I have a new FSN column up here, and it deals with what the Giants can do with their offense. Not to spoil the best part of your sad little lives - which is reading my magical prose - but I basically said the only realistic thing to do is cross our fingers, and hope Bonds becomes BONDS. It isn't out of the question for Bonds to start trampling villages, eating peasants, and swatting anything within an inch of the strike zone again. I was having trouble buying the idea he's lost whatever it was he had. Last night convinced me to dream.
This Bonds is about 40% of the last Bonds we were able to watch in 2004. He still gets on base, but he isn't crushing every single pitch that he has an opportunity to hit. Few ever have. So maybe it's unrealistic to hope for Bonds to get back to that level, because it was unrealistic for anyone to reach that level. Fair enough, but I can hope for 50 or 60% of the old Bonds.
Last night, he had two vintage Bonds at-bats. The first was somehow putting a level swing on a fastball that was both outside and high, driving it for the longest single in baseball history. The home run swing was even more encouraging. When Bonds was right, it wasn't as if every home run came on some majestic moon shot. There were plenty of swings where the body contorted and last-second adjustments were made, but the swing always remained level and quick through the zone. We really haven't seen too many of those this year, as Bonds has been more apt to feast on the obvious cripple pitches.
The homer came from one of those swings. Bonds crouched to pull the pitch, and ended up stinging the pitch out in about a half-second. It's fun to watch the arcing shots zip past some kayaking goober 500-feet away, but the unorthodox homers are almost more encouraging. They're more a demonstration of his strength, and a better indicator of a healthy swing. And a healthy swing from both Bonds and Alou would make the wheels of the bus go 'round and 'round, to quote Robert Plant.
Comment starter: So, like, do you know what I'm getting at? Not really? It makes sense in my head. Go Giants.