If “The Juice” Came from Oranges

I’ve often heard the argument that Barry Bonds is worthy of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of what he accomplished before he allegedly began using performance-enhancing drugs. This begs several questions, one of which is “What would his numbers look like if were clean?” I’ve wanted to do this analysis for some time, but have been too busy/lazy to sit down and hash it out. Fortunately, Peter Keating did it for me. In an ESPN excerpt of the Keating’s book, ESPN Dingers – A Short History Of The Long Ball, clean Bonds checks in at the end of the 2005 season 74 homeruns short of where he actually stood. He loses 73 RBI, 12 points off of his batting average, and doubtless takes a hit on his on-base percentage and slugging percentage as well. Hall-worthy numbers? Absolutely. Keating writes, “Bonds’ first 15 seasons make him one of the three best left fielders in history; his next four would make him one of the three best players in history. Too bad we can no longer take them seriously.” Too bad indeed.

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