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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
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Bonds Is Tired
2005-03-22 00:01
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm tired
Tired of playing the game
Ain't it a freakin' shame.
I'm so...let's face it. Everything below the waist is ka-put.

- Lili von Shtupp

Barry Bonds let out a sigh heard 'round the world today:

A dejected Barry Bonds said Tuesday there's a chance he might not return this season because of multiple knee surgeries.

"Right now I'm just going to try to rehab myself to get back to, I don't know, hopefully next season, hopefully the middle of the season. I don't know. Right now I'm just going to take things slow. I feel bad for the guys [Giants teammates] because I want to be out there for them," he said Tuesday after meeting with San Francisco Giants trainer Stan Conte for 1˝ hours.

"I'm 40 years old, not 20, 30."

When asked directly if he said he might not be back until midseason or next season, Bonds answered, "Maybe. I told you that before I left, remember? You thought I was joking."

Yep, that Bonds is a regular comedian. Like Mel Brooks.

I'm not taking this as a retirement speech, though I do think it sounds significant for the immediate future. I just want to say, before the piling on begins, that I have lived in awe of what Barry Bonds could do in the batter's box. Special effects or not, it will be a lasting memory.

Comments (67)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-03-22 12:43:30
1.   Bob Timmermann
But the Giants still have Mike Matheny!

Mike Matheny!

2005-03-22 12:44:42
2.   Rick A
Thems sound like retirin' words to me!

But seriously, we've all heard Bonds play the little violin before, but what stands out most about this, is how dejected he sounds.

Is it enough for him to pack his bat and ball and go home for good? Just short of the record? I doubt it.

2005-03-22 12:49:14
3.   scareduck
El Lefty Malo is probably right, this is just Barry's way of passing time until he crushes one into the bay:

http://leftymalo.blogspot.com/2005_03_01_leftymalo_archive.html#111151994622739504

2005-03-22 12:51:21
4.   Robert Fiore
I think I know how Giant fans feel right now. It's how I felt when Shaq demanded to be traded. Or when Pedro Guerrero blew his knee out in spring training.

Indefatigable Giant booster Pete Gammons is undaunted, however:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gammons/story?id=2018385

2005-03-22 12:53:40
5.   Bob Timmermann
Gammons wrote that piece BEFORE Bonds made his announcement.
2005-03-22 12:53:55
6.   Rick A
Gammons posted that gem prior to Bonds' press conference today. I don't know if the Giants have the same optimism given the statements made today.
2005-03-22 12:54:31
7.   Rick A
I knew even whilst I was typing that Bob would beat me to it.
2005-03-22 12:55:09
8.   Jon Weisman
For what it's worth, that Gammons column was written before today's announcement.
2005-03-22 12:55:37
9.   Jon Weisman
Damn. Third.
2005-03-22 13:03:50
10.   brendan glynn
The thing about Bonds is that he has never given in, never seemed defeated. In fact all the turmoil seems to make him thrive. I'm wondering if the knee injury along with the deposition of his girlfriend last week(she told a Grand jury that he told her that he has been doing steroids since 2000) has finally caught up to him.

Maybe he wants to step out of the spotlight. Leave the past behind and hang out with McGwire in the future.

2005-03-22 13:11:14
11.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants still have Mike Matheny. And Matt Herges can go back to his normal role in the bullpen.

Which judging from last year's performance should be unemployment.

2005-03-22 13:17:15
12.   Dodgerkid
Well that's it folks, we have the division. I'm going to watch and see if we can beat the Mariner's record for most wins in a season, which could very well be possible with the joke teams we are facing. I am disappointed, and pleased in the same breath.
2005-03-22 13:30:01
13.   Langhorne
Of course, Bonds blamed the media. I guess I missed the reporter taking out his knees.
And you left out the most important part of the story:
"Last September, the Giants dropped a provision that would have allowed them to void Bonds' $18 million salary in 2006 if he failed to reach 500 plate appearances this year or 1,500 combined from 2003 to 2005, including at least 400 this year."
So at least Barry gets paid.
2005-03-22 13:54:28
14.   Mark
Dodgerkid just jinxed us into coming in 3rd place behind the Padres and the Snakes.
2005-03-22 13:54:56
15.   dzzrtRatt
Bonds should've studied Gen. Douglas MacArthur's farewell address to Congress. "Old soldiers never die. They just fade away."

The legal and media environment can only get worse for Bonds from here. I conclude he's retired in all but name. He will use this year's paychecks to soothe his disappointment about not catching Ruth and Aaron. He has no desire to step onto the field at SBC Park and hear boos from the fans who've loved him all these years. The jig is up, and he's leaving the scene with at least some of his dignity and reputation intact.

2005-03-22 14:06:25
16.   Eric Enders
I think you're very, very naive if you think Bonds is going to step on the field at SBC and hear anything but enthusiastic cheering.

To me, Barry's comments today are right on the nose, if a little over the top -- his dignity and honor are intact as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, the reporters who, after 15 years of trying, finally succeeded in hitting the big target on Barry's back -- their honor and dignity is nonexistent.

Jeez, I sound like a Giants fan today, don't I? I promise not to let it happen again.

2005-03-22 14:07:38
17.   Eric Enders
Also, not to change the subject, but I hadn't seen it mentioned here yet: According to C. Steiner, Brad Penny threw "effortlessly in the mid-90s" today, a huge step forward. Maybe he'll be on the Opening Day roster after all.
2005-03-22 14:13:25
18.   FirstMohican
Off the subject:

From Gammons' Giants article:

"The Rangers have been given clearance by ownership to eat Chan Ho Park's contract, if they decide he can't help them this season. That's $14.72 million for 2005 and $15.99 million for 2006."

Wow - a reminder that the Dodgers actually have made a few good decisions in recent history. Kevin Brown, Andy Ashby, Shawn Green, Carlos Perez etc... but at least we didn't sign Chan Ho Park.

Maybe we should now? =)

2005-03-22 14:18:29
19.   Jon Weisman
I'm not sure if there's any desire for me to manage these threads in this manner, so I'm reluctant to bring it up, but there is still an Open Chat thread open just below. Last post there was only about an hour ago.
2005-03-22 14:19:34
20.   dzzrtRatt
>>I think you're very, very naive if you think Bonds is going to step on the field at SBC and hear anything but enthusiastic cheering.<<

Today, you're right, but unlike you & me, Barry Bonds and his lawyers have a pretty good idea of what else is likely to come out from the Grand Jury proceedings. Today's stories imply he's about to be nailed for tax fraud, apart from the steroid probe. He probably knows that the next few shoes to drop will be even more damaging. He's left the door open; if he skates, he can come back and play. But he's also set himself up to disappear if that seems like the right play.

As for the media getting him...come on! He sounded like Richard Nixon today. I am no big fan of the media, but all they're doing is reporting what law enforcement has unearthed. What are the media supposed to do, ignore it?

2005-03-22 14:21:09
21.   Jonny6
I could end up being totally off base, but I just have this feeling that Bonds is done. Between the knee, the reality of being 40 years old, and the withering scrutiny that awaits his return and the chase of baseball's most hallowed record, I will not be surprised if his last at-bat is behind him.

I must say, if today's interview is some kind of attempt to elicit sympathy from a critical public than it failed miserably in its attempt (at least for me). Let's get this straight, the guy who has gone out of his way to facilitate his image as the least likable professional ball player since Ty Cobb, now wants us to feel sorry for him because of what the "media" has done to him and his family. I don't think it's the media that foisted steroids upon Bonds, or forced him to engage in a ten year affair that's now coming back to bite him in the @#$, as affairs have a tendency to do. Please spare us the rant about how the media harmed your family. Take your hundreds of millions dollars and fade away into your own world, which is supposedly what you always wanted anyway, to just be left alone. Any attempt by Bonds to somehow try and polish up his image now, is going to be universally seen as disingenuous at best, utterly ridiculous to most.

His batting prowess was certainly something to behold, but if Bonds is really gone from the game for good I won't miss his "tired" persecuted ball player act one iota.

2005-03-22 14:21:48
22.   Marty
If Bonds is on the DL for the year does he still have to submit to testing? A friend suggested that maybe this is a way for him to get clean and then go for the record next year. Not sure I put much stock in that, but thought it was interesting.
2005-03-22 14:25:36
23.   Tommy Naccarato
My, a sudden change of events.....

O.K. Since this alters the landscape of the NL West drastically, IF he misses the entire year, I predict the Dodgers to finish in.......

4th place!

In others words, I'm staying pat with my original prediction.

Bob, you handle all my PR from here!:)

2005-03-22 14:27:50
24.   fanerman91
Even before the announcement, I feared the padres more than the giants. Of course this is still good news though. Some people on another board said it would take away from us if we won the division with barroid out for a bug chunk. Then some others said (and I agree with them) that we're going to get criticized no matter what if we win. ie, we'd win "despite" DePo's moves as opposed to because of them.

Anyway, the news on Brad Penny is definitely fantastic. Any news on how Gagne feels today?

2005-03-22 14:48:44
25.   Suffering Bruin
Ah, thank you Jon for bringing back memories of Madame von Shtupp. Madeline Kahn, one of the all-time underrated actresses.

You guys caught this quote, right? For those that didn't, it's worth the post...

"You wanted me to jump off a bridge, I finally did," Bonds said. "You finally brought me and my family down. ... So now go pick a different person."

I think the world's smallest violin just broke a string.

2005-03-22 14:57:04
26.   Eric Enders
I'm with Fanerman -- I don't expect the S.F. Geriatrics to be much of a factor, with or without Bonds. San Diego, on the other hand, I am very worried about.

When you have an iffy team like we do, it sure is nice to play in a division with 2 of your 4 competitors (AZ & COL) out of the pennant race before the season even starts.

2005-03-22 14:58:39
27.   Bob Timmermann
Eric,
Tommy is of the Steve Phillips school of thinking. He thinks the D-Backs will finish ahead of the Dodgers.
2005-03-22 15:16:56
28.   GoBears
My reaction to the Gammons article, even it was written before the Bonds "announcement," was one word: BAAAAAAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

The Giants will have serious trouble winning WITH Bonds. Without him they're in big trouble. Although the OF defense might improve with Alou in LF and someone with actual wheels in RF. As to what this all means about Bonds, well, my first thought was the same as expressed by some others - he's either done, or sitting out a year, hoping it all blows over. Oddly, as a 30-yr Dodger fan, I'm in the small minority of those who not only admire BB as the best hitter I've ever seen, but as a person too. No, he ain't Ghandi. But I think there's a lot of truth to his oppression complex (just cuz you're paranoid doesn't mean someone is NOT out to get you). I think he's a smart guy, who hates the soundbite crapola that counts for most sports coverage, and who has always been very protective of his private life. He's not as good at it, but he reminds of Charles Barkley, Bill Russell (the Celtic), even Shaq, who get themselves in trouble sometimes with non-stock answers, and especially with snappy answers to stupid questions. I'll miss him if he's done, juice or no juice, records or no records.

2005-03-22 15:35:14
29.   erikshilling
I think you're all missing the point here. What's significant here is that Bonds is choosing to miss the season the Giants are in their best position to contend in years. Gammons' idea that they can survive without Barry (for the short-term) can only go so far. Can they contend without Barry? Maybe. Point is, if, as Bonds says, the only motivation to play baseball for him is to win a championship, choosing to NOT take part in this year's run indicates that this may mean retirement after all. With Barry, this year's team is World Series material. He has to know that. It surprises me that he's choosing to forgo the opportunity. He won't come back just to break Aaron's record, if only because the man has nothing to left to prove. All of us who've watched him no he's one of the top ten, perhaps top five greatest hitters ever. That won't change. He might never win a championship, though.
2005-03-22 15:44:52
30.   dzzrtRatt
erikshilling raises a great point, and to take it further, if Bonds is going to sit out the year, legitimate or not, then many of Sabean's other roster moves suddenly look regrettable. He signed accomplished veterans in hopes of protecting Barry in the lineup, but he now has a team more reminiscent of the first years of the Devil Rays, a lot of names past their prime.

With the steroid investigation ratcheting up, maybe it wasn't wise for Sabean to build around Bonds.

P.S. I agree with everyone on his greatness as a hitter. He was a HOF player before he hit the needle or the cream. It looks to me more like he got greedy, and wanted to push past normal human limits. I don't think he's a bad person. But a lot of good people make mistakes and then have to pay for them, just the same as bad people do.

2005-03-22 15:54:51
31.   Suffering Bruin
What's wrong with the Gammons piece? I just read it and he seems to be reporting what the Giants feel about their team, his last sentence has qualifiers galore... this from an Indefatigable Giant booster?

Did I miss something?

2005-03-22 15:58:32
32.   GoBears
I just don't get it. Like a couple others here, I've thought since last year that the major divisional threat to the Dodgers is San Diego. SD didn't do much, so while my assement of LA has gone up, my assessment of SD hasn't really changed. I see that the most optimistic, pie-in-the-sky, everyone-having-or-repeating-career-years scenario shows the Giants contending, but they have so much injury risk, so little room for error, that I could not imagine putting a high probability assessment on their chances. And that's with 140 games of Bonds. Alfonzo? Alou? Matheny? Cruz? Feliz? Snow? These guys are not scary at all. The young pitching is solid, but nothing to write home about.

What am I missing? Why, does anyone see a contender here, even WITH Bonds? I know Jon likes SF better than I do, so I'm quite willing to believe I'm missing something. HELP!

2005-03-22 16:10:54
33.   Robert Fiore
If you've been following Gammons' columns over the last few years you will have noted his enthusiasm about the Giants and their front office. Saying that the Giants are going to thrive with Bonds absent for a considerable length of time seemed a bit optimistic to me.

Bonds comments might simply be the discouragment at having to have one medical procedure and then another. I wonder, however, if the idea that the media will now treat any home run record he sets as tainted has made him any less inclined to pursue it.

2005-03-22 16:12:46
34.   FirstMohican
Herges and Hermanson had 11 blown saves alone last year. If they had benitez last year they blow 1 of those 11. Consequently it's possible their bullpen blows less saves because herges and hermanson are there helping, and there are less extra innings due to blown saves.

If the Giants had Benitez for one game last year they might've won the division.

So they got the reliever, they got matheney and vizquel as +'s on defense, and they got a bit more production with Alou, who's presence is immeasureable (especially if Bonds is out, because we literally wont see what Bonds does with protection).

They lost what.... AJPierzzzzizzzski? Snow wont have the season he did last year?

To me, it seems like they clearly have at LEAST as good a team as last year (WITH BONDS).

2005-03-22 16:13:01
35.   mcrawford
I think Jonny6 said exactly what I think about Bonds. His "suffering" is all self-inflicted. His persecuted shtick is old, old.

And I also agree with GoBears about the Giants. In what reality are the Giants World Series material, even with Bonds? The only way I can understand using those words with the Giants is that their GM keeps them in contention every year despite having being full of mediocre players. Then, once you get in the playoffs, it's a crapshoot. Bingo, World Series material?

2005-03-22 16:18:25
36.   FirstMohican
"If you've been following Gammons' columns over the last few years you will have noted his enthusiasm about the Giants and their front office. Saying that the Giants are going to thrive with Bonds absent for a considerable length of time seemed a bit optimistic to me."

In regards to that... because I conspiracy theorize about everything... Recently I read that the Dept of Education paid a political analyst 200k to speak highly of the No Child Left Behind Act. I hear that commercial radio takes money from companies for more action in the rotation. Anyone think that can extend to baseball? I'm not saying Gammons' article is in this category at all, but the quoted comment just sparked my curiosity.

2005-03-22 16:20:55
37.   mcrawford
Giants likely to have worse years than last year:
Bonds (if healthy), Alou (much worse), Grissom, Alfonzo, Vizquel, Durham, Snow, Matheny...
hmm, seems like I just named their whole starting lineup. This is an old team.

Everyone keeps saying they improved their defense, but I don't think it's that big of a deal, and won't outweigh the drop off in offense. Matheny is a black hole offensively. Is Vizquel's defense even that good anymore? I don't think so. Their outfield defense will be atrocious.

"If they had benitez last year they blow 1 of those 11." This is just ludicrous. Benitez himself blew 4 saves last year, in an incredible year for him.

2005-03-22 16:23:16
38.   fanerman91
Well, I tend to agree with you GoBears, though I think the giants are better than you say when healthy. I think their biggest problem is their age, the inevitable injuries that will come with it (ie, bonds right now), and their inability to recover from missing their key players. feliz, cruz, and torrealba all have HORRID OBPs, though feliz has decent power and torrealba may get better due to age. tucker has put up better numbers but nothing to write home about.

I never saw the giants keeping up with the Dodgers and padres. Maybe they could hang around for awhile, but age and lack of depth was/is bound to catch up with them sooner or later. Now with bonds out for quite a long time, they'll have to play catch up if/when bonds gets back (which may be a good 2 months or more into the season). By then, other parts of the line-up may be falling apart. It's possible we'll never see the giants projected starting line-up at the same time this season.

2005-03-22 16:29:06
39.   gvette
"Why,does anyone see a contender here, even WITH Bonds?"

Probably because with a joke of a bullpen and Michael Tucker in RF they STILL almost caught the Dodgers, if not for that fateful 9th inning. Benitez and Moises Alou make them better, but still old; while it's anyones guess how much better the Dodgers are than last year.

Bonds just sounds like he wants his ego stroked back into the lineup. The Bay Area press and fans will beg him to return, then he'll have a special meeting with godfather Willie Mays and announce in June that in honor of Willie, his dad, and everything black and orange he's ready to play.

I predict in his first game back, despite Tracy and Colborn's orders , Weaver will decide to pitch to him, and give up three of the longest bombs in MLB history, at which point Gammons and Joe Morgan will simultaneously collapse into each others arms with joy on ESPN.

2005-03-22 16:37:22
40.   Jon Weisman
I hardly thought that the Giants were perfect even before the recent Bonds news. But don't forget that a lot needs to go right for the Dodgers this year as well that's somewhat uncertain. And I say that with fairly high hopes for some of the players the mainstream media denigrates. But there is still doubt.

As for the Padres - good team, but chock full of their own vulnerabilities. They do not have an impressive starting lineup. Their starting pitching is nothing special after Peavy, who has injured himself (slightly) again. Perhaps there's less mystery about the Padres, so that makes them more attractive. But it's not as if Ryan Klesko and Phil Nevin are on the upswing, or Sean Burroughs and Dave Roberts, etc. are packing a lot of punch. They have some strengths, but they don't look like a dominant group.

Just a tough division to handicap, albeit easier if Bonds goes down for three months or more.

2005-03-22 17:24:50
41.   Bob Timmermann
I think Gammons doesn't necessarily like the Giants for being the Giants, but he does respect MacGowan for putting up his own money (more or less) to build SBC Park. And he likes Brian Sabean because he returns his phone calls.

But most GMs return Gammons' phone calls since he is the most effective way of leaking information out.

If this were the mid 1980s, I doubt that Gammons would be falling all over himself writing pieces about how wonderful of an owner Bob Lurie and how shrewd a GM Al Rosen is.

2005-03-22 17:26:45
42.   GoBears
I agree with Jon's comments on the Padres, but I still think they're the 2nd best team in the West. I'm more confident about the Blue. Lotsa things have to go right for DePodesta to look like a genius, but a lot of things would have to go wrong for this team's depth and versatility (and talent) to not win this division, it seems to me.

I guess that's a major difference between LA and SF. Of course, unpredictable injuries could disrail any team's season, but for the ancient Giants, injuries are actually to be expected. Early (check) and often. Remember that Bonds, of all people, led the team in games played last year.

I agree with mcrawford about SF's off-season makeover. To me, they improved in only two places: offense from the RFer (Alou instead of Tucker) and defense at catcher (Matheny). I see declines in offense at catcher and defense in RF. So to me, those 2 guys are nearly a wash. I don't think Vizquel has much left in either department. Meanwhile, while the bullpen might be better just thru better luck, there is no way that Snow or Grissom (or even Bonds, if he misses many more games) will produce as well. To me, this team is worse than last year's version. And to me, the Dodgers improved.

Which is too bad. I really wanted to see Bonds break records when it didn't matter in the division race.

2005-03-22 17:39:00
43.   dzzrtRatt
Another reason Bonds might've decided to discontinue his baseball career is that his legal problems are much more all-consuming than we know. Being a target of a federal investigation is no joke. It might simply be unwise for him to be out of town half the time while this investigation reaches its climax. His lawyers might need him. He also might have decided he is unable to concentrate on preparing himself for the rigors of the season while all this is going on.

There is no question that his freedom is at serious risk right now. A multi-count federal indictment could place him in danger of a jail sentence of at least a year, maybe five years. Some people, faced with a circumstance like that, might throw themselves into their work, but others find the process too stressful to allow them to fully function.

Plus, one of the main witnesses against him is his longterm mistress, which might be causing a little discord at chez Bonds. SI says she brought tape recordings to the grand jury, which could address not only the steroid issues, but potential tax fraud.

Maybe it's all smoke; he's innocent until proven guilty. But even a powerful, disciplined man like Bonds can only take so much. He's only human.

2005-03-22 17:41:15
44.   Bob Timmermann
In an AP story, both Moises Alou and Jason Christensen both thought Bonds could have just been having a bad day.

And I'm not disinclined to discount that idea.

2005-03-22 17:42:32
45.   fernandomania
I'd like to toot my own horn for a moment. I predicted weeks ago, on the record (on Dodger Thoughts and on baseballprimer), that Bonds would miss most of this year with injuries and that the Giants would lose 100 games. The first part of my prediction seems to be coming true. Toot.
2005-03-22 18:08:34
46.   Bob Timmermann
The Giants have been a franchise since 1883.

They have lost 100 games in a season just once (1985).

The Angels and Astros have never lost 100 games in a season.

The Dodgers last lost 100 games in 1908. They were 53-101. And they weren't even in last place that year. That was also the last year before last year when a Dodger led the majors in home runs.

2005-03-22 18:33:02
47.   Doug N
Suffering Bruin;
The quote about jumping off a bridge is the one that stuck with me too. What I just don't understand is that lots of players have been raked over the coals (remember when Sosa got called out by the SI columnist?) and they figure out a way to move on; why can't Bonds? Does anybody think that Bonds has had it significantly worse than anyone ever?
2005-03-22 19:10:37
48.   brendan glynn
  by dzzrtRatt
"Another reason Bonds might've decided to discontinue his baseball career is that his legal problems are much more all-consuming than we know. Being a target of a federal investigation is no joke. "

Exactly. There is a grand jury and a prosecutor with their sights set on Bonds. When he denied knowing and using steroids they have shifted into overdrive. we've just seen the tip of the iceberg

2005-03-22 19:12:42
49.   talkingbaseball
There's a good thought about Bonds getting out of the game knowing that any further records he achieves will be met only with scorn.

http://www.talkingbaseball.net/blog/?p=131

2005-03-22 19:16:53
50.   brendan glynn
A little off topic. Don't be surprised if San DIego has the league's worst offense. I think the steroid testing and Petco will still have an impact on that team.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-03-22 19:18:25
51.   Eric Enders
"Being a target of a federal investigation is no joke."

No, it's not. But then, Bonds is not now, and has never been, the target of a federal investigation. BALCO was the target, remember? Bonds was only involved insofar as revealing what he knew about BALCO.

It's those folks with press passes, not law enforcement, who have made Bonds their target.

2005-03-22 19:19:21
52.   Eric Enders
"Does anybody think that Bonds has had it significantly worse than anyone ever?"

Actually, yes. I think exactly that.

2005-03-22 19:26:26
53.   Bob Timmermann
Opening Day will be very weird without Bonds around. I don't think the Dodger Stadium fans will have anyone to focus their anger on. We'll just be sitting there saying to ourselves, "Umm... who's #9? Who's wearing #23?"
2005-03-22 19:53:55
54.   jeongers
I remember an article by Dan Patrick the year Barry Bonds was chasing McGwire's home run record when he said he was rooting against Bonds because Bonds was surly with the media. That blew me away. To come out on the biggest sports website in the country and write a column like that because Bonds wasn't a good interview made me sick. I think Eric is right that a lot of people in the media have an axe to grind with Bonds, and it's going to be brutal as this investigation starts gathering steam. There's already way too much moralizing going on regarding players who took steroids, but I think Bonds will be the focal point. Personally, I don't think he deserves it.
2005-03-22 20:20:16
55.   dzzrtRatt
"But then, Bonds is not now, and has never been, the target of a federal investigation."

Eric: The feds never release on the record information one way or another on who their targets are, so I'm curious how you would know this. However, I think I'm making the more logical supposition that Bonds IS a target. The damaging press leaks that are raising questions about things like perjury and fraud are undoubtedly coming from inside the prosecutor's office, and they don't do things like that except as part of a strategy to manipulate a target! Leaks of grand jury testimony, while commonplace, are illegal, but prosecutors get away with it all the time.

It could turn out I'm wrong. But I bet I'm not.

2005-03-22 20:23:37
56.   Jay Jaffe
I don't have a hell of a lot of sympathy for Bonds right now. He's spent the past five years thumbing his nose at the media, and for him to blame them for his downfall is both laughable and pathetic. His problems beyond the knee stuff are of his own making, from BALCO to the tax stuff to the way he's basically dared the media to set him up over the years.

The brazenly defiant stance works well when you're hitting homers at unprecedented rates and can tell writers exactly how far up their own ass they can go. Not so well when you don't have a bat to do the talking, so he switched to playing the sympathy card, and it's not going to fly anywhere.

I'm sorry his body isn't working and that he won't be able to make opening day, but beyond that, I'm just fine watching his chickens come home to roost. Barry as much as told the world he didn't need anybody in his corner, and now that's exactly what he's got.

2005-03-22 22:49:12
57.   Icaros
Plus he's a Giant, so screw him.
2005-03-23 01:07:52
58.   jeongers
I'd have sympathy for someone who may be the target of a federal investigation, who may serve prison time for perjury, and will probably be humiliated in front of the nation if all the "this is only the tip of the iceberg" rumors are true.

I'm sorry, but I don't think Bonds is a bad man. On the scale of crimes, this isn't that major. But the punishment--not only the legal punishment but the public humiliation--will be greater than what he deserves. It's depressing to watch all the columnists that he pissed off over the years piling on because they can. This isn't a black and white moral issue, but that's the way it's playing out in the press. A lot of it's vindictive, and it makes me wonder what happened to people's humanity.

2005-03-23 06:48:32
59.   TFD
Jay Jaffe: You go!

"What he said!"

TFD

2005-03-23 07:55:15
60.   Chris H
"No, it's not. But then, Bonds is not now, and has never been, the target of a federal investigation. BALCO was the target, remember? Bonds was only involved insofar as revealing what he knew about BALCO."

Is that the case? Victor Conte and Greg Anderson are negotiating plea bargains with the government and the Grand Jury has subpoenaed Bonds' ex-girlfriend/mistress.

2005-03-23 11:53:45
61.   DonK
The Dodgers' strength in 2004 was its infield defense, power, and relief pitching. Let's see -- they've lost the best third baseman in MLB, dumped a decent-hitting, slick-fielding 2B for a range-challenged 37-year-old whosse offensive skills are diminishing, and may not have their relief monster ready for the season. They've "upgraded" their catching by adding a throwaway from the Mets, and added an RF who's played one injury-free season. Their big acquisitions from last summer (Penny, who's hurt, and Choi) haven't done anything yet. If I were Paul DePodesta, I'd hope Bonds is serious about missing a full season and that the Padres don't realize how good they can be, because my team isn't as good as it was in 2004.
2005-03-23 12:29:58
62.   Eric Enders
Gee, I've never heard those sentiments anywhere before! ;)
2005-03-23 12:44:58
63.   GoBears
DonK - are you really Bill Plashke? Sheesh! I don't actually believe the numbers that say Kent is better than Cora defensively, but I now believe that it's not much of a difference. And Cora is "decent hitting?" Please. He's awful. Kent is a bona-fide jerk, but he's also the best-hitting 2Bman in the biz, even at 37, unless the alien continues to inhabit Mark Loretta's body. Hard to canonize Beltre and damn JD Drew without ignoring that Drew's career numbers are significantly better than Beltre's (how many injury-free season has Beltre had, by the way). Was every individual move (i.e., losing Beltre) for the better? No. Is the package better? Uh, yeah. Unequivocally.
2005-03-23 13:20:32
64.   Eric Enders
My favorite part of #61 is the quotation marks around "upgrading" the catching. Because, apparently, it's such a big question mark whether Jason Phillips is better than Brent Mayne.
2005-03-23 13:25:31
65.   Robert Fiore
Jason Phillips represents the possibility that catcher won't be a dead spot in the lineup this year. It's by no means a sure thing, but before we didn't even have the possibility.
2005-03-23 14:02:37
66.   Icaros
Thanks #s 62-65. As a great hitter once said, "I'm tired."
2005-03-23 15:53:41
67.   Bob Timmermann
Jason Phillips now allows me to start selling tickets for that Jason Phillips vs. Bengie Molina race around the bases.

Hans Lobert raced a horse around the bases. These guys would have to try to outrun a tree sloth with arthritis.

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