Saturday, July 07, 2007
I typically don't write about sports here (other than soccer which is the best one). All the moaning and complaining about Barry Bonds and the home record has reached an obnoxious crescendo that should be addressed. Almost all records are ridiculous. They are comparing apples and oranges. If you can hit the ball 320 yards consistently to left field in one park you are a home run king, in another you are flying out. The luck of the draw determines which park you play half your season in. For all we know, if Bonds had played his entire career in the park most suited to his hitting style, he would have broken the record steroids or not a few years ago.
Expansion delutes pitching talent. The way the balls and strikes are called during an era can change how juicy a pitch is thrown to a batter. The way the ball is stitched can effect trajectory as well.
Basketball free throw records are more of an exception to this rule. The ball needs to go ten feet high through a hole. The quality of the ball though can affect your results. If there is less wobble to a ball, you will achieve a more consistent effort.
A golf course record can be treated the same way. How long was the grass? Did they change the design? Was it windier one day when the previous record was set? What equipment was used before compared to now? What was the relative humidity level?
Barry Bonds likely has cheated. It hasn't been proven. Records in sports are silly things and taking the record from him is out of the question. I do agree with the * to Roger Maris' record. He played in a longer season. That is a variable that is not in dispute.