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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

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" has committed an unhealthy share of errors. He's been playing short this winter, but can field any position."

JW, you do realize the seeming contradiction there, no? :)

Glad to see Wilson is aquiting himself well. What a breath of fresh air he was last season after having to suffer through 2 years of the Gnome. Hopefully he carries it into the 2011 season, and can spell Chase, Jimmy and Polly for about 10-15 games each (which would drive them all nuts, I know).

Durbin? JW, if your position is that it will be cheaper to fill his position internally then I have no argument with you if cost is the issue. However, I posted Durbin's numbers since coming to Philly, and as clout noted, when healthy, "Durbin's been a fine middle reliever but the question is where does he fit"....

AAMOF, Durbin has been one of the better middle relievers in MLB the last three season....when healthy. And middle relief is an essential component of any bullpen when the 4th or 5th starter is on the hill.

So I'm not as optimistic as you, perhaps, that someone internally can be as effective as Durbin has been.

However, as I noted yesterday, "with the top 4 guys in the rotation, how much need will [there] be for him?"

awh - I was thinking the same

Doesn't the ability to field imply an average or below average fielding percentage?

Or looked at another way, doesn't an unhealthy fielding percentage call into question one's ability to play that position?

Durbin wanting a raise is okay, giving it to him would be crazy. Let him walk if he wants more than $1.25M. Hell, I think they should let him walk now anyway and give one of the farmhands a shot.

The caveat on both Exxon's hitting prowess and Mikimart's fielding is the sample size.

Besides, if Exxon is around, he would be filling in at SS in the pinch anyway. Mikimart's for 24th man duty, 6th (7th?) OF, 15 inning games and unexpected double injuries. Along with some RH ph (and RH ph decoying) duties.

limoguy, I'll be very surprised if Martinez replaces Valdez. We know what we're going to get from Valdez, an OPS slightly over .600 and good defense at 3 positions.

I wonder if Martinez was drafted just to prod Valdez, because his minor league numbers, .263/.315/.368, aren't even as good as Valdez's .284 .333 .354.

He's also smaller (shorter and lighter) so there will be issues if he has to play 3B.

"issues if he has to play 3B"

heh heh

If Durbin comes back for the same money or more, I'd say it shows that RAJ has little faith in any of the AA/AAA/AAAA guys being able to match or exceed what Durbin brigs (this year). I'd be disappointed if it's anything more than a minor league deal.

If Durbin comes back for the same money or more, I'd say Baez will be gone by the AS break. Schwimmer and DeFratus are just a matter of time.

Carson, you hit on another issue regarding Durbin:

With the future in mind, is it time to give one of the young guys a shot to further his development?

Andy, I couldn't resist. :)

On Durbin, I agree with the Beerleaguer position. I'd like to see a hard thrower who can miss bats and get strike outs, as opposed to a pitch to contact guy like Durbin. Basically, I'm hoping for a mid-season DeFratus call up or another option (Mathieson, Stutes??). Durbin's performance in game 4 of the NLCS just reinforces my point.

odd players would get greedy in the current recession, guess they don't relsie how lucky they already are.

Marc H - Who is this hard throwing relieving prospect though that misses bats and get strikeouts in their minor league system right now at AA/AAA?

"...can spell Chase, Jimmy and Polly for about 10-15 games each (which would drive them all nuts, I know)..."

I think the declines in BA by Utley and Rollins since 2007 has eliminated my concern that they'll be bothered by a day off here and there.

Andy, Baez is due for his bounce back year. :)


Marc H, to add to MG's question, since joining the Phillies, Durbin has posted a K/9 of 7.5 AT THE MLB LEVEL.

Who is this hard-throwing relieving prospect who will strike out more than that?

Marc H, that's the second time you've brought up Durbin's NLCS Game 4 performance.

Do you think 1 IP is an adequate sample size to evaluate a pitcher?

Do you think the Phillies should NOT have signed Cliff Lee? He was 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA in the WS.

probably should cut Howard since he K'd to end the series against the Giants.

Who is going to close out non-save but non- blowout games for Phils? Charlie (rightly, see Nate Robertson) doesn't trust anybody but Madson and maybe Contreras when the lead in late innings is less than 6 or 7 runs. Durbin, if nothing else, is useful for that. Why I'd rather spend 2 million on him than on Romero.

Clay - No need to go into a rehash but it is utter absurd to think that a MLB-caliber relievers can't get 6 outs up 4+ runs. You might lose a single one of those games all season if that.

his numbers are about as important as brown's were in winter league.

Clay - but Romero is a lefty and we all know Charlie is a slave to match-ups.

MG:
Might be absurd, but Clay is right that Charlie tends to overuse some guys. Fair question who pitches 8th and 9th if up OR down by a bunch.

With the Phillies current pitching staff, how many innings do we expect the swing man to pitch? 40? 50? Let him walk...

There is no hard throwing relief prospect who will strike out more hitters than Durbin will. If we don't sign Durbin (or someone like him), his role will be filled by either Herndon or Baez.

True, bap, as long as the Manager calls for them in the 8th or 9th up 11-2 instead of wasting Madson or Contreras.

Question for the board:

B. J. Rosenberg? I just read Sickel's top 20 prospects list. Rosenberg isn't even mentioned in the "Others of Note" section.

He was talked up quite a bit by a few people here. Did his stock drop THAT far because of 13 IP in Reading last season?

I'm far more concerned with who pitches the 6th and 7th innings in 1 and 2-run games than I am with who pitches the 9th innining in 4 and 5-run games.

I'll be stunned and amazed if the Phils pay more than $2.1M to bring Durbin back. Guys of his ilk are going for $1.5 on the open market.

Great point. And today that would be...

Speaking of Sickles, I was just looking at his Rule V draft in review:

Phillies: Michael Martinez, IF, from Nationals: 28 years old, hit .272/.312/.408 with 23 steals between Double-A and Triple-A. Good glove, some speed, but undersized at 5-9, 145, and has little upside given his age. I can't say I understand this pick.

Speaking of innings pitched by people other than the big 4, just how many innings should we expect out of them? Considering injuries, I would think you'd be thrilled if you could get 900 or so. That leaves 600 or so for the rest of the staff. Maybe 450 for the pen. What do you guys think? Is 900 innings do-able for the big guys?

Bed Beard, I don't understand it either, unless they're worried about depth: i.e. Rollins' legs, Polly's elbow, and Utley's thumb.

rollins legs are a concern. polanco would have to be hit again for that to be a concern. i'd be more concerned with utley's hip than his thumb which i'm sure is fine by now

Martinez just reminds me of a guy that Phillies fans and Beerleaguers in particular eventually would come to hate.

He may, however, provide some comic relief here if a ball or two is just above his reach while playing 3B. Assuming it doesn't cost us a game of course. Then it wouldn't be very funny.

Jerry - It is one of my pet peeves with Cholly in how he uses his best relievers especially a guy like Madson by pitching him on 3 consecutive days or perhaps 7-8 games over a 10-game stretch.

donc: 900 innings strikes me as an absolute best case scenario -- which is to say, no injuries & strong years from all 4 guys.

Jerry: See my 10:44 post. Right now, it would be Baez or Herndon pitching those innings, with a dash of Worley thrown in now & then. I'm not a huge Chad Durbin fan, but he has been perfectly serviceable & I'd certainly feel more comfortable with him than with any of the 3 guys I just named.

"Martinez just reminds me of a guy that Phillies fans and Beerleaguers in particular eventually would come to hate."

What I hear you saying is that he looks like a poor man's Eric Bruntlett.

MG, Madson got used a lot at the end of last season. But I think CM used him that much because he had had a 2 month vacation. :)

I haven't really paid much attention to Martinez/Rule V until today, and i'm left scratching my head with this one. Wouldn't be surprised if they work out a deal with the Nats to have him as AAA/AAAA depth, but he seems awful. 5ft9inch/145lb?

Yeah BAP, that's what Im thinking too. Virtually no missed starts and almost 7 innings a start. 850 is probably more realistic. Even that may be tough to accomplish. Any intermediate term injuries, and all bets are off.

A poor man's Eric Bruntlett? What's that a lawn jockey?

IMO Halladay got pitched a lot by Charlie early in the season in 2010 because Hamels was erratic in April, Blanton was Dl's, Happ was out after his 2nd start on 4/15, Kendrick stunk in April, and Moyer had 1 good start in April. Thus, Charlie flet Halladay was the only SP he could trust at the time, and used him to eat innings that the other SP 'should' have been helping eat.

With Lee, Oswalt and Hamels as the 2-4 in the rotation, assuming health, I doubt Halladay pitches 250+ innings in 2011. If the other guys are going a minimum 6-7 IP/start, Charlie may not feel he needs to protect the bullpen with Halladay alone.

That said, I'd be surprised if they got an average of 225 IP from R2C2. I would bet that it's more likely 210-215. Still, 840-860 is pretty darn good. If the #5 - Kendrick or Blanton - can give them 180 IP, then that takes a ton of stress off of the pen.

5'9", 145, potentially horrible, a questionable signing decision...

The Phillies signed my ex?

If Durbin is countering the Phillies offer with a one year salary demand in excess of $2.125 million, does he realistically expect to return to the Phillies as is his preference? I wonder if he thinks he can get a two-year contract from another team which would give him more dollars overall, but less per season. The Washington Nationals will overpay for him. He should hold out for that.

Durbin should also contact the Texas Rangers to see if they've spent all of their money yet.

Durb's only hope at 2 mil is that some other GM has "grass is greener" syndrome about one of his bullpen arms still not signed and relates his "virtuosity" to the Phillies' recent success.

Looking at his size again, perhaps it would less appropriate to call him Mikimart and better as "MiniMart".

I hear the Yankees are also trying to bolster their relief corps since they missed on Cliff Lee.


To rehash Lee a bit, if the Yankees' offseason plans relied so heavily on signing him, why didn't they up their offer to a level he couldn't refuse? They did the very same with Sabbathia. They had to realize that they weren't operating in a vaccum.

George Steinbrenner isnt running things anymore...its that simple. Big George never would have let Lee walk away...he'd have driven the bank truck to his door personally.

awh: The reason Rosenberg is no longer on prospect lists is 1. He was hurt. and 2. He is now 25 years old and has a grand total of 23 IP at Double A.

Time is running out on him.

BedBeard: No one in the Phillies FO would be dumb enough to think Mike Martinez is a prospect.

I think this was a case of LV needing some INF depth and the Phils being pretty certain that the Nats will refuse Martinez when the Phils offer him back.

Hiyo!

'I think this was a case of LV needing some INF depth and the Phils being pretty certain that the Nats will refuse Martinez when the Phils offer him back.'

Sounds like a fairly sound analysis to me. Good work, clout!

If I were the Nats I'd take him back. After all, how much could it take to feed him?

Food for thought:

"According to Sports Illustrated last week, if you invested $25 in a US treasury EE bond on January 1, 2000, it would now be worth $36.10. If you plunked that money in the S&P, it would be worth $22.45. Had you invested in an index fund that tracked the value of professional sports franchises, it would have doubled or tripled."

MG - Next time I sell off a ceegar company I certainly know what I'm gonna invest in.

Either that or buy one of those useless Green Bay Packer shares. What a bunch of dummies.

Finally, people can rest easy now that Blyleven makes it into the HOF.

Thank, clout. I knew his age but wasn't aware he had gotten hurt. It would seem, then, that 2011 is a make or break year for him.

I would like to see:

the worth of a season ticket package to the phils in 2000 selling each indv ticket compared to the worth of a season ticket package to the phils in 2011 selling each indv ticket.

NEPP, I know Big George isn't there anymore, but their entire offseason plan revolved around signing Lee. It seems to me that there is a great deal of hubris in the Bronx, assuming they're always going to get their man.

I read somewhere that they gave Lee several options, but didn't hear from Lee or his camp for a week.

When you base your 2011 season on signing a guy, how do you not check in a couple of times?

Maybe I'm missing something, but they certainly miscalculated.

Now, the Bosox have clearly surpassed them on paper, at least in the pitching department, and the additions of Crawford and AGon put them at about the same level as far as the lineup is concerned.

TBR, even with the loss of Crawford and Pena (who was nearly replacement level in 2010 and they still won the division), should still put up a fight.

My point: The Yankees staked their entire offseason on acquiring Lee and as a result of losing him might not make the playoffs.

Was rooting for Barry Larkin to make it too. Can't believe he didn't crack 65% at least. This guy was THE premier shortstop in the game back in the early 90's.

I'd say McGwire's and Palmeiro's chances are next to nothing now. McGwire keeps fading and Palmeiro got little support.

I'm always more fascinated by the guys who get 1 or 2 HOF votes than by the guys who actually get voted in. 6 people actually voted for Tino Martinez. I mean, he was a fine player, but is there anyone here who can make a plausible case that he belongs in the Hall? How about Marquis Grissom, who got 4 votes, or B.J. Surhoff, who got 2? Again, good players, both. But I'd be mighty curious to hear the reasoning which concludes that either guy is a Hall of Famer.

Gross and crazy specualtion:

Now that the Rangers have inked Beltre and there seems to be no room there for Vlad Guerrero, and ANA is said to be not talking to him, even with his limited defensive capabilities today, does it make sense to being in Guerrero to platoon with Brown, assuming he can be had at the right price (and Blanton's contract gets moved)?

BAP: Agreed. Seeing some of the votes makes a mockery of the HOF.

jason tp - The most well-known source is the TMR Fan Cost Index. They don't have anything older than 2005 aren't publicly available and won't replace 2011 ticket prices until April.

Here are the past 4 years:

Avg Phils' Ticket/MLB ticket

2005: $26.62/$21.08 (Phils were 8th in MLB)
2006: $26.73/$22.21 (Phils were 7th in MLB)
2007: $27.25/$22.77 (Phils were 7th in MLB)
2008: $28.14/$25.43 (Phils were 6th in MLB)
2009: $31.10/$26.64 (Phils were 6th in MLB)
2010: $32.99/$26.74 (Phils were 5th in MLB)

CAGR (05-10)
Phils Ticket: 3.94%
MLB Avg Ticket: 4.87%

CAGR (08-10)
Phils Ticket: 8.28%
MLB Avg Ticket: 2.54%

No real surprises here. Since CBP opened, the Phils have consistently been one of the most expensive tickets in MLB (Top 10). Phils had to increase prices quite modestly in '05 and '06 but after they won the WS in '08, price increases have been hefty as you would expect.

Actually, I Googled BJ Surhoff just to glance at his career numbers, & one of the first pop-ups was this article:

http://nymag.com/daily/sports/2011/01/someone_listed_bj_surhoff_but.html

Seems that 1 of the 2 guys who voted for BJ Surhoff was also 1 of the 6 who voted for Tino Martinez. His other votes: Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, & Edgar Martinez. He did not vote for Blyleven, Alomar, Larkin or Bagwell. From his ballot, I'd guess that he's a Yankee fan who didn't start watching baseball until the mid 1980s and has never seen a National League game.

If you want to catch a cheap Phils' game, you have to head out to Pittsburgh. Average ticket price was just $15.39 last year (no increase from the previous year) which was just 28th in MLB.

No other city in reasonable driving distance from Philly offers a relatively inexpensive ticket to see the Phils.

Larkin will get in soon enough. There's no problem with a guy sitting for a few years. I think Bagwell will likely make it in eventually too. He had a pretty strong initial showing.

MG, my first thought is perhaps if Pittsburgh raised ticket prices a bit, they could keep some of their talent and put together a competitive team. But then, however would they sell tickets at a higher cost without already being more competitive?

My neighbor's from Pittsburgh, and she always tells me that even when the Pirates were good, back in '79, it was mainly a football town.

MG: nice find.

I was referencing the resale type value more than the average price tho. I used to get all types of tickets handed down to me for free back in the early 2000s, and now in 2010-11 where I have to wait an hour for a standing room only ticket to see the Nationals on a weeknight in April.

The HOF is the same organization that voted Rizzuto in as a player and shut Ashburn out until the veterans committee got him in, nuff said.

Scooter should have made it strictly as an announcer.

MG,
I found those prices out the hard way. Last year, the missus, instead of just picking out some tickets for my birthday went to MLB.com and bought me a gift cert which they neglected to tell her cannot be used to buy Phillies tickets. I called the Phils and they had no answers and would not even do a "customer service" exception.
MLB called me back and told me I could use it to buy Phillies tickets....at the Nationals. I thought about and looked at the prices and thought of the traffic and just sucked it up and bought a sh-tload of Phillies merchandise online instead.

Joe Cowley, I agree. Rizzuto doesn't belong there as a player. He was the classic "inside job".

Rizzuto was a joke of a selection but it helps when all your buddies and former teammates are on the committee.

****The HOF is the same organization that voted Rizzuto in as a player and shut Ashburn out until the veterans committee got him in, nuff said***

Heads up but Rizzuto was also a Vet Committee selection.

Alomar's a definite HOFer. I don't really have a problem with Blyleven's induction either...he was better than a lot of guys already enshrined. I'm surprised by how little support Bagwell got. There's never been any indication he was PED user. His numbers are fantastic. He won the ROY and MVP awards. Does this just mean an entire generation of sluggers will be kept out, regardless of steroid implications?

Chris: Yes. The sportswriters who were too incompetent at their jobs in the '90s to discover the steroid issue that was staring them in the face will now legislate morality retrospectively. It's a witch hunt, and not even a particularly coherent one.

So you're looking at a Hall of Fame in the future without Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriguez, which seems to me to be not much of a Hall of Fame at all.

If Bagwell is left out because he simply "looks" like someone who did steroids, then the writers and the HOF will lose whatever credibility they currently retain.

I think 40% is a good starting point for Bagwell. He'll probably get in eventually with that as a starting point.


On Blyleven...at least it'll stop him from whining about not being in all the time. I dont think Ive heard a Blyleven interview in the past 10 years where he wasn't whining about it or the people interviewing him weren't kissing his arse about it.

Jack: I'll agree that Bagwell doesn't deserve to be kept out on the assumption of steroid use, however I wouldn't classify him as a sure fire first ballot hall of famer.

I agree with Mitch Williams: if you've tested positive or admitted steroid use, you have no business in the hall of fame. There has to be SOME consequences for their behavior, doesn't there?

Frankly, I don't care about their talent or arguments that they were incredible athletes and could have put up HOF numbers without steroids - the fact is that they DID use steroids, so their hypothetical "clean" numbers are meaningless. If we go down that road, we should induct Bo Jackson, because without his hip injury, he may have hypothetically had a tremendous HOF career. I only wish there was an official policy that kept their names off of the ballot entirely.

...and yes, I know that some pitchers threw a spitball and others have cheated in other ways. I know that players took "greenies". I don't care. If you took steroids, you're out.

Will: If Major League Baseball itself provided no consequences for their behavior before 2003, I'm not sure why the writers (who again were either incompetent or disingenuous in doing their jobs in the 90s by ignoring steroids) should be the ones to retroactively provide consequences, but that's just me.

Anyway, you really haven't made any argument at all. You simply distinguish spitballs and amphetamines from steroids without any reasoning. So I'm not sure what your point is, except you have a lot of rage against something none of us really know anything about. And my guess is you probably rooted for J.C. Romero the last couple of years, right? So it seems like the outrage is probably fabricated.

In my opinion, I would consider steroid use as a mark against Palmiero--it was clearly against the rules, there was a testing policy in place, and he violated it. Now, I think there's still room to say "well, he served his consequences in the suspension" and you could still vote for him, but I would also understand not voting for Palmiero. The other guys? Wouldn't be an issue for me. It was part of that era, and Bonds, Clemens and A-Rod were the best players in that era. Again, it's not much of a Hall of Fame for me without those guys.

I would say that a large enough portion of the players juiced so that we might as well pick the top players of the era just like any other time period.

Keeping them out for a few years to make a point is not a big deal...never electing them weakens the Hall too.

Besides which, not allowing people in who admit their steroid use will only disincentivize players from admitting the truth. I'd rather know the truth than play guessing games.

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Jack, let's see if you agree with this (please read the entire post for context):


The HOF is a place where players are enshrined based on how well they played over the course of an entire career. The primary way their careers are judged is based on the counting stats they accumulate. Those stats are compared to the players who have already been inducted to the HOF.

Now, no one knows for sure how steroids affected players' performance individually, except that they seemed to enhance their power, speed and endurance, which, it seems, has led to many of their counting stats being far greater than they would have otherwise.

Jose Canseco has said that without 'roids he wouldn't have even made MLB, much less been a 40/40 player. Now, I don't know if that's true and neither do you, but in this case I think I'll defer to his knowledge.

Does that mean 'roids had the same effect on every other player who took them? Certainly not - people are biologically different. However, it seems that the players who took 'roids not only had an unfair advantage over the players who were not taking them, but also seem to have had an edge on players from previous eras who did not have the benefit of taking them. To wit, what would Dick Allen's career been like were he on 'roids? Or, for that matter, Dale Murphy's?

So, if you are going to take the position that "It was part of that era, and Bonds, Clemens and A-Rod were the best players in that era" then it seems you are saying that the best players from an era should be in the HOF. Do I have that right? Correct me if your position is otherwise.

So I guess the difference you have with Will is exactly who or what kind of player belongs in the HOF. Is it the all time greats? One of the best ways to measure that is to try to measure players' accumulated stats against each other. But if it's only the best players from an era, then the criteria are different. You see, it's possible for the best players of an era to not really be all time greats.

IMHO, I believe the writers should enshrine players who were the all time great players, the ones who would have been great in any era.

But, because of steroid use, not only do I have no way of knowing how a user's ability really matched up against someone who played in the pre-steroid era, I have no way of knowing how well they really matched up against the non-user's of their own era.

Now, if your criteria are different, then so be it.

awh: Off the top of my head, my first response would be that regardless of steroids, you have no real idea of how players from one era compare to players of another era. Without being glib, how is steroids any different in terms of blurring comparisons than expansion, integration, legal weight training, different equipment (the ball has changed many times), different ballparks, specialization (Ted Williams didn't have to face LOOGYs), and a million other things that have probably had more of an effect than steroid usage, though we have no idea. If you think you can't tell if Bonds would have been an all-time great without steroids, how can you claim you know Ruth was an all-time great without having to face black/hispanic players? Not to minimize illegal drug use, but personally? I kind of think segregation was a bigger black mark on the game. That's just me, though.

Besides, there is the giant elephant in the argument that we have no clue who used and who didn't, and the fact that there will likely be lots of HOFers who used steroids that we don't know about, and that there are likely to be guys kept out because of rumors who never actually used. That seems crazy to me.

Were I voting, I would use known steroid use as factor to consider, just like someone playing in a small ballpark, or in an expansion era, or who used a spitball (like certain HOF pitchers). Sammy Sosa? I probably wouldn't vote for because I think his only claim is absurd power numbers that were inflated by an era that included expansion, small ballpark, and steroid usage (assuming we know he used). Barry Bonds? The Hall of Fame is a useless institution if he isn't included, for better or worse.

As much as Bonds/Clemens are poster boys for steroid use, they are also guys who had awesome stats for many years prior to the time they were (allegedly at least) juicing.

If Bonds isn't in, no one should be.

One thing that always surprises me is the common assumption that Bonds was not on steroids before he started putting up ridiculous numbers beginning in 2000.

I question whether or not he began using steroids as early as 1990.

Bonds went to Arizona State and did not hit the majors until 1986 when he became 22 half way through the season. From 1986 through 1989, Bonds had a career batting average of about .270 and a career slugging average of about .450. Those were hardly superstar numbers, and more resemble the numbers put up by his old man Bobby, a very good player himself, but not a great player.
Maybe, that was Barry Bonds true level, also.

A career batting average of .270 and a career slugging average of .450 by the end of 1989 when he was already 25; 25 is somewhat old for a superstar to be carrying such ordinary career offensive numbers (Bonds had shown, however, the ability to draw a walk from the time he was a rookie.).

From 1990 through 1999, Bonds put up numbers that would be worthy of HOF admission had Bonds retired then.

I just question whether or not Bonds started juicing in 1990. I speculate further that Bonds may have switched to a high-octane version of steroids in 2000 after becoming jealous about the adulation McGwire received for hitting 70 HRs.

Obviously, I do not know the truth, but I see no reason to give a juicer the benefit of the doubt about possible earlier juicing.

This is not a comment on HOF admissions. Though I dislike Bonds, I think he should be admitted. Unquestionably, the greatest juicer of all time.

One thing that always surprises me is the common assumption that Bonds was not on steroids before he started putting up ridiculous numbers beginning in 2000.

I question whether or not he began using steroids as early as 1990.

Bonds went to Arizona State and did not hit the majors until 1986 when he became 22 half way through the season. From 1986 through 1989, Bonds had a career batting average of about .270 and a career slugging average of about .450. Those were hardly superstar numbers, and more resemble the numbers put up by his old man Bobby, a very good player himself, but not a great player.
Maybe, that was Barry Bonds true level, also.

A career batting average of .270 and a career slugging average of .450 by the end of 1989 when he was already 25; 25 is somewhat old for a superstar to be carrying such ordinary career offensive numbers (Bonds had shown, however, the ability to draw a walk from the time he was a rookie.).

From 1990 through 1999, Bonds put up numbers that would be worthy of HOF admission had Bonds retired then.

I just question whether or not Bonds started juicing in 1990. I speculate further that Bonds may have switched to a high-octane version of steroids in 2000 after becoming jealous about the adulation McGwire received for hitting 70 HRs.

Obviously, I do not know the truth, but I see no reason to give a juicer the benefit of the doubt about possible earlier juicing.

This is not a comment on HOF admissions. Though I dislike Bonds, I think he should be admitted. Unquestionably, the greatest juicer of all time.

If you think Bonds and Clemens should be in because they put up great numbers before steroids,then you should agree with me that Rose should be in. He put up even greater numbers as a player long before he was caught gambling as a manager. The HOF is a joke as long as he's not in.

orry about the double post. The first post did not show up on my screen.

Comparing baseball stats is very difficult for a number of reasons.

The present discussion is about the effects of steroid and HGH usage on performance. Back in Schmidt's day, the players were using amphetamines. When Willie Mays played, players were drinking the red juice to get an extra spark.

After the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, baseball executives and owners decided to juice the baseball, the Yankees built the new stadium and Babe Ruth started hitting homers at an unprecedented rate.

MLB has juiced baseballs more than once, and many argue that it was the juiced baseball, not the juiced player that caused the dramatic rise in HRs that began in the 1990s.

The ballparks where players hit have been factors at times. I mentioned Yankee Stadium and how it benefited Ruth (Mantle, too). The Polo Grounds where the New York Giants played is another example.

Mel Ott hit 511 homers playing in the Polo Grounds when 500 homers really meant something. A left-handed hitter like Ott, though, could pull the ball down the right-field line a Little League distance of 258 feet and be credited with a homer.

When Sandy Koufax was mowing them down in the '60s and Bob Gibson had his remarkable '68 season, they threw from an elevated mound that gave the pitchers an advantage over the hitters.

When you consider all factors - juiced players, juiced baseballs, ballpark dimensions, raised pitching mounds, rules changes (e.g., banning the spitball), batter attitudes about strikeouts, equipment changes, night baseball, the use of relievers, the ban on black players, expanding the number of teams from 16 to 30, etc., comparing stats, player to player or era to era and drawing accurate or meaningful conclusions can be complicated.

So can the answer to the question, "Who belongs in the HOF?".

@derekcarstairs

How the in the hell does one "juice" a baseball, beyond leaving it out of the humidor?

dlhunter -

There have been tests done that show changes in a baseball's core and also changes in how a baseball is wound have occurred at times to make the ball livelier. I may be mistaken that juiced balls were introduced in the '20s. The tests that were done looked at baseballs used since the '60s. Apparently, balls used since '77 were juiced and once again since '93.

Another factor is that, before the '20s, they used the same ball in a game until the ball started falling apart. So, the balls used before the '20s seemed to die as the game progressed. Beginning in the '20s, the balls were regularly replaced during the course of the game.

A thumbs up to Jack's HoF post. Very well put.

I'm all for Rose getting in.

The conversation will definitely continue into next year, because in 2012 David Bell is eligible.

Why does everyone assume that steroid use in baseball started in the early 90s? I mean, lets be honest, steroid use was rampant in the NFL from the mid-70s onward. We just magically assume that there was no crossover? How is Jeff Bagwell any different than a guy like Mike Schmidt for suspicion? Hell, the same arguments used against Jeff Kent recently (he peaked late...LOOK at that jump in production in his 30s) would apply to Michael Jack. Its awfully easy to paint someone with that tar brush but pretty damn hard to clean the tar off afterward.

Note: Not accusing Michael Jack of juicing...just making a point that some issues aren't black and white.

****Another factor is that, before the '20s, they used the same ball in a game until the ball started falling apart. So, the balls used before the '20s seemed to die as the game progressed. Beginning in the '20s, the balls were regularly replaced during the course of the game.****

A huge part of that was simply the coloration of the ball. The ball would get progressively harder to see from the batter's standpoint due to dirt/spit/etc as the game went on.

"Obviously, I do not know the truth, but I see no reason to give a juicer the benefit of the doubt about possible earlier juicing."

derek, this is the reason I don't think ARoid belongs. HE SAYS he only used 'roids while he was in Texas. I don't believe him, and wouldn't be surprised if he's using some sort of designer 'roid or HGH right now. I saw the interview after it leaked that he tested positive. Just doesn't look credible, and dodged too many questions.

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EST. 2005

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