View Full Version : Barry Bonds

John Bell
09-08-2004, 07:07 AM
Hit number 698 last night. He's going to pass Babe Ruth by next spring at the latest. And if he stays healthy, a good chance of hitting number 756 by the following spring. Hank, look out!

09-08-2004, 07:15 AM
But are we going to have to put an * by his name?


* used steriods, but never caught ;)

John Bell
09-08-2004, 07:18 AM
The burden of proof is on the accuser.

John E Hardiman
09-08-2004, 10:16 AM
Bonds is way behind Ruth and will never catch up. Not an opinion, just the math.

Ruth: 714 in 2503 games and 8399 at bats

Bonds(through 03): 658 in 2569 games and 8725 at bats.

And Bonds had the advantage of a smaller strike zone.

Scott Rosen
09-08-2004, 10:41 AM
I never saw Babe Ruth. TV coverage was poor when I saw Aaron.

Bonds is the most amazing slugger I have ever seen. He's 40 friggin years old and still tees off on the best, youngest pitchers as if he were taking batting practice.

John, I think it all evens out in the wash. Bonds has more intentional walks than anyone else, including Ruth. He's been intentionally walked with the bases loaded! In many games, he's lucky to get even one pitch to hit.

It may be difficult to rate players from an earlier generation with today's players, so it's better to just let the accomplishments speak for themselves. It's too bad the steroid issue is out there. It's the one variable that may not even out in the wash.

John E Hardiman
09-08-2004, 11:12 AM
yeah I know Scott... But whenever someone starts to drag out numbers out of context, I remember the old saying: Lies, D**n Lies, and Statistics!

BTW, I first thought to post that maybe Ruth needed an asterisk by his name (Philandering Alcoholic), or Ty Cobb (Bigot), or Pete Rose, or....

We all need to remember that a celebrity needs a few hours in make-up before their on-screen close-up. And so would most of us.

[edit for spelling]

[ 09-08-2004, 12:13 PM: Message edited by: John E Hardiman ]

09-08-2004, 11:28 AM
The record/statistic is number of dingers, not number of dingers in how many at bats, or how many dingers in how many games, or how many dingers with a large vs small strike zone. If Bonds hits more than Ruth, he'll have the record.

Harry Miller
09-08-2004, 11:31 AM
If Bonds hits more than Ruth, he'll have the record. for the second most!

09-08-2004, 12:03 PM
I still remember a time (not that far back) when the media was saying that the only person that had a chance of breaking Aaron's record was Ken Griffy Jr. Amazing what a few off seasons and injuries can do to a promising carrer.

Speaking of big hitters, how is the Big Hurt doing?


09-08-2004, 12:27 PM
Bonds is prolific, no doubt, even as a Cardinals fan, Bonds is certainly the MVP- he's not got the lineup around him to protect him like Rolen, Edmonds, Pujols ...

Bonds would rather get a ring this year than break any record-he is fierce- although I personally do not like him- but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, I can't get over the fact that he hit 73 HRs ... then the drug crap came out, and suddenly he hits 40-range again ... he is either the greatest fluke (73 hr season) ever, or there were extenuating circumstances ...

I hope I'm wrong ... we'll probably never know.


Scott Rosen
09-08-2004, 02:09 PM
The ability to hit homers depends on three things: bat speed, hand/eye coordination and superb vision. Bonds has all three.

I'm not sure what effect, if any, steriods has on any of those things.

09-08-2004, 02:21 PM
That's interesting, Scott. I'm not sure those are the only 3 things, though. Why have most record home run hitters been big strong guys? We need one of the forum physics (I hate physics) experts to explain the energy transfer and effects of atmospheric friction and such.

Harry Miller
09-08-2004, 02:34 PM
Well I think bat speed would be helped by steroid use. The kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the bat speed and the first power of the mass of the bat. So speed is important but if you can swing a heavier bat with the same control ... (Physics may be wrong but if it irritates Donn it's worth it.) smile.gif

Edited to close the bracket.

[ 09-08-2004, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: Harry Miller ]

09-08-2004, 02:38 PM
Right, Scott- however, assuming that the 'three' things are equal in both a scrawny guy and a bulky, hopped-up 'big' guy who can add more power and mass behind that bat-speed you soon find an unequal equation.

Besides- bats are better, overall, balls are bouncier, and many parks are a lot smaller now ...

One thing that's always bugged me about baseball: Why the hell can't they make parks standard? I mean, take the smallest, and move the other parks' walls in ...

Hell, Babe his 714 in cavernous Yankee stadium ...

Hank hit his in a tiny park ...

Bonds is hitting in a pathetic park ... with regard to game integrity ...

Then, there's San Diego ... with a 411' power alley ... :rolleyes: and a 385 centerfield wall ...

Thus, my argument that BA, OBP, and fielding %, SBs are the true marks of the greats ...

So, Bonds is still one of the greatest, if not the (greatest), to ever take the field ...

09-08-2004, 03:06 PM
Couple of physics pieces. Energy transfer is some tricky business. All of it takes place in a split second and so things get kinda funny. As I understand it, most players use bats made of ash as they are sufficiently strong, yet they compress enough around the ball to extend the contact time between the two of them, allowing them both to be in contact longer while they rebound back from the initial impact and hence they get a greater push off of each other. Barry uses some sort of a rock hard maple for his bats though, this allows for a couple of things...

1) A very thin handle that allows for most of the mass to be out towards teh end of the bat where it will be travelling the fastest and thus give the bat the maximum amount of energy.

2) The bat compresses very little, minimizing the amount of energy that is lost due to the elasticity of the particles in the bat. This is the same as powerful golfers using higher compression balls to get extra distance. They don't work for schmo's like me because they're like hitting a stone, but if you can generate the club head speed necessary, you can send a golfball a country mile.

So where does muscle mass and steroids come into play with all of this. In truth, I can't see them helping much with the first item, but a bit with the second.

I think that form would be primarily responsible for generating bat speed. Compare the swings of Griffey, Bonds, and Chipper Jones to just about anyone else and you'll see what I mean. They put their whole bodies into it. More than arm and shoulder strength, the torque generated about the hips and torso are what does the trick. By the same token, compare the tee shots of Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie to just about anyone else and you'll see what I mean as well.

As for the second item, putting more mass behind your swing would help to seriously negate the action-reaction force of the ball against the bat. It's like using a heavy rifle to propell a small bullet. So here I can see where the muscle mass in the arms and shoulders are going to help that ultra hard bat to power through the ball.

But then again, I'm just an ametuer.

09-09-2004, 08:22 AM
I have been told that big arms slow down your bat speed, but I don't know if I believe it. Seems like all of your power hitters are big guys.

For example we will look at a couple of different players. Take Deion Sanders, there is no questioning the fact that he is a talented athelete, with great hand eye cordination, but he is a smaller guy and over 9 seasons he only hit 39 homeruns. Now look at Brian Jordan, a bigger stronger guy that over 12 seasons hit 173 dingers.

I think size does matter, when it comes to hitting it over the wall.


09-09-2004, 08:35 AM
All the answers can be found here:

The Physics of Baseball (http://www.npl.uiuc.edu/~a-nathan/pob/)

Fascinating stuff, including a paper on home run hitting.