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Should Barry Bonds be pitched around?

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Should Barry Bonds be pitched around?

Postby PlayingWithFire » Thu May 25, 2006 8:47 pm

I know some of those intentional walks and beanings are due to the fact that pitchers don't want to be the one giving up 715. But from a purely baseball prespective. Can Bonds, who's hitting in the .250 range, still do enough damage to warrant all those walks and free passes?
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Postby d18Mike » Thu May 25, 2006 9:18 pm

Bill James did some interesting work on this topic in the Baseball Historical Abstract a few years ago using one of Babe Ruth's great years as a sample. He asked the question if teams gave an IBB to Ruth every time at bat would it result in his team scoring more or less runs over the course of a season.

He put Ruth in an otherwise statistically average lineup (like the Giants, I guess) and ran a 1000+ seasons on the computer. In summary, the team benefitted significantly more from the constant IBB than it would have from Ruth's extremely potent (Bondsesque) bat. I'd guess that would hold true on a smaller scale with Bonds as well, without taking all factors in consideration.

Sure I'm not doing the study full justice, I'm summarizing. But it's worth a read.

The .250 average is the X factor. I guess you have to ask if that his is his "true" average or one based in part on the garbage he gets to hit. His hits/balls in play numbers this year are very low and suggest he "should" with average luck be well over .320 when I last looked.
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Postby Lofunzo » Thu May 25, 2006 10:04 pm

I would pitch to him until he proves otherwise (this season).
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Postby raiders_umpire » Thu May 25, 2006 10:09 pm

I think especially this season you have to challenge him. No way you can just give him the free pass til he proves he can still constantly get the big hit. I would throw the fastball inside and then throw the junk away and see if he can turn on the outside pitch.
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Postby baseball6791 » Thu May 25, 2006 10:15 pm

raiders_umpire wrote:I think especially this season you have to challenge him. No way you can just give him the free pass til he proves he can still constantly get the big hit. I would throw the fastball inside and then throw the junk away and see if he can turn on the outside pitch.


Not sure if that was a typo, but throwing Barry a fastball inside is probably the worst thing you could do. He may not be what he used to be but he still has some of the quickest hands in the game and can turn on that inside pitch. If I'm a pitcher, low and away, low and away, every single time...
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Postby Dr. StrangeGlove » Thu May 25, 2006 10:17 pm

Since pitchers have been pitching around him its hard to tell how much effect his injuries have had on him. I agree that pitchers should be challenging him but I think that they are more than happy to pitch around him and not be a part of baseball lore.
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Postby WittyC » Thu May 25, 2006 10:26 pm

Honestly, I think the only reason BB has a .250 BA is because he's getting bored. Seriously, if you went to bat and saw nothing but garbage, wouldn't you occasionally take a hack? I know I would.

I will concede that he has missed more mistake-pitches this year than he has in the past. But with zero protection in that lineup (average my foot!), I'd be pulling Tony LaRussa's on his butt all day, too!
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Postby Tavish » Thu May 25, 2006 10:29 pm

No player has ever been so dangerous that they should get 120 (and including the pitch arounds closer to 160) IBB in a season. If managers didn't know that before 2004, which they obviously didn't, they should now.

Less than 2 outs with RISP and first base open, fine. Walk him every time. Up by one in the 8th or 9th with first base open, maybe. When Alou gets back the number of pitch arounds/IBB should slow down some assuming Stone-Hands can continue how he started the season.
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Postby raiders_umpire » Fri May 26, 2006 7:25 am

baseball6791 wrote:
raiders_umpire wrote:I think especially this season you have to challenge him. No way you can just give him the free pass til he proves he can still constantly get the big hit. I would throw the fastball inside and then throw the junk away and see if he can turn on the outside pitch.


Not sure if that was a typo, but throwing Barry a fastball inside is probably the worst thing you could do. He may not be what he used to be but he still has some of the quickest hands in the game and can turn on that inside pitch. If I'm a pitcher, low and away, low and away, every single time...




Yea I meant, throw the heat outside and the junk outside. :*)
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Postby Hotlanta » Fri May 26, 2006 7:29 am

Why give him the satisfaction. If he hits number 715, so what, move on with your lives. It's going to happen eventualy anyway.

But, for the first time I don't think he'll catch Aaron. He looks toast, that old Bazza magic has gone (gone with the steroids I imagine).
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