Friday, June 15, 2007

I Must Break You

DC and I were talking this morning and he mentioned that he entered a state of emotional numbness regarding our favorite team. In an effort to pull him out of the Sox-induced tailspin - and because I wanted some new material - I goaded him into writing about Barry Bonds and his first visit to Fenway. As always, I hope you enjoy.

With the Giants coming to town this weekend for the first time ever and a mere ten home runs separating Hank Aaron from second place all-time, it’s time to talk about Barry Bonds. Now, my position on him is very clear: for about 2 seasons now I’ve been saying that if I was a pitcher I’d throw at him every time, fines and suspensions be damned. I figure in this day and age where pitch counts rule the world, 1 is better than 4 and it takes 4 balls to pitch around Barry and 1 to drill him. It’s very simple math. And while there are plenty of big questions about this series – can the Sox get off this free fall that they’re on, can the bats wake up against Zito, Cain & Morris – the most important one is: Will anyone have the guts to take Barry out? That’s why I present to you with the pros and cons of beaning Barry:

  • The guy is a jerk! He hates everyone! He hates the media, he hates his teammates, he hates the fans, and he even hates the legends of the game that aren’t named Willie Mays. And he’s very open with his hatred for others. Honestly, I bet every time Barry gets hit every reporter, fan, umpire, and player in the league celebrates a little inside. I certainly do and I bet you do, too.
  • It not only keeps the pitcher’s name off the list of guys who contributed to his pursuit of the record that nobody wants him to have, but also guarantees him a spot on every highlight show in the country (especially if he hits Barry hard).
  • If we’re lucky, he’ll charge the mound (as much as Barry can charge anything these days – he’s so slow the bullpen catcher will take him out before he gets there) and get a big suspension. Bud Selig will then secretly deliver the plunking pitcher a big suitcase full of $100 bills to say thanks.
  • The way Barry hangs over the plate, we might just get the double whammy of hitting him AND getting a strike call. Now tell me that isn’t a story for the grandkids.
  • If you’re JT Psycho you have everything to gain. You’re headed back to the pen in a month or so and when you’re a set up guy your greatest asset is how crazy people think you are. So JT, your best move is to hit Barry and then charge HIM to finish the job!
  • If you’re Dice-K, what better way to win over the league? Everyone knows that Japanese players love the history of baseball and Dice-K told everyone how excited he was to toe the same rubber as Babe Ruth. The odds are good that he hates Barry as much as anyone. So riddle me this… what’s the Japanese word for “chin music”?
  • If you’re Wake, you’ve been saving up this fastball for your entire career. Everyone thinks you’re an old man with no power in that right arm. Imagine how effective your knuckleball would be after the league saw you break Barry’s humerus… THROUGH THE ARMOR! And you’re just old school enough to do it.
  • All of Barry’s fans will hate you. That means you can probably never set foot in San Francisco or Barry’s mom’s house. Other than that you should be fine. So what are you really missing out on here? Some hills, earthquakes and a fluorescent orange bridge? I bet the city is still rebuilding after the filming of the chase scene in The Rock. You know what? This point might actually be a Pro.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hoping anything really bad happens to Barry. It’s always sad to see someone get really injured. I’m just talking bad enough that he has to quit playing. Of course at this point he wear so much armor that throwing a baseball at him is like trying to take out one of the knights of the round table with a spit wad blown from a straw, but I can hope can’t I? Yeah, I can hope.

My hope for the weekend: Three game sweep on the backs of great pitching AND hitting. 3 home runs for Drew, hits galore for Coco and Lugo and the best fastball of Timmy Knuckles’ career. Why Knuckles? Because he’s my boy and always has been. And also because I really want to see Barry charge the mound with Belli catching. At this point I think he’d protect his pitcher the way a kid at fat camp protects his stash of twinkies. And so if Timmy Knuckles didn’t get the job done, that big crazy Italian probably will.