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Friday, June 01, 2001

Boston Globe Online / Sports / Bonds with the giants

I know I’ve said this before but…Michael Holley is rapidly becoming my favorite Boston newspaper columnist. Here’s his take on Barry Bonds.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2001 at 04:41 PM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 02, 2001 at 12:28 AM (#69068)
If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are it's a duck. Bonds has been up nearly a hundred times in October, and he has more strikeouts than hits. This isn't a case of hitting line drives right at someone. Let's just agree that he's the greatest regular season player in the game today. His personality has absolutely nothing to do with it. And with one great October, that qualifier can be thrown out.

But let's see him have that one great October first. The Ruths and the Reggies and the Hammering Henrys rise to the occasion. Most superstars with more than a handful of Octobers under their belt will have good ones and bad ones. Pitching IS tougher then; you don't get to fatten up against the bottom of the rotation. Luck plays a part, too, no question.

But Barry's Octobers are rapidly getting well past the point of "bad luck." More strikeouts than hits. That's not bad luck. That's something else. The polite euphemism is "pressing." Happens to the best of us.

I'm actually rooting for him to break out of it next time. I wouldn't wish that kind of a reputation on any baseball player. It would be even nicer if he broke out against John Rocker. And once he does break out, he might have the greatest post-season ever. Go Barry! If for no other reason than to shut me up.
   2. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 02, 2001 at 12:23 PM (#69071)
Actually Ted didn't win the triple crown in 1941. He came in fourth in RBI's. The year Rob refers to is 1947, when Williams did win the TC but was nipped by Joe by one vote for the MVP. This vote was marred by two writers who left Williams off the ballot. Who actually should have won the MVP in both of those years really comes down to two debates: hitting vs. overall, and "MVP" vs. Most Dominant Player. This is merely an argument which has been going on since the start of the award, and will never be resolved. Williams' personality (as seen by the writers) obviously didn't help him, nor does Bonds'. As to why Bonds is "hated" by many fans and writers: Bad interview, exacerbated by too many questions about October; general resentment of high-priced players (especially, but not limited by any means to black players) who don't comport themselves like Cal Ripken or Kirby Puckett; and probably several other reasons revolving around the general cultural clash between athletes and the media. My opinion is that all of this hostility to Bonds will largely evaporate once he has a good post-season. Of course he hasn't had one of those yet, and that, at least to many of his critics, is the heart of the problem. Ask Allen Iverson, who all of a sudden is accepted everywhere, not just in Philadelphia, as a result of his surreal performances in lifting the Sixers in the playoffs so far. This could easily happen to Bonds, but it can really happen for him only in October. That's the reality of it, fair or unfair as that may be.

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