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View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 13, Sox 4


cheeses_h_rice
04-24-2002, 10:31 AM
:moron

I hereby nominate my lover, Sham-ME Soso, as the game of baseball's finest ambassador. The way he did that hop and kissy-fingers routine with his team being pounded by 12 runs last night was 100% pure class.

__

I give this one a 4, for all the Sham-ME love, and the fact that the Moron barely mentions the outcome of the game.

5=Extremely positive
4=positive
3=equal parts positive and negative
2=negative
1=extremely negative

That makes the totals (columns/points/average points):

Flubs 13/48/3.69
Sox 4/12/3

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay24.html

Not-so-friendly confines

April 24, 2002

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST


For a good half-hour, he fawned. Barry Bonds was hosting a tribute to the life and times of Sammy Sosa. He called him ‘‘incredible.’’ He said he would pay to watch him play. He claimed he’s too old to break the all-time home-run record—news flash—but that Sosa is on target. He recalled forecasting years ago that Sosa would be an MVP.

The love was so thick, you were ready to suggest a candlelit restaurant for them.

And then, the Real Barry slipped. Like that, his Sosa testimonial U-turned Tuesday into what it truly is, a chippy rivalry between the two sluggers that will dominate baseball for the next three or four years. Sosa’s intent when he came to Wrigley Field was to downplay the strains of tension that flared in spring training—when Sosa said Bonds urged him during an outfield chat to break his single-season record, which caused Bonds to criticize Sosa for ‘‘running his mouth,’’ prompting Sosa to angrily intimate that Bonds is every bit the bad guy his teammates have suggested he is. When asked what upset him in March, Bonds easily could have doused the flames as he sat with 100 media people in the San Francisco dugout.

Instead, he lit another match and confirmed what we’ve known all along: Behind the TV cameras, Bonds and Sosa don’t care much for each other.

‘‘Certain cardinal rules were broken,’’ Bonds said of Sosa. ‘‘What two players were discussing on the field—that bond was broken. What we talk about stays on the field. That’s where it stops. That’s where it should stop.’’

He also said Sosa should defer to him because Bonds is an older player. ‘‘I am his elder. He must respect me,’’ he said. Some of us thought he was kidding and laughed, but Bonds kept lecturing, saying, ‘‘Those are the rules of baseball, always have been. My father [former major-leaguer Bobby] lived by those rules.’’

In the vernacular, this is known as cold-blooded oneupsmanship. Bonds is trying to paint himself as a better man than Sosa—you know, he can keep a conversation sacred when Sosa can’t—and Sammy thinks it’s a lot of baloney. And it is. Just what were they talking about that day in Arizona anyway? Cures for cancer?

They were discussing home runs, and if I heard Bonds right in his first Chicago appearance since his 73-homer revelation, he pretty much confirmed what he told Sosa under the Mesa sun—he won’t mind if Sosa or another player conquered the power world and, say, broke Henry Aaron’s career record of 755 homers.

‘‘When they talk about Aaron, I think Alex Rodriguez is the guy to watch,’’ Bonds said. ‘‘Sammy’s young enough to do it. My time is gone. There’s not enough time. And that’s just real. I have four or five years left, and that’s it. If I’m going to be intentionally walked 100-plus times, I don’t have seven years left to make up for it. I’ve never wanted to break [Aaron’s mark]. It’s never been my goal.’’

Why not? ‘`Because I want a World Series ring, damn it,’’ Bonds said. ‘‘I don’t want 755 home runs.’’

Disregard the charade, merely a device for Bonds to complain about intentional walks. There is one reachable prize coveted by both—the Aaron record—and each knows the other is in the way. Bonds’ rambling commentaries are too scattered for me to believe he doesn’t want Aaron’s mark. Before knocking Sosa about breaking cardinal rules, he tried to blame the media for manufacturing their tiff, invoking the same bizarre rationale he did during their Arizona crossfire. ‘‘You aren’t going to get two minority athletes going at each other’s throats,’’ Bonds said. This has nothing to do with race, Barry.

It has to do with class. Apparently, Sosa’s fans and teammates understand clearly. Every time Bonds came to bat Tuesday night, he was booed, before the fans turned on Don Baylor and the Cubs in a gruesome 12-4 loss. In the third inning, Jason Bere plunked Bonds in the hip, eliciting a disgusted look from the heavy-armored warrior. The only reason to cheer: a two-run homer by Sosa, his seventh.

To Sosa’s credit, he kept his cool when Bonds’ comments were relayed. ‘‘I don’t hate nobody,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m here, and I’m going to say hi to him.’’ When the questions persisted, Sosa emphasized the incident was over. Reminded that Bonds said these things 90 minutes earlier, Sosa paused to weigh his thoughts.

‘‘My relationship with Barry,’’ he said, ‘‘is different than what it was.’’

They will wage their battle with wooden artillery. Let the slugging begin. In a sport clouded by labor uncertainty, contraction madness and attendance declines, Bonds vs. Sosa is necessary and cool theater. No longer is it inconceivable that one or both will pass 755, and while the masses are less wowed by homer flurries, only a pulseless fool would tire of the drama accompanying their every at-bat.

The lingering question: Who has the best chance to eclipse Aaron? That would be Sosa. If we can believe Sammy is 33, that makes him 4œ years younger than Bonds, who turns 38 in late July. Health is a major issue, as we saw with the sudden exit of McGwire, and Bonds is fighting a persistent hamstring problem that symbolizes the obstacles he faces. He has 575 homers to Sosa’s 457, which means Bonds needs to average 40 a year over a five-year period—into his early 40s—while Sosa needs to average 50 over six years or 43 over seven. It isn’t beyond the realm that Bonds could break the record, retire, then see Sosa break it. But it’s also possible both could crumble physically and crawl toward history, a painful thought.

Sosa isn’t shy about Aaron. ‘‘I’m already close to 500, and I have more years left in my body,’’ he said. ‘‘If I play 162 games the next seven or eight years, the numbers will be there. So I don’t have to put pressure on myself. Records are made to be broken.’’

The circumstances of their collision make it impossible not to choose a favorite. Recent national polls suggest Sosa is the people’s choice, but Bonds’ performance and brighter outlook last year won him points. ‘‘Things have changed for me, and you can open up your heart a little more when things like this happen,’’ Bonds said. But playing cop and assessing fines for breaking ‘‘cardinal rules’’ reminds us Barry is still Barry.

Never, ever doubt Bonds’ place as one of baseball’s five greatest all-time players. But never, ever doubt Sosa’s place as the game’s finest ambassador. Take that from someone who’s an elder to both.

Chisox353014
04-24-2002, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice
If I’m going to be intentionally walked 100-plus times, I don’t have seven years left to make up for it.
I’ve never wanted to break [Aaron’s mark]. It’s never been my goal
Why not? ‘`Because I want a World Series ring, damn it,’’ Bonds said. ‘‘I don’t want 755 home runs.’’

Disregard the charade, merely a device for Bonds to complain about intentional walks. There is one reachable prize coveted by both—the Aaron record—and each knows the other is in the way. Bonds’ rambling commentaries are too scattered for me to believe he doesn’t want Aaron’s mark.

All right, this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's a Flub fan. Only a Flub fan would hear someone say they want a World Series ring instead of the home run record and even think to ask "why not" and call it a "charade".

cheeses_h_rice
04-24-2002, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Chisox353014


All right, this proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's a Flub fan. Only a Flub fan would hear someone say they want a World Series instead of the home run record and even think to ask "why not" and call it a "charade".

The Moron is so focused on home run tallies, it's almost as if he and Sham-ME have melded minds into one.

:moron

If I were to pay to see writing by any one sports columnist, it would definitely have to be Jay Mariotti.