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Running down

By JOHN ROMANO

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 17, 2001


Barry Bonds has been one of the premier power hitters of the past decade and is hitting home runs at a greater pace than ever. Randy Johnson is one of the top strikeout pitchers of his era and continues to move up the all-time list. But what of this generation's great basestealers? Some of the finest stolen base artists in history still are playing, but they no longer are threats on the bases. Age is certainly a factor, and so are injuries.

But the game also has changed. The long ball is so predominant that players and teams place less emphasis on the steal. In fact, some discourage stolen bases out of fear of injury or erasing a potential two-run homer. The Cubs and Red Sox lead their divisions, yet they went into the weekend tied for last in the majors in steals. Chuck Knoblauch is the only player among the top 10 active career leaders who also is in the top 10 for the 2001 season. Here are the 10 active career stolen base leaders with their 2001 totals:

(Player,team,career,2001)

Rickey Henderson, Padres,1,380,10

Tim Raines,Expos,807,0

Barry Bonds,Giants,477,6

Kenny Lofton,Indians,471,8

Delino DeShields,Orioles,441,11

Roberto Alomar,Indians,426,10

Marquis Grissom,Dodgers, 406,4

Chuck Knoblauch,Yankees, 373,23

Barry Larkin,Reds,362,3

Craig Biggio,Astros,360,2

-- Compiled by John Romano.

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