Karl Wright June 28th

I'm not sure Bonds will win the MVP again. I think the voters will just get bored of voting for him (like Jordan in the NBA) and vote for Pujols instead.

He should win it, though.

This will be the 12th straight year in which Bonds has posted an OPS over 1.000. Does anyone know how to figure out who else has done that (or who has come close)?


Asher June 28th

Ruth did it 14 out of 15 at one point

Williams only had one season out of 18, his second to last, in which he did not.

Gerhig did it 11 straight and 13 overall.

This are the only guys in the same league as Barry Bonds.

            PS- Tucker and Feliz are having pretty good seasons.

And THAT is why I think Barry Bonds wins the MVP this year.


It just seems to me that fabulous OBP and OPS numbers aside, Bonds doesn't produce as many runs as Pujols or Rolen.

70 65 20 51 44 21 .305 .404 .611 1.015

73 48 18 75 31 48 .336 .407 .626 1.033

65 57 18 39 107 16.350 .610 .748 1.359

Consider this (Scott and Keith you've both heard this one a million times before): Bonds has a .610 OBP, and has gotten on base
164 times (truly remarkable). Rolen has gotten on base 119 times, and Pujols has gotten on base 124 times. In light of the fact that Bonds has been on base 40 more times than Pujols, what do we make of the fact that he has scored 8 fewer runs? He has gotten on base 45 more times than Rolen, and this has led to only nine more runs scored for Bonds (while Rolen has nearly doubled Bonds in RBIs). Should we just VALUE by potential to score runs (OBP) and potential to drive runs (slugging), or should we judge VALUE by runs actually driven in and scored?

"But Asher, we can't fault Bonds for playing on a team that doesn't get on base ahead of him to be driven in, or doesn't hit the ball behind him when he gets on base, can we?"

We absolutely can, and should. I'm Barry Bonds. I know that Edgardo Alfonzo and Pedro Feliz hit behind me. The chances of them hitting the ball so hard that I will score from first base are slim, if they hit it at all. I also know that I can drive a baseball harder than anyone in the game. So what should I do:
a) go up there and eagle eye every pitch, taking pitches which are balls, even if only by a little
b) expand the strike zone. I'm Barry Bonds. I can hit BAD pitches 450 feet. I can hit BAD pitches to the gaps.

Walks rarely turn into RBIs (except against Buck Showalter) and often fail to turn into runs. Bonds has one of the three or four most lethal bats of all time, and we fall all over each other because he sets OBP records. I would just as soon have a guy with a mortal OBP who produces more runs for his team.

And another thing. In my opinion, Bonds should be hitting leadoff. A .610 on base percentage belongs in one and only one place in a baseball lineup. I don't care if you are Refrigerator Perry, a .610 OBP hits leadoff. Period. But let's put that aside for a moment. The next best place for him would likely be the two spot - still protected, but has the chance to protect and drive in the leadoff guy. But this too may be unreasonable. So lets bat him third, the traditional "best guy on the team" spot. Plus, in the 3 spot, he gets protection from the cleanup hitter. Don't we want that? A guy who pitchers are walking like its an allergic reaction. SHouldn't we put someone behind him to force pitchers to pitch to him? But no. He bats fourth. Why? Manager's decision? NO. Manager WANTS to hit him third, and Bonds refuses. Says he feels most comfortable hitting fourth. Are we not to suspect something foul here? Dude, people walk you like crazy, and at the end of the inning, you are often standing on first. Don't you WANT to see more pitches? Don't you WANT to score more when you get on base? Are you so obsessed with you on-base percentage that you don't want pitchers to start having to challenge you, and you have to start swinging the bat. Have you no concept of team?

Why don't we just bat him eighth, before the pitcher? That way, he would end the season with 0 AB and and about 550 BBs. That would be INCREDIBLE.

I really don't get Bonds demanding to bat in a spot in which he is not being most effectively used, in which he does not give his team the best possible chance to score runs. Until someone explains it to me, I will have to avoid falling all over myself over the 200 walks he's going to take this season. Get in the game, Barry.

My NL MVP vote goes to Rolen.


Keith June 28th

My apologies, Asher, I promised you an essay on what you overlook in your OBP analysis ages ago and never delivered. Expect an email on that subject sometime this week.

Meanwhile... how much do you penalize Ryne Sandberg for insisting hitting in the #2 spot even after he was no longer suited for that role?


Asher June 28th

a) I never liked Sandberg, and I have always thought him to be a selfish player and person. so I imagine I would have penalized him quite a bit.

b) I anxiously await the essay on "what I miss about on base percentage." I have heard many things, and rarely been impressed by them, but I anticipate it nonetheless.


Scott June 29th

I think its a shame that Pujols didn't win the MVP last year, because he deserved it more than and of the contenders for Barry's annual award do this year, so far.

I also anxiously await Keith's paper on the subject. I've heard his side 100 times before, too, and lean more towards that than Asher's view, but doubts remain.

Also, is there any way to tell how many "bad ball" homeruns Barry Bonds gets, and how those numbers compare with other contemporaries? While you rarely see bonds working the shovel ala Shawon Dunston, I'd imagine that he does extend his strike zone (and here's the key) when he feels comfortable doing it. Is Bonds really a perfect hitting machine with incredibe reach and no holes in his swing? Could he not feel comfortable hitting an outside curveball when he expects an inside fastball?

"Sure," says Bonds, "I might hit it, but I'll wait for the pitch I'm sure of or get on base waiting for it. That's why I'm such a great hitter."

Or maybe not. I don't know his take on the art of hitting.

What if the mighty Bonds does start expanding his strike zone and his production falls? Does that make him a better hitter for playing to his strengths or a worse hitter for not being able to avoid walks?