Thursday, February 1, 2007

Winesburg, Ohio/San Fransisco, California

So Barry Bonds signed a one-year contract to play for the San Fransisco Giants next year. Foul Balls has a breakdown of the various clauses written into the contract to protect the Giants if Barry finds himself in jail.

I had this idea about Bonds awhile ago, and that is, he hates baseball. He hates baseball, and everyone involved in it, so much that his one goal is to become the greatest player ever, and in doing so, destroy baseball.

Imagine a kid growing up, like so many growing up in America, he gets baseball shoved down his throat. But unlike every other kid, this kid's dad is a Champion, All-Star caliber professional baseball player. Every time this kids dad misses a birthday, or misses a game the kid is playing in, or just isn't around, it's baseball's fault. So he develops a healthy dislike for the game, the same as any kid dislikes the job that takes a parent away from him.

Not only does baseball rob him of so much time with his father, the media coverage, alot of it negative, creates a suspicion and paranoia in his mind. It seems absurd to him that they should spend so much time on something he disdains, but to attack his father in print with false accusations, unacceptable. What son isn't protective of their father? He grows up considering those critics in the media to be his enemies.

As he gets older, he travels with his dad's team, from city to city. Here, he only encounters more enemies, men and women, fans, thousands of them, packing stadiums to love baseball and hate on his dad. The best only boo, the worst throw batteries and hurl racial slurs at him and his father. Dilettante's, hurting his family, because they are unable to play the game.

It is these enemies that deserve the worst.

But, instead of walking away from the game, he chooses to become the greatest the game has ever seen. He will capture their love through his greatness, all the while, hating them, and their love for the game.

Now, knocking at the door of his goal, he is a grotesque, the game he hates, hates him to. Maybe we all deserve each other, baseball, Barry Bonds and us fans. He won't destroy the game, it will go on after he retires, and he will be remembered for being one of the greatest players.

I doubt he will be loved though, which might have been all that little kid wanted.


jamesmnordbergjr said...

That pic of Barry just won't go away, like a bad case of herpes.

Phil said...

Yes, rather lazy of me using that pic.

Anonymous said...

An interesting theory. I've always he was just one of those people who was groomed for greatness and can't stand anything short of being the best. Having Wille Mays as a godfather probably didn't help either. We already know he couldn't stand it when Sosa and McGwire stole the limelight. He's been quoted as saying something to the effect that during their Maris record breaking season that he could hit that many home runs if he juiced too. Not too long after that he became a frankenstein monster and it was pretty much down hill from there.

Phil said...

So, do you think he'll break the record this year?

Anonymous said...

It really only depends on how healthy he is. If he get's enough plate appearances I don't see why not.

One thing people forget about Barry though is how patient he is at the plate. He get's so many walks that I really could see him playing as long as he wants to (all legal situations aside). Granted half those walks come from pitchers not wanting to pitch to a Frankenstein monster for fear of the long ball, but he really is a master at finding the right pitch to hammer. His swing is ridiculous. I'm not sure anybody else will ever break his single season home run record because of this. Maybe Pujols? I don't know, I doubt that seriously.

Do you think anyone will ever touch his single season record? In our lifetime, or even in say the next twenty years or so? Remember Maris' record held for what 40 years?

Phil said...

Sure, someone could break it. I never thought I'd see Walter Payton's single game rushing record broken, and it has, twice.

You put a patient, righty in that park down in Houston and it (his single season record) will be broken.

I wonder about Bonds strikezone eye. It's incrdible, no doubt, but I don't think he is gonna get the same calls he used to.

Anonymous said...

phil, great article.
i know your deep seeded hate/love of barry bonds is very similar to mine. have to loathe him, have to understand him.
i just spent the last 3 days in san francisco, in an office directly across the street from at&t/pac bell/sbc park (i've seen 2 games there, not only a gorgeous park, perfect location). i rode in 2 cabs a day for 3 days straight to and fro my hotel. i talked to every single one of the cab drivers about barry. they all said the same thing, "everyone in the world hates barry". i have to agree, and rightfully so. he agrees to a one year contract with a team (that is just looking to put asses in seats) when he and his agent are knowingly cogniscant that the contract will not go through due to the collective bargaining argreement. did they do that to make barry look like a martyr? or was it their attempt to make the giants look like swindlers? hoodwinkers? does he think about things as if he were lex luther? if you look at his lifetime and yearly statistics alongside his p.r. record, which one negates the other?
i did get into an argument with 1 out of the 6 cab drivers about the fact whether barry will hit 1000 home runs. he pro, i con. but i'm pretty sure that the guy was shoving meth up his schnaz at the stop light on market and 3rd. seriously, at the stop light.
again i say, excellent article. glad to see you back and bear down.

Johnny Yen said...

Phil, that is a fascinating assessment of Bonds.

I wish there were some way of keeping him from breaking Aaron's record.