July 27, 2007
It's the Barry and Bud Show! Woo hoo!! Yes folks, live from San Francisco, and then Los Angeles, The Barry and Bud Show, starring Barry Bonds and Bud Selig!!
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
We'll discuss the race issue in greater depth when the time comes, but for right now, let's just say there's a black man and a white man sharing the stage for awhile; one is a star, the other isn't, and they're both responsible for the three-ring circus even being presented at all.
Oh, and they're both jackasses. What difference does it make who's the bigger jackass?
Barry is destined to be linked historically with Bud, almost as much as whoever gives up number 756, and that's appropriate. When Bonds finally gets it, watch as the cameras catch every step of his home run trot. Watch as the camera catches the reaction of the pitcher, the first base coach, each infielder as Bonds passes, and the third base coach. Then the catcher and the umpire, and the entire Giants team.
They'll be a bunch of cameras poised solely on the crowd, two more on the dugouts, and one with a very reliable camera person, fixating on Bud Selig. Selig will be in a booth, as far away from the action as possible, looking like an NFL owner at a playoff game, only without the visible emotion. He'll pretend to be engaged in conversation with whomever, so it looks as if he's got something better to do.
If Bonds manages the record in San Francisco, expect fireworks, Bonds' kids, and an excruciatingly-long delay. Then watch as the pitcher hits the next batter, and the Giants go on to lose the game, inching that much closer to a 95-loss season. Tell me that's not apropos.
In today's Los Angeles Times, Bill Plaschke thinks aloud about the possibility of Bonds breaking the record in L.A. next week, offering this quote from Don Newcombe: "I would not let him have the privilege of breaking the record at Dodger Stadium, no way. I would pitch around him every time."
If Plaschke got the quote and the context right, certainly not a given, and Newk actually made that statement, I'm surprised. If Bonds is still going for the record when Frisco hits town for the final three games of the season beginning September 28, and the Dodgers have a four game lead, then by all means. Pitch around him or just plain knock him down 12 times. Otherwise, the game and the pennant race come first. Let the situation dictate what to do with Bonds.
If, on the other hand, Bonds breaks the record at the Ravine next week, what do you say we make the celebration as quick and painless as possible. Put a new ball in play and get on with the game at hand.
Let's recall how Derrick Hall handled a similar situation, when he was running communications for the Dodgers in 2001, shall we. Frisco asked the Dodgers to participate in a 50th anniversary of Bobby Thomson's "shot heard round the world" celebration, in which the Dodgers and Giants were to don the 1951 duds.
Hall, at the time, said this: "It was really shocking that they would ask. We're in the middle of a pennant race right now with that team. We realize that a man [Ralph Branca] suffered for 50 years, as did Dodgers fans. We are just not going to be a part of it."
Translation: "Bleep off," which is the exact right way to handle such things. It's the Dodgers and the Giants, where gamesmanship means almost as much as pennants. I say "pennants," of course, because "World Championships" don't apply to a conversation involving the San Francisco Giants. For that one item alone, Derrick Hall will always be a hero in my book.
Talkback: Your comments are always encouraged…
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