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Barry Bonds & Bad Play-off Predictions
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from October 11 - October 21, 2002 

What do I Know?

 

Please excuse my tardiness for this update. Perhaps, I am embarrassed from all the upsets that I didn`t foresee. The Angels beat the Yankees. The Twins beat the A`s. I guess I overlooked the Barry Bonds factor in thinking the Braves would still be in it. But the Angels? It goes to show... what? a) Anything can happen in a five game series. b) Baseball always has a few surprises. c) There is a logical explanation for the Angels` success that I am overlooked.

 

I think I have the answer to c). Their names are Francisco Rodriguez and John Lackey. Also, Washburn, Ortiz, and Appier are better players than we imagine at this point in their careers. No doubt Fullmer and Spiezio aren`t as much of a drag on their success as I`ve shrilled about. They have been a little better than adequate. They don`t have any weaknesses anywhere else.

 

Just as in real life (if the Angels and Giants proceed to win their League Series), a wild card team won both my Scoresheet Leagues. Neither of my teams won. At least, I kept my streak alive of never losing the Ruth Division of AL Robinson. That league started the same year Atlanta started their Division winning streak in 1991. It just occurred to me, however, Atlanta`s streak should start in 1995. Les Expos de Montréal had a 6 Game lead on the Braves when a strike ended the season in 1994. My building team missed the play-offs by two games, but did improve over their record last year. That is another accomplishment I can be proud of, considering they leaped from last to above .500 the year before.

 

Incidentally, the team that won the AL Robinson finished in last place last year. It can be done!

 

A Note for Trivia Buffs

 

My favorite site Rotoworld earlier this week noted, Jason Giambi hit his 39th and 40th homers of the season tonight. The Giambis have broken the record for most homers by brothers in one season. Jeremy has 20 for Oakland and Philadelphia, giving the pair a total of 60 home runs. Joe (46) and Vince (13) DiMaggio combined for 59 in 1937.

The Bonds Factor

 

Ken Griffey and Frank Thomas. They were supposed to be the best hitters in the game. They have really struggled the last two years, while a much older guy named Barry Bonds has blown them and everyone else in history away. It is time to talk about Bonds as the greatest hitter ever.

 

Here is some more evidence you may or may not have heard already. Rotoworld: Barry Bonds shattered the major league record for on-base percentage this year, coming in at .582. Ted Williams held the old record, posting a .553 OBP in 1941. With the season over, Bonds also officially became the oldest first-time batting champ, hitting .370 as a 38-year-old. Only Ted Williams, who hit .328 as a 40-year-old in 1958, won a batting crown at an older age than Bonds did this year.

 

Even if Ruth`s and Williams` lifetime totals are more impressive than Bonds, keep in mind the bigger athletes, improved training techniques, greater pitching expertise, and vastly greatly population pool which Bonds has faced compared to Ruth and Williams. Although, Williams did face some African descendants the latter half of his career, there weren`t very many allowed in until the 60s.

 

And, by the way, Bonds is a much better fielder than Williams or likely Ruth ever was.

 

I don`t want to hear the championships argument. Williams never won a World Championship either. Ruth had among the best players in the league as teammates.

 

The Bonds factor in this Series is this: The most interesting team wins. Many baseball fans must be starting to wake up to the fact that this dangling-cross-earinged guy with the bulging biceps trying ever so hard to be humble is, at least, the greatest hitter the world has ever known. We are sort of rooting for the Giants to make it into the World Series just to see more of Bonds.

 

This has nothing to do with being the greatest ever, but just as an interesting contrast, I`d like to point out, that Barry`s father Bobby was a superstar who had a short career. Bobby was washed up at 34. Also, while Barry has been unbelievably consistent - making my list of one of the best outfielders in the game year after year after year without failure, Bobby had off years at 27, 29, and 30.

 

Back to the greatest ever, a comparison between Bonds and his godfather Mays would be interesting.

 

Back to Scoresheet

 

This might be a good time to make your off-season deals while your fellow managers still have their minds partially, at least, on baseball. The drawback to making your deals now, is not knowing who will be crossing over to the other league before the Scoresheet player lists are finalized in mid January. However, if you snooze, you lose. Someone could trade that player or draft pick you covet before you get a chance to make your bid.

 

Don`t forget to check out my Archives for articles on what sort of players I like to draft and trade for and the strategies I use. Many of the earliest articles from almost a year ago are Word Documents. I will try to convert those to web pages as it is bit slow for some of you.

John Carter