Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can of Corn

When I think of San Francisco Giant outfielders, I think of Barry Bonds in left field, Willie Mays in center field and Bobby Bonds in right field.

Each of the aforementioned made just about every fly ball appear like a Can of Corn. And when you factor in their offensive output, this was the greatest outfield of all-time in San Francisco Giant history.

Barry: His arm may not have been the best but his throws were accurate. He got to the ball and got it in to the cut-off man quickly enough to keep the runner from getting an extra base, more times than not.

His offensive numbers:
AB-9847 R-2227 H-2935 2B-601 3B-77 HR-762 RBI-1996 SB 514 CS-141 AVG. .298

If you don't think major league baseball is a good ole boy league then ask yourself why nobody gave this man an opportunity to play when he said he could. After all he has accomplished and the fact that he honored every contract he ever got he should be at least allowed the chance to go out on his own terms. IF NOT FOR THE FACT THAT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL IS A GOOD OLE BOY LEAGUE, STILL!

Bobby: His arm was a cannon and he was known to strikeout too much. But when you factor in his ability to steal bases and the power he possessed in an age when batters weren't really looking to have the good walks-to-strikeout ratio, I'll take Barry's dad in a heartbeat.

His offensive numbers:
AB-7043 R-1258 H-1886 2B-302 3B-66 HR-332 RBI-1024 AVG. .268 SB-461 CS-169

Willie Howard Mays Jr. It's been said he was the greatest ever. Well the old man was pretty good in his day and was compared to Oscar Charleston, a great Negro League player. Willie Jr. was called "Kitty Kat" in his days of the Negro League because of his baserunning and fielding prowess.

Willie was my favorite ballplayer while I was growing up and that was at a time he was on the downside of his prime. I first recollected Willie Mays patrolling centerfield at the gusty Candlestick Park, where the flags were always flapping as if attached to a speedboat racing in the nearby bay. When the stadium was not enclosed and they had the phony high school type bleachers. The year was 1965. That year Willie belted 52 homers on his way to an MVP season. But it was also his 14th year in major league baseball and he was 34 years of age. At this time of his career he was probably past his prime but because the man was so great on the baseball diamond his skills allowed him to continue playing without losing a beat.

Finely tuned athletes, of limitless abilities, often go beyond reasonable expectations.

Willie's Stats: AB-10,881 R-2062 H-3283 2B-523 3B-140 HR-660 RBI-1903 AVG. .302
SB-338 CS-103

Of course, the current Giants' roster of outfielders pales in comparison. But then so does every roster when you pit the greatest versus the current. The current bunch still has time to put some numbers together, although it isn't likely any of the current roster will accumulate the stats of Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds or Willie Mays.

But the Giants did have a few surprises out in the spacious grounds of AT&T park that may provide Giants' fans with plenty of reason to cheer. For how long, who knows?

Freddie Lewis, Nate Schierholtz, and John Bowker are worthy of a second look next season to see if they can continue to improve. Randy Winn has hit .300 two years in-a-row and is solid afield. Dave Roberts brings a quality that I feel is worth having. He's as clutch a hitter as the Giants have but is even better in the clubhouse. And when your roster is filled with inexperienced players, its those steadying sorts who can still do it on the field, who are a necessity. Much like that of a player-coach.

This also looks to be the area where a trade or signing will be used to help out the team.

Last year they signed Aaron Rowand and he adds to the team but the way he finished the season really has me thinking the guy might be better served as trade bait. Because to get something you have to give something up and he just may have put himself in the mix with his strikeout-filled finish.

He fanned 126 times and received 44 bases-on-balls. The 126 was the most in his career and led the Giants (Fred Lewis whiffed 124 in 468 at-bats, Rowand had 549 ab's.)

Note: If you look at Aaron's career numbers these numbers are consistent with the numbers he's been putting up throughout his career.) So his chances of being traded are only speculation by yours truly.

(thanks to Baseball-Reference)

Kevin Marquez