Since the dawn of time, life has had few guarantees - death, taxes, ect. - and for the San Francisco Giants, Barry Bonds having an on-base percentage of .350 year in and year out. Things are different this year though, no longer will Bonds be a Giant, at least in terms of actively playing for the team, and he might not be anything associated with the league. To say the Giants have a "Giant hole to fill" is far too easy and cliché driven, instead let's look at just how much of the Giants' attack Bonds has contributed since 2000.
Why the year 2000? Only Conan O'Brien knows, and he's not talking, but for our sake that represents the first of Bonds' "big" homerun and walk seasons. Sure he hit 46 in 1993 and 42 in 1996, but from 2000 to 2007 he would hit 49, 73, 46, 45, 45, 5, 26, and 28; 317 homeruns, or roughly 42% of his career 762 homeruns. To give you an idea of just how many homers that is, you can take Alex Rodriguez, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Carlos Pena, Adam Dunn, Matt Holliday, and David Ortiz' 2007 homeruns, add them all together, and still only have 308 homeruns.
Since 2000 Bonds has equated for at least 13% of the Giants' runs scored with the exception of the past three years - including an injury decimated 2005. An example of just how dominating and Bonds-centric the Giants bats were, Alex Rodriguez' 2007 takes credit for 14.7% of the Yankees total offense. Using the same example, Bonds reached base nearly 13% of the Giants total since 2000, Rodriguez' 2007 was about 13% as well.
Not only was Bonds getting on, he was also scoring runs, of course that's not necessarily all Bonds doing. There are a few ways to score a run, namely either hitting a homerun or being on base when a homerun or other hit scores you. However the supporting casts have dwindled significantly since the days of Jeff Kent, with the Giants slotting in Aaron Rowand to placate Bonds' gap they're also depending on the likes of Bengie Molina to get on base more so Rowand's at-bats mean more than a single run can score. Molina has walked 152 times in his career, Bonds walked 132 times in only 126 games last year alone.
Last week I asked if the team could possibly score 700 runs, a reader suggested the better question would be whether the team could score 650 runs. At first I dismissed the notion they could possibly score less than four runs per game, but upon reflection it's actually quite plausible, barring something that Grant Brisbee - one of the best bloggers around - over at McCovey Chronicles discussed recently; flukes.
If nothing else the rotation should be solid, it would just help if Brian Sabean noticed that letting Bonds go would create what amounts to a super massive black hole that he had no hope of actually filling it in any effectiveness with the addition of one slightly above average center fielder. Or, in the theme of lacking run...on sentences, just rebuild the right way all ready.