Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Bad start from Schilling, some confusing pitching decisions, and some poor hitting combined for a 7-3 Sox loss. Schilling looked pretty bad at times. He looked good in the first then things started to unravel. If Manny didn't make that catch on Damon's fly out, that's two runs and the inning continues.

One singular pitch stands out. The 3-2 to Matsui with 2 outs in the 5th. It wasn't deceptive, it was just a ball. It had no chance of tempting Matsui to swing at it, whatsoever. Matsui took it for ball 4, then Posada homered and made the game unreachable for the Red Sox bats.

A few questions for Mr. Francona. Normally, I try to avoid nitpicking managerial decisions, but there were a few tonight that baffled me.

1. What the hell was Varitek doing batting 6th, ahead of Mike Lowell. Coming into the game, Tek was 5 for 47 (.106) against Mussina with 23 strikeouts. 23! Not surprisingly, Tek went 0 for 4. He looked foolish with a looking strikeout to lead off the 2nd. In the 3rd he has a bases loaded, 2 out situation and grounded out softly to third. In the 6th with a man on 1st and 0 out, he hit a very soft groundball that was too soft to turn a double play. Tek should have been moved down in the lineup, and Lowell moved up.

2. Why was Willie Harris in the lineup? The explanation was Harris's history against Mussina (5 for 13 with 3 doubles). Also, he is a better defensive center-fielder than Pena and Schilling is a fly ball pitcher. I don't agree with the decision to start him, though. With Gonzalez, Crisp out, and Varitek effectively owned by Mussina, you've got three holes in the lineup already. Throwing in Harris risks having a 4th. He's batting below his weight, which is impressive because he is listed at 170 pounds. Harris is batting .111, WM Pena is batting .320. Pena is 11 for his last 28 (.393) and he was taken out of the lineup for a player who is 2 for 18 on the season.

3. Why didn't Francona pinch hit for Harris in the 6th? At that point, the Sox were down by 3 with a runner on base and 2 outs. Outfield defense is much less consequential when down by 3 runs, and Pena is much more likely to get an extra base hit to knock in a run and get in scoring position for a possible 2 run inning. Harris was already 0 for 2, and didn't look that good in his previous at-bats against Mussina. Why not pinch hit for him, giving Willy Mo 2 at-bats in the game and giving yourself a better chance to score multiple runs?

4. I don't understand the pitching decisions AT ALL. Granted, it didn't end up mattering, but what the F**k was Mike Holtz doing in a 3 run game?????????????? Holtz went from pitching against the Ottawa Lynx and Syracuse Sky Chiefs, to matching up against guys like Bernie Williams and Johnny Damon. What was Francona thinking? Use a AAAA (not a typo) pitcher that's been up and down with several clubs in a 3 run game? Then, he decided to use one of our good pitchers when it became a 4 run game. I guess Timlin wasn't good enough to pitch in a 3 run game in the 6th, but a 4 run game in the 6th and he can go in. Of course, we could have used Foulke for 2 possible innings if we didn't use him in the 14-3 game.

The Man of the Game is Jason Giambi who went 2 for 4 with a homer, 2 RBI, and a run. Since he did steroids, his Man of the Game will have an asterisk next to it.

The B*tch-Goat:
Schilling: 0.6 - 5 IP, 6 ER
Holtz: 0.1 - 0.1 IP, ER
Varitek: 0.2 - 0 for 4, 4 LOB, K
Francona: 0.1 - Holtz, Harris, Tek batting 6th


This will be my only post on Barry Bonds. His accomplishments do not deserve much attention from this site. Frankly, Alex Gonzalez's 82 career homeruns are much more impressive accomplishments than each of Barry Bonds's 713. The man is a cheater. His head grew, for crying out loud.

Head growth is a tell tale sign of HGH usage. The evidence is too overwhelming to not believe that Bonds has taken some illegal supplement. This taints his numbers. Hank Aaron's 755, Babe Ruth's 714, Willie Mays's 660, Frank Robinson's 586, Harmon Killebrew's 573, Reggie Jackson's 563, and so on and so forth are untainted numbers. However, guys like Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro stink up the top of the homerun leaderboard with the odor of used needles and empty supplement containers.

Then there's Bonds's big mouth. His anti-Boston remarks a few summers ago were ill-founded and out of date. Then the stuff he said about beating Babe Ruth was simply ludicrous. This is an excerpt from this article last year

"Willie's number is always the one that I've strived for," Bonds said before the All-Star Game on Tuesday. "And if it does happen, the only number I care about is Babe Ruth's. Because as a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That's it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I'll take his home runs and that's it. Don't talk about him no more."

He might have just been kidding, but even if Bonds goes on to hit 800 homeruns, he will never surpass Ruth as a ballplayer unless he hits 1,000 homers, and starts pitching.

Let's just compare Ruth and Bonds for a few minutes. At the moment, Bonds has about 800 more career at-bats than Ruth. Ruth has scored about 100 more runs. Ruth was on a great offense, but Bonds played in the most offensively dominated era in the history of the game. Ruth has 123 more hits than Bonds in 800 fewer ABs. Ruth's career average is an impressive .342 (10th all-time), while Bonds's is at .300.

Bonds might pass Ruth for homeruns, but he will never pass Ruth in a surprising category: triples. Ruth has 136, Bonds has 77. Ruth is actually 71st all-time in triples, only 4 behind Willie Mays. Undoubtedly, those triples were products of large and awkwardly shaped ballparks of the 1920's. A good number of those triples might have been homeruns in more traditionally shaped ballparks.

We all know the total homerun numbers are similar. 714 for Ruth, 713 for Bonds. Ruth had a homerun average (HR/AB) of .085, Bonds average is .077. Bonds hits one every 12.91 ABs, Ruth hit one every 11.76 ABs. Ruth had 11 40+ HR seasons, Bonds had 8. Ruth had 4 seasons with 50+ homers, Bonds had 1.

In 1919, Babe Ruth set the single season homerun record with 29. The previous record was 27. In 1920, Ruth broke his own record with 54 longballs. The NL leader had 15. In 1921, Ruth passed his record again with 59. Ruth passed himself again in 1927 with 60. The Babe led the league in homers 12 times. Bonds led the league twice. Ruth utterly dominated his era, Bonds is dominant, but he is not overwhelmingly dominant.

In 1920, Babe Ruth had 54 homers. George Sisler finished 2nd in the homerun race with 19. The entire American League hit 369 homers. That means Ruth hit 14.6% of the homers in the league. No TEAM in the AL hit more homers than Ruth. Only the Phillies (and Yankees, of course) had more homers than Bonds. Ruth was above 14 entire teams in homeruns!

In 2001, Barry Bonds hit a record 73 homeruns. Sammy Sosa finished 2nd with 64. Luis Gonzales had 57. 17 players came within 38 homers of Bonds (no-one came closer than 38 to Ruth). In 1920, Sisler hit about 35% the number of homers that Ruth did. In 2001, 54 players hit 35% (or more) the number of HRs Bonds hit. In 2001, a homerun was hit every 29.8 ABs in the NL. In the AL of 1920, a homer was hit once every 113.7 at-bats.

As far as power hitting goes, Ruth was a much more dominant hitter compared to his peers.

There's more to baseball than power hitting, though. Bonds is a much better baserunner with over 500 stolen bases. Ruth wasn't a slouch on the bases, though. He stole over 100.

Bonds has passed Ruth for walks, but Ruth's OBP is still .030 higher than Bonds's. Bigger than that, Ruth's slugging percentage is still on top at .690. Bonds is a very impressive .611, but he isn't much of a threat to break Ruth's record.

Ruth is 2nd all-time in RBI with 2,217. Bonds has 1,865. Bonds will probably not pass Ruth in the RBI category

Bonds is a better fielder, no doubt. Eight Gold Gloves speak for themselves.

Bonds has never won a World Series. This is a reflection of the teams he has been on, but is also a reflection of him as a player. Bonds has a .245 post-season average. Bonds has 24 RBI in 48 playoff games. Ruth, on the other hand, has 7 World Series rings. He has a .326 post-season average with 33 RBI in 41 games.

So you can see that Ruth is a better position player than Bonds.

Now let's move on to pitching. Bonds has never pitched an inning in his career. Ruth pitched over 1,200 of them.

Ruth was 94-46 (.671 Win %, 12th best all-time) as a pitcher. In 148 starts, he threw 107 complete games, had a career ERA of 2.28 (15th of all-time). From 1915 to 1919 (Ruth's years when he was a regular pitcher) his ERA was always below league average. In the post-season, Ruth is 3-0 with an ERA of 0.87. 31 innings in 3 starts (do that math and you see he averaged 10.1 IP per start).

Bonds is 0-0 with 0 IP, 0 Ks, and no ERA.

Case closed, Ruth is better and always will be.

Anyway, sorry for that rant but when people suggest Bonds is better than a player who will soon be 3rd in homeruns AND is 15th all-time in ERA with 7 World Series rings, and the best slugging percentage ever, I go a little bit crazy.

Bonds has been enabled by the fans of San Francisco, and elements of the media as a hero when all he truly is is a cheater. He would have been a really good player without the roids, probably hitting about 400 homers. Instead, his 7-- will always have an imaginary asterisk next to it as a falsely inflated number.