Call me a cynic but it's a real shame
possibly won't hit 714 and 715 on the road. That way all those anti-Bonds signs would be immortalized on the highlight reel. Instead it's going to be a retch-inducing lovefest by the blind Bay Area fans.
That's not to say fans of other teams, say
and Cardinals, weren't guilty of the same thing in 1998 when everyone was cheering the obviously bloated
. But the difference between Bonds and those two, in my mind, is the evidence. There is more against Bonds--much of it from illegally leaked grand jury testimony. But that's an entirely different issue.
You just know had Bonds done it on the road, people would've cheered him. Witness over the weekend the so-called big, bad Philly fans who in a moment of pure schizophrenia didn't know whether to cheer or boo the guy, often doing both in one at-bat. Before he hit 713 everyone stood and booed. As soon as that bomb left his bat and before it caromed off the McDonald's sign 480 feet away everyone was on his or her feet cheering.
This steroid dilemma makes a
out of all of us. No, no one likes a cheater. But, yes, it's always fun to watch someone launch a baseball nearly 500 feet regardless of whatever livestock enhancers are coursing through their veins. I believe Bonds is a cheater, but watching that home run on TV, I had to say, "Wow." Still the whole issue of steroids disgusts me and I think it's a bigger pockmark on the game than gambling.
And to think that every player is clean now because baseball instituted a testing program is delusional. I also know there are plenty of people who don't share my opinion--I'm not sure how soundly I believe it myself--so feel free to have it at on the message board on the right-hand side of the page.
Anyway, let's watch some baseball. It appears the
has been put on hold for at least a day, thanks to
. And make a note of this because you might want to thank me later. Whoever replaces Dusty Baker whenever he leaves the Cubs, you might want to register a domain name including the word "fire" and that person's name. You just know the relationship is going to turn sour. It always does.
Bonds is in the lineup today despite the day-game-after-the-night-game thing.
is out, so Bonds is forced to play. Forget historic home runs, we've got a dream pitching matchup of
Baseball very soon. Today's
, leading off for the second straight game, grounds out to short. I have to say the Giants' home uniforms are my favorites in all of baseball. Dare I say, lovely.
strikes out swinging and
flies out to
Hey, I looked at that Comcast ad in yesterday's sports section someone mentions on the board and it does say "Stink" upside down right above the Cubs' logo. Ha. The lefty Marshall works to Winn. Winn, who played hoops with
at Santa Clara, draws a walk.
pokes a single through the hole on the right side. Winn hopped over the ball and stops at second. Lance Niekro rips one way deep to center and
both runners score within 10 feet of each other
. Niekro with a two-run double. With first base open the Cubs will walk Bonds and a woman hangs another rubber chicken up in the outfield. I guess those represent intentional walks.
Sean Marshall is not long for this one. Someone wakes up Larry Rothschild and he goes out and says something to the pitcher, probably "Hey, try throwing some pitches that they can't hit."
lays down a bunt and no one covers first. Bases loaded. Not only are the Giants all over Marshall but they're doing it quickly. Matt Matheny tees off on a hanging curve and sends a liner to left that
plays on one hop off his chest like a soccer player. It scores a run. Kevin Frandsen grounds to short.
They get the runner at second but another run scores.
But that was an out, which is progress. Wright lays down a bunt to move the runners over to second and third. This inning almost needs a new paragraph. Winn sends it deep to right-center and
gloves it. That was not batting practice; that was tee-ball.
Giants 5, Cubs 0
And my new least-favorite commercial off all time is this Friday's one where the guy holds up the broccoli and says, "Vegetable medley!" Hideous. We'll probaby see that 30 times today.
flies out to start the second. Mabry grounds out to the third baseman Feliz.
lines a single to right for the Cubs' first hit. Jones grounds out and the Cubs again go down quickly. I've got to keep my fingers warm during the commercials because Sean Marshall is going back out there.
Marshall picks up where he left off with a walk to Vizquel. He falls behind Niekro and Rothschild trots out again. Whatever he said worked because Niekro grounds into a double play. At this rate Bonds will get eight at-bats today. Here he is with the bases empty looking for 714. Instead it's ground out No. 5,432 of his career.
Giants 5, Cubs 0
Vegetable medley vs.
Pepsi taxicab. I think it's a push. Murton, who showed a nice first touch on that play in left field, gets ahead 3-1 and then draws a walk. Marshall is showing bunt. Feliz and Niekro are right on top of him. He swings away and bounces a single over Feliz's head into left. Hold on, we're working on the Comcast ad. Yes, this is an internet operation. Cedeno bounces into a 6-4-3 double play thanks to a nice pick by Niekro at first. With Murton on third, Pierre bats with two outs. Pierre fans for the second time today.
OK, let's try this again, here's the Comcast ad in
and as a
. Cedeno makes a nice play on a ball hit by Feliz but since he was rolling around on the ground he couldn't get the throw off. Finley hits it sharply to Mabry, who knocks it down and then flips to Marshall covering. Close play. Feliz takes second. The Giants have what sounds like a five-year-old doing the PA duty today. It was cute for the first 10 batters. Kevin Frandsen singles to right and Jones throw to the plate is off as
. Frandsen takes second on the throw. They just showed the kid on the PA and he was all set to announce Frandsen and they yanked the microphone away from him. Now I feel bad for the little guy. Marshall finally faces someone his speed, the pitcher Wright, and he strikes him out. But the Giants get another run.
Giants 6, Cubs 0
Walker flies out to Bonds, who then spits a few sunflower seed husks out of his mouth. Nice touch. Ramirez grounds to his counterpart, Feliz. Mabry chops a ball over Wright's head and Frandsen cuts in front of Vizquel and can't make the play. Infield single. Methinks you let Omar handle that one--or any ball up the middle, for that matter. Barrett draws a two-out walk. Jones fans, stranding a couple guys on base.
Marshall walks Winn. Rothschild goes out again to talk to him. Guy won't need to hit the treadmill later after all the exercise he's getting today. Winn takes off for second and Vizquel hits a slow roller to short. The only play is first base and that, thankfully for all involved, is where Cedeno throws the ball. Marshall fans Niekro on a big, slow curve. Bonds is up with first base open and it looks like they're going to pitch to him. First pitch is another slow curve that Bonds takes for a strike. Marshall throws two more curves, both in the dirt. At this point, you put him on. Marshall throws a fastball but it misses badly down and away. He throws another fastball way outside and Bonds trots down to first. Feliz squibs it to short and Cedeno boots it. Ramirez was going to poach it and held up at the last second. It's ruled a hit. Cedeno probably wouldn't have had a play at first had he fielded it cleanly, but we'll never know. Finley, looking for career homer No. 299, hits with the bases loaded.
Instead he clears the bases with a triple
to make it 9-nil Giants. Roberto Novoa will come in to replace Marshall, who looks like he might be a solid sixth starter some day. Novoa throws one pitch to Matheny and he pops out to Mabry who makes a decent catch over his shoulder running into right.
Giants 9, Cubs 0
and it's only the
Murton grounds out and Freddy Bynum hits in the pitcher's spot and grounds out in the pitcher's spot. Man, it looks nice in San Francisco today. it's pretty nice there everyday. It's pouring in Chicago and the Sox already have called their game. Cedeno strikes out looking. Onward and hopefully quickly.
Frandsen flies out to Bynyum, who's now in right after the double switch the Cubs pulled when they yanked Marshall that I should've told you about an inning ago. Wright grounds out. Novoa pitches to Winn, who taps a single up the middle. Vizquel bounces out to Mabry.
Giants 9, Cubs 0
I fixed the bottom of the fifth play-by-play that I had butched, in case anyone cares. I hope no one is keeping score off of this. Pierre grounds out to first. Walker sends one down the left-field line and Bonds runs like Frankenstein. The ball bounces just foul and Bonds nearly tumbles head first into the crowd. No, he's not a defensive liability out there. Walker then flies to Finley in center and Ramirez grounds to third.
, pronounced like Deney Terrio, takes over for Walker at second. Niekro singles to center and Bonds flies out to right. He hit it hard, but no dice. It was right at Bynum. Novoa strikes out Winn and the Cubs finally figured that guy out. Novoa plunks Finley. Matheny hits a ball off Ramirez's chest, but he recovers and makes the throw to end the sixth.
Giants 9, Cubs 0
Niekro makes a nice play on a hard hit ball by Mabry and quickly there's one out. Barrett grounds out to the great Omar Vizquel. Vizquel handles a ball hit by
Scott Williamson joins the party and gets Frandsen to fly out to Pierre. Wright hits for himself--and why not?--and flies out to Pierre, as well. This game has slowed to a crawl. Even the people in the sea kayaks floating in McCovey Cove look bored.
Giants 9, Cubs 0
hits and doubles down the left-field line. And it looks like we've got some capsized Hobbie cat in McCovey Cove. The owner is in a swim suit and he's about the palest guy I've ever seen. And yet they keep showing him. He's sitting on a rock, with one of the hulls of the upside boat on his shoulder as his significant other tries to devise a plan. Freddie Bynum, that's Freddie with an "ie", lofts one down the left field line that Bonds will have to chase. He closes on it but his complete inability to bend his waist causes him to miss the ball and Bynum is off to the races. He could circle them twice. Anyway,
and Bynum stops at third, possibly out of pity for Bonds.
That's it for Wright. He leaves and
enters. Pierre bounces back to Kline and Theriot flies out.
Giants 9, Cubs 2
is the new pitcher and Vizquel takes him deep to left and Hairston makes a great catch up against the wall. Honestly I have no idea who's playing where. Niekro strikes out. Here's Bonds again and he pops the first pitch up to center.
Giants 9, Cubs 2
In case you haven't heard about Rick Sutcliffe,
is a must read. Jeremy Accardo, whom Len says went to Illinois State, comes on to pitch for the Giants. Bonds takes a seat after going 1-for-10 in the series. Ramirez leads off with a single. Mabry grounds to third; Ramirez takes second. And Will Ohman will hit for himself because Dusty has used everyone today. Len says Ohman has two career at-bats, but it's unclear if this is his second or third. He chops it toward third and is safe when the throw gets away from Niekro. It's ruled a gift hit and that's the first one of his career. As Blanco hits I can safely report the pale guy and his girlfriend have safely loaded the catamaran onto their SUV. Blanco flies out and
. Hairston singles to right and Ohman goes from first to third. Huge comeback here. Maybe not. Bynum fans, the Cubs lose and head home after a 1-8 road trip.
Final: Giants 9, Cubs 3