Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another What if...

Barry Bonds signed with the Red Sox in 1992.

Murray Chass said it could have happened.

Dennis Gilbert, Bonds's agent at the time, wanted an average that exceeded $7.1 million because that was the yearly salary average of the contract Ryne Sandberg had signed with the Chicago Cubs earlier that year. Sandberg's average was the highest in baseball history, and Gilbert wanted to surpass it.

That's why he went looking for a seven-year, $50 million deal for Bonds. He proposed it to the Boston Red Sox, and if they had said yes, Bonds would have gone to Boston....

....Imagine what a Red Sox acceptance of that proposal would have meant for baseball history. Despite the fact that he is a left-handed hitter, Bonds might have been able to hit 715 home runs with the aid of nothing more than Fenway Park's Green Monster. No chemicals needed, just a slight adjustment to his potent, and talent-filled, swing.

Imagine Bonds chasing Babe Ruth in the city where Ruth began playing major league baseball. Imagine Bonds being at the center of the fierce rivalry between the Red Sox and the Yankees.

Who knows how the events of 2004 would have turned had Bonds been in Boston, but maybe Bonds would have the World Series ring he has achingly coveted. Instead, Manny Ramírez has a ring.

Had the Red Sox said yes to the deal Bonds wanted, it's unlikely that eight years later, with Bonds presumably still aboard, they would have given Ramírez the eight-year, $160 million contract he signed with them in December 2000.

The Boston media would have had a great time.


Anonymous said...

900 homeruns.

Bryan said...

900 homeruns sounds correct when you are talking about him playing 81 games in a Triple-A field. Small dimensions and a poorly constructed right field foul poll (don't believe me? then don't get mad when Thome hits about 8 out of there in October).

Bonds on the team would also solidify the rest of America's hatred for the team. Outside of the New England area and Ben Affleck, everybody would be rooting against them.

Patriotsy2k said...

"America's hatred for the team". Are you getting the Sox confused with the Yankees? We dont have the most hated owner in sports, along with a monopoly on all high-market free agents.
Is that more of a knock on Bonds, saying that fans will NOW hate the Sox with him on the team?

Bryan said...

"Is that more of a knock on Bonds, saying that fans will NOW hate the Sox with him on the team?"

Yes and No.
Most people I know from around the country are quite sick of hearing about the 2004 Red Sox. They are sick of Jimmy Fallon, Ben Affleck, Dennis Leary, etc. You are right, you don't share a lot of characteristics with the Yankees, but you do share the love with them from ESPN 24/7. While the Yankees may be #1, the BoSox are a close second.

The Godfather said...

I think you are assuming Bonds would have performed in a tough city to play in. I don't think Bonds and Boston would have ever mixed and who knows when he actually starting taking any substances and if he would have had he been in Boston.

Maybe it would have been good for baseball for bad for Bonds to have come to Boston.

Alan said...

I have to ask Bryan, how is the right field foul pole poorly constructed? Is it made out of cheap wood?

Bryan said...

Forgive, for I have misspoke about the shrine that is Fenway.

Pesky's pole is short and an easy homerun for most power hitters. Yes, it may have the same dimensions as Wrigley, but I am one Cubs fan that thinks Wrigley should be bulldozed.

I'll predict at least 4 homers from Thome in the playoffs, right now.

Alan said...

Many Red Sox fans criticize Fenway too; especially after their back kills after sitting in those seats for a three hour game.

The placement of Pesky Pole is unique but it doesn't consistently help lefty power hitters. To get a cheap Pesky Pole homerun a lefty needs to hook the ball around the pole.

The right field power alley in Fenway is deeper than most parks, so usually when a lefty hits a homerun, he's earned it.

Thome may still hit plenty of homeruns this series, but it's more likely that Rusy Saenez and his bullpen friends will be to blame rather than the Pesky Pole.