Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!!!
Finally, Finally, Finally!!!
I have been on tenterhooks all summer. The team isn't going anywhere--the only thing to root for was Bonds getting The Record. Tonight he blasted one to right-centerfield, the deepest part of the park, and the wait is over. Congratulations, Barry, YOU ARE THE KING.
1. My previous post, "Milestones," was supposed to be funny, mocking the criticism of Bonds and the kid-gloves treatment other ballplayers get. I'm not sure that was evident. The statistical information was supposed to balance the tone, and show I was serious about Bonds' place in the pantheon of sluggers. (I'll get better, I promise.)
2. I've been critical of Aaron for avoiding The Chase and seeming to "dis" Barry. The video message on the board at PhoneCo suggested I was wrong about The Hammer. I'm glad that happened. (It was quite a surprise, apparently to the radio broadcast crew as well.) The statement was a little stilted, sounding too prepared, but those are quibbles. Too bad Bud Selig could only manage a scowl in San Diego.
3. The Nationals pitcher, Mike Bacsik, who served up the homer, is the son of a major league pitcher, also named Mike Bacsik. Young Mr. Bacsik was born the year I graduated from high school (MCMLXXVII). The older Mr. Bacsik faced both Bobby Bonds and Henry Aaron in his brief (73 games) career. Young Mr. Bacsik becomes the 446th pitcher to yield a homerun to Barry. (It was an entertaining battle, a 3-2 hit off a lefty after a near foul-out. Barry was 2 for 2 with two hard hit balls before then.)
4. We listened to the broadcast with the peerless Jon Miller (KNBR 680 AM) via MLB's Gameday Audio. Our local Giants affiliate also handles the A's, and we can't rely on them to carry all the games. Gameday Audio is great! We then viewed the post-HR ceremony and the replay of the at-bat using the MLB.TV free "live-look." I'm glad we got to see that. Despite the awkwardness of suspending play, it went well, and Barry handled himself with reasonable grace and tact. I particularly liked how he acknowledged the other team. It is probably a pain in the ass for the visiting and/or opponent club to be part of any fan love-fests or historic milestones. Jon Miller's partner, Dave Flemming, got to call #755 in San Diego, and it was fitting that the senior man got to make the Big Call.
5. Barry didn't need to hit 756 HRs to convince me he's the greatest, I knew that already. Every time I watch him hit one, my jaw drops. He has such a beautiful swing--balanced, compact, seemingly effortless. His technique is perfect, the confluence of exceptional talent and an extraordinary work ethic. Regardless of how you feel about Bonds personally, you cannot help but admire his ability. He is the master of the craft of hitting.
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