Monday, October 09, 2006

Sorry, Everyone: Barry Bonds is Still Good

I keep reading columns that discuss Barry Bonds, but they all seem to be missing a rather important point. These pieces discuss Greg Anderson getting out of jail, and journalists going to jail, and whether or not he will come back and play next year. All interesting stuff, granted, and certainly a lot of stuff about jail. However, from the last week of the regular season until now, I don't think I saw a single mention of the fact that Bonds played fantastic baseball over the final few months of the season. (The one exception here is my buddy Stump, who discussed Bonds' play in his blog. Good work, Stump.)

Sometime after the All-Star break (I think it was late July), Bonds made a point of telling reporters that his knee was finally feeling better and that he wasn't in excruciating pain. Perhaps not surprisingly, the old Barry Bonds seemed to make a prompt return to the scene and serve as the Giants' best player during August and September.

Over the final two months of the season, Bonds hit .316 with a slugging percentage of .647 while hitting 12 home runs and driving in 29 runs. Again, these were the only two months of the season in which he was able to play without the sensation that someone was spinning a drill bit into his knee cap. Those kind of numbers over a full season would have left him with over 35 home runs and almost 90 RBI, while the slugging percentage would have been the fourth best in all of baseball.

Obviously, extrapolating split stats into full season numbers is always a dangerous game, but it makes you wonder, that's all. Maybe it wasn't the lack of 'roids or even Bonds' age that was slowing him down all season ... perhaps it was just a good old fashioned knee injury.

Do you think that information might cause Mike Lupica's head to explode? Boy, I hate to ruin a good witch hunt.

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