Barry Bonds passed the Babe today with home run number 715. I really don’t understand the fuss about this “milestone”, unless it’s more of a testament to the Babe and his era and less to Bonds and all that comes with this one.

But I’m not a home run kind of fan anyway. Me, I like the running game. Give me a guy who’s a threat to swipe a base or two. Give me the double steal, the hit and run, and the squeeze play.

A home run has the excitement and predictibility of bumper cars. The running game is where the roller coaster is. It upsets the tempo of what is generally a long and sometimes tedious pace. It incites chaos into the order that is the framework of the game. At its best, it rattles, gets into the pitcher’s head, and keeps everyone guessing enough to  forces errors and manufacture runs. It  compells the pitcher to become more than just a thrower.

Barry Bonds is still a great player, but I miss the old Barry. The one of only three players who made the elusive 40/40 club, and the 30/30 club five times. I know, I know, it can be argued that the fan wants the homerun, but even on this day, it’s this that distinguishes him from the Babe for this fan.


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