Barry Bonds not only broke his own records for walks (232) and on-base percentage (.609) (fueled by the walks) in a single season, he became the charter member of the 200 Walk and the .600 On-Base Percentage clubs. To many, this was simply a symptom of the respect Bonds receives league-wide, not wanting him to hit essentially ever. Bonds received so many intentional walks (120), that only Bobby Abreu, Todd Helton and Lance Berkman had more TOTAL walks (127 for each of them), and had twice as many intentional walks as any other team than St. Louis. That's respect.
And on Tuesday, Bonds received one more piece of respect from his peers: being named The Sporting News Player of the Year. Bonds garnered 169.5 votes out of 552 cast. The Dodgers' Adrian Beltre came in second with 116 votes. The Cardinals' Scott Rolen had 93 for third, and last year's winner Albert Pujols got 64.
"I am extremely thrilled to be the recipient of the Sporting News Player of the Year award," Bonds said. "It is truly an honor to be recognized by my fellow players. I would like to thank the Giants' organization, my teammates, my family and especially the fans, who give me such great support."
Bonds also won his second batting crown, with a .362 batting average on the year, and had his fifth consecutive season with at least 45 home runs.
Jason Schmidt also took home an honor, being named the National League's pitcher of the year. Schmidt suffered through an injury filled year, missing the first week of the season recovering from elbow surgery, and struggled early in the season. He then suffered a groin injury in August that dropped his production late in the year. But when he was healthy, he dominated. In May, he was 5-0 through 6 starts, with a 1.53 ERA, and followed that up in June with a 2.19 ERA over 5 starts, going 4-0. Over those two months, he allowed only 17 earned runs in 84 innings. Schmidt finished the season with an 18-7 record and a 3.20 ERA. His 251 strikeouts were 3rd in the league, and his K/9IP rate of 10.04 was 2nd behind only Randy Johnson.
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