Barry Bonds has always sought out to prove the naysayers wrong. It was that chip on his shoulder that he’s forever carried that led to him being one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.
Bonds did a phone interview with USA Today and from what he divulged two things are quite evident. He’s not at all humble of his accomplishments and two, he’s a pretty tough guy to impress.
When asked about Tigers slugger and arguably the greatest player in the game now, Miguel Cabrera, Bonds offered the following statements:
“He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best.”
“I don’t try to compare me to anybody,…I was the best on the field. I did more things than he did. My game was different than his game. So comparing him, to me, there’s no comparison.
“He doesn’t have my MVPs. He doesn’t have my numbers. Well, not yet, anyways.
“But does he have that ability? Yes, he does…Does he have that gift? Yes, he does.”
Well, gee Barry…are you not merciful. But he softens up towards the end and added:
“He has got, what you call, the gift,…I had it. Cabrera knows he has it, too. You don’t try to analyze it. You can’t teach it. You’re born with it. And he’s got it.
“That’s why I enjoy watching him so much, and I couldn’t be happier for him, knowing that he’s taking advantage of that gift.”
Barry’s words may come off harsher than need be, but under the not so thinly veiled arrogance is a man who knows baseball better than most those on this Earth.
Bonds is the product of the game and was molded by it, so if there’s anyone worthy of giving critique, surely it’s him. But ultimately the proof would lie in the tale of the stats. It’s premature to compare 22 year’s worth of stats to 11 years, but as Cabrera’s going one could rightly make the argument that he’s the closest thing to Barry this era.
Currently Cabrera has a .387 batting average through 42 games a .457 on base percentage and 47 RBI. Cabrera may not have the MVPs that Bonds has but he does hold the honor of being a triple crown winner–yeah, yeah different era, but it’s a feat even Bonds acknowledges he strived for but came up short.
When the guy with 7 MVPs and 762 homers speaks it’s best to listen, but there does seem to be just a small amount of sour grapes behind Bond’s words. The fact this comes a day after Cabrera jacked three homers in a game doesn’t help either.
Does Cabrera have what it takes to be better than Bonds?