“Bonds on Bonds” Revisited

The only thing worse than days without baseball during the regular season are days without baseball during the playoffs. As usual, the best remedy for baseball-less boredom is actually just more baseball; often in the form of Baseball-Reference Play Indexing and ridiculous Barry Bonds stats. As if I haven’t written about Bonds enough, I decided to turn (mostly) away from the statistical side of Barry Bonds and look back into the person he was in his playing days. One of the more interesting looks into Bonds’ life was the short-lived ESPN reality series, “Bonds on Bonds”, which aired during the latter half of the 2006 season, Bonds’ penultimate season in San Francisco. This series is certainly hard to track down, but some unclear portion of it is indeed on YouTube (embedded above) for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. While I definitely recommend watching the whole thing, here are some of the highlights:

1) At 17:30 – Bonds on his defense:

“There was always a cardinal rule: if I ain’t gettin’ no hits, you ain’t gettin’ no hits.”

I very much doubt Bonds was the first one to employ this mantra, but he carried it out better than most, especially over the first half of his career. For example:

2) At 19:21 – Bonds on his time at Arizona State University:

“I always tell everybody my major was MLB. That’s what I mastered at. I think the rest of it was just a waste of time…but I did major in criminal justice and um…I never went that far.”

There is a very, VERY small part of me that wishes Bonds pursued his major further and became some sort of state trooper or prison warden.

3) At 24:17 – Bonds on the value of his home run balls at that stage of his career:

“A home run has become a lottery ticket. You have the opportunity to better somebody’s life by hitting a home run. To me, that’s satisfying. ‘Thank you Barry Bonds, goodbye!’ You are welcome *laughs*.”

Bonds was at the point in his career where every home run he hit was worth serious money. Sure, the bundled-up fans sitting in their canoes in McCovey Cove looked crazy but they were simply waiting for a legitimately lucrative baseball to come falling from the sky into the freezing waters beneath them. I can’t totally blame them. It’s also pretty awesome how much Bonds enjoyed hitting those magical lottery tickets.

4) At 37:00 – Jimmy Rollins on Barry Bonds:

“I remember how I felt when I was younger just seeing the name ‘Bonds’ across his back. And I was like, ‘Bonds’…that’s one hell of a name.”

Same.

5) At 38:47 – Bonds on chasing records:

“I didn’t have to hit the home runs. I didn’t have to do a lot of things I do. I didn’t have to. I had that choice. But I chose that I wanted to be like Willie [Mays], and I wanted to be like Hank Aaron, and I wanted to be like Babe Ruth.”

Sure, Bonds had more natural baseball talent than 98% of the players that came before, during, and after his time. But it’s easy to point to countless immensely talented players that never really produced the way we hoped they could. From premier prospects that flamed out before even reaching the big leagues to decent major leaguers that never quite turned into the superstars that we expected, there are so many examples of raw talent failing to reach its full potential. Bonds understood the talent he possessed and did everything in his power to assure it was not wasted. As former manager Jim Leyland said, despite already being the best, Bonds worked harder than anyone to get the most out of his natural abilities. He was fully committed to becoming the best player he could be, which turned out to one of, if not the greatest player of all time.

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Trip Preview: Day 4

As some of you know, Jordan and I will be embarking on our crazy trip next week. We will drive over 1,900 miles in the pursuit of whatever it is we are pursuing. We shall chronicle all our adventures on the blog and on the new podcast we plan to start on the trip. In anticipation of these shenanigans, this week I’ll be previewing each of our stops along the way. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, July 10th

Start Point: Chicago, Illinois

End Point: Chicago, Illinois

Approximate Milage: 0 Miles

Driving Time: 0 Hours and 0 Minutes

Baseball Stuff: Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs

Notes: Gonna be a chill one. We’ll wake up in Chicago at our friends house and spend all day touring Chicago. Hopefully we will go down to Lake Michigan and do some Jetskiing. Then we’ll take a trip down to Milt’s Barbecue For The Perplexed where the Head Chef is a fellow .9er. The day concludes with another trip to Wrigley.

Trip Preview: Day 3

As some of you know, Jordan and I will be embarking on our crazy trip next week. We will drive over 1,900 miles in the pursuit of whatever it is we are pursuing. We shall chronicle all our adventures on the blog and on the new podcast we plan to start on the trip. In anticipation of these shenanigans, this week I’ll be previewing each of our stops along the way. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, July 9th

Start Point: Somewhere near Clinton, Iowa

End Point: Wrigley Field, Chicago

Approximate Milage: 293 Miles

Driving Time: 5 Hours and 27 Minutes

Baseball Stuff: Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs

Notes: We will wake up early in Iowa (Or is it heaven? No, it’s Iowa) and drive about an hour north to Dyersville, Iowa; home of The Field of Dreams. We aren’t Shoeless Joe or James Earl Jones, but like every baseball fan we too have a rightful claim to the cornfield. The one regret about the planning of the entire trip was that we didn’t figure out how to bring a dad with us to the Field of Dreams to play catch with. We plan on bringing “dad-hats” instead. After the Iowa magic has completely rejuvenated our bones, we will hop back in the car and head east towards Chicago. Our general admission bleacher seats will put us in the perfect spot to catch some Mark Trumbo BP home runs. Any day that has The Field Of Dreams and Mike Trout sounds good to me.

Buxton Watch: The End of Buxton Watch

Welp, that didn’t take long. Yesterday, after going 2-5 with his tenth triple of the year, Byron Buxton, who clearly doesn’t care about our prospect viewing needs at all, was promoted to High-A Fort Myers. Twins GM Terry Ryan was apparently in attendance for the entirety of this past weekend’s series, and he liked what he saw. This won’t change our plan to see Cedar Rapids in Clinton, and there is still a plethora of talent on the two squads that we can’t wait to see. But the timing of this is just painful.

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.gifs From Last Night: Yu Darvish Breaks Mike Trout

Rangers-Angels

  • First of all, lol.
  • I’m legitimately unsure how this pitch is even possible coming from a someone that isn’t a bad high school pitcher or Barry Zito by accident.
  • Watch the guy second from the left of the chyron in the black jacket and black hat. As he sees the pitch drop into Pierzynski’s glove, he turns away slightly as if he just witnessed something literally disgusting.
  • The umpire clearly took immense pleasure in ringing Trout up on a pitch that looks frighteningly similar to Bugs Bunny’s trickery.

Stay tuned for more Darvish .gifs. Later today, I’ll examine his most vicious attacks on two unfortunate Japanese hitters.