November 12, 2002

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...

Barry Bonds won his 5th Most Valuable Player Award yesterday.

As those of you who have been listening to me for a while now know, I am one of Barry Bonds' biggest fans.

I believe that, before all is said and done, Barry Bonds will be in a class reserved only for one other man in baseball history, Babe Ruth.

No other player in the history of baseball has more than 3 MVPs.

Barry now has 5.

And he probably should have one or two more.

In 2000 he finished 2nd to his own teammate, Jeff Kent.

Here are the relevant stats for 2000:

Bonds = .306/.440/.687 with 106 RBIs and 129 runs in 143 games.

Kent = .334/.424/.596 with 125 RBIs and 114 runs in 159 games.

Barry got on base more and he hit for a lot more power.

But, Kent did the two things that most sportswriters pay attention to, he hit for a higher average and he drove in more runs.

The RBIs were partly do to the fact that he was hitting directly behind a guy that got on base 44% of the time.

While Bonds was hitting behind guys like Marvin Benard.

I think Bonds should have won, but the decision was not nearly as bad as it was in 1991...

Terry Pendleton won the MVP that year with the Atlanta Braves.

Pendleton = .319/.363/.517 with 86 RBIs, 94 Runs and 10 steals in 153 games.

Bonds = .292/.410/.514 with 116 RBIs, 95 Runs and 43 steals in 153 games.

Bonds had about 50 points of OBP over Pendleton, but, if you think a lot of people don't know much about on-base % now, you should have been around in 1991!

Most people knew more about O.P.P. ("Yeah, you know me!").

1991 has got to be one of the few instances in the history of the world that sportswriters decided to give the MVP to a guy that drove in 30 LESS runs than someone else.

Barry had already won the year before, so maybe they thought they should let someone else have a chance.

They did give it to him the next year at least.

I am not exactly sure why Pendleton won it.

It couldn't have been one of these Tejada/ARod "debates" involving a guy on a winning team and a guy on a losing team.

Bonds' team (the Pirates) won 98 games and the division title in 1991.

Pendleton's team (the Braves) won 94 games and the division title.

It couldn't have been base stealing (Bonds stole 33 more bases) and it couldn't have been defense (Bonds won the first of 8 straight Gold Gloves in '91).

I am not sure what it is, but whatever it was, it was a mistake.

So Barry has won the MVP in 1990, 1992, 1993, 2001 and now 2002.

I think he should have won in 1991 and 2000.

That would have made 7 MVPs in a 13 year span (1990-2002) and that is the stuff legends are made of.

As sad as this sounds, considering the historic season Barry had, I was a little surprised to see that he was a unanimous MVP selection.

In looking at the ballot, I noticed that someone gave John Smoltz a 2nd place vote.

I am fairly certain who that person (read: idiot) is, and I am shocked that with all he has said in the past and with the complete lack of brains that possesses, he wouldn't have just gone ahead and put Smoltz #1.

But, I am glad, because Barry Bonds had one of the greatest seasons of all-time in 2002 and he is certainly, far and away, the MVP of the National League.

And John Smoltz, as good as he was in 2002, wasn't even the best relief pitcher on his own team, let alone the best closer in the National League or the MVP?!

So, congrats to Barry Bonds, the best ballplayer I believe I will ever see play.

Now, if we can somehow manage to get ARod his 1st trophy, all will be right in my baseball world.

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