Dickey: Bonds towers above naysayers

Barry Bonds proved he was bigger than the Giants, major league baseball and the ever critical media when he showed up for the team’s 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday night.

The capacity crowd at AT&T Park cheered resoundingly for him, and Bonds reciprocated, praising the city, the team and its fans repeatedly. It was a love fest, not surprisingly; in the 15 years Bonds was a Giant, the fans who came to the games loved him.

Except for this instance, though, the Giants have largely turned their backs on Bonds. Before the start of the season, the public relations department assured everybody that there would be several reminders of Bonds around the park. I often walk around the park during games, but I guess my eyesight must be weak because I haven’t seen these reminders. Now, they claim that they’ll be honoring Bonds in some way in the future. When? In the 22nd century?

Meanwhile, the media continues firing away at Bonds. One San Francisco columnist, angry because the Giants ignored his advice not to re-sign Bonds in 2007, has twice insisted that losing Bonds from the dressing room would automatically make the Giants five games better, so they’d finish with 76 wins. Good luck with that one. Though nearly half their schedule is against the hapless Washington Nationals (the Giants swept all seven games) and the wretched NL West, the Giants are on a pace to finish 70-92.

More significantly, only three teams in major league baseball have worse records.

Local media members also like to blame Bonds for the team’s slide since 2005, though that was because of bad decisions made by Brian Sabean on players for Bonds’ supporting cast.

Sabean’s apologists like to say the decisions were forced on him by Peter Magowan and Larry Baer. So, he’s spineless, not incompetent? I’m not sure Sabean would prefer that interpretation.

In truth, the decision to bring back Bonds for the 2007 season was a good one. It gave the fans who had watched him all these years a chance to see his successful drive for the all-time home run mark, indeed the only reason to watch the otherwise dismal team which went 71-91.

Increasingly, it appears that season will be Bonds’ last in the majors, though even this late, there are two American League teams who could use him as a DH.

The surprising Tampa Bay Rays, though they’re leading by a solid margin in the AL East, have 36-year-old Cliff Floyd, who’s hitting .261 with eight homers and 22 RBIs, as their DH.

The team which could really use him is the New York Yankees, who trail both the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins in the wild-card race, and are a distant third in the AL East.

The Yankees are alternating Jason Giambi and Richie Sexson as their first baseman/designated hitter. Giambi is hitting .252 with
23 homers and 67 RBIs, Sexson .225, 12 and 36.

Bonds would be easily better than either one, but when the Mariners released Sexson, he was their choice, not Bonds.

Commissioner Bud Selig does not want Bonds in the game, and even the Yankees won’t buck him.

It’s a shame, but one thing is clear: For all the harsh words that have been said and written about Bonds, right now, he’s standing taller than any of his critics.

Glenn Dickey has been covering Bay Area sports since 1963 and also writes on www.GlennDickey.com. E-mail him at glenndickey@hotmail.com.

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Currey (30) tallied 26 points and seven assists at Monday night’s game against the Lakers. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to stun defending-champion Lakers 115-113

Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden State Warriors are officially back. Stephen Curry… Continue reading

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

Most Read