Monday, May 22, 2006

Bonds On Barbaro

Like a lot of Americans, I, too, was swept up in the whirlwind of ambivalence during the past several days.
But, in the midst of the mayhem and madness of Bonds’ 714/715 odyssey, the tragedy of a racehorse that I don’t know named Barbaro and three (3) Game 7’s in The Association’s playoff quarterfinals, one bit of data that appeared at the bottom of the ESPN screen Sunday night really hit home in this household.
“Phillies IF Alex Gonzalez retires”

News like that, well … when it deals with the Alex Gonzalez who spent part of the weekend in the home-team clubhouse at The Cit and not the Alex Gonzalez who spent the entire weekend in the visitors clubhouse (as a Red Sock) at The Cit, it becomes difficult to reconcile the Gonzo factor.
Seems like only yesterday when the American-born Alex Gonzalez – who was referred to as “Alex S. Gonzalez” so as not to be confused with the Venezuelan-born Alex Gonzalez, although it seems to me that I saw that “Alex S.” reference provided only when the Alex Gonzalez who spent the first eight years of his career with the Blue Jays (’94-’01) was playing in a series against the Alex Gonzalez who spent the first eight years of his career playing for the Marlins (’98-’05) – was the starting shotstop for the Cubbies in that ’03 NLCS against Florida and its shortstop named Alex Gonzalez.
And, lo and behold, it was Alex S. Gonzalez who had the Windy City all abuzz during Games 1 and 2 at Wrigley when he had five hits in 9 ABs, which included three homers, a double and 6 RBI.
Three jacks and six ribbies for Alex Gonzalez in the Cubs’ dugout.
An 0-for-7 effort from Alex Gonzalez in the Marlins’ dugout.

As everyone remembers, moments after Cubs fan “Bartman” tampered with that foul ball which ruined everyone’s lives, Alex Gonzalez booted a certain double-play grounder during that 8-run 8th inning.
And then Alex Gonzalez went on to the World Series and performed well enough to, like the rest of his Marlins teammates, earn the right to the gaudiest of gaudy World Series rings.
So, what of Alex S. Gonzalez? Well, he singled in his final AB on Sat, hiking his season average from .086 to .111.

Now that The MLB is one Alex Gonzalez poorer, it’s time for me to sift through my emotions re: Barbaro.
For one thing, he’s only my third favourite Barbaro, right behind Barbaro Garbey, the Detroit Tigers’ prospect who, more than 20 years ago, was labelled “the next Roberto Clemente” by manager Sparky Anderson.
THAT Barbaro fizzled mighty quick, but at least he helped the ’84 Tigers to the World Series by going hitless in 12 World Series ABs.
Go, Barbaro, go!
I’m pretty sure that right about the time that Barbaro Garbey was going 0 for 12 in the World Series, safety Gary Barbaro was ending his association with the K.C. Chiefs – so that he could pursue a blockbuster career in the USFL for the New Jersey Generals.

Mighty damn confusing, keeping matters straight between Alex Gonzalez, Alex S. Gonzalez, Barbaro Garbey and Gary Barbaro.
In a lot of ways, I was thankful for Barbaro’s victory in the Kentucky Derby a few weeks ago, just so that I’d have a modern-day Barbaro to evoke those powerful Barbaro images of yesteryear, such as 0 for 12 and New Jersey General recollections.

Crazy though it may seem, I didn’t highlights of Bonds ratcheting up the HGH dosage to the 714 level until 18 hours after he hit the semi-milestone HR in Oakland.
Sorry … there’s other things to do than sit around and wonder: “If Bonds doesn’t homer soon, an Alex Gonzalez or and Alex S. Gonzalez could call it quits.”

The most-disappointing aspect of HR #714 is that Bonds, the People’s Home Run Hero, didn’t phone the handlers of the People’s Kentucky Derby Winner, Barbaro, and offer condolences.
The reason for this is fairly obvious, albeit a little sad. It’s because Bondsie is a little ticked off that the horse has yet to be destroyed, liquified and then Fed-Ex’ed to whichever BALCO Outlet Store which Bondsie shops at nowadays.
With an injectible-and-syringe-friendly Barbaro in liquid form, Bondsie could probably get the same boost that he got from the rhino semen which he may’ve ingested in its tasty, chewable tablet form.
What’s the harm here? It looks like the cycle of life to me. Bondsie gets his pureed Barbaro and beats all drug tests which have no means of detecting “LKDW” (Liquified Kentucky Derby Winner).

In many ways, Bondsie is likely sensing betrayal from Barbaro and the thoroughbred’s will to live – which probably explains why when Barbaro had those 23 screws inserted into his leg, Bondsie didn’t offer the big chunk of armour which protects his elbow during every AB.

We’ve come to learn that if Barbaro does make a recovery, he may have difficulty when it comes time to stud due to the strain that he’d put on his hind legs while “mating,” as it were.
Again, this is where the People’s Home Run Champion can assist the People’s Favourite Thoroughbred. Barbaro’s handlers could phone Bondsie and ask, “Hey, slugger, can you walk me through the technique that you most-recently used when you mounted a filly that you weren’t married to? C’mon, dude … this is for science!”

Damn you, Bare … and damn your anti-equine prejudices …

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