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Why, oh why can’t we have better baseball journalists?

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ESPN:

Despite a lackluster season and a cloud of suspicion hanging over him, Barry Bonds found a home in the 78th All-Star Game. Fans voted the embattled Giant to his 14th Midsummer Classic.

I’ll grant the cloud of suspicion, but lackluster season? You would hope, after all the work that sabermatricians have done over the last decade and a half, that sports journalists covering baseball would look past triple crown stats. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the starting left fielder for the National League All-Star team:

Barry Bonds
(.304/.516/.603)
Equivalent Average: .381 (NL-1, LF-1)
Equivalent Runs: 43.5 (NL-5, LF-1)
Runs Above Position: 35 (NL-1, LF-1)

Bonds has created more runs than Matt Holiday, the next best left fielder, in spite of the fact that Holiday has 80 more plate appearances than Bonds. Given that Holiday makes more of a defensive contribution than Bonds, it would have been defensible to select Holiday, but Bonds’ season can hardly be called lackluster.

Indeed, I think that the only appropriate grounds to exclude Bonds from the All-Star Game would be that baseball is a game intended for human beings, and Bonds is obviously some kind of robot or extra-terrestrial. Credit the steroids if you want, but at age 42 he’s having the best rate season in the NL this year. But for the fact that he’s been walked 82 times so far, he would already have coasted past Aaron. No offense intended to the Hammer, but he hit .229/.315/.369 as a DH at the age of 42, in his final season. At some point, people have to deal with the fact that while Bonds isn’t the only guy to have taken steroids, he is the only guy to have utterly re-written the baseball record book.

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