Results tagged ‘ Barry Bonds ’

The Exception?

manny-ramirez.jpgAlright…with Manny Ramirez retiring suddenly this past week to avoid a second suspension for failing a drug test, it begs the question: HOF?

Taking steroids out of the equation, this guy is a first-ballot HOF-er.  I would argue that he was the greatest righthander hitter in baseball from 1995-2008, and one of the greatest pure hitters in baseball history.  Sure, he was a complete spaz and couldn’t field a lick, but when you hit like that it doesn’t really matter.  During the mid-1990s he and Jim Thome provided potency to the Cleveland Indians, then he and David Ortiz teamed up as perhaps the most dominant 3-4 combination since Ruth-Gehrig.  Even his stint with the Dodgers (before the first suspension that signaled the end of his career) was incredible.

Some of the career stats: .312 BA, .411 OBP, .585 SLG, .996 OPS, 2,574 H, 555 HR, 1,831 RBI.

He was always a favorite player of mine (when not tormenting Twins pitching, of course) for just his pure hitting ability.  The guy didn’t give a lick about anything, but he was blessed with the ability to hit a baseball really, really hard with surprising frequency.

Of course, much like Andy Pettitte, the steroid issue will cloud Manny’s candidacy.  Like Pettitte and, say, A-Rod, Manny is a confirmed steroid user.  That being said, he didn’t make up ridiculous stories in his defense (e.g. Barry Bonds), didn’t become a jerk about it (e.g. Roger Clemens), didn’t refuse to speak about the past (e.g. Mark McGwire), didn’t blatently deny his usage (e.g. Rafael Palmeiro), and didn’t forget how to speak English when questioned (e.g. Sammy Sosa).  Basically, he just got caught and served his time.

My feeling on the matter right now is that I would put Manny in the Hall, but not after a few years of “punishment waiting” sitting on the ballot.  Perhaps I am being too sentimental and should be harder on the guy, but at least he didn’t deny, deny, deny and make baseball look like a bunch of guys trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

Time will tell.

Enough Said


s-BARRY-BONDS-large.jpgEnough said (for now).

Today’s Sign Of The Apocalypse…

Just read the other day that the Milwaukee Brewers are going to erect a statue of this guy…

lg_selig_ap.jpg

…outside of Miller Park in the near future.  At first I thought maybe the article was a joke, but no such luck.  What next…statues of Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and the Canseco-McGwire bathroom stall?

Who Said Barry Bonds Has No “Appeal”?!

BondsTrial.jpgWhile I’m a little late on blogging about this news, it was announced a few days ago that federal prosecutors in the Barry Bonds case are appealing the judge’s ruling that Bonds’ positive steroid tests from 2003, as well as doping calendars put together by Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson, could not be used as evidence that Bonds perjured himself.  This announcement was made shortly after Anderson again refused to testify against Bonds.  This new development will push the trial back into the summer months.

I know that many of you are probably sick of hearing about this kind of stuff during baseball’s ethereal-like Spring Training, but I feel compelled to discuss these matters due to the fact that they represent the biggest current problem in baseball right now.  Much like the 1919 Black Sox scandal, the Steroid Era has caused the game to lose much credibility, and thus must be dealt with in a very serious fashion.  I would like nothing more than to never write about the issue of steroids again, but unfortunately that may be long (if ever) in the future.

In an interesting comparison, I think that Bonds may very well be the “Shoeless” Joe Jackson of our generation.  Even though there wasn’t much concrete evidence that Jackson ever accepted a bribe to throw the 1919 World Series, he became one of the “Eight Men Out” nonetheless and was banned from the game for life just for THINKING about taking a bribe, essentially.  It could very well have been that then-Commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis made an example of Jackson, essentially declaring that not even the greatest stars could get away with acts that tarnish the game.

While Bonds’ case is a bit different, as he is much more quantifiably guilty than the Shoeless one, I believe he is also being made an example of.  I mean, there are many other players (weren’t there over 100 on the ’03 list?!) that the Fed could be going after, but instead they are focusing on nailing Bonds.  I’m not saying this is wrong by any means, as Bonds deserves to be punished if indeed he did perjure himself, but I’m just pointing out that the federal government is doing what current Commissioner Bud Selig has proven unable to do…play the “Judge Landis” card.

Notes:

-Just to let my readers know, I will not be blogging about individual Twins Spring Training games.  I know it is exciting that the boys of summer are getting after it again, but I’ve never really been able to get into evaluating essentially meaningless games.  Once the regular season starts, however, I hope to have some comments every night!

Why Hello There, Mr. Anderson…

Anderson.jpg

For those of us who want to see Barry Bonds punished to the full extent of the law for perjuring himself to the U.S. government, a major blow was dealt today.  The judge in the case barred Bonds’ positive steroid tests from 2003, citing that there isn’t definitive proof that those tests belonged to Barry.  Plus, along the same vein, the doping calendars seized from Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson cannot be used in the trial, as (even though a B.B. is present throughout the journals) the court cannot prove with 100% certainty that B.B. is Barry Bonds.

So, in all likelihood, the entire case will rest on the testimony of Mr. Anderson.  However, he has proven to be one tough cookie, serving a long prison sentence already because he didn’t give up Bonds’ name from the get-go.  It makes me sick that Bonds could get by on these technicalities.  Just look at the guy…an A-1 example of a punk who still thinks he will get away with something illegal.

Where’s Neo when you need him?!

Built To Win (John Schuerholz)

9780446696531.jpgI just finished reading the book “Built To Win” by Atlanta Braves GM John Schuerholz and wanted to share the review of it that I wrote for Amazon.com.  Unfortunately, much like my earlier review of Kent Hrbek’s book, this one was also a dud:

“Too Much Philosophy, Too Little Baseball”

As I began reading this book, I figured that it would explain the inside stories of how the Atlanta Braves were so successful from 1991-2005. The book tries to do this, but does so in completely the wrong fashion, making it an incredibly boring read.

Instead of describing the interesting deals/performances/stories that likely characterized those classic Braves teams, John Schuerholz instead spews out little more than inspirational quotes and philosophical points of view that, though they may contribute to his success, are unique to him and thus not inherently interesting. Schuerholz is trying to lay out the “basic mindset” of a winning GM, but what he doesn’t realize is that each GM/organization (even the winning ones) goes through different methods of building a good team.

The book begins with a little story about how Barry Bonds nearly became an Atlanta Brave, then trails off into an unnecessarily harsh criticism of Oakland GM Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” philosophy (stupid due to the fact that Beane has had just as much success with the model as Schuerholz) and finally descends into little more than Schuerholz spouting quotes about “winning” for the next 100-200 pages. There is no context to the stories told in the book. In fact, I found the only interesting part of the entire book to be the last 10 or so pages, where each Braves team (from 1991-2005) is given a quick summary. Had the entire book been about that, I would be giving it a much better review!

Thus, please DO NOT begin reading this book if you are expecting great Braves baseball stories. You will likely enjoy this book much more than I if you are into inspirational memoirs, but otherwise stay away.

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