Reality and Sanity

August 4, 2007

That Ties It

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 10:07 pm

Bonds hits No. 755.

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July 19, 2007

No. 752 and 753!

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 3:49 pm

Rejuvenated Bonds belts 752 and 753.

CHICAGO — Barry Bonds was back in the Giants’ starting lineup for Thursday afternoon’s game here against the Cubs and didn’t waste any time in his pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home run record, smacking two into the depths and out of Wrigley Field.

At 753, suddenly Bonds is now two homers away from tying Aaron’s Major League Baseball career-best 755 and three away from passing him into first place on the all-time list.

July 3, 2007

No. 751

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 5:46 pm

Barry Bonds hits a two-run homer on a fly ball to right center field in the top of the first in Cincinnati, No. 751. Now only four away from Hank Aaron’s 755.

June 30, 2007

No. 750

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 5:26 am

Barry Bonds hits career homer No. 750…

Bonds hit No. 750 on Friday night to lead off the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks at AT&T Park, placing him five away from tying Hank Aaron’s magic 755 and six away from passing him for the lead on Major League Baseball’s all-time list.

…but after after a fan walks up to him at his left field position…

The blast off Arizona right-hander Livan Hernandez came only an inning after a male fan, identified by San Francisco police as Andrew B. Clapp, 24, and a tourist from Fargo, N.D., trotted out to left field and appeared to chat with Bonds while he was trying to play his position. Bonds casually put his arm on the fan’s shoulder and walked him off the field toward the left-field foul line where they were met by security. Bonds never seemed in danger and no security ventured into fair territory during the incident.

“He just wanted to shake my hand,” Bonds told MLB.com in the hallway outside the clubhouse after the Giants dropped a 4-3, 10-inning decision. “I told him to come with me so he didn’t get into any more trouble.”

When asked if he had felt threatened at any time during the episode, Bonds said, “No.”

The incident occurred with Giants starter Matt Morris nursing a one-ball count on D-backs second baseman Orlando Hudson. There was one out and a runner on first in the top of the seventh when the fan hopped over the low fence by the Giants bullpen down the left-field line and walked unencumbered over to Bonds.

…which unnerved some of his teammates.

Several of the Giants said they were a bit shaken by the incident that occurred during their third loss in a row and 14th in their last 19 games.

“When guys go out there, you never know what their intentions are,” said center fielder Dave Roberts, who dropped a fly ball later in the inning, allowing two unearned runs to score on the error. “I’m just happy Barry’s safe.”

“It’s pretty scary,” pitcher Barry Zito said. “You never know with these kinds of things. I didn’t see it. I was up here [in the clubhouse] when it happened. But I heard Barry really kept his cool and handled it very well.”

Yes, he did.

Besides the HR milestone, if Barry plays another year (and I fully expect him to do so, according to interview comments he’s made this season) he now is only 102 hits away from 3,000. Passing that mark would allow Bonds to join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Rafael Palmeiro in a very exclusive club: players with 500 HRs and 3000 hits.

June 23, 2007

No. 749

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 4:24 am

Barry Bonds is now only six behind Hank Aaron.

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds gave Yankees pitcher Scott Proctor ample warning.

Bonds found a bead on Proctor and fouled off three consecutive fastballs, all of which he got a big piece of, before lighting up another Proctor fastball that was served up right over the plate for home run No. 749.

After looking at the pitch location, I’m surprised Bonds didn’t hit it into McCovey Cove.

June 17, 2007

No. 748

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 2:31 pm

Barry Bonds hits the 748th homer of his career leading off the top of the 6th inning at Fenway Park off the second pitch he saw that at-bat from Tim Wakefield.

June 12, 2007

No. 747

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 3:11 am

[Barry] Bonds’ 747 takes off, lifting Giants.

SAN FRANCISCO — Everyone’s been saying it. Coaches, teammates, opposing pitchers, fans: “It’s only a matter of time.”

Monday night, that matter of time ended when Barry Bonds finally hit another home run and the sporting world exhaled.

So did the rest of the Giants as their hits finally started falling, and on Monday night, everything was as it should be in San Francisco.

Bonds’ home run No. 747 ignited a three-run, go-ahead rally to propel the Giants to a 4-3 win over Toronto. Matt Morris pitched a complete game for his seventh consecutive win. This was a big one for the Giants, who entered the game shouldering a 21-inning scoreless streak and an Oakland sweep on the mind. It was also a big one for Bonds, who hadn’t hit a home run in 12 games.

May 27, 2007

Barry Bonds Hits No. 746

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 5:26 pm

A two-run homer in the 6th inning off Taylor Buchholz of Colorado.

You know he’s going to pass Hank Aaron before the end of this season.

July 2, 2006

Chicago Cubs Fans Throw Litter Onto Wrigley Field’s Playing Surface

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 1:28 pm

It’s been a bad year for South Side baseball fans. After enduring injuries to star players, mounting losses and a generally bleak future outlook, their hated enemies from Chicago’s North Side, the White Sox, push them over the edge by snatching a down-to-their-last-out victory away on a three-run homer by the annoying A.J. Pierzynski:

CHICAGO (AP) – With the Cubs so close to winning, fans littered Wrigley Field with plastic bottles, cups, and other debris Saturday after A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-out, ninth-inning homer to send the White Sox to an 8-6 victory.The game was delayed nearly five minutes as security and the grounds crew came out to pick up the litter. Most of it fell on the warning track in the outfield, although some items, including a baseball, came out of the stands from behind the Cubs’ dugout.

“I guess they can voice their opinions however they want to,” Cubs center fielder Juan Pierre said.

“They shouldn’t throw anything on the field. It was sad. It was frustrating for us to lose a game and have the fans react like this.”

Much of the anger apparently was directed at Cubs closer Ryan Dempster, who retired the first two batters in the ninth with the Cubs leading 6-5. But two straight batters then reached base ahead of Pierzynski’s homer.

Shortly after Pierzynski rounded the bases and got in the dugout, items began sailing onto the field. The Cubs are 1-11 in their last 12 homes games.

“It’s tough because you never like to see that,” Dempster said after blowing his fifth save of the season. “I wish I would have gotten the last out and you never would have seen that. It’s tough.”

The Cubs, who have lost two straight and four of five to the White Sox this season, dropped to 29-51.

So why is Pierzynski the focal point, the tipping point for Cubs fans to vent their frustration so despicably?

The answer, in two sentences I combined from both linked articles to fully explain the point:

Pierzynski has been in the center of the rivalry all season, first after he barreled over Cubs catcher Michael Barrett on May 20 at U.S. Cellular Field. Barrett responded by grabbing Pierzynski and punching him in the face, setting off a bench-clearing brawl.

Okay. But that still doesn’t excuse the “Bleacher Bums” from littering the field of play.

I’m all for fans using creative non-profane signs and chanted slogans to rip on teams, such as some enterprising high-school-age Twins fans did to Chuck Knoblauch in a game at the Metrodome with t-shirts spelling out “Watch you back, Chuck, we’re everywhere.” But just as some other fans spoiled it by tossing crap onto the field in that game, the Cubs fans that participated in hurling trash onto the field are out of line.

Update: Dan Shanoff of The Daily Quickie says the reason was a coup disgrace:

Finally so fed up with the team’s awful season, the fans’ only reaction was to chuck stuff on the field.

“Fire Dusty [Baker]” has joined “Fire [Matt] Millen” and “Fire Isiah [Thomas]” in the Triple Crown of sports executive executions that fans would like to see.

June 18, 2006

A Father’s Day to Remember

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 10:30 am

Every time Father’s Day comes around, I am reminded of U. S. Senator Jim Bunning. Not for political reasons; in a another life, he was a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher. It was during his baseball career that Bunning had one of the most unique Father’s Days ever.

Bunning, then the father of six children (now nine children; he also has 35 grandchildren) took the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies on Father’s Day 1964 to face the New York Mets on the road at Shea Stadium.

He pitched a perfect game.

For you non-baseball fans, that means he didn’t allow a single batter to reach first base. He struck out ten batters and drove in two runs in his effort, the first perfect game in the National League in 84 years.

Definitely a Father’s Day to remember.

May 28, 2006

715

Filed under: Horsehide Chronicles — Paul @ 5:32 pm

Barry Bonds passes Babe Ruth.

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