1. No one is a more bonafide star in baseball, and it’s an All-Star game.
When Barry Zito pitched seven shutout innings to get a 1-0 win over the Diamondbacks on April 20, the only highlight shown on the ESPN News recap was Bonds’ home run. For the same day, despite a big game in that “fabled” Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, it was Bonds’ home run that led off the MLB.com Daily Rewind. On Sunday while the game in which Barry hit 740 was still ongoing -- a day with another Yankees-Red Sox Game, elimination games in the NHL Playoffs, and the start of some NBA playoff series -- Bonds’ home run was the top headline on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, and SI.com. Let’s face it, when the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees play, despite the game holding such stars as Alex Rodriguez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez and Daisuke Matsuzaka, the rivalry is a bigger headline than any of actual players.
2. Who else are you gonna vote for?
The NL outfields have been deprived of stars for the 2007 season, and there are only two guys who might be considered “locks.” One is Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets and the other is Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs -- and Soriano is hurt and lagging this early season. Andruw Jones is batting .220 to start the year (through April 20), and Ken Griffey, Jr. is showing his age.
3. It might keep him out of the home run derby.
At his age, he might choose to do just one event over the break. Bonds has often noted that participating in the most frivolous of exhibitions gets him swinging differently, and takes him out of his groove. Let him save his home runs for when they will count.
4. Watching Bud Selig tap dance is fun.
He never actually answers any hard questions about the controversy around Bonds, but he’s so artful, OK, maybe just entertaining, in his sidestepping of the questions. He won’t be around much longer; we might as well watch him dance while he’s here.
5. A-Rod will be there, and San Francisco can make a good impression.
Alex Rodriguez doesn’t need anyone’s help to get into the All-Star game. But the pre-season chatter about his dissatisfaction with New York and its fans linger, and the possibility he’ll opt out of his contract this off-season is very real. With Bonds at the All-Star Game, San Francisco will show off how much they support even the most embattled of superstars, and that may appeal to Rodriguez after the past couple of years in New York. Sure, they love him now, but what happens when he cools off?
6. It might be the only time Hank Aaron will see Bonds live all season.
Heaven forbid we interrupt his golf schedule; the All-Star game is probably already blocked off on his calendar.
7. Anything that pisses off hate-mongering sports ‘commentators’ like Jim Rome, Bruce Jenkins, and whoever that schmuck is on Yahoo! Sports is a good thing.
8. It could be his last All-Star Game.
Let’s face it; did the stats that Cal Ripken, Jr. put up really earn his final All-Star appearance? No, but he got it because he was a true star of the game who had done much to deserve it in the past, and it ended up in a wonderful All-Star moment. Bonds may or may not get that moment, but he has earned that final curtain call with his performance over the years.
9. San Francisco votes its own way.
We’re the place that makes certain right wing politicians complain about our “Nancy Pelosi” politics. Right or wrong, San Francisco has always been unafraid to vote differently. We voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger for governor! Heck, we had a guy that wore a fedora everywhere as mayor for eight years! It’s our prerogative to vote our own way, no matter what the rest of the country thinks, and frankly, schmucks in the media calling us bumpkins for being that way doesn’t encourage me to vote any different.
10. His stats are earning it.
If the bottom line is performance, let’s talk performance. Bonds may have fallen off, but consider where he’s fallen off from. His .349 batting average through April 20 was in the top 10 in the NL, his home run total was tied for second in the league, and he leads the league in on-base percentage and OPS.
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