fierce love of the game and strength of will, not because of money.

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Ron you always have such clear cut arguements, based totally on logic. I do understand what you say about the young bench players. Just from my own small scope of experience with my Cardinals, La Russa is a big believer in his bench. He will not hesitate to go those guys whenever necessary. As a result, they all manage to put forth a good effort when they play, which is fairly often. La Russa will rest players a day or two also going to the bench, when maybe just something minor is the problem, to stave off the DL whenever possible. Take Rolens. As bad as we needed him, La Russa kept him out, letting the bench take third. In this case it was worth it (even Rolen thought so), he's well, and we had good coverage at third while he was out.

Tonight's Cards/ SF game should be a goodie. Bonds/Mulder and Pujols/Bonds? I'll be listening. will Bonds get 715?

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Hey CeeCee I grew up here in little Huntington, West Virginia listening to KMOX radio. Carey and Buck doing the Cards game, and later Mike Shannon. One of my favorite play by play men of all times Jerry Grose sp? doing the St. Louis Hawks b-ball games with The Big Z, Zelmo Beatty. Dan Kelley and I can't think of the other guy doing the Blues games with the Plager brothers kicking butt all over the ice.

rtstuff

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Oh my lord rt! What a small world! Nothing better than Buck and Carey. I have to say nothing better than Jack Buck. Since they don't allow Shannon to drink anymore (get up baby, get up) he's not so much fun. I guess you know the great KMOX Cardinal Nation is no more. As of last year, the Cardinals organization bought a local AM staion, that now does the broadcasting. It just not the same, and never will be.

"Go Crazy Folks, Go Crazy!!...Jack Buck, on Ozzie Smith's walkoff homerun, in the NLCS 1981. or 2, I don't remember!

was it Dan Kelley and Jay Randolph?

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It was Dan Kelly and a former player doing the color. I think he had a French sounding name.

By the way Jay Randolph was the son of one time,long standing US senator from West Virginia, Jennings Randolph. He was in DC for many years with still US senator Robert C. Byrd.

rtstuff

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rt...I talked to my youngest son tonight....he says Joe Micheletti(?). A player in the 70's, a coach in the early 80's, then braodcasting with Dan Kelley. He probably knows, he's a huge Blues fan. I'm not and I know the Plager brothers.....

And you know who Jay Randolph is!

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This is one of the reasons I like this site so much. You can learn so much about geography and the different backgrounds of people all over the world. Plus sometimes you learn that many of us have a lot of things in common when you get right down to it.

By the way CeeCee have you ever been to Meremac sp Caverns in Missouri? My family stayed over there a couple of nights at the camp ground in the early 60's while on vacation. I caught some nice little rock bass in the I believe the Meremac River. We also toured the caverns. I thought it was kind of neat that James gang spent many a day there hiding out from the law.

We were camping out and I remember my dad was ticked off becasue this Whipper Will kept calling its mate all night and kept him up. Just a little travel log of an rt. family vacation.

rtstuff

"Plager splits the Defense he goes in on Esposito he shoots he scoreeeeeeeeeeees" Dan Kelley.

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Been there rt? The caverns are about an hour from me. Been there many times. The Meremac is a great float river. You would most certainly have caught some nice rock bass there. We think the caverns are neat too. "Country folks" are still kind of proud of ol' Jess and the boys. My great grandfather was named for him. Jess James, first and middle. It's a Missouri thing. Like the Whipporwills.

Who could forget "He shoots he scoreeeeeeeeeees"!

This thread was about Bonds, sorry. He didn't get 715 last night either. :grin:

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Q: If we aren't going to recognize Barry's record because of steroids, why do we include Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmiero in the top 10 all-time homeruns list?

A: Because McGwire and Palmiero are nicer to the press, who just so happen to form our opinions on the subject matter.

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What did he ever do to be someone to like?

Well, he's a good athlete. A lot of people like athletes just because they're good athletes.

The way I look at it is this: why hate someone you don't know, when there are so many people you know personally that you can hate so much deeper?

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