Barry Bonds

     Tell me all of your reasons, if you all wish, why Barry Lamar Bonds is or is not the greatest player to ever step on the diamond. 


  1. Elizabeth D

    Well Barry Bonds was convicted of using performance enhancing drugs, steroids… and even if he denies it, you can tell. I think that anyone who uses steroids is essentially a disgrace to the game. Either you have the skill, or you don’t, you shouldn’t take drugs to make yourself better because that takes away from the beauty of baseball. People like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron didn’t need steroids to do what they did. So in my mind, I still see Hank Aaron as the home run leader with 755. Honestly, I can’t respect someone who uses drugs to make themselves better, it takes away the pureness of baseball.

  2. mikeeff

    joe i really would love to have been able to see how great he would have been without the drugs. i have no doubt he would have been in the highest echelons of accomplishment, so to me it’s really sad that we will never know the true parameters of his greatness. it’s also a shame about his abrasive and self-aggrandizing personality, but i won’t hold that against him.

  3. Byrne

    I’m torn on the Bonds debate. I always think back to a piece that Elliott Kalb released before the steroid era came crashing down, when the knowledge of steroid abuse was still a great white elephant in the room. In the piece Kalb cited the early era Bonds, who led the National League in OPS from 1990 to 1993 and who finished in the top five in that category every other year he played until 2004, as one of the, if not the greatest player of his era and of all time. Then Kalb argued that if steroid abuse was proven, that Bonds remains the greatest player of his generation at least since while many big players were juicing Barry still led the pack offensively. This is a hard case to make, although. Fans will remain sour that Barry has the single season and career homerun mark much due to his steroid abuse. Look at the gold gloves, the stolen bases and the ops. – Barry may have been the most talented player to have ever played the sport. But the greatest? That depends on how you define greatness. For some reason my lexicon does not allow me to define Barry as great. In a purely subjective way I see greatness as being applied to those who not only excel in their field but who do so with poise, respect and passion. Barry, at times, seemed to hate the sport and the fans. Regardless, I cannot find the statistics to show that Barry was anything less than one of the, if not the most, skilled left fielder and perhaps player to play the game. I am looking forward to the statistician magician’s take on this.

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Joe …

    Well, I think, as well as, others also think, Babe Ruth is the “Greatest Player” of all-time; and, also, the “Greatest Homerun Hitter”, and, one of the “Greatest Pitchers” ever !!! … I know you are of the opinion that Barry Bonds is the greatest player ever, so I don’t think my comments will change your mind on this matter … I respect your opinion, and we will just have to “agree to disagree” on this debate. But, I offer the following information to support my view that Ruth is the greatest player ever: The Lifetime Stats of both Players [from], which, of course, you are well aware of … I think reviewing the career stats of both Ruth and Bonds, makes it very clear, Babe Ruth [by far] had a “greater” career !!! ……………………. Babe Ruth: ………………………… Barry Bonds: …………………………….. Looking at the stats, I would suggest, Babe Ruth’s lifetime pitching stats: 94-46 — 2.28 ERA [compiled over 5 years] are “Hall of Fame” numbers as one of the greatest pitchers ever; and, Ruth’s World Series numbers: 10 WS; 41 games; 15 HR’s; 33 RBI’s; .326 BA, in addition to Ruth’s WS pitching numbers: 3-0 — 0.87 ERA, starting 3 WS games, only enhances the legendary “Greatness of Babe Ruth” !!! … Ruth’s lifetime hitting stats speak for themself, so I will only add the fact that Babe Ruth hit more homers than “whole teams” in individual seasons … And, Ruth was credited with “saving” baseball, after the disastrous “Black Sox Scandal” in 1919, which almost ruined the game of Baseball … In my view, all the above stats by Babe Ruth [that I have presented], are greater than Barry Bonds’ total lifetime numbers … And, this is not even taking into consideration Bonds’ “Steroid” and “PED” use, which make many of Barry Bonds lifetime numbers “very questionable” !!! … I guess, I can sum everything up by saying: Babe Ruth is baseball’s “greatest” hero ever; and, it’s fair to say, the greatest “Sports Figure” in the history of the United States of America !!! … On the other hand, Barry Bonds’ “steroid” and “PED” use, disgraced himself, and disgraced the great game of baseball, during the “Steroids Era”, which almost ruined baseball once again; and, has distorted many of baseball’s all-time numbers and records !!! … It goes without saying, I do not think Barry Bonds should be enshrined in Baseball’s “Hall of Fame” !!! … Well, Joe, these are my thoughts on this very interesting issue … I look forward to your thoughts and views, as I know this discussion will always have many different nuances that will keep this debate ongoing !!! … Take care, Joe !!! … Jimmy [27NYY] …

  5. PWHjort

    Baseball Prospectus covered this in much detail in one of the books your eyes are pursing: Baseball Between the Numbers. I don’t remember their conclusion because their conclusions are always much less important than the journey to those conclusions (if anyone does statistical research as I’m sure you do, he recognizes this), but I came away from the discussion/article/chapter with more evidence to support my thoughts that Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player of all time. His lifetime OBP is just too ridiculous. Even moreso than his lifetime SLG. As far as PED’s go, they were as much a part of baseball as the wild pitch was in Barry Bonds’ era. Sure, it’s cheating, but everyone did it. Including the people who pitched against him and played defense against him in the field as well as the people who hit balls to him while he won his gold gloves. Yes, he is the greatest baseball player of all time.

  6. joefromnewhampshire

    Well I don’t disagree that he is the greatest ever. But even if 50% of pitchers were using, then Bonds would have an advantage over the other 50% of pitchers who were not using, if in fact steroids have as much an impact as we believe. If everyone was knowingly using, then I would agree; even playing field. But I doubt that even half were using, although even that I have no evidence of. But my eyes have seen no greater player. And his numbers are easily the greatest in a long time.

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