As Eric mentioned a few days ago, all of us here are recapping some of our more memorable moments from this season part. To lead off my own such list, I don’t have a moment per se, but actually a lack of a moment. The moment I am talking about is the first plate appearance from one of the top hitters of 2007, one of the top three hitters of all time and the man possessing the all time home run record.
Barry Bonds made zero trips to the plate in 2008. He had a 4.88 WPA/LI in 2007, nearly 44 BRAA, and created 10.29 runs per 27 outs. He posted an OPS of 1.045 last season. It would be one matter if Bonds had voluntarily retired, but to see a player of such magnitude, of such ability, who was showing little signs of not being able to sustain a high level of performance through 2008 at least be forced out of the game is astounding. Almost as astounding as the near total lack of coverage it has received. This is arguably the best player ever in baseball history and not a single team was interested enough to give him a one-year deal? It’s far too bewilderingly.
It’s sadly now impossible to talk about Bonds without the issue of steroids coming up. I understand why that can be a hot button issue for some and why some might be perfectly happy to see Barry Bonds no longer playing baseball because of it. Putting that aside though, isn’t it incredibly suspicious that there wasn’t any interest from any team? Not during the offseason, not during Spring Training when the first spate of injuries came down, not when the first teams that thought they would be contenders turned into pumpkins, not when the trade deadline came around and not when the teams with likely postseason hopes had their final chances to add a big bat in the hopes of some October magic.
Will Bonds be back for 2009? It seems unlikely at this point, but his zero at bats in 2008 was one the most memorable parts of this season for me.
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