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Happy birthday, Barry Bonds

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The big (s)lug(ger) turns 49, is still awesome.

wait he was left-handed? - photo credit
wait he was left-handed? - photo credit
Ezra Shaw

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I don't know what you've been doing for the past two days, but that's what I've been doing. I want to kick steroids right in the needle, which is the closest things steroids have to privates. But that would kind of hurt. Luckily, there's a reprieve! An opportunity to celebrate one of the most polarizing players in baseball!


(From Natto, of course.)

It is Barry Bonds's 49th birthday. Goodness. It seems like just yesterday that he was in his 40s and the best hitter I've ever seen. Because, well, it really wasn't that long ago. He caught baseballs that were hit off Matt Cain, and that guy's still pretty young.

More importantly, Julio Franco played past his 49th birthday. Barry Bonds never really retired, and he probably would have liked to play until his 49th birthday. This brings us to the super-special-birthday question of the day:

If Barry Bonds were on a roster today, what would he hit?

This is tough. First, you would have to assume he was clean, and we have no idea what he would have hit as a clean 40-something six years ago. So it's a little hard to guess at what he would hit a few years later.

That's six years of advancing age, of achy knees, of achy backs, of noses falling off just because that's what happens when you get older. He might have not even been able to stay on the field for more than two games. Most 49-year-olds would make Freddy Sanchez seem like Cal Ripken. Well, okay, maybe not that drastic. Would make Freddy Sanchez seem like Ray Durham. Yes, that works a bit better.

Before you answer, let's take a short break:

Ahhhhh. That felt right. Really, there should be an Open Bonds Thread every day where we post videos like that and tell the same anecdotes over and over again.

Now that you've studied up on the issue. We get to answer the question. Rickey Henderson hit .270/.456/.403 in the Golden Baseball League when he was 46. That's about as close as we can get to a proper comp, and it doesn't really help us at all.

Let's say 150 at-bats. Off the bench, mostly. Almost no time in the field, if any at all. Over a full season, give me your predicted average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage for a 49-year-old Barry Bonds.

Oh man ...

Not sure about this one ...

AB: 150
HR: 14
AVG: .289
OBP: .494
SLG: .892

How did I do? Is that ... okay, maybe that's a little much. Honest answer, now. Here's my guess at 150 Barry Bonds ABs:

AB: 150
HR: 4
AVG: .210
OBP: .358
SLG: .438

The defense and speed would drag his value way down. But, golly, I wish we could get the chance to watch. The Giants have had a good run lately, but I still miss Bonds. Oh, goodness, how I miss watching Barry Bonds.

Happy birthday, Barry.