With that homer over Wrigley's RF bleachers*
(* -- off of Ted Lilly when the Chicago skies were dark and threatening)
coupled with that fly-ball HR into the basket in CF,*
(* -- against Will Ohman when the Chicago skies were bright n' blue)
America's most-heroic action figure -- Barry Bonds*
(* -- son of the always charismatic and charming Bobby Bonds, the ex-Giant/ex-Yankee/ex-Angel/ex-White Sock/ex-Ranger/ex-Indian/ex-Cardinal/ex-Cub)
became the U.S. career leader in home runs*
(* -- the world record of 868 belongs to Japan's Sadaharu Oh)
with his 761st and 762nd round-trippers*
(* -- a lifetime total which includes postseason homers),
breaking the record previously held by Henry Aaron*
(* -- "Hammerin' Hank" hit 761 untainted homers in his illustrious career).
Let's face it: If we didn't put to good use this pocketful of asterisks, there might've been no means at our disposal to quantify this home run record -- a feat capped by the record-tying homer*
(* -- which not only CLEARed the ivy-covered wall in RF, but the RF bleachers as well)
and the record-setting homer*
(* -- which, although the ball came to rest in the "basket" in CF, was a pitch which Bonds CREAMed nevertheless).
Many Americans will take this opportunity to be hatin'*
(* -- when they should be congratulatin')
while failing to either acknowledge or appreciate the science which went into creating a talented-but-unlikable test-tube slugger*
(* -- apparently, BALCO never perfected the synthesis of proteins for "congeniality").
Since most of America doesn't remember The Hammer's six postseason homers*, (* -- we'll do it here ... just to go against the grain -- and because those homers DID count, by the way)
"761" is a milestone which isn't considered*
(* -- which is precisely what we've come to expect from a sport wherein a mediocre manager named Tommy Lasorda is elected to a so-called Hall of Fame roughly 15 minutes after his retirement, thus negating the validity of said Hall of Fame).
America's failure to acknowledge 761 is most likely the reason why there was little fanfare when Bonds rounded the bases following No. 762*
(* -- doing so without as much as a low-key, celebratory hugs and handshakes from a welcoming committee of Victor Conte, Greg Anderson and Kimberly Bell).
That's why this monumental moment is so bittersweet*
(* -- and not with accompanied by the glee and overwhelming joy the way it was for America when Ripken rescued The MLB in '95 with his 2,131th consecutive game ... or when Big Mac re-rescued The MLB in '98 by going into the seats near the dugout and hugging all the members of the Maris Family).
It's not a matter of whether Barry "cheated"*
(* -- it's more about "What ever happened to that jangly little crucifix earring that Bonds used to wear?").
because America needs heroes now more than ever*
(* -- that is, heroes other than the ones we find at the X Games).
For the record, what We The People "know" is that Barry is not better than our all-time favorites*
(* -- the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, and the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams).
Ranking Bonds with those legends is like grouping Avon cosmetics with Maybelline*
(* -- or with Revlon, take yer pick).
If the guy REALLY was interested in winning our hearts, he'd pull a Walter Payton*
(* -- who, shortly after breaking the all-time NFL rushing record, said that his accomplishment was for the Joe Delaneys and the David Overstreets and the Brian Piccolos)
and inform us that his inspiration came from the greatest home-run hitter of all-time*
(* -- Josh Gibson).
Not that it matters -- because, all along the S.F. Peninsula tonight, they're awash in the 762 fever provided by their homegrown hero*
(* -- who, by the way, could fornicate with a goat atop the Giants dugout in AT&T Park and elicit only a "Why do people have to pick on Barry?" response from the Bonds loyalists/apologists).
For those of us who conducted a phone interview with Bonds on the day he was drafted*
(* -- as a rookie intern way back in '85)
this magical moment ranks right up there with the thrill of being the one who broke the news to a naked Vida Blue that he was taking Bill Laskey's spot in the rotation and would be starting Friday against the Padres*
( * -- a few weeks after that phone interview with Bonds way back in '85).
From the Giants' standpoint, this historic homer should spell an end to the controversy*
(* -- a messy situation which began when outfielder Bobby Rayburn left Atlanta to sign that fat contract with the Giants -- only to find himself jinxed and slumping because Juan Primo refused to surrender uniform #11, which was Rayburn's number with the Braves. BUT, THEN ... crazed fan, Gil Renard, took matters into his own hands and fatally stabbed Primo in the hotel sauna, although there was NO EXCUSE for disguising himself as the home plate umpire and then slashing the throat of Giants star "Lanz" during that final confrontation in the monsoon at Candlestick) ...