clock menu more-arrow no yes

These had better be some damn fine May flowers. The only way I'll tolerate this much rain is if a new May flower is discovered, and it leads to the synthesis of a drug to cure psoriasis or something.

Six games into the season, and Barry Bonds is quoted as saying, "I stink right now". He's kind of right. Bonds hasn't really embarrassed himself in the field, but he's still playing defense and approaching fly balls as if he were dressed in a full Chuck E. Cheese costume. That's fine and dandy, as long as the big guy is whomping some homeruns. Which he isn't. And that needs to change.

There have been some criticisms of Bonds' swing, and they certainly appear valid. He's using very little of his lower body in his swing, which makes one wonder about the power his gimpy knee can generate. It will be a long, dark season if these early struggles are indicative of a body handing in a resignation letter. The Giants are winning, but they are also hitting about .360 with runners in scoring position. That kind of luck isn't going to last, and they are still incredibly dependant on Bonds.

But this isn't the time to panic. If this is still going on in May, I'll be the first one to break the glass, and the first one to pull the alarm. We've seen these starts from Bonds before, though, and I'm not convinced the struggles are all physical. Pitchers have been pitching Bonds on the outside corner, and he's been trying to pull those pitches 800 feet. His lone extra-base hit of the season came on a beautiful swing, going with an outside location to drive it to the opposite field. Since then, he's been frustrated with walks and corner pitching.

After the limited at-bats and media frenzy of the spring, it seems as if Bonds is just pressing too hard. If there is one player, however, to trust in fixing his own swing, it's Bonds. In 2001, he started the season 3-for-31, with a home run and two walks. He rebounded to turn in a moderately decent performance for the year. At the time, though, there was a fear that Bonds had started his age-related decline. Unaware of his, ahem, rigorous new training regimen, the feeling in the early season was that it was almost time to prepare for the end of an incredible run of production. There was a minor panic.

It worked out then, and I'm not too worried now. The knee might be the problem after all, and it can't be easy to try and fix a swing after sitting out most of an entire season, so Bonds being the behemoth of old isn't a given. It's also easy to forget he's a 41-year-old man. But because I have no interest in curling up in the fetal position and sucking my thumb raw, I choose to write these early struggles off as rust.