BaseballProspectus wrote:I was going to write a bit about Barry Bonds, but Tom Gorman beat me to it. Suffice to say that Bonds is going to play a lot less in 2005 than he did in 2004. I wouldn't project him for more than 110 starts, which at the rate he walks, could mean fewer than 300 at-bats.
While this clearly has a major impact on the Giants' chances of winning the NL West, it also means that Bonds has virtually no chance to break Hank Aaron's home-run record this season. This is almost certainly good for him and for MLB, because the more time between this winter's ugliness and home-run #756, the greater the chance that it can be celebrated without reservation or innuendo. For as big an issue as steroids appear to be at the moment, in a year's time, the media--and certainly the government--will have moved on to other sensations.
I tend to agree. With Bonds' continual injuries, it seems like he won't be breaking the record this year. I'm not certain if he will ever break it (I think it would be nice to see him quit early, just to let Hank keep the record, though I know Bonds wouldn't do that), but, if he does, there is no worse time.
Next season, after a year of testing (with, I'd guess, 4-5 players being caught... I think it was something like 15-20 last year), the steroid controversy will have mostly disappeared. Sure, there will still be naysayers, but the casual fan won't really remember the steroid issues.