Friday, June 09, 2006

Warning: baseball

Normally I'm disinclined to give a shit about baseball's "steroid" "controversy", but the angst occasioned by a possible link between Albert Pujols and alleged HGH kingpin Jason Grimsley is starting to piss me off. Sure, Pujols seems like a "nice guy" and Barry Bonds doesn't, but that means nothing except as an index of how each man treats the "journalists" who constantly pester them. It is beyond me how anyone thinks they get a good idea of a baseball player's "personality" from the media. I'll leave it to Gary Sheffield to explain how that works...

I especially like the way this guy thinks Pujols's charity means he must be classier than Bonds -- as if the latter doesn't also give away a small percentage of the huge amount of money he makes. And as if our awareness of those two charitable foundations isn't determined by which press releases the media prefer to make their audience aware of.

More importantly, who gives a shit about a baseball player's "personality"? You pay him to produce a spectacle for you on the field. Judge him by his performance.

Now if he "cheated" you'll have to take that into account as your conscience dictates. But let's just note that if Pujols is really juiced like an alleged 50% of baseball, he's still the only one putting up those numbers.

Through 1999 (age 34), Barry Bonds's career numbers:

.968 OPS (10th all-time)
445 HR (20th all-time)
460 SB (45th all-time, right behind Bobby Bonds)

[The all-time rankings exclude all active players and certain recently retired ones]. I'm not a big enough math geek to project an average un-juiced end to his career, but I'd assume he'd lose maybe 20 points on the OPS while he hung around long enough for 500 HR. It hardly matters. The only difference the alleged steroids make is where you want to slot him among the 4 greatest left fielders of all time.

Note: those numbers include the first season Bonds allegedly juiced -- I was too lazy to look it up, and I'm too lazy to run them again. But if he retires after '98, he's still the 4th best LF ever.


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