web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Counting The Omer … And The Homers

Share Button

      While we’re counting the Omer, we’re also counting homers.

 

      Barry Bonds is closing in on Hank Aaron’s all-time career home run mark of 755. Bonds should hit his 755th well before we hit Elul. But when Bonds tops Aaron and becomes the all-time home run king, will that make him the greatest home run hitter of all time?

 

      No way – and here’s why, Babe Ruth retired in 1935 with 714 career home runs in 8,399 at-bats. It took Bonds 9,234 at-bats to tie Ruth. Meaning, Ruth homered every 11.76 times at bat while Bonds did it every 12.93 times. Aaron needed 11,291 at-bats to reach the 755 career mark (every 15.81 at-bats).

 

      Aaron was a steady player who never hit more than 47 home runs in a single season. He hit 40 or more homers eight times in a 23-year career. Outside of the 73 homers he hit in 2001, Bonds has never hit more than 49 in a season. There were plenty of allegations concerning Bonds and steroids that season, but to date nothing has been proven. Bonds was and is a great player, but Ruth was greater.

 

      The Babe did it the old-fashioned way. He used hot dogs and washed it down with beer and soda pop. Ruth hit 54 homers twice, 59 once and his famous high of 60 in 1927. Don’t forget, Ruth was also a great pitcher before becoming an outfielder. Ruth won more than 20 games twice on his way to a career 94-46 record with an ERA of just 2.28.

 

      Bonds has played his entire career in the modern era of 162-game seasons. Ruth’s seasons consisted of 154 games while Aaron played about a third of his career under the 154 game schedule and the rest under the 162-game slate. Bonds and Aaron also had the advantage of hitting a livelier ball that travels farther due to its tightly-wound cork center.

 

      Ruth was far ahead in career batting average, retiring with a .342 mark. Aaron had a .305 career average and Bonds is just shy of .300 at his writing.

 

      *     *     *

 

      Alex Rodriguez, who took a .306 lifetime average into this season, should reach 500 career home runs before July’s All-Star Game in San Francisco. A-Rod, who’ll be 32 on July 27, will become the youngest player ever to reach the 500-homer mark.

 

      Rodriguez had homered once every 14.36 at-bats coming into this season – better than Aaron but not as good as Bonds and Ruth. He is, of course, homering more often this season. Some media mavens speculate that the Yankees third baseman, who can opt out of his contract after the season, will stick it to the fans and media who gave him a hard time last season by leaving the Yanks.

 

      Some predict his destination is Chicago because of his admiration for Cubs manager Lou Piniella, stemming from their days in Seattle. “No,” says A-Rod’s former Yankee teammate Gary Sheffield. “Alex loves to perform on the New York stage and his wife loves it in New York also.”

 

      There will, however, be a new owner of the Cubs after the season and if he’s smart he’ll offer A-Rod a piece of the franchise and his old shortstop position. The cozy Wrigley Field power alleys will translate to many more home runs than he’d hit in New York. One thing’s for sure: A-Rod, who is currently baseball’s highest-paid player, will trump his old figure and soar to new financial heights. Maybe he’ll buy the Cubs.

 

*     *     *

 

      Red Sox Nation is still talking about the four consecutive home runs by BoSox batters off Yankee pitcher Chase Wright. A national audience via ESPN for the Sunday night game saw homers by Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek chase Wright, a rookie making only his second big league start this season.

 

      As Varitek circled the bases, ESPN viewers were told that the only prior big league pitcher to allow four consecutive home runs was Paul Foytack of the Los Angeles Angels on July 31, 1963. Foytack spent most of his career with the Tigers and returned to the Detroit area to become an industrial rubber and plastics salesman. He picked up some extra dollars (and dropped some extra pounds) by pitching batting practice for years prior to Tigers home games.

 

      Now 76, Foytack was discovered by the national media after Wright surrendered the four consecutive homers. Foytack felt bad for Wright and sent the rookie a “keep your chin up” type of letter. “After all,” Foytack said, “I was in the last year of my career when I gave up the four homers in a row. Wright is just starting out.”

 

      *     *     *

 

      To me, David Halberstam was the king of journalism. An amazing talent who took on several different subjects in more than 20 books and scored with them all. David was only 30 when he earned a Pulitzer Prize. I’ll remember him as a blazer-wearing, bow-tie clad intellectual who could hear The William Tell Overture and still think of The Lone Ranger.


      My favorite Halberstam book is Summer of ’49, about the great Red Sox-Yankees pennant race and rivalry that season. I wonder if Halberstam got to see the nationally televised historic Red Sox-Yankees four-consecutive-homer game the night before he was killed in a car crash.

 

*     *     *

 

      Love the 6:13 p.m. starting time for many midweek night games in the Israel Baseball League. Friday games are at ten in the morning or at noon. There are no Shabbos or motzei Shabbos games. None of the three fields the six teams are using have lights. Let’s hope more fields, with light towers and greater seating capacity, will be built.

 

*     *     *

 

      To those who took issue (Letters to the Editor, April 27) with my picking the Cubs to make the World Series: My prediction read, “if Mark Prior and Kerry Wood stay off the disabled list” And, as you know, after my predictions came out, Prior went on the disabled list and had season-ending surgery.

 

      So of course that changes the picture. Milwaukee’s my choice now to go to the postseason from the National League Central. But the Brewers aren’t quite good enough to overtake the Mets and advance to the World Series.

 

      To those who think I downgraded the National League, all I can say is the American League creamed the NL last year in interleague play. We’ll see what transpires this season. In the meantime, keep those opinions coming.

 

      Irwin Cohen, the author of seven books, headed a national baseball publication for five years before earning a World Series ring as a department head in a major league front office. His “Baseball Insider” column appears the second week of each month in The Jewish Press. Cohen, who is president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul, may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

Share Button

About the Author: The author of 10 books, Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before accepting a major league front office position, becoming the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. He can be reached in his Detroit area dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Counting The Omer … And The Homers”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Irwin Cohen
Richie Scheinblum

Even if a player reaches the big league level, there’s still no guarantee he’ll remain with one team for long. Former Jewish outfielder Richie Scheinblum comes to mind.

Baseball-Insider

The snow has melted in most parts of the country and here in Florida, where I have my winter dugout in the Orthodox enclave of Century Village in West Palm Beach, I had the opportunity to take in several spring training games.

If you’re visiting spring training sites, Arizona has two advantages – fewer games are rained out and the facilities are much closer to each other than is the case in Florida.

There were 15 Jews in the major leagues during the 2013 season, but only a few from a Jewish mother.

Musial told the taunted Jackie Robinson: “I want you to know that I’m not like many of the other guys on my team.”

Brooklyn native Lipman Pike was one of baseball’s earliest paid players.

The World Series was born 110 years ago. So were the New York Yankees, as New York inherited the remnants of the old Baltimore Orioles, a charter member of the new American League that was formed in 1901. A year later the team was headed to last place and bankruptcy. Manager John McGraw jumped to the National League New York Giants to assume the same position and brought some Orioles players with him.

Rewind eight decades to 1933.

That year marked the rise of the greatest villain of our time and the biggest Jewish sports hero of all time.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/sports/counting-the-omer-and-the-homers/2007/05/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: