Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-5-16

5/16/2006
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on a curveball

Monday, May 15, 2006

Top of the 1st
73 WORDS
Last night in Houston, the Giants scored 10 runs and Barry B*nds played. No, you didn’t miss anything, once again he didn’t homer. It was the fourth time this season that Bonds was in the lineup for a game in which San Francisco scored in double digits, and he didn’t homer in any of them.

Now you see, and more importantly now B*nds sees what it is like when a broken-down 42-year old ballplayer plays everyday and tries to hit a homer when you have to do it honestly. Going into last night’s game he hadn’t had a hit in his last 15 at-bats, last night he went 1-3 with a double, a walk, a called strikeout and a popup and a run batted in. In 12 games since hitting No. 712, B*nds now has just five hits in 34 at-bats with two RBI. The other RBI came on massive homer number 713 in Philly. He went 1-18 on the Giants’ recent homestand and he’s hitting .221 for the season. Bonds, who homered once every 7.9 at-bats from 2000-2004, has now gone 22 at-bats without a home run.

AP writer Tim Dahlberg, who’s been following B*nds as he chases Ruth, writes, “B*nds never seems to be around teammates. He’s off by himself somewhere else when the team stretches, leaves games before the team bus does and in Saturday’s comeback win against the Dodgers didn’t celebrate on the field with the rest of the jubilant players.”

Having watched numerous at bats over the last week I can tell you he goes no further out of the batter’s box when he hits a pop-up than he does when he strikes out. You hope that sooner or later someone drops one of his towering pops just to see him thrown out at first.

Tom Boswell in the Washington Post today eloquently writes, “Every time Bonds popped up or struck out, and even when a well-hit ball ended up in the glove of Juan Pierre inches above the center field fence, the expression that played on his face ranged from disgust to frustration to something akin to athletic fear.

I was recently asked about a promotion for B*nds and I asked when the product would be available. When I was told August, I said forget about it because honestly it’s hard to imagine that B*nds will still be playing. In Ruth’s last season, when he was hitting .181, and still had hit six homers in 72 at-bats, including three homers in one game. He quit in midseason. It was sad, but the right thing to do. I wonder if B*nds would, could, ever do the right thing.

I have a pristine copy of “Game of Shadows” the brilliant book that details the BALCO investigation and I asked for 73 words about B*nds and the best would get the book.

Here are the finalists:
A) A solution to Barry Bonds? As much as possible, make him a non-entity. You have to keep his stats, but don’t list his records or his leadership in hitting categories from 1999 to 2004. Strip him of the four chemically-induced MVP Awards. If he persists in his pursuit of Aaron, and is allowed to do so long enough to hit 756 home runs, don’t put his name at the top of that list.

B) On Barry – The Barry Bonds saga is a parable on personal responsibility. The world has always been and always will be filled with all forms of temptation. It