After having my laptop implode upon itself and using my wife’s work computer, the recaps of “Bonds on Bonds” return! With Barry Bonds cranking out his first two bombs of the year and an unintentionally funny fourth episode of the show, the timing couldn’t be better.
Episode 4 is dominated by the big guy’s aches and pains. While we are given glimpses of Barry’s sojourn to his alma mater, Arizona State University, and telling interviews from Barry’s “favorite person and favorite manager”, Jim Leyland, this particular show is about the physical pain Bonds endures with seemingly every step he takes.
According to Bonds, “Bone on bone is a different situation,” and this point is never more apparent than the game footage showing him limp to fly balls in left field, hobbling up stairs and generally wincing to and fro.
The man needs to work on his use of the simile, though. When describing the pain in his knee he says it’s “like a needle jamming into a joint.” Needle, Barry? For a man who admittedly studied criminal justice while attending ASU, not to mention that little grand jury thing that’s underway, maybe he should have just said, “It hurts a whole f---in’ lot,” and left it at that. Regardless, I could almost hear the laughs coming from baseball beat writers and Bonds haters as soon as the word, “needle”, left his lips.
To the chagrin of his critics and glee of his fans, the viewer finally gets treated to homerun #1 of 2006 and 709 overall. Most shocking in the midst of the post-homer celebration is something never seen from Bonds on the playing field: a smile. He admits, “I’m forcing myself to make something happen,” and given the way managers are instructing their pitchers to throw to him, he’ll have to make huge adjustments. [At the time of this writing, he just went oppo again for dinger number 2 and 710 overall.] Opposite field could be the way things go until someone decides to throw inside to him again.
The show continues to show Barry at peace while framing his private moments with sound bites of KNBR 68’s Gary Radnich fielding calls from Bonds’ detractors. The best point he makes to one caller is that the sports page will be a lot thinner without Bonds in it. In Radnich’s mind, Bonds haters will be bored to tears without him in the game, and who can logically argue with that?
While radio talk show hosts and callers (who wait a scary amount of time to get on air and proclaim their venom for Bonds) banter on and on, Barry plays his piano and lifts weights. Clearly, Barry wants to show the viewers of “Bonds on Bonds” that none of the steroid talk has any effect on him.
And therein is the intriguing aspect of Episode 4: Bonds doesn’t hesitate to reveal his physical pain but he is devoid of mental anguish.
Either this guy has the greatest poker face of all time, or he truly phases out the legal mess that seems to encroach and compromise his world with every passing day. To his credit as a TV personality and a homerun hitter, he makes you want to see if there is a chink in the armor. What he will get almost assuredly is an audience for the fifth episode.
Laptop or not, I’ll be there for more.
Keith Larson writes for SFDugout.com because he's lived and died with the Giants since 1972. He welcomes all words of praise and insult at email@example.com, but mentioning anything having to do with Game 6 is to be done with extreme caution.
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