Highlight #3: Bonds’ No-Show

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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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


2 Responses to “Highlight #3: Bonds’ No-Show”

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  1. Scappy says:

    For all the twins fans out there think about this, if they had signed him for about a weeks worth of baseball they would have made the post season. Though to the Twins credit they did score quite a few runs, but there outfield bates leave something to be desired.

    For all the Jays fans out there, if they had signed him for the season they could have actually contended. Their offense needed quite a bit of help.

    The only reason that the pathetic offenses of the Royals, Athletics, and Mariners have for a reason to not sign Bonds (aside from legal issues) is because they were so bad it was more valuable to give the at-bats to an up and comer. Unless you are Bill Bavasi and you actually think your team is going to contend when they are projected to be below average. Jose Vidro was -1.11 WPA/LI. Replacement level as a DH !?!?!

    Hell the Royals could have signed for the spectacle. It probably would have put people in the seats for a little while. Same goes for any of the other teams that had trouble drawing a crowd.

    Any of the teams in the NL West (except San Fransisco) would have been wise to sign them as the entire division was so close it could have gone to anyone.

    As a Sox fan had Ortiz stayed on the DL I would have been glad to see Bonds step to the plate for us.

    I wish it wasn’t so hard to prove collusion. It would be fitting for an organization that turned a blind eye towards steroids to end up being taken down a peg by one of their scape goat.

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  2. big o says:

    i have always felt that billy beane traded away dan haren (3 year contract @5.5-6.5m/per) as a way of avoiding taking on mr. bonds as the A’s dh for 2008 .

    the A’s deal , no doubt , re-stocked their depleted minor league system , and will hopefully work out to their benefit in the long run .

    however , i don’t feel that the A’s would have received significantly less for haren had they waited one more year .

    i can understand why some owners would not want to get involved with the bond’s media circus …… but , he undoubtedly would have put fans in the seats of that “small market” team , increased revenue , and given A’s fans one more run at the play-offs , before the team went into a complete re-build mode .

    collusion at the corporate level is difficult , if not impossible , to prove .

    within mlb , the suspicion of impropriety surfaces because “favors” come in all shapes and sizes .

    as an aside , i would like someone to ask a-rod how he feels about bonds having been excluded . i’m sure he is not going to refuse the extra money , but the bonus clause in a-rod’s contract for becoming the home-run king has become more attainable as a result of this crap .

    come on guys …. 30 owners and a commissioner “for life” ?

    who’s getting a fair shake , here ?

    certainly not barry bonds .

    and certainly not you or I .

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