Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I hate to break it to the world -- but *Barry Bonds* is no Babe Ruth.

Yes, Bond just hit #*715*. But in the grand scheme of things, this is irrevelant.

The Babe played a good five seasons as a pitcher, including two seasons in which he pitched over 300 innings. (Nowadays, a pitcher who manages 225 is considered hard-working!)

What would The Babe's home run total have looked like if he had been playing every day for those seasons? On this point alone, we would not be having this discussion.

The Babe enjoys a lifetime batting average 43 points higher than Bonds (.342 to .299). He hit better than .300 on 17 occasions, including seasons of .376, .378, .393, .378, .372, and .373. SIX SEASONS hitting better than .370!

*Bonds*? 11 seasons of better than .300 hitting, only two of which were better than .350 (.370 and .362). Bonds is a good hitter -- even a very good hitter. The Babe was one of the greatest ever.

The Babe has 70 more runs, 101 more hits, 59 more triples, 340 mor RBI's, 152 more total bases and has a higher on-base percentage and a much higher slugging percentage. And The Babe did it in 859 fewer at-bats.

These are all statistics. Now, let's look at the intangibles.

Face it. Rightly or wrongly; for good or for ill; *Bonds* is one of the more hated players in the game -- and has caused many (most?) of his own problems. The Babe, on the other hand, was arguably the most popular baseball figure for decades. Can you honestly see tens of thousands of people standing in line for hours to see *Barry Bonds* lie in state? That's what they did for The Babe!

Are *Bonds'* numbers honest? Deep suspicion reigns. Will he be indicted? The possibility is likely. Did he commit perjury to a Federal Grand Jury? Let's say that much remains unanswered -- and frankly, difficult to believe. The seemingly ironclad accusations made in"Game of Shadows" must be answered. (Yes, The Babe abused certain substances as well -- but no one has ever suggested that hot dogs, beer, and cigars were "performance enhancing"!)

The Babe gave to the game. *Bonds* has done nothing but take from it.

So *Mr. Bonds*, enjoy #715. You may (possibly) have earned it. But in the hearts of those who love the game, you will never replace The Babe.

Papa Z

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Blogger Matt Steelblade said...


8:58 PM  

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