Ball Boys

The return on this Bonds: a lot of interest, very little payoff

In preparation for war, I remember my training.

"What you need to do," said Dallas Morning News scribe Gerry Fraley, a master of dirty pool, "is use your body. The kids won't expect that. They'll be looking for the ball; that's when you use the body. Everybody forgets, but that catch Drew Pearson made? Everybody looks up here, at his hands, but he pushed off with his base. He used the base. Use your base."

Yes, Obi-Wan.

Baseball has been Barry, Barry bad to Fair Game.
©2000 S.F. Giants/Stanton
Baseball has been Barry, Barry bad to Fair Game.

Armed with base-using knowledge, I'm ready, though I wish I had a tin of eye-black and some camouflage.

The Rangers have left the field. The Giants are starting to trickle out. Soon, I'll realize my destiny, elbow that Matt kid something good and be off for the island and sordid affairs.

Except for one thing. I'm foiled. The Giants are taking batting practice inside today. The pansies can't stand the heat. Then, during the game, Bonds doesn't come close to knocking one out. Even though Kenny Rogers is on the mound, doing his best to help the Giants work back into the pennant race. Even though Rogers serves up homers to Rich Aurilia and Eric Davis. Eric Davis for chrissakes. The man started out playing sandlot ball with the Carthaginians. Bonds is an underproductive bastard. As the game ends, I contemplate kicking him. I would, too, if not for him being bigger and stronger and tougher. He's lucky.

What's worse, the next night, the very next night, Bonds unloads, going deep twice. Conspiracy theories begin to form. Surely someone got to him--told Bonds of my island fantasy, made it worthwhile for him to tank in Texas. I'm certain it was Matt.

Plan B: Track down the 10-year-old con artist and rip a home-run ball from his glove. That's allowed.

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