"Looking dejected and walking with crutches, Giants slugger Barry Bonds said Tuesday his slow recovery from multiple knee surgeries could force him to miss the entire season." Okay, it's not nice to wish ill upon another human being, but all of a sudden, wasn't the spring sunshine just that little brighter, the sky fractionally bluer, and the breeze a tiny bit more zephyrlike? Though I can't help thinking this was probably Barroids the drama queen's idea of a joke at the media's expense: he'll probably miss, like, two weeks. Still, gives me justification to slam him on my fantasy 'do not draft' list - though he'd have been on there anyway.
I'm trying hard not to gloat; only last year, we lost our best offensive slugger when Richie Sexson went down in April, and never really got back up again. But it's a relief to be reminded that that kind of bad news does happen to other teams, rather than just us, as it seemed last year. Bonds is still blaming the media though: "You wanted me to jump off the bridge, I finally have jumped. You wanted to bring me down, you've finally brought me and my family down. Finally done it." Really. I guess it was the media who cheated on your wife, failed to declare your income to the IRS, paid the rent on your mistress's house in Scottsdale for almost a decade, and told her you did steroids? Oh, sorry: that was you, Barry, wasn't it?
The icing on the cake here is that last September, the Giants "dropped a provision that would have allowed them to void Bonds' $18 million salary in 2006 if he failed to reach 500 plate appearances this year or 1,500 combined from 2003 to 2005, including at least 400 this year." Sheesh. All of a sudden, Richie Sexson's salary last year is looking like damn good value for money, in comparison to that black cloud, looming on the financial horizon over the Bay Area with a label dangling from it, saying "Worst Case Scenario".
What would be the impact on the D'backs? Probably not all that much, in terms of actual victories. Last season, Bonds was worth 57 win shares, while likely replacement Pedro Feliz was worth 14. At worst, Bonds misses the whole season: assuming everything else is the same, the Giants will lose about 14 games more (57 less 14, divided by three - one win equals three win shares), putting them at 77-85 over a full 162-game season. No playoffs there. However, they only play 19 against Arizona, meaning we'd get just 1.68 more wins because of SF's Bondslessness. And even that wouldn't help us in the standings, since every other NL West team will get the same boost.
Truth is, the Giants are less an issue than we are. Last year, we only posted a winning record against one NL team - the Cubs, from whom we took four of six. Our record playing our division rivals in 2004 was no better than 7-12 (vs. San Diego) and runs all the way down to 3-16 (against the Dodgers). The loss of Bonds is helpful, if it lives down/up to the gloomy prognostications of the man himself, and provides an incalculable morale boost. But it doesn't turn us into contenders, anywhere near so much as it crosses the Giants off the list.
Haircut done, I'm off to slump in front of the TV for my first dose of baseball since the World Series. Hooray! Spring is finally here. :-)