Archive for the ‘Barry Bonds’ Category

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants

Barry Bonds is back in baseball today, coaching up the San Francisco Giants at spring training. Before attending to his duties — seven days of coaching with his former club before he heads back to his home in San Francisco — Bonds addressed the media for the first time as an official baseball man since his retirement.

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San Francisco Giants v Milwaukee Brewers

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York is a wonderful museum and cherished time capsule of the grand old game. The story of baseball is told inside those hallowed halls, with keepsakes and mementos from time immemorial.

Telling the story of baseball seems, to me, like the real purpose of the Hall of Fame. The enshrinement process exists as an extension of the same ideal: these are the great players without whom the game would not be the same.

Over time, of course, the idea of baseball’s Hall of Fame came to mean different things to those who provide entry to the game’s greatest individual honor, the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The simplistic criteria used as the basis of judgment for Hall of Fame eligibility shifted in recent years, as many fans and writers took up the causes of overlooked but otherwise worthy candidates. Careers and statistics were scrutinized in different ways in attempt to put achievement into context.

This shift in priorities reshaped the Hall of Fame debate, especially as the cloud of drug use and steroids settled over the proceedings. Former clear cut Hall of Famers were cast aside, while other players received additional support as their eligibility waned.

The result, after five or ten contentious years, is a mess. The 2014 Hall of Fame ballot is a disaster after years of special pleading (“he’s a Hall of Famer but NOT a first ballot guy”) and steroid suspicion culminated with no players receiving sufficient support to enter the Hall last January. Two of the greatest players in the history of the game did not garner enough votes last year, so we end up with gridlock that would make Mexico City blush.

The best way to start the healing process? Send an extra large contingent this season. With “messages sent” and so many excellent players on this year’s ballot, there is a great opportunity to both elect deserving players and cut a lot of dead wood from the bottom of the ballot. Maybe a few casualties on either side but all hope is not lost.

The full ballot is found here but this is how I would vote, had I the honor.

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Roger Clemens
  3. Greg Maddux
  4. Frank Thomas
  5. Mike Piazza
  6. Curt Schilling
  7. Mike Mussina
  8. Alan Trammell
  9. Tim Raines
  10. Mark McGwire

There is room for debate on a few of these names but all ten men have tremendous Hall of Fame cases. All ten names on this list could well be lined on a humid afternoon in July, celebrating their careers with their peers – baseball’s true elite.

It won’t work like that, of course. But it should. The list of deserving players only gets longer as the years go by. The also-rans and stat compilers will fall by the wayside as the men who shaped the game for a generation step forward to receive their final acknowledgement.

Baseball’s story since the last work stoppage in 1995 cannot be told without Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza or Tim Raines. Hopefully the BBWAA stops trying to scrub the parts they don’t like from the annals of the game and let history speak for itself.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

Miguel Cabrera is on a quite a tear as the second month of the 2013 season winds down. Last year’s American League Triple Crown winner is currently hitting .387/.457/.659 with 11 home runs and a .471 wOBA. It goes without saying, Cabrera is the best all-around hitter in the game today.

A former great, one with seven National League MVP awards to his credit, would agree that Cabrera is the best player in the game. It’s not even close, as Barry Bonds told USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale in a phone interview on Monday. Bonds just asks that we don’t get carried away and start comparing Cabrera to himself. There’s no argument to be made there, according to Bonds.

“He’s definitely the best. It’s not rocket science here. He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best. I don’t try to compare me to anybody. I was the best on the field. I did more things than he did. My game was different than his game. So comparing him, to me, there’s no comparison.

He doesn’t have my MVPs. He doesn’t have my numbers. Well, not yet, anyways. But does he have that ability? Yes, he does. Does he have that gift? Yes, he does.”

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Two former MLB sluggers, forever linked by huge muscles and the era in which they played, have put their respective homes up for sale. Barry Bonds is selling his Beverly Hills home, probably because it costs a lot of money to fight the United States government. Jeff Bagwell has put his Houston home up for sale because, presumably, all the guys that hit home runs in the “steroid era” do all the same stuff.

Let’s take a look at what these two luxurious homes have to offer.

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The “Hall of Fame” is what we’re calling that section of old Yankee Stadium, probably a $7 cab ride from home plate. Additionally, this ball surely would’ve landed in Cooperstown had it not plunked into the lap of Yankees fans in the upper, upper, upper, upper mezzanine of the House that Babe Ruth Built and Barry Bonds Summarily Destroyed.

Bonds is elected along with the sound Yankee Stadium made after this blast, an unusual blend of scorn and satisfaction that everyone in attendance got to see exactly what they hoped would happen when they walked through the turnstiles that sunny afternoon.

Elbow pad adjustment to our friend Wendy.

It is somewhat fitting that Mr. Marvin Miller died yesterday. The baseball pioneer who transformed the labour landscape for all Major League players and, by helping funnel more of the profits towards players, helped infuse the game with top talent from around the world. Yet, as we all well know by now, Marvin Miller is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame – a sad fact that casts a pall on the entire idea of the Hall as a great museum of the game.

Later today, the official Hall of Fame ballot is announced and there will be blood. The vote this year figures to be one of the most contentious in years, possibly ever. Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens and Sammy Sosa headline the players now eligible for Hall of Fame voting, three of the most divisive superstars of the last generation.

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Another edition of the Getting Blanked show on a Friday, another topic we beat into a bloody pulp. This week we talk about legacies and lasting memories: what kind of damage can a player do to your impression of them with off-field or post-career shenanigans?

…or download the mp3 directly right here.

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