Question Of The Day #2

Right now, Albert Pujols has 30 home runs over the course of 78 games (265 PA). That's a home run per every 8.83 at bats, or a long ball per every 2.6 games. Extrapolating the same size, Pujols in on pace for a 550 AB season with 62+ home runs. Even with the league leading 24 IBBs (second is Adrian Gonzalez with 11), Pujols' pace this season far and away surpasses his monstrous 2006 campaign that was shortened by injury (535 PA, 49 HR). Thus, a pair of important questions that collectively make up today's QUESTION OF THE DAY are posed:

1) Will Pujols eclipse 60 home runs this season, or will pitchers be less inclined to pitch to The Machine in the second half? Will Pujols slow down or need more rest down the stretch?
2) If Prince Albert does indeed eclipse 60 home runs this season, how do we regard the single-season home run record with regard to the tainted legacies of Barry Bonds (73), Mark MwGwire (70) and Slammin' Sammy (66, 64, 63)? Do we crown Pujols the unquestioned champion or leave the records as they are, however tainted they may be.

Personally, I believe that if Pujols does achieve the 60 HR milestone, he should be crowned the true home run king, with BB, MM and SS being listed as asterisked footnotes in the Guiness Book of World Records. As much as I defend the legacies of the bulk of great players who were on roids (its not like you inject and succeed -- you still need to train your ass off; plus MVPs who can't hit 20 HRs (let alone any that eclipsed 400 FT in length) are boring), I feel that the home run title is something pure and accomplished that transcends VORP. In other words, it must be truly earned.

On a final note, the term BB is not an abbreviation for Base on Balls. It refers to Barry Bonds, who was intentionally walked 120 times in 2004 [232 BB that season]. Only three times in the history of baseball has a batter been intentionally walked more than 45 times. All three of those instances belong to Barry Bonds (the other two were 68 and 61 IBB seasons). Pujols is on pace for 51.

5 comments:

The 'Bright' One said...

Which record will never be broken? 56 game hitting streak, 73 homers, or 120 intentional walks. I say the walks. That is a preposterous number. Still had 45 homers that year. Didnt have a season with an OPS below 1.000 since 1991. BB perfect combo of talent plus roids.

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

100% agree. You can't inject walking ability into your arms. Bonds, the IBBs aside, annually earned 100+ free passes a year on his own. The 73 homers may be suspect, but the 232 BB is just sick.

Either Rollins or Utley came close to the hit streak a few years ago, no?

David "MVP" Eckstein said...

I just looked it up. Rollins had a 38 game hit streak split between 05 and 06; utley had a 35 game streak in 06

not even close.

2nd best in modern history is pete rose with a 44 gamer in 78

Sexy Rexy said...

1) I think Pujols will eclipse over 60 HR. I think it's stupid that pitchers will do this, put they will pitch to him instead of walking him. If I personally was a pitcher, I would walk him every time up and take my chances with Chris Duncan and Rick Ankiel. Sure they can do SOME damage but they surely are easier outs than Pujols

2) If he does go over 60 like I think he will do, then I put him on par with the other guys, not above it. Because you can't quantify exactly how many extra home runs PEDs allows you to hit. Maybe its 15, maybe its 3, maybe its 25? Maybe Barry Bonds would not have hit 72 but he would have hit 62? Maybe he would have hit 45? The fact is you just don't know. It looks better if Pujols is never linked to steroids if he does get 60+, but I wouldn't go so far as to say he's the king, but he certainly is in the debate.

Plus, what if the vast majority of those HRs Bonds, McGuire, and Sosa hit were off of pitchers juicing, does the two equal out so it's just like if a normal hitter hit a HR off of a normal pitcher?

Cubsfan4evr said...

I don't think he will get more than 60 home runs. I think he will get walked more and more in the second half of the season if he keeps it up. Especially because they have no protection for him in the lineup.