August 6, 2007

Milestone mania!

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

It was quite the weekend for MLB milestones as I’m sure you’ve heard. Three pretty big numbers were hit, one of them colossal. To lead things off, Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to get to 500 career home runs with a dinger on Saturday afternoon. The last man to hold the record was Jimmie Foxx, who managed it at the nearly the age of 33; A-Rod beat him out by almost a year, celebrating his 32nd birthday roughly a week before number 500.

Then, the big salami. Barry Bonds took a Clay Hensley offering out to the left-field bleachers of Petco Park in San Diego. With that shot, he tied Hammerin’ Hank Aaron with 755 career home runs — first on the all time list. The next home run will be even bigger of course; it will push one of the most hated men in the league into the sole possession of the hallowed record. That’s assuming he actually gets that next knock. He sat out Sunday and didn’t even get a pinch-hit at bat to try for 756.

Finally, to round up the weekend, Tom Glavine took the hill on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball looking for win number 300 and came through. An interesting point was brought up by a co-worker of mine: Glavine may be the last 300 game winner ever. The way that pitchers these days are going, they don’t have the longevity and rarely the consistency of those from the former generation.

Think about this; Johan Santana, arguably the best ace in the league, has 89 career wins and is 28 years old. While it is somewhat feasible, the chances that he pitches until he’s 43 and wins 14 games per season are improbable. With the amount of pitchers that blow out their arms, it may be impossible to go that late into your career in the future, but we’ll find out 15 years from now if Santana, Peavy or Halladay have what it takes to stick around into their 40s and hit the magical 300.

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