I gave catchers a bonus of up to 20 percent of their total based on percentage of games played at catcher. This helped them catch up to other position players. Bench is the first catcher, but there are 5 who make the top 55 with 1,000 points, which is my inner circle. Catchers needs go bad from squatting to catch pitches all day. Thus, their careers are greatly reduced. One of the greatest long-term catchers was Carlton Fisk. We will talk about him more in his article.
I am watching “The Final Dance” TV series on Netflix. It is a series of documentaries on Michael Jordan’s final year with the Bulls and flashback to him and some of the other key players on the Bulls during that time. Today’s episode involved how we put Michael Jordan on a pedestal and then tore them down. I know the same thing happened to Johnny Bench with me and I believe with others. Bench came into the game with a lot of publicity and had immediate success. He won 2 MVPs by the time he was 24 and all I heard was how great Bench was. Now I wasn’t too thrilled about always listening to announcers and reporters. For some reason even though I liked Bench I started to tear him down. So, in 1975, I even convinced myself that Manny Sanguillen had a better year. Sanguillen did hit .328. However, Bench’s power made up for Sanguillen’s batting average and Bench was a better defensive catcher. However, I refused to recognize this. According to WAR Bench easily had a better season. I followed the example of people envying people on top and wanting to push them down. It was the same with Michael. He was a the most popular athlete in the world, but some of the press put him down and stopped liking him when they found out he wasn’t a perfect role model. As Michael said “None of us our perfect”. We have to start forgiving each other more and except each other’s flaws. Unfortunately, people haven’t been able to do that, which leaves a lot of hate, and with all that hate in a person, you can’t be a happy person. So, go around and forgive a few people.
Johnny Bench is 72 years old but is raising two sons. I found this out in a Sports Illustrated article a couple of years ago. The boys are now 14 and 10. This is pretty unusual, but not entirely unique in these days. The boys are the sons of wife number 4. We have found Johnny Bench’s weakness; he doesn’t know how to find the right women. His first wife he purposed to after 4 days. The marriage lasted 13 months and it doesn’t sound like a happy one. Well, I still like you Johnny.