Just when they serve up an All-Star Game as a distraction to the depression that is this Giants season, Barry Bonds rains on everybody’s parade. Again.
This All-Star Game could have served to remind us here in the Bay Area just how much Barry’s star towers over the rest of baseball — I think we lose sight of that with him standing out there in left field every night. Instead, for me, the event will remind me that Barry is a pill of personality.
In terms of baseball talent, there will be some fine young players out there — Justin Morneau, Victor Martinez, Matt Holliday and Miguel Cabrera, to name a few. There’ll be some players in the early stages of what could be Hall of Fame careers — Albert Pujols, Vladmir Guerrero and Johan Santana. And some solidly on their way to Cooperstown — Derek Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ivan Rodriguez.
And Barry should tower over them all in terms of adulation. A highlight film of what Bonds has done on a baseball should be a No. 1 seller. If only he’d act gracious just once when given the chance.
I’m sick and tired of the stories about what Barry won’t do. He won’t give the Hall of Fame anything more significant than the sunflower seeds chewed the night he breaks Hank Aaron’s record. And now he won’t participate in the Home Run Derby.
Barry’s inability to recognize what would endear him to his fans may be the saddest thing in the history of sports personalities. I realize the unquenchable appetite of fans is the curse that comes with being that talented, but Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods — Barry’s equals in terms of talent — have been able to make their fans adore them. And they don’t have half the personality Bonds has when he wants to show it.
Sports fans around the world should be shaking their fists at the baseball gods because a player of Barry’s talent is not going to win a championship during his career. Instead, they can’t wait to see him go. I’ve enjoyed watching him more than any athlete in any sports, and I can’t wait, either.
Glimmer of Hope: OK, it’s a reach, but Ray Durham looks poised to wake up offensively, just like he has the last three seasons. From 2004-06, Durham hit .275 with 24 homers and 97 RBIs pre-All-Star Game, .301 with 31 homer and 123 RBIs post-All-Star Game. At least the Durham-Bonds-Bengie Molina middle of the order would be watchable.
Sabean Watch: Don’t forget Brian Sabean signed Durham five years ago.
The Unthinkable: I want to say Joey Chestnut out-eating Takeru Kobayashi at the World’s Hot Dog EatingChampionship ranks somewhere in the history of huge competitive moments. I just can’t. Nonetheless, it deserves noting that Joey beat the unbeatable.
Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner.