Saturday, October 13, 2007

There May Be Others We Don't Know About

(In memory of Barry Bonds, since the feds just can't seem to leave this guy alone nor can some bitter fans who are mad that Bonds didn't do more for the community, like mow their lawns or something. Originally sent to the SF Chronicle on 2/21/05...not to be seen by its readers.)

To all of the people employed to put in print their ideas of how they believe things are I prefer facts over speculative drivel and fancy adjectives. Or as Jon Miller has so eloquently put it, "I look at the bottom line."

Rule Number One: The fraternity that are writers, play favorites. Shoving the hatred of Barry aside, I think what Felipe Alou said should be duly noted. Said the former player then manager, "If you're good, you're good, whether it's the era of the steroids or cigars or hot dogs or beer or amphetamines or red juice or whiskey," Alou said: "Some of these guys whose names have been accused of (steroids) have gone into the (toilet) while a guy like Barry continues to play.

"Of all the names that came out, only one guy (Bonds) was an MVP last year. There is a big gap between Barry and everyone else, just like there was a big gap between the Babe and everyone else."

Back in the mid-1960s there was a left-hander from Brooklyn, New York who was the best but it took some time for his skills to be recognized by those other than his team and mates. If I flashed some statistics you can see the mediocrity become phenomenal.

1960: 8W 13L 3.91 ERA 37-Games 7-Complete games 175-Innings pitched 197-K's
1961: 18W 13L 3.52 ERA 42-games 15-complete games 255-innings pitched 269-K's
1962: 14W 7L 2.54 ERA 28-games 11-complete games 184.1 innings pitched 216-K's
1963: 25W 5L 1.88 ERA 40-games 20-complete games 311-innings pitched 306-K's

Jumping from 175 innings to 311 seems very precipitous. He used ointments and liniments to soothe his aching arm and joints.

One might say his efforts were heroic. But maybe, just maybe, some undetectable chemical was in the players' choice of ointments and or liniments?

In 1965, he pitched in 335 and 2/3 innings, striking out a record 382 batters versus 71 walks issued, just 3 years after hurling 184.1 innings.

The pitcher I am referring to is Sandy Koufax.

The aforementioned statistics are stand-by-themselves awesome. As are Barry's since he has worn the orange and black. I don't accuse Sandy Koufax of cheating nor do I want to take anything away from Koufax by inserting an asterisk. But looking at his numbers, what if?

Kevin Marquez

Note: Proving that getting a win, for a starting pitcher, may be the most difficult thing to accomplish statistically I'll post the World Series stats of Sandy Koufax.

1959 W-0 L-1 ERA 1.00 G-2 IP- 9 BB-1 K-7
1963 W-2 L-0 ERA 1.50 G-2 IP-18 BB-3 K-23 Complete Games-2
1965 W-2 L-1 ERA 0.38 G-3 IP-24 BB-5 K-29 Complete Games-2
1966 W-0 L-1 ERA 1.50 G-1 IP-6 BB-2 K-2
Totals W-4 L-3 ERA-0.95 G-8 IP-57 BB-11 K-61 CG-4