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?And he just hit another home run tonight.
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.
If he keeps up this pace -- impossible, obviously -- he projects to end up with 95 home runs and 216 RBIs for the year. Of course, the other major "projected" statistics are the same as what he has done so far: a .500 batting average, .638 on base percentage, and a 1.265 slugging percentage.
I honestly don 't think Barry was ever using steroids -- yes, I believe him, because he has consistently told the truth to his detriment -- but if he is using something, it must be a lot better than what everyone else is using.
Or maybe it's not the medicine but the method.