Monday, August 6, 2007

All Hail Barry Bonds!

Even Mark Cuban. The primary reason I love Cubes so much is that he uses his brain to consider events in their full context way, way better than most people.

I'm going to the game tonight and I have a good feeling about it. I'm going with Michael Raneri who I used to work with at Charles Schwab. Michael's running a start-up Meevee these days and has two young children so we don't go to nearly as many games as we used to. I'd guess the first few years the park was open I went to 50+ games and about 20/season with Mike (plus playoffs and the World Series, ah, the good old days).

We saw #500 together. And #71 & 72 in a heartbreaking loss to the hated Dodgers. We saw #600 together and #661 (passing Mays -- and I think we saw 660 too, but I don't seem to have that ticket stub) and #700. I have a good feeling (despite this jinx) about seeing #756 with Mr. Raneri.

I won't run out on the field and circle the bases with Bonds (and be a part of video lore forever, like the fools from when Aaron broke the record), but I will stand on my feet with the other 42,000 and give the greatest hitter of my lifetime his due.

I assume Bonds used performance enhancers (just as I assume many if not most of his peers and the pitchers he faced), I assume the Giants management and ownership knew this, and I also assume Selig and MLB knew as well.

The way it worked out is that I have far more respect for Bonds than I do for ownership, Selig or MLB. Selig can say or do whatever, as can ownership, but at the end of the day, McGowan and Selig don't have to stare down a 91 MPH fastball.

I am a numbers guy: whether he was svelt or extra bulky, he always has had tremendous plate discipline. This year marks the 14th season (and he has not been bulky nearly that long) that Bonds drew over 100 walks. Aaron NEVER had a season with 100 walks (his best was 92).

Barry Bonds is the best hitter of my lifetime. His plate discipline, even at 43 years old is nothing short of amazing. With all the pressure of the world on him, hated by almost everyone the man uses all that to motivate him and then steps up to the plate, and delivers. On top of that he's one of the most entertaining performers to ever pick up the lumber.

If you watch the clip of #755, you'll see the ball lands near a woman who was holding up an "*"(asterisk) sign. You'll also see this same woman jumping up and down, cheering and giddy as the ball came her way.

He can even entertain and delight those who would mock him. He may well be the best there ever was.

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