Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pro Bonds

It's simply a historical fact that Barry Bonds hit more home runs as a professional baseball player than anyone, and that's the beauty of records: they are simply historical facts. It undermines the game to allow juicers to take records, but to debate legitimacy of records undermines the elegance of the sports record to far greater peril. Records are nice because they're totally non subjective, and once you introduce subjectivity you open up a whole field of futile debate over who played against whom on what, when etc. Babe Ruth never faced a black or Latino pitcher; can you adjust for that? Ted Williams spent his prime fighting in WWII; can we add homers he would have hit had the Japanese not bombed Pearl Harbor and Hitler not tried to take over Europe to Williams' career total? Can I adjust my resume for being lazy?

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