15 November 2004

Bonds wins SEVENTH MVP...

PLAYER___________1st___2nd___3rd___TOTAL
BONDS, SF________24_____7_____1_____407
BELTRE, LA________6____21_____3_____311
PUJOLS, STL_______1_____1____20_____247
ROLEN, STL________1_____3_____7_____226

Who gave Bonds a THIRD PLACE VOTE?!?!



Seven MVP Awards. SEVEN. That, of course, is a record, and second place- Mike Schmidt/ Joe DiMaggio/ Jimmie Foxx/ Yogi Berra/ Mickey Mantle/ Stan Musial/ Roy Campanella- has three. Bonds is now the oldest man to win an MVP, beating out the previous record holder, Willie Stargell. Pops was 39 1/2 when he split the award in 1979 with Keith Hernandez. Bonds is now the first man ever to four MVPs in a row, winning in 2001, 2002, 2003 and now 2004.

In an earlier blog entry, I took a look at the seasons in which Bonds won an MVP award and then evaluated years he very well could- if not should- have. Here are the years he has won:
1990, 1992, 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The OPS+ in those years:
170, 205, 206, 262, 275, 231, 260

Here are years I believe he could have won:
1991, 1996, 2000

His OPS+ in those years:
161, 186, 191
The OPS+ of the winners in 1991, 1996, 2000:
139 (Terry Pendleton), 173 (Ken Caminiti), 165 (Jeff Kent)

Pendleton was the most egregious error- Bonds finished second in the balloting, but suffered from not being the "hype" of that year- Pendleton was seen as having lead the Atlanta Braves to the division that year. Bonds was someone people were starting to dislike, and had just won the year before.

Ken Caminiti probably deserved it in '96-- he played third, had a titanic year, and was a huge part of the Padres march to the NL pennant. For what it's worth, Bonds was a bit better, but not by so much that you can't justify the selection. Bonds finished 5th that year.

In 2000, Barry Bonds really should have won. Playing on the same team (and thus, the same park) as the winner, Jeff Kent, Bonds had .100 points higher in OPS that year, hitting 16 more HR and lead the (non-Coors) league in OBP, OPS, SLG (Todd Helton was the leader in all these categories).

Bonds won the BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, IBB, BB, and T(imes)O(n)B(ase) crowns in 2004. The batting title made him the oldest to ever win one- breaking his old record from 2002. His OBP title- .609- broke his own single-season on base percentage record from 2002. In 2004, Barry Bonds' on base percentage would have put him in the top 10 of the NL in slugging. Absolutely remarkable.

And to think, during the season reporters actually wasted ink and our time entertaining the thought of giving it to someone else. Joe Morgan said, "Beltre should definitely get it because the Dodgers have a better record."

Huh!?

The difference in OPS between Bonds (1.422) and Beltre (1.017) is the same as that between Beltre (1.017) and Rey Sanchez (.617). Consider also that Bonds' OBP was nearly better than Sanchez's OBP and SLG combined. I could go on. Barry Bonds is a nice dethroning of that myth of team performance factoring into MVP voting. Barry Bonds was still easily the Most Valuable Player in the NL this year, even if he played for the 111 loss Diamondbacks. Looking at the team around him- he more or less did, too- and the Giants nearly won their division.

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Every now and then, Bullshit Memorial is sitting, in a daze, in front of the UNREAL Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (I'll devote about 15,000 words to that some day soon), early in the morning daze in my eye. Most food establishments have closed, there's not much in the fridge- I'm dying of hunger... what do I get? Well duh, there's the picture above. I get some fuckin' freezer White Castle. Four bucks, quick to make, tastes OK. Works for me.

As a sidebar, it's interesting to consider how they taste- first of all, it smells like you're eating a fart. That isn't as disconcerting as it would initially seem- but the really weird thing is that they don't technically taste good. They just taste like "food," just good enough to fill you up and get them down, but by no means something you're enamored over.

So why can't I stop getting them? They're not that good! I'm guessing convenience.

Anyway, the point of the story- the last box I bought came with a recipe. Incorporating White Castle burgers. For Thanksgiving. Don't believe me? Believe this, motherfuckers.

That's right, it's White Castle Turkey Stuffing. Here's the specs, folks:




10 White Castle hamburgers, no pickles
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1 1/4 tsp. ground thyme
1 1/2 tsp. ground sage
3/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth



In a large mixing bowl, tear the burgers into pieces and add diced celery and seasonings. Toss and add chicken broth. Toss well. Stuff cavity of turkey just before roasting. Makes about 9 cups (enough for a 10- to 12-pound turkey). Note: Allow 1 hamburger for each pound of turkey, which will be the equivalent of 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound.


Cos it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving... without some sliders- er, White Castle.


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