Barry Bonds had a .609 on-base percentage in 2004.
Really, that should be the post. That sentence is 1,000 pages of information, and you can read it like a novel in your mind. It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And you're never going to believe this, but the 2004 Giants led the National League in OBP. They were second in runs, too, possibly because of their star player having one of the greatest seasons ever.
But Bonds didn't stick around. And when he and his .480 OBP didn't come back to the 2008 Giants, there was OBP-related misery that followed. Since then, the Giants haven't done so hot when it comes to making outs. Let's see if there's been any improvement on the OBP front.
2008: .321 (14 out of 16 NL teams) (25 out of 30 MLB)
2009: .309 (16 of 16 NL) (30 of 30 MLB)
2010: .321 (10 of 16 NL) (20 of 30 MLB)
2011: .303 (16 of 16 NL) (29 of 30 MLB)
2012: .327 (4 of 16 NL) (8 of 30 MLB)
2013: .320 (7 of 15 NL) (14 of 30 MLB)
"When you can't get on base as well as the league, figure out a way to make the league to get on base as poorly as you." - Branch Rickey
It's not exactly a trend moving upward at a 90-degree angle, but the Giants have had better OBPs relative to the league in the last couple years. Last year, they got competent pitching and won the World Series. This year they got incompetent pitching and were basically eliminated by Father's Day. So it goes.
But it's a lot better to type "7 of 15" than "16 of 16." The Giants' offense was frustrating this year, but it wasn't as incompetent as we might remember. At least when it comes to getting on base. But there's a bigger problem: lack of dingers. Obviously, AT&T Park has something to do with that, but let's look at road homers over the last six years to eliminate the park completely from the equation:
2008: 49 road HR (16 of 16 NL) (30 of 30 MLB)
2009: 57 HR, (14 of 16 NL) (28 of 30 MLB)
2010: 87 HR, (1 of 16 NL) (4 of 30 MLB)
2011: 79 HR, (5 of 16 NL) (12 of 30 MLB)
2012: 79 HR, (10 of 16 NL) (20 of 30 MLB)
2013: 63 HR, (11 of 15 NL) (26 of 30 MLB)
The Giants don't have Cody Ross, Juan Uribe, or Pat Burrell hitting dingers anymore, and it shows. The numbers are dinged slightly because they play 4,390 games in Petco Park and Dodger Stadium in a season, but that's partially made up for with Coors Field and Chase Field.
There isn't a ton the Giants can do about this offseason but hope, either. Hey, Buster, hit more dingers. Pablo, more dingers. Keep up the dingers, Hunter. Hit the weights, Brandons. And when you keep seeing rumors about Jose Dariel Abreu, this is why. Dingers. The Giants need dingers. You knew that. But they aren't that hopeless when it comes to avoiding outs. They're pretty okay, actually.
At least it's a different kind of feckless, this team. Maybe this offseason, Santa will bring us feck.