April 30, 2004

San Francisco OF is on pace to walk 254 times this year, breaking the single-season record by 50 walks. "The whole intentional walk fiasco is making a mockery of the game and it's depriving fans an opportunity to see the greatest player," said baseball historian John Thorn, who proposes that additional bases be awarded for every intentional walk after the first one in a game.

posted by rcade to baseball at 01:54 PM - 17 comments

Maybe Sabean and his boys should find a few hitters to surround Bonds. Then we won't have to worry about the intentional walks and the mockery of the game and all that. One rule that's time has definitely come, however, is a limit on the number of throws to first base by the pitcher when holding a runner. Nothing is worse than watching some innings sponge throw to first for the fourth time in the at bat.

posted by filthyboy at 02:02 PM on April 30, 2004

I would be happy to see Bonds walk every single at bat this year, that's the only record he could break and I wouldn't care about.

posted by corpse at 02:02 PM on April 30, 2004

I'm listening to yesterday's Giants-Marlins game right now. Jon Miller and the other SF announcers were grousing about all of the walks, joining with the crowd in their derision when he was issued an intentional walk early in the game. What happened on his next at-bat? Brad Penny pitched to him, and San Francisco OF hit a 420-foot homer.

posted by rcade at 02:24 PM on April 30, 2004


posted by yerfatma at 02:26 PM on April 30, 2004

you can't just mess around with the rules and not carefully consider the consequences. how can you take away the intentional walk? you can't imagine all the tears i'm shedding for those poor bonds fans who are "deprived" of plate performances; but let's get real. it's not the job of the opposing team to make sure the batter gets to put on a good show. they're trying to win a ball game, same as everyone else; and as it turns out, with nobody surrounding him in the lineup, walking barry bonds is the best way to do that. as for throwing to first, sure it can be annoying, but what happens if you can't do it anymore? baserunners start taking ridiculous leads, second gets stolen thirty times a game. give me a break. crack open another beer and forget about it.

posted by kjh at 03:19 PM on April 30, 2004

walking barry bonds is the best way to do that But it isn't. It really isn't the best thing to do. (October 18 2002 article by Derek Zumsteg, which references studies by Tom Tippett and an article by Bill James) It's just a lazy response by uneducated managers. In the above article, they mention it makes sense (in a 50/50 coin-toss-sort-of-way) when the bases are empty with 2 outs OR when there is ONLY one man on base. Every other time is a bad idea (statistically).

posted by grum@work at 03:30 PM on April 30, 2004

I agree with the comment about putting hitters around bonds, but more bases? Please. And I've never had a problem with throws to first. In fact, I like the tension. Why does everyone always want to screw with baseball?

posted by justgary at 04:14 PM on April 30, 2004

What is with this "San Francisco OF" crap? Is he worse than Lord Valdemort or something?

posted by billsaysthis at 07:12 PM on April 30, 2004

billsaythis: he doesn't participate in the union's licensing deal, so if you run a fantasy league or have a video game, you have to negotiate with Bonds separately if you want to use his likeness. Note that when his stats are in a non-fantasy context ESPN uses his name. He's not the first to do this; Jordan did it, and one of the Redskin's LBs does it too. And probably others, I'm guessing, though it is fairly rare.

posted by tieguy at 09:34 PM on April 30, 2004

San Francisco OF didn't sign the MLBPA licensing agreement, presumably because he wasn't happy with his slice of the pie.

posted by mbd1 at 09:37 PM on April 30, 2004

So what? It gets tiresome here in this non-fantasy discussion board.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:34 PM on April 30, 2004

San Francisco OF is concerned about people using his name on Web sites without paying him, Bill. You gotta be careful with these things. Speaking of which, can I call you Bill, or would you prefer SportsFilter User 745?

posted by rcade at 11:06 PM on April 30, 2004

Bonds opted out of the licensing agreement so that he could co-market himself with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and make sure that they got a significant piece of the dollars made from the licensing of Bonds' home run records. It's safe to say that Bonds has proven that he has no interest in marketing himself.

posted by spira at 01:40 AM on May 01, 2004

It still amazes me that Bonds does what he does with the no. 5 hitters he's had behind him over the last decade (aside from Kent). Yeah - fucking A - walk him. The guy has more homers than swings-and-misses. Or did recently.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:11 AM on May 01, 2004

The guy has more homers than swings-and-misses. I saw that on SportsCenter a week or so ago. It's ridiculous. That's not steroids (which isn't to say he's on or not on them); he's a legitimate freak. Changing the rules of the game to deal with Barry Bonds is like changing the rules due to an earthquake during the Series. It's not likely to happen again any time soon, so any adjustments are more likely to hurt the other 99.99999999999999999% of games played.

posted by yerfatma at 11:31 AM on May 01, 2004

Spira: Where are you reading that OF has no interest in marketing? The guy has signed 20 marketing deals, according to this business article.

posted by rcade at 12:25 PM on May 01, 2004

rcade: I read spira's comment as suggesting that more often than not, San Francisco OF does and says things that cast him in a negative light.

posted by rocketman at 09:30 AM on May 04, 2004

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