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Who is the best baseball player of all time? Show more Show less
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Baseball, since the late 19th Century, has been a quintessential American pastime and, today, the MLB serves as the second-most popular major North American sports league. Within such a long and storied history of outstanding individual performances, many baseball fans naturally gravitate toward this question. From the absolutely reality-defying sluggers, pitchers, outfielders, and catchers, who is the best baseball player of all time?

Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player ever Show more Show less

Barry Bonds put up the most jaw-dropping statistical career performance of all time, and his record number of dingers only scratches the surface of his sheer excellence as a baseball genius.
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Barry Bonds, even without a bat, would rank as one of the best ever

Through Bonds' career, the fear of how frequently he could hit home runs so fervently consumed his pitching adversaries that, even without a bat, he would still put up all-time historical prestige.
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The Argument

The sheer surrounding fear and anxiety a baseball player can induce in the player pitching against him factors into the will he machinates over the game, and Barry Bonds is completely unparalleled in this respect. Bonds possesses the all-time records for bases on balls/walks (2,558) and intentional bases on balls (688).[1] This means that, without even holding a bat and swinging, Bonds would have still gained an enormous amount of bases every time he stepped up to the plate. Pitchers would rather have intentionally walked him 688 times than give him the chance to knock one out of the park, as he did so often.His BB and IBB statistics tell a story in themselves, suggesting that he was the most feared slugger in the history of baseball.

Counter arguments

Fear of a player does not automatically equate to a player's greatness. Simply because Bonds holds the records for BB and IBB does not make him the greatest of all time, nor does it mean that he is the most feared player to pick up a bat. Fear is a subjective emotion that cannot be quantified through statistical analysis, so to translate supposed "fear" into all-time excellence and skill is illogical. Many players can be feared by pitchers for different reasons, and Barry Bonds' batting performance and the attitudes of the pitchers he faced are not necessarily related.

Framing

Being the greatest of all time means telling a whole story simply from the numbers, that story being how absolutely terrified pitchers were of Barry Bonds' hitting ability. The all-time records show a level of fear never seen before in baseball, and has not been seen since.

Premises

[P1] Statistics that so overwhelmingly show the greatest story of fear in the history of baseball must also epitomize the greatest player to ever do it. [P2] Barry Bonds, even without a bat, broke records in BB and IBB because of pitchers' apprehension from his all-time batting performance. [P3] Therefore, Barry Bonds is the greatest baseball player ever.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Fear is unidentifiable in statistics, and arbitrary "fear" of a player does not automatically guarantee his level of greatness. [Rejecting P2] He broke the records not solely because of pitchers' apprehension towards him. [Rejecting P3] Barry Binds is not the greatest player of all time based on the first two premises.

References

  1. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bondsba01.shtml

This page was last edited on Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 02:52 UTC

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