Saturday, August 12, 2006


I had a great realization regarding my favorite baseball team last night. I’ve pretty much given up on anything good happening this year. They’ve lost 14 of their last 17 and are sinking fast in the Division – last place and counting (down.)

So why am I feeling good? I’ve lost my attachment to keeping Barry Bonds around next year. It’s OK with me if he retires. It’s OK with me if he goes to another team. I don’t think he’ll ever reach Aaron’s home run record and if he does – well, that’s OK but basically I don’t care.

My attitude doesn’t have to do with whether he did or didn’t use steroids. I think he did use but that doesn’t diminish his records in my eyes. I think it was a dumb thing to do, but I also think he was one of a large crowd of players that did it in days when a steroid user wasn’t a pariah.

My epiphany was that it will be possible for the Giants to build a whole new team beginning next year because without Bonds and others who should leave, there will be plenty of money to spend. Bonds salary is 25% of the payroll. Then, if you add what we pay Moises Alou (who will not get better with age,) Armando Benitez (who is an expensive disaster,) Mike Matheny (who I doubt will play any more even after spending the rest of this season recovering from concussions,) and a few others who have been overtaken by age, for the first time in a long time the Giants will be able to start anew rather than tinker around the edges.

I would keep the core starters and relievers; they’re not bad. Keep Schmidt, Cain, Lowry and Morris. Get one more good starter and a closer. And then pick up some great free agents and the young guys coming through the farm system. If the team is good and exciting, even without the draw of Bonds, fans will come to games.

Take me out to the ballgame.


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