02.23.05

Barry On The Media, Babe Ruth, Fred Sanford And Other Things

Posted in Baseball at 11:48 am by

In case you’ve not caught any footage of yesterday’s amazing performance from Barry Bonds, a full transcript can be found here, courtesy of the SF Chronicle.

A couple of thoughts since last night :

1) There’s been a strong emphasis on knee pain and I’ve heard some commentators suggests that such talk is a smoke-screen for Barry to excuse the inevtiable decline when his juice-free 2005 campaign begins. ‘Roids or not, the guy is OLD and is cannot possibly maintain his level of production forever.

2) My new favorite bonehead radio host Ronnie Lane was moaning last night about Bonds “playing the race card” in his references to Babe Ruth. I’m wondering which part of Bonds’ point was offensive to Lane, that Barry said the Babe was white or that he described himself as black? Though a more appropriate question would be whether or not there is public resentment of Barry’s expected passing of Hank Aaron on the all-time HR list, and if not, why not, as compared to sentiment surrounding Ruth?

More on yesterday’s press conference from the Chronicle’s Ray Ratto :

Bonds said he has won over more fans since the steroid stories broke. “That’s one question I was waiting for,” he pounced. “I have gotten the best relationship with fans through all of this, than I ever have in my entire career.” He even raved about Dodgers fans and their verve in chanting, “Bar-ry sucks.” “They say ‘Barry sucks’ louder than anybody out there, and you know what, you’ll see me (waving his arms to encourage the chants) because you’ve got to have serious talent to have 53,000 people saying you suck. And I’m proud of that.”

He likely is very proud of that, because he knows he has won over as many people as he ever will. It’s why he decided to make his in-your-eye stand here, on this day, with as much of the nation watching as possible for midday viewing patterns.

It wasn’t a declaration of war with Doubting America, because Bonds’ moods run hot, cold and lukewarm, just as everyone else’s do. But it was a fairly clear indication that he would never admit, apologize or announce anything he didn’t feel like admitting to, apologizing for or announcing. Anyone in the room who thought otherwise was, is and will be thoroughly delusional.

What we learned, in short, was that there will be no Barry Bonds charm offensive as he attacks the remaining home-run records of Ruth and Hank Aaron. He messed with the messengers, is all, and it made for a fairly electric half- hour of mutual spite and contempt. Entertainment, after all, is what and where you find it.

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