March 22, 2005


Bonds on missing the season: 'Maybe' ( news services, 3/22/05)

A dejected Barry Bonds said Tuesday that there's a chance he might not return this season because of multiple knee surgeries.

"Right now I'm just going to try to rehab myself back to, I don't know, hopefully next season, hopefully middle of the season. I don't know," Bonds said. "Right now I'm just gonna take things slow. I feel bad for the guys because I want to be out there for them."

When asked directly if he said he might not be back until mid-season or next season, Bonds answered, "Maybe. I told you that before I left, remember? You thought I was joking."

Bonds arrived on crutches at spring camp Tuesday, bringing his son, Nikolai, to meet with members of the media.

While Bonds was defiant and confrontational during his first press conference of the spring Feb. 22, he was despondent Tuesday, using the word "tired" 14 times during his approximate 10-minutes session.

It could be just me--or that so many of my Rotisserie guys are affected--but it does seem that more guys are hurt and recovering slower this Spring than in recent years. That could, from what I understand, be a function of not having chemical help to speed the healing. At any rate, this'll give Mr. Bonds plenty of time for his perjury trial.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2005 2:30 PM

My guess is Bonds does not play again.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2005 4:02 PM

Yep he looked at Giambi's season from last year and decided to sit this one out. Giambi seems stronger and better this year, maybe Barry thinks a year's recovery is the ticket.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 22, 2005 4:20 PM

Since his injury is joint-related(knee), if he were on roids it will take forever to heal and it might not heal at all.

While Aaron is an over-rated tiresome racist jerk who spent most of his career in a jumped-up Little League park where my dog could hit 20 homers a season, Bonds is no better icon for baseball.

One hopes the Babe is safe too.

Posted by: bart at March 22, 2005 4:39 PM

Given revisionist history efforts by the liberal academia (Lincoln was gay, etc) look for someone to try and prove that Ruth was on 'roids as well.

Posted by: AWW at March 22, 2005 4:47 PM

"prove that Ruth was on 'roids as well"

No, I think it was Scotch.

Posted by: h-man at March 22, 2005 4:50 PM

C'mon Bart:

Yes, Hank's nursed the grudge a couple decades too long but racist jerk is a little harsh.

Also, he hit most of his home runs while playing for Milwaukee, County Stadium was not a big home-run park especially in April, May and September. Also, his Atlanta years were during the most favorable era for pitchers in the 20th century.

Even with park effects neutralized he was a tremendous player, his whining, however annoying doesn't negate that.

By the way, Hank is one of three players who was both a Milwaukee Brave and a Milwaukee Brewer. Anybody know the other two?

Posted by: Jeff at March 22, 2005 5:45 PM

oj - Rather than not having chemicals to help healing (any chemical that genuinely helps healing, they can get on a prescription), they may be waiting until all the 'roids are out of their system so that they can pass the new drug tests.

Posted by: pj at March 22, 2005 5:58 PM

He wasn't close to the player that Mays or Mantle were. Mays' career was really impacted by playing in the Polo Grounds, losing 2 years to military service and having been restricted to the Negro Leagues.

Posted by: bart at March 22, 2005 6:06 PM

That he wasn't their equal does not make him any less one of the handful of best players ever.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2005 6:33 PM

But it doesn't put him in the top 10 of all time, let alone justify his holding a record that should by all accounts belong to the Say Hey Kid.

Posted by: bart at March 22, 2005 7:26 PM

Actually, Bill James has him rated 12th on a list that includes (correctly) Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston. He's behind Ruth, Mays, Williams, Wagner, Musial, Mantle, Bonds and Speaker but ahead of DiMaggio and Gehrig. That's about right. James' method takes park effects into account. His comparative (slight) disadvantage is in OBP. I think that's a fair rating and close to where most of the experts have him. Don't blame Hank that the Stonehams let SF con them into occupying a ballpark on Candlestick Point. Still waiting on the two Brave/Brewers.

Posted by: jeff at March 22, 2005 8:27 PM


Repeat after me - Close only counts in.....

Of course Mays was better than Aaron. But Henry played at a high level for longer than Mays. And just how was Mays "restricted" by the Negro Leagues? He joined the Giants in the summer of 1951.

Mantle was overrated. Snyder was better.

Clemente was about equal with Mays (except for home runs).

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 22, 2005 8:31 PM

Mays played for the Birmingham Black Barons, starting in 1946 at age 15(I leave it to you to decide whether that was his real age), before he was in the MLB system. Mantle was a magnificent player whose HR total was also impacted by park effect. Right handed pull hitters in Yankee Stadium generally just get a bunch of fly ball outs. Clemente was a magnificent player but no Mays. He also had a comparatively low OBP, being the classic free-swinging Latino player. But then you don't walk off the island.

Posted by: bart at March 22, 2005 8:57 PM

If Mantle had been black he'd never have made it out of the minors.

Posted by: oj at March 22, 2005 9:06 PM

As Bonds recuperates, I hope he can cover the co-payments for his doctor visits.

Posted by: Jim Siegel at March 22, 2005 9:11 PM


Mantle was a switch hitter. The majority of his at bats he was aiming at that short porch in right. He only batted right handed against lefties.


Don't count on it. You're right in one respect, the Yankees wouldn't have signed him, not compliant enough, a Dodger perhaps or more likely an Indian. Veeck would have moved Larry Doby to right and played Mantle in center.


Go to compare Snider's and Mantle's career stats and come back and say that again. On the best day of his life the Duke wasn't in Mantle's class. I HATE the Yankees, but not so much to be blind to the obvious.

And the answer is: Hank Aaron, Felipe Alou, & Phil Roof

Posted by: jeff at March 22, 2005 10:23 PM

Bonds may not play again. But that is not evidence of Steroids its evidence of being over 40.

Jeff is right. Mantle was perhaps the most physically talented player in MLB history. The times when he was healthy he was incredible.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 23, 2005 3:06 AM