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Giants Slugger Continues to Dominate

By Jim Baker

MLB Insider

 

What, exactly, were we expecting from Barry Bonds this spring? Did we think a haunted scarecrow of a man, deprived of the magic elixir that made him whole, would be dragging his bat to the plate for lack of the strength required to carry it there? Did we think that, once in the batter's box, the batboy would help him hoist the lumber up to his shoulder and that there it would stay while he hoped the pitcher would miss the plate four times? Did we think that finally, out of desperation, he would feebly unlimber the bat and make a half-hearted slap at a pitch now and again, perhaps even fouling a few off, or, with some luck, dribbling one back to the pitcher?

 

Regardless of what folks expected, this much we know: at the advanced age of 39, Bonds is off to the best start of his 19-year career, bar none. He homered twice in yesterday's 7-6 loss to the Dodgers, giving him seven homers and 16 RBI on the young season. Through the first twelve games of the season, he has never quite gotten out of the gate like this, although 2002 comes pretty close. Here are his best Triple Crown stats through twelve games:

 

Home Runs:

2004: 7

2002: 7

1992: 7

 

RBI:

2004: 16

2002: 16

1992: 14

 

Batting Average:

2004: .500

2002: .400

1999: .366

1988: .365

 

Actually, to separate this year's start from that of two seasons ago (the year he won the batting title), it's best to look at OPS:

 

2004: 1.903

2002: 1.792

1999: 1.305

1992: 1.295

 

Bonds hasn't really had what you'd call a bad start since 1998 when he had zero homers and three RBI to go along with a .688 OPS after 12 games. His worst start ever came in 1991. In both cases he rallied to enjoy seasons that were typical for him at the time.

 

It's a good thing for the Giants this start comes when it has. Those who predicted Bonds would be an island unto himself surrounded by a sea of mediocrity are seeing their visions borne out. Apart from Marquis Grissom and Ray Durham (who is, unfortunately, day-to-day with a quadriceps problem), the Giants lineup has not been doing much to chip in.

 

J.T. Snow: Snow has never been one much for power, so he needs to be getting on base to justify his spot at first base, a position at which he excels but from which most teams get a lot more offense. Thus far, he hasn't been doing that.

 

A.J. Pierzynski: He will get better, of course, as he is currently almost .300 points under his career OPS. SBC Park is going to cut into that some, but he is bound to improve. He's only drawn one walk in 41 plate appearances, though.

 

Edgardo Alfonzo: No sign of the old Edgardo yet this season. He'll get better, but he will need to be more like he was in 2002 rather than last year if he is to help Bonds.

 

Michael Tucker: Looked like a bad signing when it happened over the winter and looks even worse now that the games have started.

 

Neifi Perez: One of the worst hitters in baseball has found his level already. He's currently within a few points of his career OPS of .685.

 

Pedro Feliz: Has yet to draw a walk in 25 at bats. Does getting to see Barry Bonds work a count every day have no effect on some people? Must be.

 

Dustan Mohr, Jeffrey Hammonds, Cody Ransom, Yorvit Torrealba: Currently a combined 3 for 32.

 

The Giants really do need to add a solid, every day offensive contributor to their lineup if they hope to stay in this thing in 2004.

 

 

"Neifi Perez: One of the worst hitters in baseball has found his level already. "

 

:lol :lol :lol

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Guest FishFanInPA

Do any of you know any community passwords to insider because I'd really like to see their seven round mock draft? it used to be the bigeast schools but they clamped down upon that and none of them work.

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