There are many things that can be said about Barry Bonds, most negative, but not all.
One of the positivies in the swirl of negative publicity that seems to follow Bonds wherever he goes is his fantastic season in 2007. In his age 42 season, Bonds hit 28 home runs and had 66 RBI. He also led Major League Baseball in walks with 132 and broke the most hallowed baseball record of all time, Hank Aaron’s home run record.
In addition to his walk total and power numbers, Bonds led baseball in on-base percentage with a stunning .480 clip.
Bonds’ on-base plus slugging percentage was over 1.000 on a team that he was the only great hitter in the line up. The San Francisco Giants wound up 20 games under .500 and scored only 683 runs. Scoring 75 runs on the year and knocking in the previously mentioned 66, Bonds accounted for well over one-tenth of the Giants runs.
Bonds also had only 94 hits his entire season, which means just under 30 percent of his hits were long balls. Playing in only 126 games and averaging just over one walk per game and still putting up power numbers as he did with a bad knee is amazing,
The only fairly weak part of his play in the 2007 was his fielding. His fielding percentage was .976, which isn’t very strong for an outfielder. Starting in 110 games in left field, Bonds had 168 chances with only two outfield assists. Also, Bonds had four errors which is a bit high for an outfielder that played in so few games.
A 42-year-old athlete just does not have these kinds of stats in any sport. Even if Bonds did take steroids to improve his performance, the numbers he put up are unfathomable. The proudest moment, I would think, for Bonds in the 2007 season was when he hit his 756th home run off of Mike Bacsik in August. Not only did he hit a home run, it went 435 feet, showng unusual power for an aging athlete.
Barry Bonds’ 2007 season may not have even been his strongest season as an aging athlete (some could make the argument his 73 home run season in 2001 was better), but the fact that he was able to squeeze out as many home runs as he did on a bad team proves that he truly is a great athlete. We could argue for years over whether Barry Bonds is a cheat to the game or if he isn’t.
To be honest, I think he did juice-up with steroids, but that is for the courts to decide.
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