Do It! Why the Braves Should Sign Barry Bonds

When I first heard the news that Barry Bonds is willing to play for the league minimum I laughed: there’s no way would the Braves do this. Right? But I the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the Braves need to make this move. Here are my reasons for Bonds joining the Braves, along with rebuttals to potential objections.

The outfield. Forget Bonds as a designated hitter. The Braves outfield is so bad that it reminds me of my first impressions of outfielders from T-ball. Since the ball never made it to the outfield, the good players always played infield. I remember when I found out that Reggie Jackson played outfield and I said to my dad, “I thought he was good.” Well, the Braves outfield would never have changed my expectations. Brandon Jones, Gregor Blanco, and Jeff Francoeur: that is the worst outfield in the majors, by far. One of these guys has to bat in the six hole. Barry Bonds erases a giant hole in the lineup.

Won’t Bonds be a defensive liability in the outfield? My grandfather used to say, “What you lack in your head, you make up in your heels.” In Bonds’s case, we should add, “What you lack in your heels, you make up with your bat.” Seriously, Bonds’s OPS of 1.045 is not a minor improvement. According to Plus/Minus, Barry Bonds allowed 11 hits more than the average left fielder in 842 innings last year. He was +5 in 2006. In comparison, Jeff Francoeur has allowed six hits more than the average right fielder in 689 innings this season. Yes, Barry isn’t a great outfielder, he’s not so bad that you can’t play him.

But didn’t Bill James point out that many excellent players are good in their next-to-last season but terrible in their last season?
Yes, that’s not surprising. When you are old, and have a bad season it’s likely going cause you to stop putting forth the effort needed to get into playing shape. The problem with this type of analysis is that we don’t know if this is Bonds’s last season. What if he plays for three more years? The fact that Bonds posted a 1.045 OPS last year is good information that he is still an excellent player. His performances may slip, but he’ll have to slip awfully far to catch Golden Boy at .701.

What about that trial? Not a problem. The prosecutors have bungled the case so badly that the earliest his trial will begin is after the season.


Steroids
. He’s been a good player even since testing was instituted. Barry Bonds is a good player without performance-enhancing drugs.

No, I meant the taint of steroids.
Oh, that! Fans may talk the talk, but they don’t walk the walk. Let’s do a quick little thought experiment. What will happen to attendance if Bonds suits up at Turner Field? If you think it will go down, slap yourself and think again. Is that better? Two things will happen if Bonds puts on the Tomahawk. First, fans will flock to the novelty, and Braves fans can stop complaining that ESPN never shows Braves highlights—which isn’t even true. Fans will pay money to bring in magic-marker asterisks on poster board and chant “BALCO, BALCO.” This reminds me of my friend who had to take his sister to a New Kids on the Block concert. He reported that there was someone holding a sign that said “New Kids Suck”. Then why did you buy a ticket, you clod. Second, the Braves will win more games, and the team will have a legitimate shot at the post-season. Let’s face it, folks: the Ted is dead. Other than a Frenchy at-bat or when some idiot tries to start the wave—the wave is for football and basketball and is completely inappropriate at a baseball game (I’m talking to you shirtless guy with the backwards hat who is screaming “dude, get up!”)—the Braves game is a good way to get some peace an quiet. Bonds will cause a tremendous attendance boost. If you are still skeptical, give yourself another slap.

What about the legacy of Hank Aaron? This is the biggest obstacle, and I used to think it would keep Bonds out of Atlanta. But come on, folks. What damage will be done by Bonds playing half a season with Atlanta? What team did Hank Aaron play for? The Braves. The fact that he spent his final seasons on the Brewers didn’t make him a Brewer. Barry Bonds is a Giant. Playing one season with the Braves won’t make him a Brave any more than Babe Ruth‘s last season with the Braves did. His legacy is set. And if the Braves make it to the playoffs, fans will remember him positively. Heck, most fans still like Rafael Furcal despite is drunk driving problems. Atlanta is a safer place with Bonds than with Furcal. If you think this will tarnish the legacy of Aaron, get over it. The 755 club isn’t going away anytime soon.

If the Braves are one player away, why not get another player without the Bonds taint? Bonds is asking the pro-rated league minimum. There are no prospects to give up or big salaries to eat. This is one of the best reasons to sign Bonds. The team can improve now, without sacrificing the future. In fact, the additional revenue brought in by Bonds can be used on the free agent market next year.

Won’t Bonds poison the clubhouse chemistry? Bonds is a jerk, but so are a lot of baseball players. Some of these jerks play on this Braves team. One thing that the Braves have been able to do that other teams have not is handle clubhouse problems. Gary Sheffield played two seasons in Atlanta and there was not one issue. Sheffield may be an even bigger jerk than Bonds. Sheff seeks out attention, while Bonds responds when prodded. That won’t happen in Atlanta. Could things go south? Of course, but so what? It’s not like he’s going to sink a contending team. And after the year is up, he will be sent on his merry way.

Check out this lineup.

Kelly Johnson
Mark Teixeira
Barry Lamar Bonds
Chipper Jones
Brian McCann (Holy crap! McCann is batting in the six hole?! Oops! I originally had Escobar at leadoff.)
Yunel Escobar
Gimpy
Wimpy
Pitcher

So, Frank Wren get on the phone to Jeff Borris. The Braves need Barry Bonds. Do it, do it now.

Addendum: For those of you who are so deeply offended by my batting Mark Teixeira second, here are the optimal run-scoring lineups according to Baseball Musings Lineup Analysis tool.
With Bonds
Without Bonds

66 Responses “Do It! Why the Braves Should Sign Barry Bonds”

  1. Rick says:

    OK. I actually like this idea. It’s a win-win for the Braves and for the fans. At the worst, if Bonds does perform at near Francoeur levels you DFA him. You also get the bonus of having Terrence Moore praise the “forward thinking front office” for having the balls to sign Bonds. Then you also get to see Mark Bradley climb onto his soapbox and decry the FO for doing the exact same thing. What most people fail to realize is that Bonds was already in the HoF before the steroids controversy came along. They also need to ask Hank how many greenies he took on a daily basis.

  2. “They also need to ask Hank how many greenies he took on a daily basis.”

    All right; that’s the Comment of the Year.

    Hadn’t realised the Braves were only four games out of first and six-ish out of the Wild Card. So there’s no reason Bonds wouldn’t do it.

    Collateral benefit: those of us who are using the word “collusion” to describe the collusion would take at least a day of rest, not to mention figure out when next we could see the Braves.

  3. CG Hudson says:

    If the MLB ownership weren’t the colluding bunch of schmucks that they are, then the Mets would beat the Braves to this easily.

  4. Steve says:

    You can make an argument for any team to sign Bonds. I would take Bonds on any team especially an AL team where he could DH. Hell if he wanted to throw on a red Sox jersey i’d even take him just for while ortiz is out for 500k lol. Pretty much any team besides the Red Sox and the Angels really would benefit GREATLY by adding Barry Bonds to their roster. If nothing else he’s still got a great eye and pitchers still fear him and don’t want to throw to him. I know that with a game on the line, i’d walk him.

    Organizations need to get over themselves and realize that this guy even with the drama is worth a minimum of 7-8 million for the rest of the season. I’m surprised the yankees don’t hop on this as a DH. Throw Matsui back into the outfield and bring in Barry Bonds and I don’t think any team in baseball really stands a chance. Imagine swapping a weak batting Melky Cabrera, for barry bonds. CAN YOU IMAGINE A-ROD AND BONDS BACK TO BACK? I hate to say it as a Sox fan, but that would DWARF Ortiz/Ramirez. These guys are the two greatest hitters possibly of all times, right up there with ted williams, babe ruth, hank aaron, pete rose ect.

    I’d go ahead and say that if they sucked up their pinstripe pinhead pride and signed this guy they could DOMINATE baseball as they did in the late 90′s. Read below for proof.

    1. Johnny (needs his beard back to hit) Damon (CF)
    2. Derek Jeter(SS)
    3. Bobby Abreau(RF)
    4. Alex Rodriguez (3B)
    5. Barry Bonds(DH)
    6. Hideki Matsui(LF)
    7. Jason Giambi (1b)
    8. Jorge Posada (ZOMG FORCING posada to the 8hole. thats scary) (C)
    9. Robby Cano (2nd base)

    CAN YOU IMAGINE???? Yes you are sacrificing alot of defense. But losing that weak spot (melky) in the lineup and replacing it with a power house like barry bonds would make them by far the best offensive team in baseball. Its amazing how one small change such as this would bring them so far up.

  5. Steve says:

    sorry for the double post but i especially dont understand this since they had no problem signing sidney ponson who has plenty of drama that goes along with him.

  6. DHD says:

    I would rather lose the rest of our games than have that jerk in left field. Sorry, you’re wrong.

  7. Joe says:

    At first I was willing to give a listen to hear you out and I’ll admit I strongly considered whether the Braves should do this. But then I got down to your lineup and realized you know nothing about baseball and your whole Bonds to Braves argument went out the window. Tex is not a #2 hitter. Chipper is the #3 hitter. Why would the entire lineup be thrown into such unneccessary chaos for a 40+ year old slugger who hasn’t played since September of last season? Bonds would at best be the #5 hitter behind Chipper and Tex. He aint the show here. The Braves are not a win-at-all-costs type of team (like the Yankees). They are a win-it-the-right-way type of team. The Braves are better off looking within or seeing if there is a power hitting LF on a losing team who is on the market.

  8. JC says:

    DHD, I’m not wrong. 2+2=5 is wrong. My opinion differs from yours. I have made my case, do you care to persuade me to change my mind?

    Wow Joe, I know “nothing about baseball” because I put Tex in the two-hole? Just so everyone knows, I don’t really care exactly where Tex, Chipper, Bonds, or McCann bat. I just want them in the 2–5 spots. But if you want to give those guys fewer at-bats a game, I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise. The batting order doesn’t matter all that much anyway.

  9. caleb says:

    Hey man i appreciate the thought but you obviously do not know the braves organization as of now. They hardly ever sign players of high attention. They love to use their farm system thats the way it will always be. Also your generalization about the braves outfield being aweful is the biggest joke since the democratic party. Mark Kotsay and Matt Diaz are very good in the outfield and do you know how many assists Jeff Francoeur has had? He is tied for the most assists in the Major Leagues this season. His powerful arm prevents people from scoring on sac. flies all the time. I think it might help the braves a little bit but in the end it will never happen and It is a good decision no one wants that type of distraction. Even thought they are in the middle of the pack they wouldn’t want it hell even the mariners wouldn’t that. I guarentee you this will never happen.

  10. JIm says:

    Bringing Barry to Atlanta for half a season – I’d buy that. But Frank Wren just hasn’t been the type of guy to pull off something like that. It might be that he is living in the shadows of John Scherholz. JS would have made the trade, if for no other reason than for it to be seen as a blockbuster trade. It seems as thought Wren is afraid to pull the trigger or that he just doesn’t have the ability and respect from other GM’s to negotiate a trade. Either way, Barry Bonds will not go to Atlanta for too many reasons. Mostly Wren’s inability to make a move.

  11. Michael says:

    Can’t believe what I am reading. Bonds to the Braves? Has it occured to you that maybe Braves fans all over are angry because Hank’s reord was broken by someone who had to cheat to do so? The fact that Bonds was a certain Hall of Famer before he took steroids makes the fact he did even worse. Jealousy of McGwire and Sosa (two other steroid freaks) isnlt an excuse to begin to indulge. And finally, who needs all the attention and the surly atitude based on his own victimization? And the Braves OF is the worst defensively? Really? When Kotsay is healthy?

  12. Phil says:

    Caleb, you are right. However, Wren is not Schuerholz, and Liberty is not TW. As JC points out, just from a revenue aspect this would be a huge win for the Braves. I have been thinking about this deal for the last two weeks now, and hope the Braves do it. I am a Braves lover and a Bonds hater, but who wouldn’t want him in the lineup. 40 or not, the guy can hit! From a defensive aspect, he may even be an upgrade to the current LF platoons. I do propose a different lineup though:

    KJ
    Escobar
    Chipper
    Tex
    Bonds
    McCann
    Frenchy (We’re stuck with her)
    Blanco
    Pitcher

  13. JD says:

    The logical conclusion for the team to take Bonds is the one that has Hank Aaron in the front office right? Bonds would get booed off the field in Atlanta, where any Braves fan of the last thirty years KNOWS that Hank Aaron is still the home-run king. Most Braves fans will never forgive Bonds for ruining the greatest player thats ever played in a Braves uniform (granted Babe Ruth finished his career with the Braves but he was all washed up by then). Anyone who suggests that the Braves organization or the Braves fans would allow Bonds to ever put on that uni are clearly not familiar at all with the Atlanta Braves. I hope this article is a joke (as a joke its kind of funny), but if it is a real suggestion: what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent article were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this website is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  14. JC says:

    Well, plagiarizing a line from “Billy Madison” certainly puts you on the intellectual high ground.

  15. JC says:

    Why are people so angry? Seriously, I don’t get it. If I am so wrong, then why aren’t any of the counter arguments persuading me? I’m not above changing my mind, but calling me an idiot doesn’t really sway me. I think it’s a good baseball move, and I made my case. What is so obviously offensive about this suggestion that I did not address?

  16. Megan says:

    Any true Braves fan reading this will get a knot in their stomach just thinking about getting Bonds. It’d be a distraction to both the fans and players with all of the negative media attention. Yes, its attention & money, but any team who signs him is gonna get that. Your lack of knowledge about the line up may not seem like a big deal to you, but if you’re trying to sell an idea to us, you might want to study up a little more, buddy. That city & these fans have the utmost respect for Hank Aaron, Bonds would be a much bigger problem than you’re making it out to be.

  17. Come on y´all! We need some homers! The Braves of the past lived off that. Blanco and Goldy aren´t cutting it. Di-az either. Escobar or Blanco have to lead off. KJ sucks at that spot, ask him yrself! Sign Bonds and if he sucks, cut him! No loss.

  18. Rick says:

    Wow. Using raw emotion to counter a logical argument is really brilliant. Personally, I don’t like Bonds, but this makes nothing but sense for the Braves to do from both a performance and a revenue POV. A few questions for the more emotionally charged among you. Try to not facts in your answers.

    Do any of you realize that Aaron played in an era when speed was passed out in club houses like candy. Hell, they had bowls of it lying around. Speed is performance enhancing. It was and is illegal. Using speed is no more or less immoral or unethical than using PEDs.

    JD-How did Bonds “ruin” Aaron? I’m really curious about this. He’s still considered by most people to be the greatest HR hitter of all time. He’s also considered by most to be one of the greatest overall hitters of all time. He is universally respected by everyone involved in any way, shape or form with baseball.
    How will Braves fans prevent Bonds from wearing a Braves uni?

    Caleb-You do realize that you need to combine the offensive and defensive contributions of a player in order to judge them. You can’t just use the assists that a player has. You probably judge a pitcher by wins and a hitter by RBIs.
    Francoeur needs to be platooned. He is a liability on offense and average on defense. Bonds would be the perfect platoon for him. He would waste RH pitchers. Francoeur looks like a child against RH pitching. Bonds needs to take days off. Perfect platoon situation for little cost.

    Michael-I’ve never heard a Braves fan say they are angry that Bonds broke the HR record. Bonds doesn’t care if he gets booed. He thrives on it. He uses his anger to fuel his game.

    Joe-The Braves are a “win it the right way” type of team. What is the “right way?” Is it having someone who admits to hitting his wife as the manager? Is it having a person who fathered a child with another woman while married as the cornerstone of your franchise?
    You do realize that the Braves had many players on the team that were juicers don’t you. Beloved players. You don’t think that the team knew they were juicing. That is very naive.
    Lineup construction is not that important over the course of a season as far as run production goes. Yes, some players do feel more comfortable hitting in certain spots. Others don’t care. The Cardinals have been batting their pitcher in the 8 spot this year. It’s actually increased run production with Pujols in the lineup.

  19. Kentavo says:

    Dude, this will never, ever happen.

  20. JC says:

    Megan,

    I’ve been a Braves fan my whole life. I live in Marietta, and I go to several games a season. I have watched or listened to every single Braves game for past 17 years. I’m not sure why having different preferences than you indicates some sort of intellectual or moral failing on my part. If you’d like to know more about what makes me tick, check through the past four years of my writing on baseball and the Braves.

  21. Smitty says:

    I’m all for it. I would bat him fourth or fifth.

  22. JC says:

    Kentavo,

    Was this post about the probability of this occurring? Now, put your shirt back on, turn your hat around, and sit down so I can watch the game, dude.

  23. Hawkmoon says:

    As a true Braves fan, heh…. I like this idea. I don’t love the idea of Bonds the person playing for the Braves, but I absolutely LOVE Bonds the batter hitting in our lineup. He instantly makes our lineup better.

    Think of how much better Chipper has been with Teixeira batting behind him. Can you imagine pitchers quivering in fear on the mound when they have to face Chipper then Teixeira then Bonds?

    And for the pro-rated league minimum? Get it done yesterday!

  24. Mick Chuck says:

    While I’m not sure I agree with the characterization of “worst OF in basbeball”, I can agree that it is in dire need of improvement. I hate Bonds as much of the next guy, but not quite as much as watching my Braves going down in a ball of flames.

    Fact of the matter is that Diaz is a defensive liability and a mediocre full-time player. Putting Bonds in left makes too much sense. Bonds can’t play every day (and Diaz shouldn’t). Both players are great in the clutch and pinch-hitting situations which gives us a premanent late innings option for the duration of the season. I have a hard time believing Bonds is any worse in LF than Diaz.

    Say what you will about the bad press that Bonds carries with him. Like JC mentioned, people will line up around the corner to come boo and hiss at Bonds. Last I heard, the haters’ revenues count the same as the die hard fans (who for the most part would rather watch the game from home).

  25. Nimbus Rodus says:

    It makes too much baseball sense to sign Bonds. High reward, very little risk. If he doesn’t product, boot him out. As far as the Aaron legacy, the first time Bonds hits one out of that bandbox in Atlanta will be the last time anyone boos when he steps to the plate.

    I’m a long time Giants fan and I’ll say that issues Bonds had in the past were centered with the press. He’s not a clubhouse cancer, regardless of how the press likes to portray him.

  26. JD says:

    My billy madison semi-quote was just a joke. I’m the kind of Baseball purist who believes that everyone in the Mitchell report should be banned from baseball and wishes every single player who used steroids would be found out and punished. Unfortunately thats unrealistic. My point is that I don’t think that Bonds should be in the Hall of Fame, much less allowed to play baseball anymore, and much much less on my favorite team next to good men like Tom Glavine and John Smoltz – people who I have grown up watching; guys that never used steroids and resisted the temptation to join hundreds of other players in tainting baseball forever.

  27. JD says:

    That Mitchell report statement was probably too broad and harsh on second thought. Guys like Andy Pettite and some others who were minor offenders are exeptions.

  28. Rick says:

    You either cheated or you didn’t. It’s like virginity. You either are one or you aren’t.
    How do you know that Pettite only cheated a little? Is it because he said he only cheated a little? Clemens denies using at all, yet he’s been convicted in the court of public opinion.
    What about Javy Lopez, Giles and other Braves that probably used PEDS. Pitchers, especially relief pitchers, benefit more from PEDs use than position players because they recover quicker from abusing their arm and can pitch more innings.
    If you’re going to ban players who took illegal substances then you’d have a lot of empty plagues in the HoF.

  29. Bob_Jones says:

    Good men like John Smoltz?

    The one that compared homosexuality with bestiality?

    Baseball has guys that took recreational drugs, PED’s, cheated on their wives, cheated on their taxes, had sex with minors, are alcoholics, have beat up fans, have beat up their wives and have thrown firecrackers at groups of kids…fans taking moral stances against one or the other leads to hypocrisy, just because there are so many skeletons in each player’s closet.

    What Smoltz said and what Bonds did are different of course, but let us not fool ourselves into thinking Smoltz is a paragon of virtue in the face of mean, nasty, cheating Bonds.

  30. Finch says:

    The fact is that the braves are missing there starting left and center fielders. Brandon Jones, in my opinion, is really up in the majors so the franchise can showcase him for a trade. Blanco, well I really don’t know why he’s getting time. But when healthy, diaz may be capable of holding the spot. Platooning may be better for him, but that doesn’t mean you go out and sign Bonds. I respect your opinion and see where you are coming from, but Bonds isn’t the answer. The other problem is that if he doesnt get the playing time he wants, he’s going to cause problems. Since he’s 40+ years old with a bum knee and the steroids shadow hanging over his head, this isn’t the route to take. If the braves have any chance of making the playoffs they need to go out and get some pitching and a left fielder that wasn’t so streaky as Bonds was last year.

  31. Simon says:

    I like this idea. I like it alot. I thought the braves should have signed him BEFORE the season. It makes even more sense now.

    Joe: lineup construction- ask Texeira if he wants to bat second for a third place team or fourth for a playoff team. I think I know the answer. Also take a look at the standing the braves are a LOSING team WITHOUT a power hitting left fielder. That is why they need Bonds

    I’m so pleased they haven’t signed Francoer to a long contract yet. If I was in in the FO I’d be ticking off the days till the contract is up and I get back my draft picks, though they’d probably spend it on another high school pitcher from down the road! Seriously are the FO aware that there are 50 states and you can draft players from ANY of them?

    Also the Braves seemed quite satisfied to have that pillar of the community John Rocker in their bullpen, my recollection is that the Braves dropped him when he started to suck not when he upset people.

  32. BBlackwell says:

    This is a phenomenal idea, and something I even suggested in the preseason. Of course, you get fans who trust what Jay Mariotti has to say over anything they could easily find on their own. “Joe” appears to be one of those fans.

    I want the Braves in the playoffs, and I want to see Chipper, Glavine, and the young core of talent to experience winning in the playoffs. A few months of a pretty quiet Bonds is fine by me.

    Two questions to JC, both of them serious:
    1. I know you really don’t care, but why not bat Bonds 2nd? Wouldn’t he probably have the best OBP of the 5? With advancing age and possibly declining power, he could still be valuable as a base runner in 42% of his plate appearances. I suspect some people will try to jump in and answer for you, but I’m not buying any answer that sounds like what Dusty Baker would say.

    2. Would Bonds give up his earring to sign here? We don’t allow them in the clubhouse, and I think for him to really work in Atlanta and win over these nasty fans, he’d have to play by Cox’ clubhouse rules.

  33. Millsy says:

    50,000 fans x $20 per ticket=$1,000,000 in revenue for one game.  So the Braves can pay for his entire salary 2 and a half times with one sellout.  I understand it’s not marginal revenue, but I’m sure there’s plenty of room for improvement in attendance.  If he hits, the Braves win, if not, the Braves cut him.  If he hits and the Braves don’t win…they trade him to a contender that needs a bat for prospects for next season.  And all for a 40% capacity crowd for one game.I understand fan loyalty.  But as an Orioles fan growing up watching Cal Ripken play, I had no qualms having Miguel Tejada play shortstop despite all of his problems. If the Braves win, Joe, Michael, and all the rest of you will gladly sit and watch the Braves take the East while JC asks you to stop cussing and sit down so he can see. Nothing will ruin what Hank Aaron has done, especially in the time he did it in and the ridicule he got for it. Thinking that Bonds can be booed off a field makes me laugh.

  34. mravery says:

    The only thing I take issue with is assuming that Bonds maintains his production level from his last year with the Giants. He’s a year older and all of that.

    Otherwise, I really wouldn’t have a problem; our OF sucks.

    Only problem is, it’ll never happen. I don’t think it’s the kind of club house that Bonds would agree to, and I don’t think the Braves would be interested. (That and the whole collusion thing.)

  35. Willis says:

    haha honestly you don’t know much about Braves Baseball.

    1.) Bobby Cox never wants to deal with Drug drama in the clubhouse, for example thats why we gave the boot to Justice, also cause he was a jerk.

    2.) Mark Texeria is our Clean-up hitter, Chipper will not be at Clean-up cause he perfers his 3 spot. Bonds would be a 7th Batter cause of his long rest from baseball.

    3.) We have a young OF. we are just using Brandon Jones as bait to show him off and Blanco is playing for injured Mark Kotsay. ALso rating one of the Top Candidates for All-Star Jeff Francoer.

    we are going for an OF for 2 or 3 years with power like Jason Bay or Raul Ibaniez.

  36. Ethan says:

    OK. Anyone here who is SERIOUSLY a Braves fan and is SERIOUSLY suggesting signing the MLB’s biggest d-bag and cheater in history should please leave and find a new team to root for. Rick, “I’ve never heard a Braves fan say they are angry that Bonds broke the HR record. Bonds doesn’t care if he gets booed. He thrives on it. He uses his anger to fuel his game.” WOW. If you really haven’t heard a Braves fan say that they are angry that Bonds broke the record, you either 1) Don’t know any Braves fans 2) Don’t talk to anyone in Atlanta or 3) Have the brain the size of a grain of sand. I live in Atlanta and DON’T know a Braves fan who doesn’t want to just tear Bonds apart.

    If this was purely a baseball move, I probably would sign him, but there’s a reason 30 teams have passed on him. No one is willing to piss their fan base of so much that they consider not liking the team anymore. If the Braves DID sign Bonds, I might never support the team again. I would go to the games, get left field seats, and boo and curse and hate on Bonds every day while he played in Atlanta. Hank Aaron is still the tru homerun king and will be until someone legit breaks it. No one even knows Bonds’ total off the top of their heads, because he doesn’t deserve that much thought. Our OF situation is pretty rough right now, but Kotsay and Diaz are coming back near the All Star Break. Brandon Jones has been solid so far, while Frenchy has been very ugly at the plate. An outfielder still is needed, but NOT Barry Bonds.

    Sitting there criticizing a couple of Braves players in 20 years who had slight character issues at one point in their careers is unfair. They have been one of the best run, best controlled teams in sports over that time. Rocker was a nut, Chipper did have issues (but it was 10 years ago and now is a leader), don’t even try the Smoltz stuff, and saying “Lopez, Giles, and other Braves” cheated is complete crap. Lopez was always a great hitting catcher and his knees caught up with him. I actually realize I shouldn’t even have to defend him or Giles. I have met them both personally and they are both very nice, not jacked, and were good ballplayers.

    The fact is that Bonds will NEVER come to the ATL. One more thing – the comments on Frank Wren by Jim are some of the worst things I have ever read. He has been GM about 6 months. He has already traded away a potential closer for a guy coming off some bad injuries in Kotsay. His “fear” of other GM’s? His “proven” inability to make moves? Are you F’ing kidding me? He has had the job 6 months! And he has already shown he will make a move. My gosh you are an idiot.

  37. John says:

    As a nationals fan, please don’t gripe about the Braves outfield being the “worst in all of baseball.”

    I’ll take Kotsay, Blanco, Diaz, and Francoer over Milledge, Dukes, Kearns, and Willy Mo Pena anyday.

  38. Adam says:

    I think a Bonds signing by any team would be overrated. Having the best player of this generation on your team is never a bad thing, but how many PAs will he really get? 300? 350? Even if he posts an OPS in line with expectations, that’s still only about 15 runs that he’s going to contribute. A bargain, but not really enough to put a team “over the top”.

    (Note: I did zero math when inventing that number, but I am attempting to account for his defensive liabilities in there. How did I do that without math? Magic, my friends. Magic.)

    Sadly, the fact that people are reacting this harshly to the mere idea of having him around is why Bonds won’t get signed: teams think that the cost of the inevitable media backlash is more than the difference between his salary and his production. I believe Tango made a similar point during spring training.

    #35: What universe are you from where Raul Ibanez is a better option than Bonds?

  39. Rob says:

    Ok folks, in the real world, winning isn’t everything it is the ONLY thing. I don’t care if they are purple, from Mars, if they eat raw dog crap, or anything else. I am a fan, a 14 years of playoffs spoiled fan. I want to hear Joe Buck talking about this very subject in October with Jurriens on the hill for game 2. All the other junk aside, he’d give us a LOT better of a shot for that to become a reality. Guys, let them say say how crazy and foolish we are (were) for signing him, but wow he sure did make a difference. I will so totally be going nuts when we win, if he is there or not. Which one of you “true” fans will be pulling for the other team in the playoffs? Seriously. Who? That’s what I thought. Go Braves. Roll Tide. (Seriosly only Bama fans are TRUE “Fan”atics.

  40. Terrie McQuirk says:

    JC,

    A lot of GM’s have probably had the same thought process as you. And I was just as shocked as you when Borris announced that no one wanted Bonds for the minimum salary.

    Therefore, what do you think is the likelihood that teams are colluding against Bonds? How might collusion even work, without the owners getting caught?

    And which do you think is the more likely scenario:

    1) All 30 GM’s sincerely believe that Bonds’ negatives (eg, ego, clubhouse distraction, media circus, bad defense) outweigh the positives (1.000+ OPS); or

    2) Collusion is going on.

    Or is there another possibility I’m not considering here?

  41. Millsy says:

    “If the Braves DID sign Bonds, I might never support the team again. I would go to the games, get left field seats, and boo and curse and hate on Bonds every day while he played in Atlanta.”

    -Ethan

    Interesting thought, Ethan. Last time I checked, though, buying a ticket to the game is supporting the team…at least financially. To boo Bonds is nothing new, he wouldn’t even hear it at this point, so you better come up with something new.

    I’m not a Braves fan, but I really like Matt Diaz. HOwever, Diaz isn’t this year’s answer and the Braves need something to push them over the edge with the Mets and Phillies (and I guess Marlins, too). Bonds very well could slip in performance from last year, but he would still be better than any other free agent outfielder, especially for the minimum salary.

    I can’t imagine there is active collusion going on, but I’m sure the legal troubles scare some GMs. I seriously doubt that his agent has thoroughly explored the ‘Bonds will play for the minimum’ with all the teams in the league. I could be wrong, but it sounds like he might want to attract initial interest in order to negotiate something well above that minimum.

    Could it be that no team wants to take that step, as one team diving in may create a desire for other teams to enter in bidding either to keep him from the team at the minimum, or because they say ‘hey those guys think he’s good, maybe he is’? Agents are sneaky, and I’m sure if some team told him they were interested, he would find a way to let the other teams know. Just a thought.

  42. BravesGirl says:

    1. Bonds would never be a fit in the classy Braves clubhouse, and if you knew anything about the team, you’d know they’d never sign him in the first place. He’s far worse than Sheff ever was.

    2. Who, in the Braves clubhouse, do you think is a bigger or equal jerk to Barry Bonds?

    3. Your lineup is unrealistic. KJ hits far better further down in the order. Chipper hates batting cleanup. Matt Diaz will be back soon, with his huge bat. (At the beginning of the season, he was tied with Ichiro for the second highest BA in all of baseball over the last two years.)

    The Braves need to get healthy, not sign a troublemaker.

  43. Nick Barnes says:

    I am a long time Braves fan , and this is probably a good idea considering the lack of risk and possible high reward , it doesn;t make me feel very happy though….
    However , if this were to happen this is the preferred lineup .

    Blanco/Escobar
    Kelly Johnson
    Chipper
    Bonds
    Tex
    Mccann
    Escobar/Blanco
    Frenchy

    . Aagainst a righty we coudl throw 5 straight power lefty bats at them . Against a lefty we could alternate lefty righty and make their relief decisions very difficult.

  44. SP says:

    This would fit with the Braves’ tradition of getting washed-up “name” players on the cheap (Ken Caminiti, anyone?). One concern I would have about Bonds’ production in Atlanta is the deep right field fence; McGriff seemed to send outfielders to the 390 sign on a regular basis after they moved to Turner Field.

  45. ryan c says:

    jc, i have read many of your posts and see you frequent braves journal often, but i never would have thought you would cave and suggest such an atrocity :)

    no, seriously, i think that on a “numbers” level, this might look like a good move, but on a professional level, considering the kind of clubhouse bobby cox likes to run, it will fall upon deaf ears.

    from a fans perspective, putting bonds in the lineup would kind of be like tuning in to the howard stern show. you might feel a little dirty to listen, but listen you shall. seeing the decline of fans enthusiasm the past few years at turner field, bonds sure would shake things up quite a bit. people would come out in bucketloads to see bonds, even though they might hate his melonhead.

    i say do it! a bonds acquisition, even though i despise him, would make for an interesting 2nd half of braves baseball. also, it would put a charge into an injury-plagued braves roster.

    from a media standpoint, they would have a field day with the braves organization and their moral, starting with:

    1. “a once well thought of franchise, the braves have dropped to an all-time low signing Bonds” 2. “that’s a disgrace to the all-time best brave hank aaron”
    3. “schuerholz would have never signed bonds”

    on second thought, i say dont do it.
    nevermind, i give it a go.
    i’m so confused.

  46. Wayne Bernhardson says:

    I wouldn’t take Bonds on my slowpitch team, but he does belong in the Hall of Fame (Steroids Annex, of course) and in prison (sharing a cell with Clemens).

  47. dan says:

    Do the commenters realize that the title of this post is, “Why the Braves Should Sign Barry Bonds” and not “Why the Braves Will Sign Barry Bonds”?

    JC is making a perfectly logical argument, and most people commenting are just calling him stupid for some ridiculous reason like “unneccessary chaos” in the line-up. If someone can prove to JC and the rest of us why Bonds would hurt the Braves (not just why it would never happen), we’d all like to hear it.

  48. Thomas says:

    JC, i am a die hard brave fan too and when i read this at first i thought, bad idea bad idea, but i have really thought about this and i would go along with bonds signing with us, if he doesnt perform, then we can just throw him out, plain and simple,but i know what bonds is about and i guarantee he will perform, this isnt just a great point for the braves, but for EVERY team in the bigs, great point JC.

  49. Madden says:

    Baseball is a sport. Sports are about competition. A lot of players cheated. Bonds just happens to have been the best at it. If he helps your team sign him. I can say that if he were to help my ball club id sign him. The NL is weak, Bonds could be the difference between not making the playoffs and playing in the world series. Cause lets be honest, they are not getting there without him or atleast some help. So if they want to win and they want to do it the best way. sign bonds.

  50. JD says:

    Thank goodness for some more real Atlanta fans. Thanks for the support Ethan. I had a great idea. I wonder what would happen if a link to this article was posted on the Atlanta Braves website. The answer – riots in the streets of the city and every man, woman, and child associated with the Atlanta Braves being flooded with angry mail and threats of finding a new team. If the Braves did sign Bonds, I’d probably never watch another game (on TV or in person). That’s a bold claim to make, and its hard to simulate the anger I would experience but it would definitely take some time for me to forgive the organization (a decade, not until the postseason).