Looking back on the Aughts: Barry BondsDecember 4, 2009 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Baseball, Major League Baseball, Minda's Take, Nerdery | Leave a comment
Tags: Barry Bonds, Barry Bonds was a much better hitter than we gave him credit for, because everyone else is doing it, Decade in review, MLB, want to guess who those eight hitters are?
I used to do the whole “righteous indignation” song and dance whenever I thought about Barry Bonds. That cheater! I would say. He sullied The Game!
Well…I don’t really have the energy for that anymore. And of course, Bonds wasn’t the only one juicing anyway. And yet, he was SO MUCH BETTER than anyone else this decade that it’s hard to really wrap my head around it.
On a list at Big League Stew of 10 noteworthy stats from the past decade, Alex Remington mused about Bonds’ amazing 2004 season, in which he was intentionally walked 120 times. “How amazing are 120 IBBs?” Remington wrote. “…In all of the National League in 2004, only 869 intentional walks were issued, so Barry received 13.8 percent of all intentional walks issued by all pitchers that year.”
I was in a boring class, so I started doing some digging of my own. Thanks to Baseball-Reference, I figured out that only 8 MLB players were intentionally walked 120 times total in the entire decade. And Bonds did that in one season.
Juiced or not, that’s astounding.