Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Biggest Loser

You know who is the biggest baseball-related loser of the steroid era? Ken Griffey Jr.. If the steroid-ridden monsters of the horrible era of baseball had played fairly Ken Griffey Jr. would be regarded as the greatest power hitter of this generation. Not Sammy Sosa. Not Barry Bonds and certainly not Mark McGuire.

Think about it, right now Ken Griffey is number 6 on the all-time career home run list. If you don't count Sosa and Bonds (which I don't) then he is number 4 all time and the first natural player to hit 600 home runs since Hank Aaron. In fact, Griffey has entered a pretty amazing place. Before he broke the 600 threshold recently only three other non-juiced players had ever done that. That should be the home run story of the last 20 years. All that attention that Mcguire, Sosa and Bonds received over the years was taken directly from Ken Griffey. They stole a lot of glory from him.

What is really sad to me is that a natural Barry Bonds would probably have hit 500 home runs. Plenty enough dingers to get you into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Good enough to be counted among the immortals of the game. He would have been considered one of the greats. Now he'll never get in. If things work out the way they should and Griffey retires in a couple of years then five years after that he will be the last man standing. Then the baseball world will have to acknowledge that Ken Griffey was the best slugger of his generation.

2 comments:

Walter said...

Ed-good piece. Most people who follow baseball will recognize Griffey's accomplishments for what they are, and conversely Bonds/McGuire/Clemens et al will be known as the figureheads of the steroid era. Especially if they're excluded from the Hall. FYI Griffey is about to pass Sosa on the all time HR list...good for him. I'd say give all his injury problems, his numbers are even more impressive. Walt

Kevin said...

"steroid-ridden monsters"
You make Bonds and Sosa sound like they roam the countryside at night eating babies. Don't get me wrong, I see the injustice but the era will be remembered for what it is. Baseball has many stains, this is just one. Let it be, stop picking at it and it will heal. If it makes you feel better, Barry Bonds will eventually be treated like a criminal. Will that make you feel better?