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  1. The dude had a .609 OBP in 2004. The Babe never touched that. Ted Williams never touched it.

    Comment by rustydude — October 26, 2012 @ 11:15 am

  2. So far and away the best hitter I’ve ever seen. Didn’t even flinch on most balls. Could see 20 junk pitches in a game and never take the bat off his shoulder. Then pitch 21 catches a bit of the plate and someone’s fishing it out of the bay.

    Just an amazing player.

    Comment by noseeum — October 26, 2012 @ 11:20 am

  3. Bonds played in the 2002 World Series, not the 2012 World Series.

    Comment by Petruchio — October 26, 2012 @ 11:21 am

  4. I don’t know what was more incredible: his command of the strike zone or his bat speed. I’m just glad that I got to see him play every day.

    Comment by Naveed — October 26, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  5. Steroids, Babe never touched that. Ted Williams never touched that.

    Comment by Cory — October 26, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  6. not really on topic, but interesting…

    Barry Bonds hit 37 home runs in Pac Bell in 2001

    The 2012 Giants hit 31 home runs in Pac Bell in 2012

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  7. Steroids help your plate discipline now?

    Comment by Connor — October 26, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  8. AJ Pierzinski tells the story that, in Spring Training 2004, Bonds would stand as a “dummy batter” while pitchers threw sessions to AJ and call out balls and strikes as the ball left the pitcher’s hand. And he was ALWAYS right, even on pitches an inch off the black. Steroids definitely helped Bonds put up his post-1999 numbers. But only one player ever has an equal claim on controlling the strike zone like Bonds.

    Comment by Tim — October 26, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  9. Connor.

    When you get intentionally walked that many times because of your ability to mash 70 home runs, it’s going to improve your OBP.

    Comment by Marty — October 26, 2012 @ 11:52 am

  10. It’s pretty funny to be talking about this in the week Lance Armstrong is stripped of his seven Tours. In some ways, cycling sunk lower than baseball but then I wonder if it’s really possible to argue that one sport was more or less corrupted by PEDs around the turn of the last century.

    These numbers don’t mean anything. The at-bats don’t mean anything. They are a side story. Barry Bonds was bad for baseball. I don’t care about records being wiped out or anyone being punished. But I cannot understand how people can look back at guys like this and think the drugs don’t matter.

    From what I know of it (and I don’t claim to have read it), it seems the USADA report on Armstrong has made clear the corrupting effect PEDs had on the sport, how it absolutely wasn’t the case that everyone had access to the same stuff, how the odds of winning were weighted towards a select few, and really a select one, to the point that the competitions had no meaning and were undeserving of the name.

    Barry Bonds had all these great numbers. So what? They don’t mean a thing. They are not worthy of conversation.

    Comment by Daniel — October 26, 2012 @ 11:54 am

  11. I was unaware that Ruth and Williams had to face pitchers on steriods. Fascinating.

    Comment by LK — October 26, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  12. They never touched the body armor he wore to control the inner half of the plate either.

    I sometimes dream of reading a legitimate argument regarding the use of 14-1/2 sq ft of kevlar to stand over the inside of the plate so that the strike zone effectively shrinks to two square inches. Bonds had awesome plate discipline, and awesome technology, and awesome medical… nevermind.

    Comment by Chris — October 26, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  13. @ Connor. Why wouldn’t they help? When no one throws you strikes, because roids made the entire strike zone a happy zone, then you can take advantage of it to rack up a big OBP. No one gets to those OBP levels if they’re not breaking HR records.

    Rather than celebrating how hilarious his statistical dominance was, we should be lamenting how badly he unbalanced the game.

    Comment by bflaff — October 26, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  14. The thing is, no one knows the magnitude of the PED effect. But we can all see the magnitude of the numbers Bonds put up, numbers that can really only be compared with Babe Ruth in terms of dominating performance above the league.

    If you think achievements of that scope aren’t worth discussing, you’re entitled to your opinion. Don’t be surprised if the rest of us completely ignore you, though, because it’s a pretty dumb opinion.

    Comment by Anon21 — October 26, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

  15. First line typo:

    Ten years ago tomorrow, Barry Bonds went 1-for-3 with a walk in Game Seven of the 2012 World Series against the Anaheim Angels.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — October 26, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  16. No, Babe injected himself with sheep testicle extract to get more power at the plate (It didn’t work, he was puking instead), and Ted Williams popped greenies. Stop being so narrow minded and realize that guys have always been trying to cheat, and always will. It seems that this last generation might have found a more effective way to cheat (and there is debate on how much steroids even help) – but don’t get all high and mighty that some other idol is pure.

    Comment by AK7007 — October 26, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

  17. “The rest of us”? Speak for yourself. I can assure you there are plenty of people who agree with Daniel and his “dump opinion.”

    Comment by Mel — October 26, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

  18. Yeah, it’s amazing how many .600OB/.800SLG seasons there were in the steroid era…

    Comment by Ken — October 26, 2012 @ 12:13 pm

  19. what you thought when Bonds struck out on a curveball in the dirt?

    Comment by Who really cares... — October 26, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

  20. Bonds conversations always quickly erode into steroid conversations.

    I, for one, and very glad I got to see him play for so many years. Observing and appreciating true greatness in action is one of the few gifts we have in life.

    Comment by noseeum — October 26, 2012 @ 12:21 pm

  21. Barry is the best of all time. Lets stop being ignorant to the fact that EVERYBODY was on steroids.
    Well we’re at it, why doesn’t anybody mention that the Babe never had to face specialist relief pitchers, faced watered down talent because only one race was allowed in the league during his time, and probably never a curve ball.
    Imagine what Barry would have done had the Angels had to use Kevin Appier for an entire 9 innings like teams then had to do.
    Discounting anything this man did because of steroid use is stupid.

    Comment by andy — October 26, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  22. Minorities. Babe never faced ‘em

    Comment by El Vigilante — October 26, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

  23. Let’s not forget that Bonds had 3 MVPs and a hall of fame resume before he started taking steroids. The post-1999 numbers are debatable in meaning (though no meaning is a rather extreme and i would say indefensible stance). But the numbers through the 1999 season (445 hr, 460 sb, .288/.409/.559 slash line, 163 ops+, 100.5 war) are incredible and are untainted. To say that that means nothing is overly reactionary and downright silly.

    Comment by Brendan — October 26, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  24. Something that has not been mentioned is that in 2002 Bonds was 38 I believe (or 37). Say what you will about steroids and plate discipline, pitchers on steroids or whatever, but that main thing with steroid use is not so much enhanced ability but rather the enhanced length of a playing career. No one has even come close to the production Bonds put up at such advanced ages, especially in 2002-2004, and steroids are a huge reason why. In their primes Arod and Bonds were similar players, and look what Arod just produced as a 37 year old while presumably not on steroids. obviously that is just one example but the point remains. Players just do not do what Bonds did at that age, and older, without “help.” To marvel at his late-career production and to blow off any talk of steroids is irresponsible. At 38, he should have barely been able to play let alone put up some of the greatest seasons the game has even seen.

    Comment by Tyler — October 26, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  25. First of all, the curveball was invented in the 1800s. Babe Ruth would have seen them every day.

    Second, during Ruth’s era pitchers threw all kinds of crazy specialty pitches – spitballs, shine balls, emery balls, screwballs, knuckleballs and more. It wasn’t quite the 95+ heat that pitchers pack today, but it’s not as though they were just grooving it in there either.

    Third, Bonds never had to get an off-season job or travel halfway across America on a bus. He had the benefit of watching hours of tape prior to facing any given pitcher, not to mention modern training regimens, dietitians, medical attention and more.

    The game was radically different in the 20s, true, but it’s a mistake to focus only on the changes (integration, improved talent level, more relief pitching) that have made it harder for hitters to compete. All we can definitively say is that Babe Ruth dominated his era like no other, and Barry Bonds did the same in his own time.

    Comment by Ian R. — October 26, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  26. Not knowing the magnitude of the PED effect does not seem to be a valid, logical reason for ignoring the whole episode.

    I don’t think there is any scope to Bonds’s achievements. They don’t count as achievements.

    Look, some people want to talk about steroids, some don’t. Each to his own. I don’t really want to talk about steroids; I just really, really don’t want to talk about how great Barry Bonds was or to see other people doing so. He wasn’t great at all. None of them were. What they were doing was meaningless because it wasn’t sport. And if that means writing off an entire era, writing off Bonds and Griffey and Pedro and A-Rod and Clemens, accusations or no accusations, then so be it. If the game is corrupted, the game is corrupted. The results of the game cease to have meaning. So we should ignore the results.

    Of course that’s not practical at all because you don’t really know who was juicing then and you don’t really know who is juicing now. So you get on with it. Everyone gets on with it. And that’s perfectly fine, in a way. It’s only a game after all.

    Comment by Daniel — October 26, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  27. “No one has even come close to the production Bonds put up at such advanced ages”

    This is correct. No one, including the hundreds of players who used steroids during the steroid era, could even come close to doing what Bonds did.

    I get that he used steroids and many view that as wrong. But those who use the steroid issue to ignore all of his accomplishments and make it seem as if steroids made him who he was, are just being intentionally obtuse.

    And then when those people ignore things that count against the other all-time greats (segregation, use of other drugs, lack of specialty relievers throwing 95+, etc), I just assume that they simply dislike Bonds and are not really making rational criticisms.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 26, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

  28. Babe Ruth drank during prohibition. In hindsight, it seems silly to call him out on something that is legal now, but illegal at the time. I honestly believe the steroids and human growth hormone will be legal to the public masses in the future. Fifty years from now, we may all look back and laugh at how distraught people got over athletes using PEDs.

    Comment by IHateJoeBuck — October 26, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  29. “Lets stop being ignorant to the fact that EVERYBODY was on steroids.”

    100% of the players were now?

    I was willing to give the benefit of the doubt and read your post until I see you believe Babe Ruth probably never faced a curveball. Sigh.

    Even if 90% of Tour de France riders cheated it doesn’t make it right for Lance to do so. Somewhere the 19th place guy might have been clean and could have won on an even field.

    In baseball, even if 50% of the players used… I still feel bad for the 50% who were cheated out of being better. I’ll never come around to such defeatism as to say that since many are cheating it is ok to cheat. That’s the kind of logic a spoiled 15 year old uses.

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  30. AK7007 – amen, and amen. Well said.

    Comment by Jason B — October 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  31. Your point concerning the various now-illegal pitches that pitchers threw is certainly apt, but mentioning having to work on the off-season does not really apply to a superstar like Ruth. If anything it gave him an advantage, as most of the pitchers he faced likely did have to work in the offseason.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  32. Players do not do what Hank Aaron did at such advanced playing ages without help. When he was 39, “he should have barely been able to play”, but he hit .301/.402/.643, good for a wRC+ of 177. “Obviously that is just one example, but the point remains … To marvel at his late-career production and to blow off any talk of steroids is irresponsible.”

    Comment by El Vigilante — October 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  33. You sound like Bill James when he defends drug cheaters as trendsetters who we’ll thank later.

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  34. Football, basketball, hockey. Babe’s contemporaries weren’t interested.
    Modern fitness training. Babe didn’t have it.
    Hot dogs and booze. Babe had lots of that.

    Comment by Phrozen — October 26, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  35. Hey it’s not over yet; he may be a better DH option even now (at 48) than Aubrey Huff…

    Comment by Jason B — October 26, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  36. No, it isn’t. It’s the context of his performance, and ignoring it is just burying your head in the sand. Barry Bonds in his natural prime was one of the greatest players in baseball history, and an inner circle HoFer. However, one cannot look at his numbers from 2001 on versus his past numbers and say “yeah, that’s a natural aging curve for 35+ year old human being”. His numbers are impossible to take seriously because they aren’t real, they are artificial. There’s a reason Roger Clemens is similarly despised; he was a HoF talent that artificially boosted his numbers to another level.

    Many other players took steroids, and saw performance spikes (oh hey there Mr. Caminiti!), but few of them were HoFers to begin with. Bonds, and Clemens, were already HoF talents, and their resultant performances were staggering. And fake.

    Comment by Sean — October 26, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  37. Baseball stopped being a sport some time in the mid-90s and somehow became a sport again some time after Bonds retired. Adjust your memories accordingly.

    Comment by El Vigilante — October 26, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  38. Why do we continually call it cheating if it wasn’t against the rules?

    Comment by IHateJoeBuck — October 26, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  39. He didn’t take steroids before 1999? How do you know?

    Comment by Phrozen — October 26, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  40. I applaud the writer for the article. Naturally, the discussion turns to steroids, but as always it is deeply uninformed.

    Steroids don’t provide extra “super powers,” especially in a sport like baseball. The vast majority of athletes using steroids do so to RECOVER from pain/injury faster, and therefore train harder and longer in the weight room. If you are against steroids, then you should also be against anesthetics (they are unnatural, cause injury, and boost performance).

    Comment by Steroid Myths — October 26, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  41. US Population in 1920: about 100 million
    US Population in 2000: about 300 million

    Not to mention the fact that baseball is now played across much of the world, with the MLB getting the best players available.

    Furthermore,

    “Football, basketball, hockey. Babe’s contemporaries weren’t interested.”

    Many people were not interested in professional sports in general because they did not pay well to most players.

    “Modern fitness training. Babe didn’t have it.”

    Neither did his opponents.

    “Hot dogs and booze. Babe had lots of that.”

    As did his opponents.

    Comment by RationalSportsFan — October 26, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  42. This discussion continues to be ridiculous. Sure, you can call out my phrase, saying that it wans’t “100%” of players that were on steroids. No kidding. But if anyone here thinks it was as low as 50% of the players, that is laughable.
    I’ll give you the curve ball also, but I don’t really care about that. Still doesn’t change the fact that he was facing the same guy the entire game, probably multiple times a season, who was always the top white guy that a team could find. In other words, he faced a much weaker talent pool.
    Calling his perforamces ‘fake’, when he was likely facing a pitcher who was also on steroids, again, is just stupid.
    What would be really great is if everyone would sit back, shut up about the steroid issue, and marvel at the brilliance of this guys career.

    Comment by andy — October 26, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

  43. Only the tiniest glimpse into Bonds’ awesomeness:

    Load up MLB: The Show XX. Turn your hitting sliders way the fuck up. Turn pitch speed all the way down. You are effectively a 120-homer, .500 hitting god.

    See if your walk rate approaches 40%.

    Comment by Baron Samedi — October 26, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  44. The 1990s was also the first generation of players to train and eat properly as elite level athletes. Is that “unfair”? Steroids, in this case, was one aspect of this much larger training revolution in baseball. You are trying to take a single variable, among many variables, and say that it is the silver bullet.

    Comment by Steroid Myths — October 26, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  45. Actually, the Giants hit 0 HR in Pac Bell in 2012. They did hit 31 HR in AT&T park, however.

    Comment by chuckb — October 26, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

  46. I agree.

    It’s so unfortunate that the steroids thing tarnished his reputation to the extent that it has. Prior to taking steroids, Bonds was a tremendous ballplayer and unfortunately too many have forgotten that because of the 73 HR and the clear and the cream. This guy was a certain Hall of Famer before taking steroids and people are going to forever remember him as a cheat. I don’t feel bad for Bonds. I feel bad for baseball and for its fans because this guy was sensational.

    Comment by chuckb — October 26, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

  47. It was against the rules when Bonds was juicing.

    Comment by chuckb — October 26, 2012 @ 1:22 pm

  48. Sorry… I guess I’m behind on the current corporate namming crap.

    (same stadium and I believe same dimensions of the fences)

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

  49. Thanks, Jack, for writing this. It took some balls because you had to know going in that you were going to get many “Bonds is a cheater” comments and the conversation would devolve into the typical PEDs conversation. Good work.

    Comment by chuckb — October 26, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

  50. He was cheating in 2002 to put up those numbers. Not impressed.

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  51. Check again. As good as arod was he was never the hitter bonds was. Not even close.

    Comment by BarryB. — October 26, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  52. Give him Melky’s roster spot!

    Comment by Bigmouth — October 26, 2012 @ 1:35 pm

  53. Let’s just agree to call it “Willie Mays Park.” Problem solved!

    Comment by Bigmouth — October 26, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  54. That’s a cool story, but I reject everything AJ Pierzinski says on principle.

    Comment by Bigmouth — October 26, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

  55. They were against the law so therefore always were against the rules. Steroids have legitimate medical uses, but as soon as they were made illegal by the state or federal government they became against the rules. MLB should not have to make rules against things already illegal. But apparently they do.

    Even so… read the memorandum from Fay Vincent to all baseball clubs written 10 years BEFORE Bonds broke the home run record (part of that is quoted below). To say he didn’t know he was cheating is being naive. They simply could not get the Players Assoc. to agree to testing before 2002. But it was ALWAYS illegal and ALWAYS cheating.

    ————————————————

    The possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance by major league players and personnel is strictly prohibited. Those involved in the possession, sale, or use of any illegal drug or controlled substance are subject to discipline by the commissioner and risk permanent expulsion from the game.

    In addition to any discipline this office may impose, a club may also take action under applicable provisions of and special covenants to the uniform player’s contract. This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids or prescription drugs for which the individual in possession of the drug does not have a prescription.

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  56. Cheating is endemic to baseball. Not persuaded.

    Comment by Bigmouth — October 26, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

  57. @Rational: That’s kind of a red herring argument. It’s basically indisputable that Bonds was the best player of his era. The problem is that he was in a era where offense was WILDLY inflated by steroid and HGH use. An era where offensive records that stood for decades all of a sudden started toppling like dominoes.

    By most reports, Bonds started using somewhere shortly after the Sosa/McGwire home run chase. So probably starting in 1999 or 2000. Now, let’s compare his slugging percentage from his five prior BEST year before 1999 versus 1999-2004.

    Best prior year: 0.677
    1999-2004: 0.617, 0.688, 0.863, 0.799, 0.749, 0.812

    Other than 1999, which was an injury-plagued season, every single season was better than his best previous season. His ISO is even more glaring, showing that in 1999 he still actually had more isolated power than in his best previous year, despite an elbow injury.

    Was Bonds an amazing player? No doubt. If he had continued his overall career arc with slugging in the 0.600′s like his prior career, he would STILL be a Hall of Famer and probably be the best overall player of his era. Before juicing, he led the league in slugging 3 times and in walks 5 times. But the facts are, Bonds never cracked a 0.700 slugging percentage nor a 25% walk rate until he was juicing. The tragedy is, even without steroids, he could have likely put up one season with 0.700+ slugging and/or 25% walk rate (which would still be amazing).

    Can you say that about Hank Aaron? Ruth? Is it possible to point at a time in their career where they started cheating and their stats demonstrably increased by a wild margin? It’s one thing to say that Ruth was no better a person than Bonds. I think that’s a fair assessment. Ruth was a boozer, a womanizer, and an occasional glutton. Would Ruth have used steroids if he lived in our time? I’d bet on it. Would his stats have been worse in an integrated league? Probably? The pitchers and defense would be better, but his supporting lineup would have been better too.

    Additionally, African Americans only constitute less than 14% of the US population and never constituted more than 20% of the league, so I’m not sure what kind of effect size you’re expecting out of integration (20% of the league is 20% better?). The globalization of baseball and overall increases in world population is a better argument, but we have no way to test that. Obviously, neither of these caveats applies to Hank Aaron either, the untarnished career HR leader. He was obviously not segregated, nor did he take PED’s to my knowledge. While Bonds was clearly a better player than Aaron, I highly doubt he’d have broken the record without some… help (he was certainly not on pace to).

    So it’s quite another thing to say that Ruth’s or Aaron’s stats are lopsided like those of Barry Bonds. The guy had a clear jump in power performance, with a clear explanation. He’s certainly not the only one in his era (Big Mac and Slammin Sammy were clearly not touching the single-season record until juicing). He was also the best player of his era, already recognized as such by Bill James in 1999 BEFORE juicing. But he was never a natural 200 wRC+. It is what it is.

    Comment by B N — October 26, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

  58. So like any other player, his eye got better. The difference is that instead of his bat speed slowing down, it sped up. I don’t doubt that bonds still would have gotten on base a lot, but it’s the short twitch explosion that made him truly lethal.

    Comment by Antonio bananas — October 26, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  59. Daniel–By your logic we should eliminate all of the accomplishments of Babe Ruth and everyone else who came before Jackie Robinson as well because he only played against white players. Sure Bonds’ numbers were a product of his era, but he so utterly dominated that era that would be irresponsible to dismiss them entirely. Same thing with the Babe. Who knows if he would have been as dominant if he had to play against the best Black athletes in the US. Should we dismiss Pete Rose’s numbers because we know he was betting on the game? Should we dismiss Hal Newhouser’s back to back MVPs because many of the best players, such as Ted Williams, were in the military?

    On a more biased note, as a Giants fan, watching Barry Bonds play baseball throughout my childhood is one of pleasures of my life, and doing so generally made my childhood happier. As Jack Moore so aptly said in this article, there is nothing like watching Barry Bonds absolutely command an at bat.

    Comment by Adam K. — October 26, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  60. Bonds was a great, HOF-quality player through 1999, around when most believe he started using PEDs. There is absolutely nothing in his career arc to suggest he was capable of anything close to the seasons he had later in his career. They were, numerically, wildly beyond anything he had done before, and wildly beyond the improvement any other great player had shown at that stage in his career. Then again, it was the times he played in, and many top sluggers were using PEDs. It must have been hard to watch lesser talents get similar acclaim.

    It’s annoying to read people who want to appreciate his career as if it could have happened legally, and it’s annoying to read people who want to dismiss his career as if it wasn’t extraordinary. Is it that difficult to consider two facets of one story?

    Comment by Jon L. — October 26, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  61. @Phrozen: If he did, he was clearly taking the wrong stuff, as his numbers were completely reasonable and in-line with his trajectory. It’s around 1999 where you can see the train go off the rails, statistically speaking.

    Comment by B N — October 26, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

  62. AK7007–

    Baseball’s first statement on illegal drug use occurred in 1971. In 1991, Fay Vincent added anabolic steroids to the extant drug policy, which was developed in the 1980′s in response to the use of recreational drugs.

    So, unlike Ruth (whose use of sheep testosterone is based on dubious evidence), Mays, and Williams, the steroid users of the 90s and later were in direct violation of rules, and violated those rules for a performance advantage. That’s the definition of cheating and it makes a difference. I’m not a big hawk on steroids. I think Bonds deserves to go to The Hall. But I don’t like it when people are getting the facts wrong, and you are.

    Comment by philosofool — October 26, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

  63. A few comments:

    #1. Given our lack of collecting memory of Hal Newhouser, I think he has indeed been dismissed. ;)

    #2. I’m not entirely certain if segregation would have a massive impact on a single offensive player’s stats. African-Americans are 14% of the population. They’ve really never hit 20% of baseball players. So then, we’re talking about replacing 20% of the league with better players. How much better? I donno. Maybe we’ll just assume it shifts the whole distribution, so they’re 20% better. So that means that, on average, the typical pitcher you will see is 4% better? The defense may also be 4% better, but your lineup around you should also be 4% better. By comparison, Bonds was definitely a bit more than 8% better post-steroids.

    #3 Despite this, Bonds was still crazy to watch. I saw him in Misc-Telecom Park myself, and he was a force to be reckoned with.

    Comment by B N — October 26, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

  64. Regarding Ruth’s era, all the best American athletes took up baseball. Bill James has written that, if born 40 years later, Gehrig would’ve become a linebacker rather than a 1st baseman. You properly need to factor that in before fairly denigrating the competition level of Ruth’s era.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  65. The whole Steroids argument is just stupid. Baseball is entertainment, it’s not politics or anything of global importance. I want my entertainers to be as impressive as possible.

    We don’t get upset when an artist gets all fucked up and makes an incredible album. Whether it be weed, or coke, or whatever “PED” they were using, we enjoy the product, as we should.

    I don’t think it’s logical to argue that he wasn’t aided by steroids. I just don’t care. Bonds was amazing to watch and I’ll probably never see anything like him again. In fact I appreciate what science allowed us to witness during the steroid era. If you’re willing to break the law and destroy your body to put on a show, I will gladly watch in awe.

    Comment by Dizz — October 26, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  66. Really, minusing someone for pointing out the park’s real name??

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

  67. I know it’s very rudimentary, but looking at Bonds’s wOBA graph shows both the immense talent he had and the increased output he attained from 2001-2004. Those years are clearly not like the others.

    Comment by Adam — October 26, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  68. Players have continued training as they did in the 90s, yet normal aging patterns have reasserted themselves.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  69. Like saying you should be against contact lenses.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  70. Took no balls at all, in that Dave obviously had to OK it beforehand.

    More like a cheap way to get internet hits/clicks.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

  71. Many, many +++++s.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  72. Steroids and other PEDs might have helped Barry Bonds hit more home runs than he would have otherwise hit but they didn’t make him into the best pure hitter the game had ever seen.

    Bonds wasn’t a home run hitter, he was a line drive hitter with a swing so compact and pure that you just couldn’t sneak an inside fastball by him. With that big armored pad on his right triceps, he wasn’t backing away from the plate. He took the entire inside of the plate away from almost every pitcher, like a bully takes your lunch on the schoolyard. He spit on pitches too far in, too far away, too far up.

    Best plate discipline in the game, with amazing strike zone coverage and a flat swing that kept the bat in the hitting zone a looong time. Drugs or not, he was the best show in town for a very long time. Nobody went to the concession stands when Bonds was due up. He was amazing..

    Comment by fergie348 — October 26, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  73. BN,

    Yeah, I gather that (see )–I should have responded more to the “untainted” remark.

    Comment by Phrozen — October 26, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

  74. LOL @ link failure.

    See the LOLZone graph:

    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/372192/ARC-OF-WAR-90s_and_00s_contemporaries_ii.png” title=”the LOLZone graph

    Comment by Phrozen — October 26, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

  75. Such as from you.

    Comment by Phrozen — October 26, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

  76. Can we at least all agree that if any steroid user is admitted into the hall of fame, Bonds should be the first?

    Comment by ausmax — October 26, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  77. That’s a fair point. I’d note that Ruth first emerged as a terrific player with the Red Sox, who weren’t paying him all that more than the average guy, so clearly he was able to play at a high level without that particular advantage. It may have played some role in his dominance with the Yankees, though.

    Comment by Ian R. — October 26, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  78. I am still perplexed that steroids and PEDs remain the hot topic re: Bonds while relatively few ever bring up the body armor he wore. If that didn’t E his P in its own way, I would be very surprised.

    Comment by Antares — October 26, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  79. I had season tickets to the Giants from 2000-2006 and saw a portion of Bonds’ at home ABs.

    2001-2003 you were actually surprised when Bonds made an out. I will never see a batter more dialed in over a multi-year period than Bonds was. It was incredible to watch and poor in-game management by a certain ex-Dodger screwed Bonds out of a well deserved championship.

    I know protection is not valued as a stat but Rich Aurilia and Jeff Kent’s careers were made hitting in front and behind Bonds.

    Comment by celtic1888 — October 26, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  80. @Phrozen, the most accepted theory is that he got pissed when McGwire and Sosa got all the attention for hitting HRs in 1998 when Bonds was clearly the best player in the game. Bonds and his huge ego took exception and said I’ll do it too.

    Comment by l1ay — October 26, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

  81. and how would you feel if your kids were good at a sport? maybe they want to get a scholarship… maybe they even get drafted… would you tell them you’ve got to use or you’ll lose? would you gladly watch in awe as they inject themselves in a bathroom?

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  82. I guess my point is that some of us have kids who happen to be good at sports and would like that they have the chance to compete without feeling the need to compete by breaking the law and destroying their body as you so aptly describe the situation.

    So no… I do not view the whole steroid argument as just stupid. But hey, that’s my opinion.

    Comment by Doug B — October 26, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  83. Not knowing the magnitude of the PED effect does not seem to be a valid, logical reason for ignoring the whole episode.

    I’m not ignoring the steroids episode. You want us to ignore Barry Bonds’ career. That’s the difference. I say: discuss it all! You say: discuss it none. Let us close this dark, shameful chapter in baseball history and never speak of it again.

    That’s what I’m objecting to.

    Comment by Anon21 — October 26, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

  84. @Richie: That wouldn’t impact the effects of segregation particularly, but might somewhat counteract the effects of population increase. However, we have to think that the US population in 1920 was about 100m and the world population was about 2b. So, close to 1/3 what was around in Bonds’ era.

    And that discounts the impact of international signings, which account for about 25% of the MLB over recent years (and maybe 50% of the total talent pool). All told, I’d think we’re drawing from a talent pool of closer to 600-800m (as compared to probably more like 100m in 1920).

    The rise of other sports has probably counteracted that somewhat, but it’s just really unclear as to which direction one could objectively decide on. Modern medicine and nutrition makes life even more complicated. I generally just assume that players who were good in the past would also be stars now, and vice versa. That’s why I can never figure out if Ruth (top flight pitcher and hitter) or Bonds (probably the best all-around position player) would be a #1 on my list. And unfortunately, Bonds messed up his stats something fierce with the cream and the clear.

    Comment by B N — October 26, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  85. I got to see him play on a daily basis, had season tix, was at the WS game when the Giants blew the Angels out of the water…

    …Bonds was amazing. I saw him hit 2 HRs in a game. I saw him win a game with a 9th-inning walkoff homer on his birthday after throwing a runner out at the plate. I saw him hit his 73rd home run.

    He was great, but the steroids do bug me. We’ll never know how much of his performance was ability and hard work and baseball sense — all of which Bonds had, maybe more than anyone else, ever — and how much was the PEDs. At the time, we thought we were in the presence of someone who transcended the sport, someone who rose so high above everyone else. But, now? Who can tell?

    Take Moore’s memory of Bonds. Maybe if he’s not on the PEDs, the ball doesn’t travel over the wall, and it’s a deep flyout instead. Or maybe not. That’s what comes to my mind every time a Bonds’ feat is mentioned. He was a helluva ballplayer, maybe the best ever. But, hell, who knows?

    Comment by Jay Stevens — October 26, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  86. Black players. Babe never had to play against them, Ted Williams didn’t until halfway through his career….

    There is no untainted baseball era.

    Comment by Historian — October 26, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  87. My only question is

    why at sabermetric sites do baseball fans get so goddamn offended when someone disparages a player because they took steriods? Why is it that this segment of baseball fan refuses to judge a player that cheated on a different scale? For the life of me, I do not get that.

    Comment by Matt Mosher — October 26, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

  88. Really productive comment

    Comment by Acacia — October 26, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

  89. This is stupid. I didn’t cheat. I’m rich. Jon Dowd can’t touch me.

    Comment by Barry Bonds — October 26, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  90. I completely understand you’re point, I just don’t think it’s relevant to the Bonds discussion. I would advise my child to avoid steroids due to the health risks. I would consider it reckless, but not cheating.

    The crux of the whole argument is seemingly that Bonds, more specifically anyone who used, cheated baseball of its purity. Baseball has never been pure as many posters above have shown. The difference is today the advancements are far more effective. Should we discount the stats of any pitcher who has had Tommy John?

    My take is the stats should be left alone. Players took advantage of science. Ability is ability no matter how you get there. We don’t care that someone like Clapton made amazing music while using coke. Nor should we, it’s entertainment. Baseball players are not role models, they are entertainers. Bonds never forced his steroid use on me why should it bother me?

    Now, I agree with you about the health risks. That’s where the argument needs to turn to. Right now it’s just a lot of bitter animosity being thrown at Bonds success. We shouldn’t be upset that he broke records. We should be educating kids on the danger involved. If someone is fully educated of the risks and still decides its worth the rewards, it may be reckless and stupid, but I have a hard time considering it unfair.

    Comment by Dizz — October 26, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  91. I dont get whats the whole deal with steroids, players can hit the gym or BP extra hours, they can take supplements to put on weight, hell some are even born better due to genetics, whats the difference? Health reasons? Thats their problem not mine. He broke the rules? Law does not dictate morality, yes, he was cheating, but its a moot point if everyone was doing it.

    Even so, steroids dont help your pitch recognition, your swing mechanics or your overall “feel” of the game. They make you stronger, but theres a lot more in hitting for power than strenght, not to mention hitting for a high AVG and playing great D.

    Comment by Alvaro — October 26, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

  92. B N, I’d suggest just extrapolating Barry’ stats through 1999 onward. Perhaps give him a bit of a boost for so dramatically outplaying the other roidsters after that. As of 1999, Barry was certainly on his way to being a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer. But I don’t think anyone was comparing him to Ruth.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 7:20 pm

  93. Sabermetrician fans are sometimes Dwight Schrutes, mad at a world that sticks them in a cubicle rather than recognize their genius. Ergo, reflexively contrarian with regard to “common/masses’ ” knowledge.

    In addition, if you cheat to win before you accept that the other fellow is just better than you, you’ll admire the Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrongs of the world for essentially representing you. And so argue whatever’s necessary to argue in order to justify them and yourself.

    Comment by Richie — October 26, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

  94. I think it’s because baseball fans that go to stat-oriented websites like Fangraphs are, for the most part, incredibly diehard fans and are willing to put in the effort to further educate themselves about the game. This deeper knowledge of the game has led them to distrust the mainstream baseball media (ESPN, Fox, etc.), who continue (for the most part) to extol the virtues of wins, RBI, and saves, as well as lazy narratives like Verlander struggling because of the extra time off. And this is the same mainstream baseball media that decided to vilify Barry Bonds to an absurd degree, because he was the best at what he did and he wasn’t nice to the media.

    So many writers have pounded it into fans’ heads that Bonds is a bad person who his teammates hate and he is everything wrong with the game. These writers largely ignored this type of vilification when Mcgwire and Sosa were hitting ridiculous amount of home runs and had bulked up considerably. Bonds was an easy scapegoat because the writers already didn’t like him, and what he was doing was so far out of the norm. The media decided to make him a lightning rod of criticism, so that the fans would have an outlet for their anger at being “deceived” by the players taking PEDs, and fans of the Padres could hate him (while conveniently forgetting about Ken Caminiti) and fans of the Dodgers could hate him (while forgetting about Eric Gagne), etc.

    Essentially, you ask why readers on sabermetric sites get “offended” when someone disparages a player because they took steroids? I don’t even think that’s an honest question. What I think you mean is, “why do people defend Barry Bonds, who I hate because he cheated?”. The answer to that is that readers or these types of sites might be better suited to look at objective evidence (like stats!) and judge issues, or arguments, on their merits instead of basing them on soundbites from TV personalities or articles from writers who personally dislike a player.

    Comment by Scott — October 26, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  95. I’d like baseball to deal with it. I don’t want to ignore it. But the whole thing has been brushed aside. No one has been been held properly accountable. Cycling was broken for years but at least they’ve got their guy. What has MLB ever done to acknowledge the downright lies that inhabit its record books? Nothing.

    And I think if everyone wants to move on, that’s fine. Let’s keep looking forward. But don’t talk about this guy, or this era, like it means anything, or has any resemblance to sport.

    Deal with it or forget about it. Don’t celebrate it.

    Comment by Daniel — October 26, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  96. Nope. You’re reading into it. I don’t hate Barry Bonds.

    Comment by Matt Mosher — October 26, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

  97. Wasn’t trying to persuade. Just stating my opinion. : )

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  98. If any *known* steroid user is inducted after his use had been made public, then it should be Bonds. Sure.

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  99. The armor wasn’t illegal and wasn’t dangerous, to my knowledge.

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  100. Law does not dictate morality, this is true.

    Saying “everyone” was doing it is a gross overgeneralization. Plenty of baseball players, including minor leaguers, have said they weren’t doing it. It’s plausible that many were doing it, but many does not imply all. AND, just because a lot of people do something, doesn’t make it right. A lot of people cheat on their taxes. Doesn’t make it right.

    I’ve read that steroids can help your hand-eye coordination, bat speed, etc. All of that figures into your performance.

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

  101. Just out of curiosity, are you a libertarian?

    Comment by David — October 26, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

  102. Barry Bonds was the best player of his era, and his numbers are the most impressive of any player from any era. We cannot say much more with any certainty, but we can certainly say that nobody has ever done what we saw him do. His combination of natural talent, elite training, complete devotion, and artificial chemistry, extended the envelope of player performance farther and faster than anyone since Ruth in the early 1920s, and he did so at a time when most of the obvious inefficiencies had been eliminated from the game. We don’t have to purify or condemn him; we have only to remember his greatness and and corruption in bittersweet tandem, which is more and better than most people will ever get.

    Comment by Tomrigid — October 26, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  103. I just call it “Misc Telecom Park” or “The Park Formerly Known as PacBell.”

    Comment by B N — October 27, 2012 @ 1:20 am

  104. Additionally, Bonds’ body armor would have done him no good in that era. Had he walked in with a plate like that on his arm, they’d just drill him in the face. And continue to do so until he stood farther from the plate. Theoretically, this could have resulted in a 1.000 OBP, until the brain damage finally caught up, however.

    Comment by B N — October 27, 2012 @ 1:26 am

  105. To be fair, as a Red Sox fan, I despised The Rocket before it was cool. His performance during his exit years made Manny Ramirez look like Max Effort, a little known scrappy shortstop who did all the little things right and runs out every fly ball, even the fouls.

    Comment by B N — October 27, 2012 @ 1:30 am

  106. Not exactly, but i guess you could call me that ’cause “liberal” has a weird meaning in your country.

    Comment by Alvaro — October 27, 2012 @ 1:36 am

  107. This. Marveling at Bonds’ 2002 season is like marveling at one of those sub-5 minute Mario speed runs. Yes, they’re amazing to watch. And yes, it’s clear that whoever is playing must be one HELL of a player. But you know for a fact it would take them longer if they had to do it without an emulator and a thousand reloads. The same goes with Bonds: you know there’s an amazing player behind it, but you also know he wouldn’t be as freakishly good without the cheat.

    Comment by B N — October 27, 2012 @ 1:49 am

  108. @Philosofool

    Wouldn’t the players union have to agree to that in order to make it official?

    Regardless, If I remember correctly, what Bonds used (THG) was neither illegal or considered a steroid by the United States Justice Department. A lot of the confusion in the Bonds case was attributed towards this because it was hard to determine whether he actually lied when asked if he ever knowingly took steroids.

    Comment by SF 55 for life — October 27, 2012 @ 1:59 am

  109. Bonds was already one of the best when he purportedly started using steroids probably some time before the 1999 season (it takes awhile for the benefits of steroids to begin). But, I don’t think, he was in the conversation as “one of the very best” before that point. Still, that doesn’t detract from my enjoyment (even as an Angels’ fan) of watching Bonds’ perform like he was playing in a video game. I also thoroughly enjoyed watching the McGwire/Sosa single season home run chase in ’98. In retrospect (I was barely a teenager in ’98), those numbers were obviously juiced but it was still exciting to watch.

    As for comparisons between eras, that’s a harder question. Based off of my impression that Bonds was extremely dedicated to making himself into one of the best players ever I would have to assume that he got more out of steroids than most other players who used. Just by looking at him you can see that he transformed himself more than most other players who allegedly used steroids. Add that to the fact that he had perhaps one of the best commands of the strike zone and one of the best swings and you start to get to the point where Bonds put up some of the best single season performances in history. So, to me at least, it looked like Bonds got more out of his alleged use of steroids than any other player (with Clemmens being a possible exception).

    Babe Ruth, as others have mentioned previously, did not have to play against minority players. However, he did have to play in bigger parks, face pitchers throwing all kinds of junk and didn’t have the benefit of watching tape (which I would think would help pitchers – I’m not going to defend this assumption because that would make this overly long comment way too long).

    All in all, I think Babe Ruth had the better career. He had a higher WAR, WRC+ and led in some other categories (http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2012&month=0&season1=1871&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0) over Bonds. Ruth’s life was a train wreck and I don’t believe he put in as much hard work as Bonds did; I actually believe that Bonds has been the most dedicated player in baseball history (Bonds’ life has been something of a train wreck as well but not of Ruthian proportions). I have to believe that if Ruth were a contemporary of Bonds he would have been better. And, based off of what little I know about Babe Ruth, Ruth would have also used steroids.

    Who wouldn’t want to see Babe Ruth hit while on steroids?

    Comment by Travis — October 27, 2012 @ 4:00 am

  110. I wouldn’t want to see Ruth on steroids. What makes him great is that he wasn’t on them.

    Comment by David — October 27, 2012 @ 6:04 am

  111. Bonds somehow developed great plate discipline knowing pitchers were going to pitch around him. He’d look for a pitch and crush it, if the pitch wasn’t right in his wheelhouse, the ump called it a ball because he figured pitchers weren’t throwing strikes.

    And McGwire hit 500 foot bombs, youtube it and watch his homerun off of Randy Johnson. No way that didn’t go 500 feet.

    Comment by Kyle — October 27, 2012 @ 6:12 am

  112. I was just making a joke. Didn’t mean for it to sound snarky.

    Comment by chuckb — October 27, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  113. Yeah…me, too. I wasn’t trying to sound like a jerk.

    Comment by chuckb — October 27, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  114. Your usage of the absolutes “anything” and “any” render your entire posts meaningless. The fact that you believe it means absolutely nothing discounts anything else you could possibly say and any shred of rationality in your arguments.

    Comment by Mr. Jones — October 27, 2012 @ 11:27 am

  115. For the life of me, I don’t get why non-sabermetric fans come to sabermetric sites and then paint all sabermetric fans with a broad brush. I don’t understand why they stereotype all of us as being clones of one another when we all have our own separate opinions that we share with one another. And I don’t get why non-sabermetric fans tend to get so goddamn offended by the opinions of some sabermetric fans.

    Comment by chuckb — October 27, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  116. Bonds basically had BALCO and a team of scientists designing his transformation; he was like the bionic man of baseball–not every player had access to that same level of training expertise; it’s ridiculous to compare Bonds’ use to that of scrubs who were popping random pills post-game behind a stadium dumpster. Even A-Rod was purportedly taking whatever his deadbeat cousin could scrounge up on the down low–discretion was more important than effectiveness for most; Bonds was incredibly flagrant about his use, IMO.

    Comment by Dean Travers — October 27, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  117. Barry Bonds was the Babe Ruth of cheating. Greenies are like using a screw driver and what Bonds did was like using an impact wrench. If someone snuck a pogo stick into a high jumping competition would we marvel over his performance? How about the great time that Rosie Ruiz ran in the Boston Marathon? She was amazing!

    Comment by enhanced performance — October 27, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

  118. Bonds didnt do nothin. He innocent. Errybody get stronger as dey get older. das why its called old man strength.

    Comment by SFGiants4Life — October 27, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

  119. Productive comment.

    Comment by Matt Mosher — October 27, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  120. @SF 55

    Playing the game is agreeing to the rules. I can’t think of a better example of implicit consent, except maybe accepting money as salary being implicit consent to terms of employment from the employer. In any event, the MLBPA never argued against the drug policy, but only against mandatory testing (which is completely understandable.)

    Bonds knew he was cheating, let’s not play an irrational game of pretending like he or anyone else though otherwise because some garbage technicality could make like he wasn’t.

    Comment by philosofool — October 27, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  121. It’s a poor worker who blames his tools.

    Comment by shthar — October 28, 2012 @ 1:30 am

  122. I don’t worry about the name unless I get a check.

    Comment by shthar — October 28, 2012 @ 1:31 am

  123. If you aint cheatin, you aint tryin

    Comment by shthar — October 28, 2012 @ 1:32 am

  124. Ugh, the whole steroid thing is a massive red herring that a handful of folks in this thread illustrate. Whether or not Bonds used is, in a sense, beside the point: He was just so damn good, so dominant, that in some ways it doesn’t even matter. From 2001-04 Barry Bonds was the most dominant hitter in major league history and the 2002 World Series was Bonds at his best. I’m an Angels fan and remember the dread and awe every time he stepped to the plate.

    I miss Barry Bonds. He is one of the very greatest players in baseball history. I’m not saying that steroids didn’t pad his numbers or help his career, but we just don’t know to what degree. Bonds was an amazing player in his “skinny years” – don’t forget that in the 90s he had two 10+ WAR seasons and six seasons with an 8.8 WAR or higher. In other words, Bonds was about as good in the 90s as Pujols was in the 00s, and Pujols is probably the second or third greatest first baseman in the history of the game.

    To put it another way, if we don’t account for steroids and just look at Bonds’ numbers historically, he’s probably the second greatest player in major league history after Babe Ruth. If we try to imagine a normal decline trajectory from 2000 on, then he’d still be in the top 20 players and in a general group with Mays, Williams, Musial, Mantle, Cobb, and Speaker for greatest outfielders ever.

    In 2000 Bill James ranked Bonds as the 16th greatest player ever and the 10th greatest outfielder ever behind Ruth, Mays, Cobb, Mantle, Williams, Musial, Speaker, Aaron, and DiMaggio, and a few ranks ahead of Robinson and Henderson. Now we can’t know where he would have ranked if he had had relatively normal decline, but it is worth pointing out that many great players don’t decline significantly in their late 30s. Hank Aaron had his highest five-year HR span from age 35-39 and his highest ever wRC+ at age 37. Ted Williams had one of his greatest seasons ever at age 38. I could go on.

    This is not to say that Bonds would have been as good from age 35-39 (2000-2004) without steroid use, but that he still would have been pretty good. He probably wouldn’t have finished with 762 HR and 2558 walks, but he probably would have finished close to 700 and 2000. He also probably would have passed DiMaggio, Aaron and Speaker on James’ list and challenged Musial and Williams for the greatest left fielder of all time.

    After all of that verbosity, here is the bottom line: Bonds was a truly great player and, for a span of four years from 2001 to 2004, the best player that most of us will ever see in our lifetimes. We don’t know how he would have performed without steroids, but in any likely scenario he’d still be regarded as one of the greatest ballplayers in the history of the game, certainly the greatest since Mays and Aaron retired. Let’s appreciate him for that greatness because it doesn’t come around very often.

    Comment by Angelsjunky — October 28, 2012 @ 10:33 am

  125. Or Hector Sanchez….?

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — October 28, 2012 @ 11:42 am

  126. Truthfully it’s not that hard to look it up and if you have been watching the World Series they did mention often in Games 1 and 2. It’s ridiculous how much corpoarations dictate what we call stadiums but Pac Bell has been gone for a long time and it has been AT&T park for awhile….

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — October 28, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  127. The epic whiff and K on the F-Rod CU is awesome. A guy as locked in athletically as Bonds on the biggest stage having the stones to look so foolish further attests to Bonds’ greatness.

    And Bonds’ crime wasn’t taking steroids it was taking too many steroids.

    Comment by HeiseyOnLife — October 28, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  128. Me, Travis. I would not like to see Babe Ruth while on steroids because steroids are really, really bad for sport.

    Comment by Daniel — October 29, 2012 @ 5:25 am

  129. Barry Bonds had 688 intentional walks. That’s more than Roberto Clemente, Andre Dawson, Dave Parker George Sisler, Al Simmons, Ivan Rodriguez, Jim Rice, Joe Carter, Orlando Cepeda, and Carlos Lee had… of ANY type of walk in their careers.

    Comment by Doug B — October 29, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  130. We’re still in the steroid era — all players have to do is take testosterone and epitestosterone in the proper balance, and they’ll appear clean to the standard test for anabolic steroids. As long as they maintain the balance of those two hormones within the proper range, they can pump themselves full of as much testosterone (which is what all anabolic steroids mimic) as they want, because they won’t get flagged for the more sophisticated isotope test that could bust them.

    If sports were really serious about catching users, they’d put up the money to do the isotope test on everybody.

    Comment by Steve S — October 29, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  131. Since recording started in 2002, Barry Bonds was thrown 6000 balls and 5080 strikes. Only 45.8% of the time were pitchers willing to throw him a strike. By contrast, Albert Pujols in 2008 was thrown 54.8% strikes. Bonds was in another world, steroids or not.

    Comment by senecastreet — October 30, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

  132. OMG. Barry is human.

    Comment by Nivra — January 3, 2013 @ 3:35 am

  133. Lance was to cycling what barry was to baseball. In any kind of even field, Lance would have won.

    Comment by cycling fan writes on old article — June 23, 2013 @ 12:25 am

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