Monday, September 04, 2006


The Bonds Revolutions

As I was enjoying a dramatic Giants Labor Day win over the Reds today, I also came up with another of my half-baked baseball/movie analogies, which I'm going to share with you now. Please bear with me.

I'm sure you're all familiar with the Matrix trilogy, in particular the final film Matrix Revolutions. Ok, the first movie was awesome, the second one pretty good, but Revolutions, at least for the first 100 minutes or so, was a really crappy movie, with only Monica Bellucci's bursting cleavage serving as any kind of redeemer. The last twenty minutes of the film, though, is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliantly realized visual feasts in recent cinema, a beautifully dark, rainy free-for-all between Neo and the film's villain, Agent Smith.

Basically, as the pseudo-apocalyptic fight wears on, a thoroughly burned out Neo (his girlfriend did just die after all) starts to get his ass kicked all over the city streets, as Smith throws him through walls, smacks him around in mid air, and piledrives him into the pavement from thousands of feet above the street. Despite all this, despite the amazing pounding he's been getting, Neo continues to get up and fight for his people, as a truly baffled Smith questions why he continues on this presumably pointless endeavor and why he doesn't just give in to inevitability.

You see, Barry Bonds is Neo, and the media is Agent Smith. Eh? Eh? Writers from all over the place continue to pummel him, calling him evil, a cheat, demanding he retire. The punishment never stops. As he's struggled this year, the talking heads have come out in full force, telling us that his problems have surely come due to the fact that he's not taking steroids anymore, and have nothing to do with his year-long layoff or his animatronic knee.

But despite all the pounding, Bonds just stays the course, going about his business, not playing the media game. As a result, like a bunch of ten-year-olds being ignored, the scribes begin to wail ever louder. "Why, Mr. Bonds. Why? Why do you persist?"

"Because I choose to." Smash. Another one into the Cove. Jeff Pearlman wallows in his own filth.

Bonds has four home runs in the past week, and if he stays hot like this, it'll be like the Giants picked up a superstar at the trade deadline for nothing. Bonds's swing in the past few weeks has looked as good as it has in a long time. It might get to the point again where pitchers will just walk him intentionally whenever he comes up, which would mean an OBP upwards of .500 and nothing but good news for the Giants offense, as that means more runners on base, plus the threat of a guy dominating a league for a month.

The Giants are at .500 with about a month to go. They've teased us before, but right now the momentum is there, and as long as the Giants play well at home and keep the ball far, far away from Benitez, I don't see why they can't at least make this race interesting.

-Huh. Just for fun, I Googled "Pedro Feliz sucks" to see what would come up, and sure enough, Give em Some Stankeye provided the first two results. Well, chalk up entry #3, I guess.

Far be it from me to start a Pedro Feliz Watch, but he currently sits at .250/.288/.447, a line that would barely keep Todd Benzinger in the lineup. There's got to be a better option out there, somewhere (There's not? Ah, crap.)

What do you think the timeline is for Sabean to be fired after Bonds can no longer hobble out there? 4, 5 years?
I don't know. It's easy to rip on the guy after the horrible signings of the past few years, but at least he had a plan, no matter how hare-brained or ill-advised.

Remember, Sabean did a hell of a job rebuilding this team after the 1996 disaster. Yeah, he had Bonds, but he also basically junked the entire 1994-96 team and got some real talent in there. If he can build around the solid pitching prospects they have, well, he might get our trust back and hold on a while longer.

If the rebuilding plan goes awry, though, yeah he's done in 3 years, tops.
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