5.13.2004

more barry talk...

there's a good article in this week's sports illustrated by tom verducci (again, no link, because you have to subscribe to be able to access it) and a good article on espn.com by jayson stark about how barry bonds basically causes a tear in the space-time fabric of baseball strategy. my newest favorite stat is that barry bonds is on pace to be intentionally walked 128 times this year. think about that. a full time player gets somewhere between 500 to 600 plate appearances a year (give or take fifty). so even before the end of may, at the very least, the general strategy of intentionally walking bonds is going to add .220 to his obp. as if barry's near .400 batting average isn't enough. the dominance of barry bonds is so great that is basically causes managers to stop thinking rationally and basically get on their knees like some crack whore desparate for a rock. my favorite part of the stark column is the vegas analogy:
If you ignore the intentional walks and look at Bonds' other 93 plate appearances this year, you find that ...

48 percent of the time, he has made an out. Three times, he has made two outs (by grounding into a double play).

25 percent of the time, he has walked.
"So in 73 percent of his plate appearances," Law said, "the outcome was equal to or better than an intentional walk."

Obviously, Law concedes, game score and situation can change this equation. But in general, he concluded, "when you intentionally walk Bonds, it's like playing a roulette wheel where 27 percent, or fewer, of the spaces are black and 73 percent are red -- and you're betting on black."

anyways, there's also lots of talk about barry having the worst supporting cast that he's had in a while. no argument here, but i wish more people would start talking about how this fact actually reaffirms his greatness. no pitches to hit, but somehow is near .400 and over 10HRs before the end of may. you do the math.

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