For years the Giants needed Barry Bonds. They needed his polarizing presence to keep putting butts in the seats at AT&T Park. The 2002 team came up just short in winning the World Series. After 2004, the Giants failed to be a contending ballclub.
Instead, they became a sideshow with #25 front and center as part of the circus act. It was so blatently obvious that Bonds was taking some kind of performance enhancing drugs. His body had ballooned into something resembling The Incredible Hulk.
Bonds was still a tremendous hitter putting up awesome offensive numbers. Batting average, slugging percentage, and exponential home run numbers culminating in a record breaking 73 home runs in 2001 put Bonds atop the all-time list. He stayed around long enough to surpass Hank Aaron with 762 home runs to become the ‘home run king’.
Purists and critics who knew that the sport had been tainted by drug use haven’t taken these numbers seriously and the period in Major League Baseball from 1998-2008 has been coined the Steroids era.
Five years after his final season, Bonds has emerged to show that he is a changed person and wants to share his knowledge and wisdom in seeking a job with his former team. He’s also lobbying for forgiveness so he can enter the hallowed halls of Cooperstown and the holy grail of Baseball immortality: the Hall of Fame.
Bonds has a personal services contract that is to take effect upon his retirement. While he hasn’t played since 2007, he never officially retired.
Should he be allowed back into the confines inside China Basin as an employee? It’s a yes and no proposition.
Offensively, the Giants aren’t a great hitting team, they’re middle of the road. But what gives them the edge is their vaunted starting pitching and solid bullpen. Melky Cabrera, a tremendous acquistion in the offseason from the Kansas City Royals, leads the team with a .376 batting average and has the most hits in the majors. Although they’ve only hit six home runs at AT&T Park, the Giants are right in the thick of contending for the National League West, 6.5 games back of the Dodgers.
Back in 2005-2007 before the emergence of Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Pablo Sandoval, the Giants desperately needed Bonds. After winning the World Series in 2010, the Giants have become one of the most popular franchises in MLB. They don’t need to parade around a freak show to gain acceptance from the sports world. Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball while himself a hypocrite, wants nothing to do with him.
Good luck trying to convince the Giants they need you now Barry, because you are no longer relevant to the game.