We've come so far, baseball writers. You're citing OPS occasionally, you're learning that wins and losses for pitchers aren't all they're cracked up to be, you're even acknowledging the dubious worth of small sample sizes. It makes me proud, like a mama city raccoon watching her baby eat its first piece of leftover Taco Bell. So please, when you're doing the last of these three things, don't merely pay lip service to sample size and then leap to ridiculous conclusions, like Mr. Timothy Kawakami did today
1. Barry Bonds is not missed, in part because Fred Lewis is a better player than Bonds was at the end of last year.
(italics and insanity his)
In the top of the third inning last night, Macedonian superstar Kevin Kouzmanoff hit a home run off of Jamie Moyer. On Friday, May 20, 1927, Babe Ruth struck out against George Ernest "The Bull" Uhle. Kevin Kouzmanoff is a better player than Babe Ruth was during that at bat
. (italics and hamhanded hyperbole mine)EMPHASIS ON: BONDS AT THE END OF LAST YEAR. I’m of course not saying Lewis is better than Bonds at the height of his power/the injections or when Bonds was 27, as Lewis is now.
EMPHASIS ON: BONDS DURING AN ARBITRARY, TINY SMATTERING OF AT BATS THAT I CHERRY-PICKED COMPARED TO FRED LEWIS' HIGH BABIP-FUELED START THAT HE ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL BE UNABLE TO SUSTAIN.I’m saying that Lewis is a better producer in LF for the Giants at this moment than Bonds would’ve been if he was currently playing LF for the Giants, or any other team, or DH-ing, or whatever.
Fred Lewis is hot as hell right now. He's got a .952 OPS. I'm sure even Kawakami would admit that he's performing a little over his head.
You know what Bonds' OPS was after the month of April last year?1.349
That is not a typo. You know what Bonds' OPS for the year was?1.045
It's early, motherfuckers. Nate McLouth has a 1.083 OPS. Let's keep our heads when comparing 27-year-old virtual rookies with the first- or second-greatest hitter of all time, even the hypothetical 349-year-old version of that hitter who would be playing this year.(And Bonds would’ve only been worse this year, while Lewis is getting better.)
Probably. Though Barreee did increase his OPS from .999 to the aforementioned 1.045 from 2006 to 2007, at the age of 9,528.Flash back to early August, when Bonds was a good player.
Something happened between early August and late August that made Bonds not a good player anymore? Did he lose an arm in a lathe accident? I feel like Barry Bonds with one arm in a lathe would still OBP in the high .300s.
He hit HR No. 756 on Aug. 7, to break the all-time record.
Then he hit a few more, then went into a predictable post-record, pre-indictment lull. But there was still more baseball to played and Bonds knew his career was on the line. After the record-gazing, he still needed a big September to prove he could play at age 43. September should be a good barometer for what Bonds has/had left.
YES LET'S JUDGE THE ENTIRETY OF BARRY BONDS' REMAINING BASEBALL ABILITY ON THE BASIS OF ONE MONTH'S WORTH OF AT BATS, NOT THE REAMS AND REAMS AND REAMS OF DATA, INCLUDING THE SEVERAL MILLION RECORDS HE BROKE AND THE KIA SEPHIA HE CLEAN-AND-JERKED OVER HIS HEAD IN LATE OCTOBER 2007.Here’s what Bonds did last September: 1 HR in 30 at-bats, 7 hits, (.233 batting average), 6 walks (.361 on-base), 1 double (.367 slug). That’s a .738 OPS, way, way under his alleged-steroid totals and career totals.
Did I say one month's worth of at bats? I'm sorry, I meant two weeks' worth
. Tim Kawakami is judging Barry Bonds' current baseball-hitting prowess on 12 games' worth of data.
Through 9 games this year, Fred Lewis had a .388 OPS. That's worse than Alicia Silverstone would hit in the majors! Throw him into a viper pit of pit vipers! Through 10 games, it was .654. That's worse than Jennie Garth would hit in the majors! Drop him off of Mount Everest into the Marianas Trench! Through 11 games, it was .761. Eh, okay. That's about average, I guess. Through 12 games, it was .946. HE IS OUR NEW BASEBALL GOD.
The point is, after each one of these games, Fred Lewis seemed to be an entirely different player. The larger point is, you can't judge players after 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 games. What's frustrating is that Kawakami seems to know this (as we'll see from what he writes later), or seems to think he knows this, and yet he still wrote all of this nonsense about Lewis definitely being better than Bonds.Here’s what Lewis is doing right now, comfortably settled into the lead-off spot at the end of April:
-92 at-bats, .337 batting average, .419 on-base (13 walks, 17 runs), .533 slugging, 4 stolen bases, 7 RBI.
92 at-bats is better than 30, and Lewis appears to be developing into a productive offensive player. Then again, check out this hotshot:
35/104 15 4 26 1 .337 .926
Yeah. That's Xavier Nady. I just made you get a baseball-rection from Xavier Nady, 29 years old, .777 OPS in 551 career games.-Lewis has the fifth-best OPS (.952) among regular LFs, ahead of Matt Holliday, Johnny Damon, Jason Bay and Carlos Lee, among others.
-That’s much more than Bonds could’ve logically been expected to produce this season, with or without steroid injections, with or without a federal indictment, with or without clogging up the clubhouse with his karma.
Well, there was that whole 1.349 OPS in April of last year. But more importantly, I think we have a new rival to "clogging up the basepaths." "Clogging up the clubhouse with his karma" -- it's delicious, pungent, and utterly nonsensical. Brian Bocock's karma wants to run free with the antelopes. But oh no, here comes Barry's karma (I picture these karmas looking a little like the creatures from Where The Wild Things Are
)! It's fat and it's slow, and it's clogging up the clubhouse! Who cares about his karma's karmic OBP (kOBP) when he can't run the karmic basepaths (in the clubhouse)!-Lewis obviously might and probably will cool down.
Thank you.His defense isn’t very good (great play here, bad play there) and I’m not volunteering Lewis for Gold Glove consideration at any point. But Bonds was a sieve out there for the last three years. So Lewis is better in the field, too.
Sure. Not helping your point much that Lewis is a butcher in left field, but I'll give you this. -I realize these are relatively small sampling sizes–September for Bonds, April for Lewis.
Relatively? Relatively?! This is like a dude telling a girl he just slept with, "I realize that I may be relatively chlamydia-y, but..."
You can't just say "Yes-these-are-small-sample-sizes-moving-on-I'm-using-them-anyway." That's, as Buzz Bissinger would say, fucking glib as shitfuck. You didn't even use an entire month for Bonds. You used 30 at bats. That's a fraction of an eye-blink in Barry Bonds' career. I just looked it up. He has 9847 at bats. Some of those could have been incorporated into your evaluation. More than 30 should have been.But they’re the most legitimate comparable sample sizes.
Infinite monkeys on infinite MacBooks could not construct a more false sentence.
Both players were extremely motivated to do well: Bonds to get another contract, Lewis to stay in the line-up. We’ve seen the results. I’m going with them.
-Therefore: Lewis is better than Bonds, and Lewis is a big reason why the Giants are, so far, out-performing the low expectations.
I'm willing to listen to arguments that a healthy, young, solid-hitting outfielder who plays every day and is far more valuable than Barry in the field might, just might have more value to a team than a gimpy, non-DH-ing Bonds. But what I'm not willing to do is accept 12 games' worth of semi-crappy at bats as ironclad evidence that Markus Winston Barrold Bonds IV is done as a hitter, and that MWBB IV's "karma" is going to "clog" its way to that many losses for whatever team it and he join.
Hey, I looked up Fred Lewis' batting average on balls in play. It's .414. This guy is going to fall off big time. Going out on a limb here, but I'm going to say that I don't think he's actually a better player than Barry Bonds.
Labels: barrold bonds, barry bonds, clogging up the clubhouse with his karma, fred lewis, small sample size, tim kawakami