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The Bleacher Bums: May 6, 2005 Archive

Delusions of grandeur are fun and easy!

Posted at 3:14 AM on May 6, 2005 by Josh Lee (1 Comments)

The latest addition to the Baseball Hall of Fame is a Jack Kerouac bobblehead doll. The doll was designed as a promotion for the minor-league Lowell Spinners to honor Lowell, Massachusetts's most famous son, and was apparently enough of a hit to get itself inducted into Cooperstown.

Here's what I'm wondering: now that they've let one writer into the Hall (albeit in wobbly plastic form), is there any chance that they'll open things up to more of them? After all, writing about baseball is practically a genre unto itself, to the extent that they've even started publishing an annual "Best Baseball Writing" series (not to be confused with Houghton-Mifflin's ubiquitous "Best American" series, although I'm sure they'll get around to doing "Best American Baseball Writing" right after "Best American Greeting Card Writing" and "Best American Advertising Insert Writing").

Let's say they were to begin enshrining the Roger Angells and Bernard Malamuds of the world. Why stop there? Why not cast a wider net, and induct a few... bloggers? Because honestly, could Ryne Sandberg and Wade Boggs give better acceptance speeches than Batgirl and the Twins Geek? I think not.

And who knows, perhaps someday, a certain foursome of bloggers will get called up from the minors to forge a long and successful career of obsessing over fourth-string catchers and bad nicknames, eventually earning themselves a place in the Hall. A kid can dream, right?

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Baseball Science Friday

Posted at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2005 by Ben Tesch

Study Finds Kids Can't Hit Slow Pitches
"When you throw something slowly to a child, you think you're doing them a favor by trying to be helpful," said Terri Lewis, professor of psychology at McMaster University. "Slow balls actually appear stationary to a child."

Study Reveals Baseball's Great Clutch Hitters
A baseball fan and statistics buff has proven that clutch hitters really do exist, putting statistics behind the obvious. The new study, by math and economics student Elan Fuld of the University of Pennsylvania, was announced by the university Thursday.

So who were the greatest under pressure? Relatively unknown Frank Duffy, Eddie Murray (perhaps that's why they call him "Steady Eddie") and (also relatively unknown) Minnesota Twin Luis Gomez stood out. Billy Buck was also noted for his clutch hitting, but he may more be more known for his lack of clutch fielding.

Barry, we've had enough

Posted at 2:36 PM on May 6, 2005 by David Zingler (1 Comments)

"The day his knee is healthy, he will be back on the field in uniform," agent Jeff Borris on his client, Barry Bonds.

Is that good news?

There was a time when I was a fan of Barry Bonds. During my forgettable high school years in the early 90s, I had a picture of the slender Pirates slugger hanging in my locker. Despite his surly reputation and arrogant attitude, I cheered him on during his 2001 assault on Mark McGwireís single season homerun record. In Atlanta in 2002, I leaned on the cage as he took batting practice, which still ranks as one of my biggest thrills.

Barry, I didnít want to believe you used steroids. The evidence was there as my friends and many in the media often pointed out, but I thought you were too smart for that. With 3 MVPs from your Pirate days and admission into the 400 homerun/400 steal club, your place in the Hall of Fame was secure. Itís too bad you werenít.

Insecurity, a former teammate of yours from the late 90s told me, may have been a driving force behind your chemical enhancement. Another second generation star, Ken Griffey Jr. , was getting all of the hype back then and, in a travesty, was voted to the ďAll Century TeamĒ over you. You couldnít have that, you were better than the then happy-go-lucky Kid Griffey.

Of course, you went onto break Big Macís record with an unnatural sounding 73. You then proceeded to make a mockery of several other single season marks, blow by the 600 homerun plateau, pass your godfather Willie Mays for third on the all time list and finally join Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron in the 700 club.

Barry, thatís enough. The damage has been done. Itís time to put that era behind us. Please donít come back and chase Ruth and Aaron. Donít turn what should be a monumental achievement into a hollow pursuit. That would just hurt the game, the fans and, in the end, you.

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