Sunday, January 17, 2010


Here's a player comparison I find interesting:

Player A: 3584 AB / 176 HR / 3 Gold Gloves / 2 MVP's
Player B: 3180 AB / 164 HR / 2 Gold Gloves / 2 MVP's

These players played the same position and seem pretty even - don't they? Player A had more HR but Player B was hitting HR at a better rate (1 HR / 19.39 AB vs 1 HR / 20.36 AB). Player A is Barry Bonds through his age 27 season (1992) and Player B is Dale Murphy through his age 27 season (1983). The next year - each player would win his league's HR title but Murphy would accomplish it by hitting exactly the same number of HR (36) as he hit the year before. Bonds on the other hand had a huge statistical jump from a career best of 34 to a league leading 46 HR (a better than 33% increase) to win his first HR title.

Nobody but Bonds really knows when he started using steroids but with the big jump in HR from 1992 to 1993 - is it really that big a leap to think that could have been when it happened? The reason I bring this up is because I'm sick of Bonds apologists saying that Bonds was a Hall of Fame player before he started using steroids. Bullshit! Most likely Barry Bonds was no better than Dale Murphy and Dale Murphy is not in the Hall of Fame (thanks in large part to having his career skewered by comparisons to cheating players like Barry Bonds).

What if Dale Murphy took steroids after 1983 and his next season's HR total jumped to 46? Most likely he would have won his 3rd straight MVP and his Hall of Fame selection would have been ensured.

One final point of note - it was mentioned to me recently that the only two players to win back-to-back MVP's and not be in the Hall of Fame are Dale Murphy and Roger Maris. A fact I find very relevant when discussing the forgotten victims of the steroids era.

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