Friday, September 21, 2007


SportsCenter has just reported that the San Francisco Giants will not sign Barry Bonds next year!

Yesssss! Finally!

This season, I pledged that I would not attend another Giants game until Bonds left the team. It's not that I don't like Bonds. Okay, it's true... I
don't like Bonds, but it's only a part of the reason. The real reason is that the Giants have not even been a team for the last 5 years. They have been "Barry and Co." - a group of aged, lumbering veterans, whose main job was to bat around enough to get Bonds up to the plate as much as possible. The Giants were about one thing and one thing only: Barry Bonds. I doubt that there has been a team in major league history that was so totally built around one player. And, if you didn't happen to like that player, well, you just didn't count as a fan.

Barry getting taunted with asterisk signs.
Who knew Dodger fans could be so clever?

photo AP's Chris Carlson from LAist

There were some team people who felt they should have got rid of him last year; they argued that the Giants had to get started on rebuilding the team. But those were people who thought, wrongly, that baseball is about winning. As we all know, baseball is about putting butts in seats, and, from that standpoint, signing Bonds was the right thing to do.

Without Bonds, it is expected that attendance will be down. And that's a good thing. I have seen crowds of 10,000 at Candlestick make more noise than 40,000 at AT&T. The atmosphere at AT&T is really lame, more people talking on cell phones than watching the game. The fans have become very accustomed to losing, but it's not just that. The result has simply become irrelevant. The only thing that matters is Barry. Barry, Barry, Barry.

But now, that will change. The team will have to be rebuilt, with youngsters who will strike out, drop fly balls, and cause all kinds of headaches. But at least it won't be mind-numbingly boring - like it is now.

The Giants decision to drop Bonds next year - and bring him back this year - proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that baseball is a business. And they haven't been getting my business for years, but now I'll probably go to a few games. You can only build a team around one player for so long. And it's been way too long.

Where will Barry go? My guess is - nowhere. I predict he retires. I just can't imagine any team paying him what he wants to be a DH.

No comments: