April 22, 2008

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures?

Aside from a new GM, a legitimate leadoff hitter and a major league caliber pitching staff, what are the 2008 Washington Nationals' two greatest needs? An impact, middle-of-the-order bat and a publicity magnet to put butts in the brand new seats. Right? Do you think Frank Thomas is the answer? Nope, sorry, thanks for playing, go Build-a-Screech. The solution is painfully, and I emphasize painfully, obvious.

Barry Lamar Bonds.

Economy in the tank? Invest in Bonds.

The man sometime NTP commenter David Chalk calls the G-POPE (Greatest Player On Planet Earth, yeah I had to look it up too.) As regular readers of this here internet writin' place know, it pains me to agree with David about anything. But when you're drowning, it's kinda silly to hold out for a particular make and model of flotation device. And folks, right now the Nats are circling the drain.

Last year, at age 42, Bonds put up a .276/.480!/.565 line with 28 dingers. He makes Nick "The Walking Stick" Johnson look like Juan Pierre, combined with Wily Mo Pena-power. And unlike Wily Mo, he actually makes contact. Are you going to tell me that wouldn't look good in the heart of a Washington lineup? You don't like:
  • Guzman
  • Johnson
  • Zimmerman
  • Bonds
  • Milledge
  • Kearns
  • LoStrada
  • BelLopez

better than the in-house alternatives? Bonds does three things very well: takes walks, hits long balls and puts butts in the seats. Coincidentally, those three things have been conspicuously absent from your 2008 Nats.

Is this a perfect solution? No. Among other things, I doubt Barry is in game shape today. So there'd be a delayed payoff. Some backlash from the signing is inevitable, though I'd bet Dave's trust fund that the number of people turning in their season tickets would be dwarfed by the number of people turning out to see the improved, and much more watchable, Washington lineup. Because this is the NL, signing Bonds would inevitably cost guys like Pena and Dukes at-bats. But let's be honest, getting Wily Mo 500 ABs was a goal, not the goal. Barry's not going to play 120 games in LF. If Pena or Dukes need additional starts to stay "sharp", platoon them with Kearns, who ain't exactly setting the batters box ablaze anyhow or Milledge, who seems to be in need of a defensive sub sometimes.

It gives me no particular joy to advocate this signing. I'm in the camp of those firmly convinced that Barry Bonds knowingly used PEDs and sacrificed his legacy in pursuit of the home run record. Though hell, with Paulie LoDown on the team, who are we to go casting stones? May as well milk the last few points of OPS+ out of Bonds and make the summer a little easier to endure. After all, we know money isn't the issue!


Watson said...

From everything we've heard Bonds is a clubhouse cancer. Why would you want to give him any amount of influence over our younger players?

I don't care if he hit 98 homeruns last year, I don't want that guy on my team.

Nate said...

So you're on record preferring a slow, painful death from clubhouse malnutrition? Sure Bonds is a me-first guy, but which youngsters is he going to corrupt? You see Milledge demanding his own barcalounger and posse?

Well okay, maybe, but it'd still be worth it just for the 98 dingers.

Truth About It said...

Please....the last thing this club and it's youth needs is a gimmick that will set the franchise back.

Did we really think the Nats weren't going to take some lumps this year? Just gotta swallow them and move on.

Plus, a National League team signing Bonds without the DH option would be an absolutely idiotic move.

You might as well advocate bringing in a cartoon Paris Hilton to save the Simpsons.

Nate said...

Hey, Paris did okay by Carl's Jr. And I'm not advocating for Barry Bonds: Savior of the Franchise, I'm advocating for Barry Bonds: Making it Possible to Watch 5 More Months of Nats Baseball.