Here Comes Barry

Barry Bonds is coming to town creating a buzz as he continues his climb toward becoming the number two man in baseball home run history.

The weekend series with the Giants tops off with an ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan.  Not only will fans in Philly be tuned in, but the entire country will be watching.

Barry carries some baggage but he also carries numbers that are mind-boggling.  He’s more than just a home run hitter.  He’s a hitting machine.

And, a walking machine.  No one in baseball history has drawn more walks, over 2,300.  Since first base is 90 feet from home plate, Barry’s walked over 207,000 feet.

Two years ago, he was walked intentionally 120 times out of 232 walks, both major league records.  To put that into perspective, Mike Schmidt spent 18 years in a Phillies uniform and holds the Phillies career record for most intentional walks, 202.

The 41-year-old Bonds has seven MVP trophies in his possession.  Among the four major sports, only the great Wayne Gretzky has more, nine.

During the first seven years of his career the Phillies saw a lot more of Barry because he was in a Pittsburgh uniform.  He left his calling card at Veterans Stadium with 27 home runs, most by any visiting player.

The Vet was also the place where he hit two of his milestone homers: #200 on July 8, 1993 off Jose DeLeon and #250, July 18, 1994, off Shawn Boskie.

Going into this weekend, he’s played three games at Citizens Bank Park.  Combined, he is 2-for-4, one home run, two RBI, three runs and six walks.

To date, the most historic home run that was hit at Citizens Bank Park was Jim Thome’s 400th, June 14, 2004, off Cincinnati’s Jose Acevedo.  Ken Griffey was sitting on 499 that same day but he sat out because the Reds played at home the next day.

Hank Aaron’s 400th home run came at Connie Mack Stadium, April 20, 1966, off LHP Bo Belinsky.  Aaron later got his 700th against the Phillies’ Ken Brett, July 21, 1973 in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium.

Barry will mean more tickets sold this weekend, a greater security presence and more media.   The media calls began on Monday, Reuters, Washington Post, Toronto Globe and Mail, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Denver Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Post, New York Times, Newsday, San Diego Union Tribune, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Toronto Sun, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com, CSB SportsLine.com, FOXSports.com, Bonds on Bonds TV show, Major League Baseball Productions, just to name a few.  Radio and TV networks have been calling.  San Francisco media will be sending more than the usual one beat writer. 

It should be interesting.

4 Comments

I don’t envy your job this weekend, Larry. Yes, great summary of his career, but how many World Series championships does Barry have? Two words: Sid Bream. One word: BALCO. Also, how bad will Philly fans boo him if he does pass the Babe in your house? I mean, if you guys will even boo Santa Claus…
http://thekingsgame.mlblogs.com/

Barry Bonds:I am big. It’s baseball that got small.

Why should we root as Barry Bonds tramples the flowerbed of glory? Because its like applauding a wino for writing his name in urine on your lawn after a snowstorm. Pro-wrestling is fake. I get plenty of fake entertainment from movies, incredible vistas of fake from science fiction, and a wheelbarrow full of fake from politicians. What I don’t need is fake baseball.

Why not applaud Rosie Ruiz having the brains to take a subway for most of the Boston Marathon in 1980? At least there were layers to Ruiz’s cheating. Apparently trying to con her employer in New York, who paid her way to the Marathon believing her bucket of lies about being a good runner, Ruiz emerged from the subway thinking she was in the middle of the pack and ended up winning the women’s race. We’ve all had days at work when we should’ve stayed on the subway but very few of us ever had someone stick a needle in our butt so we could be a better accountant.

Nope, Bonds is just another very ordinary washed up con man who the media is busy wringing-out whatever notoriety still left while he crumbles towards the finish line.

Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said “Sports is truth” and perhaps that’s what makes it transcendant to us and incomprehensible to the disposable media that plays whack-a-mole with every institution we hold sacred. Not content with killing religion, murdering music, and slaughtering family values it finally set its sights on the sleepy backwater of baseball.

In a previous era we might have shunned Bonds, disappeared him from the game and the record books entirely, or used him as a reviled synonym for setting new lows to attain personal glory at all costs. Instead he gets a show on ESPN which lovingly pans the fat crocodile tears running down his overpaid cheeks and each worthless home run after another is slavishly enumerated on TV, the Web and newspapers.

The sound you hear is the garbage disposal grinding up the accomplishments of people named Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Bonds is just starring in his own production of Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately its the record book face-down dead in the swimming pool. A hundred years ago we’d cheer Matthewson, Wagner and Cobb now we suffer Giambi, Palmerio and Bonds.

Is bottom feeding the glory of our times?

713 WOW!

Kudos to all the real baseball fans who cheered Barry as he came out to left field after his homerun. We know when we just saw history.

“what is Chuck Manual’s Problem”
Why did he take out ryan madsen after a no-hit, no-run, 7th inning to bring in Franklin. Ryan Franklin is a joke of a relief pitcher and is extremely unreliable. This has to stop, there is no room for mistakes, I would like to see the Phills go to the playoffs. I know nothing about management, just the sport its self as i played my whole life, but I do know the management is BAD, REALLY BAD. Get rid Of Bobby and get a south paw pitcher for the starting rotation, I know I’m not alone, we are sick of seeing him loaf around the outfield and fall asleep in the batters box, get rid of him. I have season tickets and i’m sick of waisting my money, if things are’nt working than make moves!!!!!!!!!!!!

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