The Baseball Exchange

Prince Fielder Sets A Record by 27yankees

Babe Ruth. Hank Aaron. Barry Bonds. Alex Rodriguez (soon)… and… Prince Fielder?

OK, perhaps it is a bit farfetched to says that Prince Fielder might be the next home run king. But the young man certainly had an excellent season; in fact, he hit the most home runs ever by a player under 24 years old, and became the youngest player ever to hit fifty home runs at age 23.

Though his defense suffers, a move to the American League at some point as a DH might be just what this young man needs to set a new home run record. It is difficult to predict how many home runs a player will get through his career, but I will now attempt to do it. Continue reading


Brand it by red

Marc Ecko has just announced that the votes from his site to decide the fate of Barry Bond’s 756th home run ball have been tallied and the results are:

Banish it: 19%

Bestow it: 34%

Brand it: 47%

Even better is the Hall of Fame’s reaction:

“This ball wouldn’t be coming to Cooperstown if Marc hadn’t bought it from the fan who caught it and then let the fans have their say,” [Hall of Fame President Dave] Petroskey told The Associated Press. “We’re delighted to have the ball. It’s a historic piece of baseball history.”

I’m glad the hall of fame isn’t shying away from this – they are a seperate institution not necessarily officially “endorsed” by MLB, or at least not owned by it. Therefore, it’s their duty to recieve anything donated to them, no matter if it’s contreversial, as long as it is, as Petroskey said, “a historical piece of baseball history,” which it undeniably is. Now, we just have to wait as to how they’re going to “brand” it. Duct tape should do the job.


One Dennis G Carrier in the comments section just pointed out some quite frightening and disturbing racial history of the term “branding.” I don’t really believe that Marc Ecko meant any racist implications, I think often many of those terms get tossed around without knowledge of previous uses and obviously Ecko should reconsider using it. Unless I’m missing a key point of Ecko’s beliefs or opinoins, as far as I know I don’t think he mean any implications like that. If, for example, Ecko had McGwire’s 500th home run or 62st home run ball in his possesion, and again, unless I’m not aware of past specific racist beliefs by Ecko, I doubt he wouldn’t not use the term “Branding.” However, it’s still important to be aware of those things pointed out by Mr. Carrier.

What do we want to do with 756? by red
September 23, 2007, 8:43 am
Filed under: Barry Bonds, MLB, Steroids | Tags: , , , , , ,

If you’ve read some of our previous posts, you’ll remember we mentioned that Mark Ecko, the guy with that clothing line that has something to do with a rhinoceros, is putting it to a vote. So, what do we want to do with the 756th home run ball?

Red says: At first I thought it would be cool to take this artifact of baseball history and just throw it out into space; forget the whole thing, so that we can play baseball in peace without someone always talking about Barry Bonds on the side. We should be focusing on actually playing the game. However, when I thought about it, forgetting past wrongdoings isn’t the solution: we’ve got to remember what happened, remember what was wrong about it, and make sure we don’t do it again.

Obviously there’s no comparison to an actual war and some jerks cheating at baseball, but that’s why there are war memorials – so we don’t forget what happened in some awful wars, and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. We’ve got to remember that Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, and the like are ridiculed, so that we don’t get something like the sequel in thirty years. So, brand it. And make the hall of fame take it. Isn’t there something in the hall of fame about the Black Sox? Then there should be something on the steroids era.

TwentySeven says: I voted to brand the ball. I know that you may be thinking that I’m a Bonds hater… I’m really not. I was born in New York, but I grew up the the Bay Area where fans have a far more liberal perspective on Bonds, i.e., they don’t mind his antics. This opinion has rubbed off on me, and I’ve also seen the kind of respect the players all give Bonds. You have to respect the fact he’s become the figurehead for steroids, his name synonymous with a syringe.

I voted to brand it more as a statement on the steroids era in itself. I think that if things keep on going as they are right now, soon baseball will be seen in the same light as “professional” wrestling – a farce. We may not realize it, but steroids could be the biggest issue in baseball since the Black Sox scandal.

What I think is interesting is that the Black Sox scandal actually lead to steroids. After the Black Sox scandal, Babe Ruth came along and did his thing, and the teams saw the crowds that brought in, so they started juicing the ball and players started to hit homers. Fast forward 60 years, and instead of only juicing the ball, we start to get the players juiced up because interest in baseball is dying. One lead to the other, and both really hurt the fair game.

TheFallenPheonix says: Clearly, Mark Ecko has deserved the right to do with that ball as he sees fit, being as he purchased it for a rather significant sum. I’ll admit that blasting the ball off into space certainly sounds rather interesting (although I’m not entirely sure how he’d pull that one off), and in a way, kind of fitting as a commentary not on steroids, but just on the economics of sports.

…but that’s not really what the subject of this story is about. On to Barry Bonds, and his home run ball. We know for a fact, from the leaked BALCO Grand Jury testimony, that Barry Bonds has taken steroids at some point, whether knowingly or not. Clearly, the court of public opinion is finding him rather guilty on that count–and I think that the voting will reflect that. I would be rather surprised if donating the ball to the Hall of Fame wins the voting, and I’ll admit I’m rather ambivalent about it. That ball should be a part of Baseball history, and the fact that there is any question about whether it should be, I think, speaks volumes enough about the entire situation.

What do you think?