Thursday, July 10, 2008

The End is Near: Part 2

Back again, with an all new and slightly less depressing “The Milestones are Disappearing” eye-opening bonanza – with a new word document format!

(Awkward silence)

…Anyway, it’ll be a 2-2 to Bernie…

Milestone: 500 Home Runs

Here’s the scary thing about the 500 home run mark - over the past 10 seasons, we’ve already seen 9 players surpass this number - they are: Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Frank Thomas, and Manny Ramirez. And the funny thing is – we expected/demanded it from them, because of the ridiculous amount of power happening all over the MLB.

In 1965, if you hit your 500th home run and retired at the end of that same season, you were almost guaranteed a spot in Cooperstown. Now? Now you’re asked to break Barry Bonds’ record, reverse the earth’s rotation, and get the better of Tony LaRussa in a drunk-driving drag race. Then, and only then, do you have a chance at getting that bronze plaque. Unfortunately, you’ll also be forced to spend eternity smiling at Dave Winfield from across the room, knowing that he probably hates you (because he’s an asshole) - but hey, no tit-for-tat, now - that’s a small price to pay for fucking fame and immortality, right?

But realistically, people need to start taking into consideration that the Steroids Era is kaput. Finished. Over. It’s time to start reveling players who make it up onto that once scared, now trampled, plateau, because they no longer look like the Incredible Hulk wearing baggy, tacky, non-purple baseball pants.

  1. Gary Sheffield – 485

Isn’t it ridiculous that he has an outside shot at 3,000 hits/500 home runs and most writers would call a spot for him in the Hall of Fame a long-shot? This is one of the main reasons why I hate those buffalo-sauce-scented assholes. Trust me, I'm not a fan of Sheff, as stated in my previous post, but give credit where credit is due - nobodies going to forget that he once said Derek Jeter "ain't all the way black" (best quote ever).

Odds: I’m pretty certain that when a crazy man puts his mind to something, he accomplishes it, or he forgets about it and eats another cigarette butt.

  1. Carlos Delgado – 447

Delgado – much like Sheffield - has a serious chance to knock out 500 - but does he do it for an obscure team other than very welcoming, very charming, very forthright New York Mets? Yes. And he’ll most likely go to said team, win comeback player of the year, and then be attacked by a fanatic wearing a Gregg Jeffries throwback who is certain Delgado was on some fat Italian guy’s payroll.

Odds: Better than you think, Erkel.

  1. Chipper Jones – 404

There are too many health issues with Larry Wayne, and even though he started this season ripping the cover off the ball and remembering what it was like to drive Mets fans toward spousal abuse, he’s now in a spiraled into free-fall. Soon he’ll be back to .325/28/100 Chipper, and we’ll forget that we thought he had a shot at hitting .400 and we all got excited over nothing (AK).

Odds: Definitely not out of the question, but he hasn’t hit 30+ HR’s since 2004, or your mom in like two nights, bro.

  1. Jason Giambi – 382

The Giambino falls into the same category as Chipper, and some of the guys that follow him: If he stays healthy, he may pull a Frank Thomas and return to his old form for a few years and then reach the mark. But does he have 100+ HR’s in him? Not too sure about that, my man. But his mustache is fucking sweet, even if it is turning Yankee Stadium into an AAA farm team out in Pennsylvania.

And just so you fully understand the substantial lack of potentials, here’s a list of guys, followed by their age, then their total number of career home runs, who follow Giambi on the active list, minus 3 players I plucked out (guess what: I discuss them after!).

Jeff Kent – 40 – 384

Jim Edmonds – 38 – 371

Luis Gonzalez – 40 – 351

Moises Alou – 41 – 332

Todd Helton – 34 – 310

Dead Men Walking, right there. Not even worth a breakdown.

Next are three guys I actually do want to breakdown, because one of them will definitely get there, one of them should get there, and one of them would have cruised past 500, if not for a sudden lack of pop (steroids).

  1. Albert Pujols – 28 – 300

Barring some sort of freak accident – arm flies off, maims Troy Glaus' fat face (hoping), Pujols should hit 600. And why not? He’s only 28, it doesn’t matter if he’s got protection in the lineup or if management inserts a drunk hobo giving hand-jobs behind the stadium into the 4 hole – Pujols will hit home runs until he dies (most likely from tuberculosis transfered to the whole team by the homeless guy).

  1. Vladimir Guerrero – 32 – 380

The only reason I include the word ‘might’ here is – Vlad’s not the old Vlad anymore. Yes, he still has the cannon and the eye, but the power has diminished. To put it gently - and so we don’t disturb the cranky old bastard– Vlad hasn’t hit more than 35 home runs since 2004.

  1. Andruw Jones – 31 – 370

What happened to this guy, who knows? But for a while there, when Jones was going bananas and hitting home runs like it was his job (ironically- it was), it looked as though he might hit 600+. Remember, he’s only 31, and all of his past accomplishments happened before his true "prime" according to scouts. Yes, he’s been playing since he was 19, but it’s not like he’s a running back or a porn-star, his talent evaporated with out a slow decline. And it's either going to right itself, or send Jones back to Netherlands or whatever fucking team he played for in the World Baseball Classic.

So, there you have it – the last of the Mohicans. In the future, will more players trump 500? Yes, of course, but I'm warning you, better get comfortable, after this next batch, we’re going to be here a while. Bring some light reading, it helps pass the time.

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