One month of the MLB season is in the books and the Home Run King is still filing for unemployment. We are all aware of the P.R. baggage that comes with Mr. Bonds, but is it worth the risk?
Several "contenders" in both leagues are currently dealing with major injuries and prolonged offensive slumps. Without the veteran production of Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada (both currently on the DL), and the imminent decline of Damon, Jeter and Giambi, the relentless Bronx Bombers of the past are mere shadows of their former selves.
The Yankees's lack of hitting is further compounded by Hughes's trip to the 15 day DL, Ian Kennedy's ineffective outings and the struggles of the bullpen (excluding Joba and Mo of course).
Wang, Pettitte and the more recent Mussina have kept the Bombers in games. But, it is unlikely that all three men are capable of completely shutting the opponent down on a regular basis.Wang is a big time ace, but Pettitte and Mussina are not Brandon Webb and Jake Peavy.
Number 25 may not be available in pinstripes, but wouldn't Barry fit nicely in the clean up spot between Abreu and Giambi/Matsui until the return of "Alexander the Great".
Not only does the short right-field porch of Yankee Stadium (and Fenway Park) play into Bond's strength, but AL arms would also be forced to pitch to him. Bonds (.444 career OBP, .607 SLG) would be sandwiched between arguably the two most disciplined hitters in baseball (Bobby Abreu .407, .499 and Jason Giambi .410, .535). This is only until the reigning AL MVP (.388 OBP and .577 SLG) returns.
Other contenders: the Red Sox and Tigers also have injuries and question marks. Which returns us to the initial question of risk? My answer is YES. The Yankees and Detroit have admitted steroid users on their roster. Most importantly, they are both in need of a player that can put them over the edge. Barry Lamar Bonds is the ANSWER…
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