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Barry Bonds returns to AT&T Park; fans cheer, media grumbles

Oct 19, 2010, 4:34 PM EDT

Barry Bonds first pitch NLCS

Barry Bonds just ran out onto the field before the Phillies-Giants game, where he and other past Giants stars threw out the first pitch.  When he appeared: a loud ovation from the crowd.  I looked to the Twitter feed and this is what I see from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

SF Giants make you wonder if they have a clue. Bonds throws out first pitch. You can catch him again in March at his federal perjury trial.

I think the Giants have a perfectly good clue. They’re clued in to the fact that their fans got 15 years of some of the most phenomenal baseball that has ever been played from Barry Bonds. They’re clued in to the fact that, however PED-aided that performance was, the fans still enjoyed it and now remember it fondly. They’re clued in to the fact that hardly any of them give a rat’s kiester about a perjury prosecution that, the longer it drags on, the more it appears to be a persecution. They’re clued in to the fact that even those who disapprove of Bonds for his legal and ethical issues surely can’t be bothered by him throwing out a simple ceremonial first pitch. They’re clued in to the fact that pretending their past stars who have been tainted with PED associations don’t exist is silly, and unlike the Yankees and Cubs, aren’t going to scrub those players from team history. Or at least try to.

Baker is a guy who, though I often disagree with him, certainly never shies from grappling with the big issues in the game. And for that I respect his work. But in this instance, I do wish he’d remember that it is just a game, those big issues notwithstanding.

People enjoyed watching Barry Bonds hit. Who are we to take that away from them? Or even to want to?

  1. jayaresea - Oct 19, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    Thank you Craig, for speaking on our (Giants fans) behalf.

  2. schmedley69 - Oct 19, 2010 at 4:57 PM

    Same goes for Reds and Phillies fans who cheer Pete Rose. Pete is a legend to those fans because of the way he played the game and helped them win championships.

    • metalhead65 - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

      there is a big difference between Pete Rose and bonds.Rose didn’t cheat to achieve his records.what he did he came after his playing days and he has paid a bigger price than bonds or the other cheats will.

      • JBerardi - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:06 PM

        No, Rose just hung around baseball for years after he was finished as a useful player to pad his hits record…

      • lunatic96 - Oct 20, 2010 at 1:48 AM

        Pete Rose actually did cheat to achieve his records, he used a corked bat to hit. Nice try though.

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Why oh why must this game be on while I work? I don’t have TBS at home so was very happy to at least be able to see the FOX games on my HD and not from my laptop (suck it, TBS). I hope this game goes extras or else I’ll miss the whole damn thing. BOOOOOOOO MLB BOOOOOOO!

  4. Kevin S. - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:01 PM

    Who did the Yankees try to scrub? Clemens? Giambi? I hadn’t heard about this. The only scrubbing I’d heard of was McCarver’s erroneous blabbering about Torre.

    Also, good on the Giants for not pretending that Bonds didn’t do anything for them. That would have been highly hypocritical. He’s one of the two greatest Giants ever.

    • ditto65 - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:08 PM

      Yeah – and the way they ran A-Rod and Pettitte out of town is further evidence that the Yankees are trying to distance themselves from – hey, wait a minute…

      • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:09 PM

        I don’t see Roger Clemens being invited to any team functions.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:09 PM

        Well, there is a difference in distancing yourself from somebody whom you have no further use for and running out a guy who can still help you. I’m still not sure who Craig’s referring to, though.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:12 PM

        Clemens has some serious legal baggage that isn’t just a witch hunt though. He also doesn’t have the same history with the Yanks that Bonds does with the Giants. Further, he kind of hates Andy Pettitte for not lying under oath on his behalf. Clemens has really just revealed himself to be a ginormous scumbag on many levels. I’m not entirely sure him not being allowed back is specifically related to steroids. If Giambi starts getting invited to Old Timers’ Games and the like, we’ll have our answer.

      • ditto65 - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:43 PM

        I don’t see Roger Clemens getting invited to al lot of places. He is the posterboy for the Sliedeshow: Athlete Hall of Shame in the sidebar.

        But they keep signing Pettitte to new contracts. They keep playing A-Rod. They continued to have a warm relationship with Giambi while he played out his contract. I don’t think the absence of Clemens at Yankee Stadium has as much to do with PEDs as it does his other actions – you know, perjury, adultery (with a minor), etc.

  5. Richard In Big D - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    No live blog for SF – PHI? WTF?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:10 PM

      Yeah, good point. wtf? C’mon Craig, give me an excuse to not work!

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:25 PM

        My sentiments exactly. No love for the senior circuit. Just Wankers-Walkers.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM

        Man, “Walker: Texas Ranger” was such a sweet show. I used to watch regularly just to see how many bodies ‘ol Chucky would pile up w/o remorse. I also loved how his partner would get shot every other episode and come back all good the next week. Genius all around I tell ya. Then Conan got the Walker lever going and it all came roaring back again. God, is it 5pm yet? BAH!!!!

      • Utley's Hair - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:40 PM

        Walker: Texas Ranger was like the ATeam with all the cheese and slightly more blood.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:49 PM


    • Utley's Hair - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:51 PM

      Hameltober? No…maybe not.

  7. Richard In Big D - Oct 19, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    @ ElBravo – If Chuck Norris were a pitcher, he’d be Cliff Lee. If he were a position player, he’d be Josh Hamilton.

  8. djeg07 - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    do they not rally around the 1960-80’s players who snorted, smoked, ok maybe didnt inhale? whats the diifference than th 90’s-00’s????

    • Richard In Big D - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:23 PM

      The old-timers you refer to accomplished their feats DESPITE the drugs they used. The guys since the 90’s accomplished their feats BECAUSE OF the drugs they used.

      • God Himself Can't Make Me Root for the Yanks, But Fiorentino Might - Oct 19, 2010 at 7:28 PM

        Now that’s just silly, Richard. In the ’60s-’80s, greenies were THE drug of choice for the ballplayers. And greenies “have been proven to fight fatigue, increase alertness and sharpen reaction time. Athletes have used them to challenge the limits of endurance — and mask the accompanying pain.” In what way did greenies not help guys “accomplish their feats?”

      • djeg07 - Oct 19, 2010 at 11:01 PM

        i believe nhl was first to rid itself of sudephedrine an other ‘greenies’ like 15 yrs ago or so

  9. Dug - Oct 19, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    Hey Craig,

    I enjoy your work here on the blog. I love Mr. Baker’s work in the Seattle Times. He is, in my mind, the best baseball beat writer in the country. He also writes the best baseball blog in the country. While it is Mariner based, he often uses it to talk about other teams, players and subjects. A very insightful and thoughtful man and he has Bonds and the Giants being clueless exactly right. Bonds CHEATED and has no business on the field or in the HOF. Period. Rose gambled same fate. No business on the field and no HOF. The rules are simple. Both broke the law. Both violated if not the rule, in Bonds case, the spirit of the rule.

    I am not a Seattle homer. I live in Houston, TX and I follow baseball religiously in about 16 newspapers daily during the season.

    • F*ck LA - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:26 PM

      Wow, youre a d-bag. Players break the law all the time, look at Ruth, by your own logic he shouldnt be in the hof. Bonds never broke ANY mlb rules, Im guessing youre a lonely old man who couldnt play(i know im not too far off). Bonds will always be the MAN in sf. Btw if you dont think the alltime greatest homerun hitter doesnt belong in with the guy who had gotten more hits than anyone else who ever played the game, then screw the hall, it doesnt mean shit. Baseball should be about baseball, whoever thought it should be about anything more is just ruining it for the real fans.

  10. JBerardi - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Hate on Bonds all you want. He’s still the best there ever was.

    • F*ck LA - Oct 19, 2010 at 8:27 PM

      Amen brother.

      • jasonburg - Oct 20, 2010 at 5:40 PM

        Well, one of the best. You can’t leave Mays out of that discussion.

  11. Glenn - Oct 20, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    Bonds on steroids was one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen in sports. Yes, he’s a jerk and a cheat, but you can’t even fantasize about being that amazing. Just about every strike thrown was a home run. The other cheats pale in comparison. Who among us who love baseball wouldn’t have wanted to be Bonds for those cheater years? I get why he did it and I’m a failed body builder who chose not to cheat in a sport of cheats – but if I could have been an Arnold Schwarzenegger, I would have done it.

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