I’ll Preface this by admitting my bias. As a life long Giants fan, I’m still bitter that he won’t be in black and orange this season. I’ve put my neck on the line for Bonds before, carrying a Bonds is my Hero sign while sitting in left field in Philly, by far the nastiest experience in my following of Bonds.
With Bonds still searching for work I’ll admit the collusion ideas are becoming more plausible. It has always been my dream job to represent Barry Bonds. Today I pretend to live that dream. Here is my pitch to teams on why they want the Home Run King.
Barry can play
I don’t think many would argue with the fact that Bonds would have a tremendous impact in any lineup. Consider his numbers last year, in what was limited action because of being in the National League, multiplied by the fact that he could DH every day in the American League. Even if Bonds doesn’t hit as many home runs, the sheer fear factor of Bonds in the lineup mixed with his incredible patience and eye at the plate would guarantee a .400+ OBP.
Butts in Seats
While people are quick to point to the media circus that follows Bonds, they rarely point to what those crowds really mean—Ticket Sales. People will come out to see Bonds play, whether to boo or cheer is irrelevant to the bottom line. Bonds also relieves the pressure from any other player on the team. Barry Zito was terrible last year, but was able to hide in the shadow as Barry 2. This year without Bonds the media has all but crucified him.
Bonds can be a Role Model … Hitter
While even I won’t argue Bonds being a role model citizen, he may be the most disciplined hitter of his time, if not ever. Recently, ESPN ran a piece explaining how Bonds had sat down with Albert Pujols and given him some great advice on handling being walked at least once a game and still keeping that discipline. Bonds has a mental notebook logging tendencies of every pitcher he’s faced, something younger players could learn from. If Bonds is given a chance (and wants to be) that veteran voice in a clubhouse I honestly think he can bring good to the rest of the team. Even the books that are written criticizing Barry do explain his knowledge for the game being far superior. Bonds will occasionally visit ASU (where he played college baseball) and give hitting tips to the players.
The Man Wants to Win
Barry has all the records, and while he still may be looking toward 3,000 hits or moving up the All-time runs and RBI list, Bonds’ reason for coming back is to win. It is the one thing that has eluded him until now. And Bonds will deliver. Just look back to his only World Series appearance. He hit .471 over 7 games with 4 HRs 8 R and 6 RBI … and he was walked 13 times for a whopping .700 OBP. I’d say he wants to win—bad.
Save your prospects
Its simple Business of Baseball. If you are forced to acquire a big bat midseason it is going to cost you prospects. For a guy who could potentially hit 3,4 or 5 in your lineup and slug 20 HRs in the second half of the season, say goodbye to your Baseball American #1 or #2. Bonds on the other hand would come for half a year’s salary (which you wouldn’t escape via trade anyway). It will be hard for a GM to explain mortgaging the farm with Barry there for the taking.