Mar 10, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants former outfielder Barry Bonds (left) talks with catcher Buster Posey during batting practice prior to the game against the Chicago Cubs at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Barry Bonds showed up at the San Francisco Giants’ spring training complex on Monday and the media all leaned back from their collective lounge chairs, and yawned. OK, I grant you the media does not sprawl about, relaxing, when there’s a story to be had. And Barry Bonds returning to baseball is a major story, folks, at least if you are a Giants’ fan. So why did the Press ignore Barry’s return?
Whew! That’s a tough one. Just because Bonds was the ultimate Prima Dona when he played, relaxing in his own deluxe, solitary recliner in the locker room, refusing to communicate with anyone he chose, do you think the media holds it against him? I wonder if Barry’s failure to get into the Hall of Fame has anything to do with his treatment of the Press while he played. There’s a connection here-I can feel it.
The funny thing is, though, Barry is not the first baseball player to come under fire from the Media. Babe Ruth was a drinker and he liked the ladies. He got away with it because it’s just so All-American. Pete Rose broke the rules, long after he was done as a player. Charlie Hustle. More hits than anyone. No go with baseball. There are so many names, it’s ridiculous. It’s not ridiculous that so many guys behaved as though they were human. That’s the easy part. It’s why some get nailed and some get away with it. And where is the manual? How do you tell the good guys from the bad guys? The answer is you don’t because there are no “bad” guys. Players should be judged by baseball criteria and not by any other.
I don’t care what the media thinks Bonds did or didn’t do. Barry has what players want. What he is in camp to accomplish is to share his knowledge of hitting with players who care enough to listen. And allow me to assure you the players care. Imagine being able to ask Barry any question you wanted, to be able to listen and possibly have something click, something that makes the whole world change. Take Brandon Belt’s change in his batting grip. I’m not suggesting Barry had anything to do with that. But I am strongly hinting that Barry could help identify similar technical difficulties for other players.
Barry Bonds is in camp for the same reason that Jeff Kent was in camp, and why Will Clark and Randy Winn are also in camp: to share their knowledge. I don’t even care that Kent left a day or so before Barry arrived. So they don’t get along. That has no bearing on whether or not Barry can help the players. The Giants are close to having what it takes to make another run. The Giants need help with their offense. Barry can provide that help. That is the reason Barry is in camp, not to chat with the media.
So do us all a favor, Media and continue to stay away from Barry Bonds, and wait like the rest of us for the results of his visit. By then we won’t be able to keep you away.