April 2006

Hammer Ball

Arod

One month into the season and things are just beginning to take shape. The Barry Bonds watch, hunt, chase, and escapade has cooled while Barry takes a break and adjust to this new unprecedented level of pressure. Mind and body go hand in hand.

Meanwhile, the game moves on. Alex Rodriguez is swinging a hot a stick and is hovering around the .300 mark. Some things never change. Yankee fans are lucky to have a front row seat of yet another future Hall of Famer. Alex is the complete package. Look for the Yankees to catch fire this month. Spring is slowly moving toward summer and some players only get it going when it’s warm baby! I feel ya. The White Sox seem to have picked up where they left off. It’s too early to run away with it but the swagger is right. Vazquez is looking strong and was near flawless in his two-hitter this week. The Sox have won 9 of their last 10 games.

KingcrabBoston threatens an early season run for the stretch. We all know, you wake up one morning, it’s July and you wonder, "How did we get 10 games out?" Red Sox fans are hungry for another shot at it. Believe me, once you taste victory you begin to crave it. It is an acquired taste. King Crab anyone?

The A’s and Angels hook up this weekend and the series will produce the early season favorite for the AL West crown. My bet is the A’s will win the series and the AL West this year. The A’s pitching once again is the advantage. Look for Zito to get in rhythm in May.

The Mets sure look impressive. This is going to be a highly contested battle in the NL East. While the Mets are marking their territory, the Braves pitching is locking in. We have all the classic makings of a great Bonds_1divisional rivalry. Former teammates and the north versus the south. Southern hospitality versus the big city slickers. The Mets and Braves is baseball at its summertime best.

The Cubs are in striking distance early on and should give Houston all the fight they can stand this season. Look for others to step up while Lee recovers. The Cubs will be there fighting it out in September.

The Giants will win the NL West. While Barry is mending and finding his groove, the Giants still occupy the top spot. I don’t see the other clubs having the eye of the tiger that it takes to whip veterans when it counts. They don’t won’t it. So the Giants will gladly take it.

Question, when will the NL managers get the guts to pitch to Barry Bonds? They say he’s old and on the decline. OK, then pitch to the man!!

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Barry Bonds Watch / Barry and the Babe

BondsWith every sweet or painful swing (depending on the eyes of the beholder) of Barry Bonds‘ Hall Of Fame bound bat, America will be forced to look directly into the mirror. There is no avoiding the reality of the cultural divide. How this historic moment is viewed, and the opinion of the viewers will cause a room to go silent like verdict day of the OJ trial. You will witness anger and iniquity. Friends will stop talking for a season. Multicultural bowling teams will be missing members on league night, who won’t to avoid discussing the topic of Barry and the Babe. I am pained that the game I love, respect and was reared in, will now come under attack.

Baseball was already suffering from it’s inability to capture the imagination of the minority youth of today. While it’s worldclass leading and cutting edge video on demand website and services deserves the highest accolades, it’s old-fashioned, out-of-touch, old-media marketing approach to the minority youth of today needs an update. I love baseball and I hate to see the game suffer. The old "sports" media guards will push the envelope to the detriment of society. Old wounds will be opened and fresh blood will flow from the new cuts that will be made. I always laugh and wink at the shallow opinion pieces that are written as fact, that underestimate and insult my intelligence.

Bittersweet is this season. I walked the stadiums of baseball America in the ’70s as a kid. I flew on private chartered jets with the fighting, moustache gang Oakland A’s. We were a family. Cubans, Dominicans, Latinos, Italians, Irish, Europeans, Caucasian, African Americans, **** and Gentiles. This was my life. I will not sit idle while new journalist who are in need of a ratings bump, and a book sale, taint the game and divide America. I said in my earlier open letter to Barry Bonds that this is not about steroids and I stand by that statement. The real question is, Is It Worth It? What will be accomplished by making Barry Bonds the proverbial scapegoat?

Man, buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks, I don’t care if I ever get back! I miss Harry Caray! I miss the innocence and warmth of the seventh-inning stretch. I miss catching foul balls and bat day. I miss cap day, and yes I miss hot pants day! The Oakland A’s actually had such a day! I miss heckling the pitchers! And swing batter swing! I miss George and his Yankees, and Reggie Jackson and the All-Star blast! Come on guys, go report on wrestling and "Leave My Game Alone"!

But noooo! U want me to talk steroids, drugs, and racial divide. I could have stayed home and watched a good movie. Have U forgotten that baseball is entertainment!