FIRE JOE MORGAN: Let Us Once Again Revisit the Exploits of Sir Barrold Bonds


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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Let Us Once Again Revisit the Exploits of Sir Barrold Bonds

If you've been reading FJM for awhile, you know all about our unhealthy fascination with the outlandish hitting statistics posted by the Barry Bonds during the hydrocephalic years of approximately 2000 to 2004. Those were heady, undoubtedly drug-addled days for Mr. Bonds, and a large part of his legacy at least to me will be those marvelous, hilarious .600 OBPs and .800 slugging percentages.

It's certainly not a big deal, but Mike Schmidt is now saying that 2006 Ryan Howard is as good as 2001 Barry Bonds at hitting. Don't believe me? It's in cyber-print right here.

"He's every bit as good a hitter as Barry Bonds was in the middle of his 73-home-run season," said Schmidt on Sunday in Miami, standing outside the Phillies' locker room with a small group of reporters. "It'll take the opposition a little longer to be convinced that he is because of Bonds' history of being a great hitter for many, many years."

Well, ah, hm. Hmmm. If we're totally disregarding who was on what pharmaceutical cocktail at what time, as Schmidt seems to be doing, all we can rely on are the results. And the facts show that Schmidt is unequivocally talking out of his ass. Not because of "Bonds' history of being a great hitter" -- I don't care about that at all. Neither do the numbers.

Some of which are here:

Howard 2006


Bonds 2001:


And here are some more:

Howard 2006

EqA .340

Bonds 2001:

EqA .427

The season's not over, but still, check these out (thanks to reader Matthew here):

Howard 2006

84 BB, 156 K

Bonds 2001:

177 BB, 93 K

Satisfied, Mike Schmidt?

Added Schmidt, "Right at this moment in time, he might be more dangerous than Barry Bonds ever was in his prime. I've never seen anyone in the major leagues who is treating the game almost like an oversized kid in the Little League World Series. He is transcending the game."

Urgh. Let me put it this way: no one outside of Babe Ruth has matched what Barry Bonds did to major league pitchers in the early aughts. And even Ruth never posted a .600 OBP or a ludicrous .450 EqA. Ryan Howard, who right now probably isn't even the best hitter in baseball, would need to get bitten by a radioactive baseball while getting struck by lightning and drinking a secret superplayer serum to even approach the levels Barry Bonds was hitting at in 2000 to 2004.

Or maybe take steroids? I don't know, either way.

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posted by Junior  # 2:36 PM
A good point from reader Tyner:

Isn't it possible that Mike Schmidt is talking about the recent exploits of Ryan Howard rather than the entire season? If you look at the last 10-12 games Howard's OPS is like 2…an absurd number. Now, there is little doubt Barry had runs like this, and it doesn't really make sense for Mike to extrapolate the best two weeks of Howard's life. But the way I read this, the sin is small sample size, not hometown-colored-glasses/forgetting the unbelievable dominance of the past player in our lifetimes.

Schmidt does qualify his second statement with the phrase "right at this moment in time." But he also precedes his initial claim with "he's every bit as good a hitter as Barry Bonds was..." So that seems pretty unambiguous to me.
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