The fact that we’re even talking about “Bonds on Bonds” is a miracle unto itself, considering ESPN has kicked around the show for the last two weeks. It’s on, it’s off. It’s on at 4:00 PM PST, it’s on at 4:30 and now it’s on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays.
Only a jock-swinging Bonds fan like me would able to keep up with the show’s revolving air times and dates. Judging by the ratings, I am the only one. This show is losing to ESPN’s coverage of paintball fights in the ratings war.
What’s really newsworthy about the most recent episode of “Bonds on Bonds” is that they showed clips of next week’s show and if you go by what industry insiders are saying, this show’s a goner. What stinks is that more episodes of “Freddie” have aired than “Bonds on Bonds”.
But before Barry and his sweet-as-pie on-air persona depart the airwaves, we must dish on what he did this week.
He hit career homerun #714 and little else.
The show begins with him in bed writhing in pain and in the accompanying voice-over, he mentions that amputation was actually discussed after his knee became infected last year. Then, the show shifts to him arguing with his agent about how Major League Baseball is fining him for an oversized logo and the number 25 on his wristbands.
So much for putting things into perspective.
Then, he shops for skin moisturizer in a mall and the sales associate named Diana didn’t even recognize him (despite a camera and sound crew recording his every move and comment).
He laments on having to live in “an itty bitty apartment” in San Francisco with his wife, kids, nanny, maid and cook. It’s tough on him because he gets claustrophobic.
He will make $18.5 million this year. He’s either cheap or freakin’ weird. Or dumb. Or a creep. But totally Barry! I love it!
With him having a two week long slump, baseball related material was hard to come by. We see him get nailed in the shoulder by the Houston Astros’ Russ Springer and him insisting, “You can’t hurt me with a baseball,” and leaves me wondering if a subpoena will feel like a kick in the seeds.
Finally, though, they get to #714 against the A’s, who has to be the best opponent other than the Los Angeles Dodgers for him to drop such a big bomb on. A’s fans are notoriously hateful of the Giants and reserve 99% of their vitriol for the left fielder. Since the BALCO investigation’s inception, A’s fans have piled on Bonds by calling him a cheater. I have always found that interesting since it was THE OAKLAND ATHLETICS who (allegedly) gave birth to the steroid era when they (allegedly) injected the juice into each other’s arses in the Coliseum’s bathroom stalls. (And, no, I will not pander to the crudest level of my fanbase by inserting a “Brokeback Mountain” reference here.)
Aside from my soapbox, the A’s fans did absolutely the right thing by vaulting to their feet and remaining there to give Barry a curtain call after tying Babe Ruth on the all time homerun list. Looking back on the homer, Bonds said, “Everything just went (with a poof sound and hand gesture)… I felt fine,” and the fans’ reaction, “They Bay Area, not just San Francisco, the Bay Area is home.”
Either that was a classy gesture towards the fans of the Oakland A’s or a job solicitation to Billy Beane to be the A’s designated hitter next season.
And as the show ended with a 45-year old toll taker at the Bay Bridge wrangling a photo and autograph out of Bonds, you want ESPN to keep this thing going. Never mind that the network’s Texas Hold ‘Em coverage is slaughtering “Bonds on Bonds” in terms of viewership! ESPN needs to know that even though fervent and casual baseball fans alike don’t watch it and the show gives fodder to grade A a-hole sportswriters like Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, one guy savors it.
Until (hopefully) next week when we see Bonds pass the torch to the undeniable new superstar of baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols. I wonder if Pujols jams his family into an itty bitty apartment in downtown St. Louis?
Keith Larson writes for SFDugout.com because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at firstname.lastname@example.org, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.
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