Hank Aaron, I Will Always Love You!
As of 9 a.m. on Wednesday the 8th of August, I still have yet to watch Barry's 756th home run. If I refuse to turn on the TV, does that mean that HR will never have existed? If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?
While I even took space on this here blog to advocate the Mariners signing Barry Bonds before the 2007 season, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. I just tried to play devil's advocate for a minute to see if there was any logical reason why the M's would consider signing Bonds -- and why he might consider playing in Seattle.
How many other players, historically, have had their career average stats improve THIS much after age 35 (omitting, of course, his 2005 season where he missed basically the entire season, but including 2007 thus far):
OPS - 275 points
OBP - 121 points
SLG - 153 points
BA - 36 points
BB/Season - 61
HR/Season - 10
Even if you filter out the extra 30-ish HRs he hit in 2001, changing the 73 to, say, 45, there's certainly no decline there. And that's why Barry Bonds record will always be tainted in my mind. Just a quick run through the numbers, adding 6x his career average prior to 2001 to his stats from 2000, and I come up with roughly 700 HRs. In my mind, he's still got 56 to go.
I agree with Churchill. It should've been Junior.
Hank Aaron will always be better than Barry Bonds.