San Francisco Giants: the curse of Barry Bonds lives on

Barry Bonds. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Barry Bonds. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler filled out his lineup card for opening day on Thursday and instantly the curse of Barry Bonds lived on. For the past 14-straight seasons, San Francisco has penciled a different left fielder into its opening day lineup, every single year.

Bonds, the former franchise legend and home run king, remains the last consistent left fielder the Giants have had since 2007. He owned the starting role and started in San Francisco’s opening day lineup every season from 1993-2007. The lone exception came in 2005 when Bonds was sidelined with a knee injury amidst his scandalous allegations and admittance of steroid use.

San Francisco Giants’ curse of Barry Bonds lives on for 14th year

Kapler’s 2021 version of the lineup featured Austin Slater hitting leadoff and playing in left field. The 28-year-old Stanford product was taken in the eighth round of the 2014 draft. Slater went 1-for-3 including a fifth-inning home run in yesterday’s 8-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

More Giants. A search for long term solutions in the rotation. light

Although the Giants franchise has enjoyed high levels of success since Bonds left, there’s been a theme of missed draft selections, particularly in the outfield. San Francisco has won three World Series titles since Bonds retired in 2007. But, the streak of 14-straight seasons with different starting left fielders points to this problem.

Since Bonds was last featured as the club’s opening day left fielder, the list of different starters included Dave Roberts, Fred Lewis, Mark DeRosa, Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Andres Torres, Michael Morse, Nori Aoki, Angel Pagan, Jarrett Parker, Hunter Pence, Connor Joe, Alex Dickerson, and Slater.

Of the names on this list, only Lewis, Parker, and Slater were drafted by the organization.

Next. Previewing the 2021 Giants. dark

Heading into 2021, Kapler and his Giants squad remain in the midst of a rebuild. FiveThirtyEight’s recent preseason MLB predictions rank the Giants as the 21st best team in baseball, and the fourth-worst team in the NL.