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The Home Run King at Last – What Should Bonds Do Now?

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A few nights ago, Barry Bonds ended his long-term home run saga by blasting number 756, by-passing legendary Hank Aaron. Bonds knew he had done it the moment the ball jumped off his bat. Visually relieved, he threw up his hands in sheer joy, exclaiming what one would most likely guess as something a long the lines of “Finally!” Well, being a Giants fan, I can tell you that we, Giants fans, are as relieved as he is. Even though it has been nice to have every single Giants game broadcasted on national television, the constant scrutiny and speculation have been rather annoying. This whole ordeal has been like a trip to a distant country. It’s fun while it lasts, but once over, you’re glad to be home.

So, now that Barry Bonds has finally ascended to the highest echelon of baseball (barring a World Series championship), what’s next for him? Well, if you ask me what would be good for the Giants, I would reply that letting Barry walk would probably be for the best. And I’m not talking about the countless intentional walks that every scared pitcher has offered Bonds over the last few years. I am talking about allowing Bonds to ride into the sunset once his contract is up at the end of the year. Going out on top is every player’s dream, and now that dream can become a reality. Why, you ask, would a devoted Giants fan want arguably the best player ever to retire? Becasue the retirement of Bonds would go a long way to helping the Giants in the future.

Have you taken a look at the Giants’ lineup of late? Well, here it is. Omar Vizquel, Dave Roberts, Ray Durham, Barry Bonds, Ryan Klesko, Randy Wynn, Benji Molina and Rich Aurilia. Every one of these players was very respectable in their hayday. But now, the lineup is exactly filled with spring chickens. The fact of the matter is the Giants need some new blood. And with Barry Zito undeservedly taking up a large part of the payroll for the next few years, the Giants need to get some funding someway or another if they want to build for the future. Sure, Bonds is a great player. But honestly, how long can he keep it up? In recent years he has become less and less productive, and seeing as how he is in his 40’s now, he is unlikely to have any kind of noteworthy resurgence in his career.

No, what the Giants should do is let Barry Bonds go. As hard as it is for me to say it, Bonds is no longer the future of the franchise. The future comes in the form of a handful of young players with huge potential; namely Matt Cain, Noah Lowry, Tim Lincecum and Fred Lewis. These youngsters are absolutely tearing up the MLB right now and have very bright careers ahead of them. However, even with all of that talent, each of the aforementioned up-and-comers currently receives a very meager salary, especially compared to the astronomical wages which Bonds and Zito command. Other teams are going to take note of this and will try to lure them away with more money. The only way to stop this from happening and ensure that the Giants will have the tools to be successful in the future is to let Bonds go and pay his younger teammates with the money the organization would have allocated for him. Needless to say, but the Giants is no longer Barry Bonds’ team. Yes, he is the home run king and yes, he is a shoe-in for the hall of fame, but it is time for Barry to retire and let the new faces to step into the limelight.

 

 

Nishan Wilde is VP of Sales for Robbins Sports and Athletics and a huge SF Giants fan.