Dear San Francisco Giants Fans

Posted on August 9, 2007. Filed under: Me and only ME ranting, Uncategorized |

Dear San Francisco Giants Fans,

                My hats off to you for a great last couple of baseball seasons.  Now I’m not referring to your won-loss record or your standings (with only 51 games left in the season you are still back 13 ½ games back in the NL West, I’m not poking fun, after 6 outstanding seasons my World Series Champs St. Louis Cardinals are 6 ½ games out in the NL Central).  What I’m talking about is how you all have handled yourselves during this whole Barry Bonds mess.  You have been packing the seats and cheering your man even as the drama swirled round and round the Bay Area.

                I was a fan of Barry Bonds back when he was still a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates playing along with Bobby Bonilla.  I always figured that those two were a force to be reckoned with.  Bonilla, after 16 years in the big leagues, retired in 2001 from the Cardinals organization with decent numbers of .279 avg., 287 homers and 2010 hits.  Bonds on the other hand has managed to stick around for 22 seasons with brilliant numbers of a .298 avg., 756 home runs and 2915 hits.  One more thing Bonds has that Bonilla doesn’t have, a bad reputation.

                With charges of steroid abuse and a well publicized bad attitude, Bonds has made a media darling out of himself.  No matter how hard he tries to run, the media keeps following him and thoroughly enjoys picking apart his every mistake.  Don’t get me wrong, he hasn’t done much to boost his public image (hell, even his teammates don’t like his personality).  In 1998 Mark McGwire (.263 avg., 583 home runs, 1626 hits) laid waste to Roger Maris’ old single season home run record with 70 and Sammy Sosa (.273 avg., 604 home runs, 2387 hits) was following hot on his heels with 66.  In 2001 Barry Bonds hit 24 more home runs than his best season to break the single season record for home runs belting numbers 71 and 72 off of Chan Ho Park, finishing the season with 73.  Now he has the most prestigious record in baseball; he’s now the home run king (756 hrs). 

                As McGwire and Sosa chased down the single season record, crowds in both their home stadiums as well as away would cheer them as they came to the plate.  Bonds on the other hand received consistent boos.  Even as he broke Hank Aaron’s record on August 7th on a 3-2 pitch by Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik (4.47 ERA, 32 K, 86.2 IP for the season), stadiums around the country welcomed the news with at best a smattering of applause but more often than not it was met with boos.  But you people in San Francisco stand by your man.  One of the shots of Bonds’ historic swing was enough to give me goose bumps:  as Barry watched the ball sail into the outfield bleachers both he and all your fans in attendance raised their arms in triumph at the same time. 

                That wasn’t the end.  Before the game was even finished, ESPN had interrupted its regularly scheduled program, The Bronx is Burning, to start with the questions of legitimacy.  But this is nothing new to you all in The Bay.  From Jose Conseco to Barry Bonds, Northern California is used to baseball controversy.  But you Giants fans kept selling out games, kept cheering for your man.  Even when Bonds refused to take part in the All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby competition (in his home ballpark in front of the only fans that wouldn’t boo him nonetheless) you still stood by him. 

                You Giants fans get a lot of credit from me.  For his many faults you have never left his side, you have never wavered, you have been there to continually cheer him on.  Even though Hank Aaron’s statement was aimed at Bonds, I think subliminally one comment was meant for the fans and his admiration of what you all have had to go through, “It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination.”  So once again, congratulations on the past couple of seasons and congratulations for your (sometimes) unswerving dedication to a ball player who, in many people’s minds, will always have an asterisk by any record he holds. 

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