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Three cheers for Ray Ratto (scathing column)

OAFC BBS - All Topics: Archive: Three cheers for Ray Ratto (scathing column)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By chris_d on Friday, April 05, 2002 - 11:59 am:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/05/SP192797.DTL

To get to playoffs, all have to step up

Ray Ratto Friday, April 5, 2002


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BARRY BONDS. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Sorry. Just a test to see how long you can read his name before you figure there's nothing else coming.

Sort of like the way the Giants were perceived a year ago. And, now that the fellows are coming home to open their 45th season in Happy Valley, exactly the way they are being perceived now.

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Hypnotic, ain't it?

But before you feel your eyes start rolling back in your head, a brief mention on the occasion of this 45th home opener for the other employees, the ones who either will or will not make the difference between a season for the ages and more Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

As you may recall (and even if you don't), the Giants missed the postseason despite all that Bondsiana, because they didn't pitch as well as their pitchers' park suggests they should, and because only Rich Aurilia and the High Lord You Know Who among the regulars had better seasons than they did the year before.

As a result, the ownership's archest enemy, Jerry Colangelo, slept with the World Series trophy while Our Petey sat home, damning the television and grinding his teeth while counting all the money Bud Selig says he's not making.

So let's suggest that while Bonds chases himself all the way to Willie Mays and perhaps even beyond, the untold, inside, real-deal story is the rest of the roster, and what it intends to do to avoid repeating its share of 2001.

And yes, it does matter. A great deal, in fact.

Bonds could hit 74 homers this year, or 72. He could also hit six, but that might not even take us into the weekend. But whatever he does, it's going to look an awful lot like what he did last year.

What's more, he's going to sound a lot like he did last year, and read a lot like he did last year. And while most outsiders seemed to be satisfied with that part of his season as well as his at-bats, nothing creates more grumbling than more of the same. Bonds spoke so much of himself that he can't help but repeat himself, and there are only so many ways of explaining that fourth-inning solo shot in Montreal May 11 off Britt Reames. On the other hand, there are so many other only slightly less pressing matters. General manager Brian Sabean and manager Dusty Baker come immediately to mind, given that their contracts hit E after the season ends, and since Magowan has already cast his vote for the Giants winning, one can only assume that not winning might cause some unpleasant chafing in the offices of the mighty, if you know what we mean and we think you do.

Secondly, and we know you've heard this before, this is not a young team, and getting older all the time. This is not a bar to success as we know from past Giants rosters, but it serves as a persistent reminder that the window stays open only so long. Even if Bonds is planning to play forever, most of his teammates won't, and in the present climate of winning today and letting tomorrow go to hell if need be, the Giants can't afford to look up at Arizona again.

And third, what if Bonds limps in with a paltry 66 homers, and the Giants don't win? Some of the customers might notice that this isn't what they've been spending all those seven-buck beers on, and grumpy customers don't come back nearly as often to buy more seven-buck beers. They stay home and drink seven for the same price. So you see the problem here. The Giants have won the NL West, and Barry Bonds has broken the home-run record, but not at the same time. And because we all know how hard it is to keep those people behind home plate on their cell phones night after night, the Giants have only one way to give the ticket buyers a sense that they're getting more for their money.

And for that to happen, they need Livan Hernandez and Robb Nen, Reggie Sanders and David Bell, Kirk Rueter and Felix Rodriguez, Tsuyoshi Shinjo and J. T. Snow, and let us not forget second baseman Dennis Hopper, better than they were in 2001.

In the meantime, until the pennant race begins in earnest, we can only give the readers what they want, so . . .

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

That ought to tide you over until tomorrow morning, anyway.

E-mail Ray Ratto at rratto@sfchronicle.com

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By me_94501 on Friday, April 05, 2002 - 03:27 pm:

LOL! That's great to hear–an SF columnist make fun of Bondsmania. It's about time.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By gregorymark on Friday, April 05, 2002 - 05:12 pm:

"...Our Petey sat home, damning the television and grinding his teeth while counting all the money Bud Selig says he's not making...."

Outrageous! :-D Ratto is, by far, one of the most honest, perceptive, articulate, and funny writers around today. Brilliant stuff....And the fact that this article celebrates the home opener for the Giants today, I bet Ralph Barbiari's vein in his neck is distended.

"...In the meantime, until the pennant race begins in earnest, we can only give the readers what they want, so . . . Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds...."

And great slap at those sophisticated fans at PBP.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Saturday, April 06, 2002 - 12:35 pm:

That is a good article.
But the thing is Barry Bonds has so far lead the Giants to a 4-0 record this year. If he can keep this up, they won't even notice all the holes in the lineup like Shinjo, Snow, Feliz.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 08:28 am:

Barry Bonds has led the Giants to a 6-0 start against the 1-5 Padres and the Dodgers ... Let's see how the Giants are doing in a month

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By jenmed on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 09:22 am:

What the hell? I just checked the Giants' schedule and they don't even see the Dbacks for the first time until May 21st. So they might cruise until then.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By kevink on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 11:46 am:

Ya, I noticed that too Jen. But remember, it's not what you do at the beginning of the season that matters in the end. Of course it doesn't hurt to be able to cruise through the fist 30 days of the year against bad teams, so you can rest your players and wait for guys to come off the DL. Unfortunately we're going to have to deal with "Giant Myopia" for a while it seems.

Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of pageLink to this message   By darth2900 on Monday, April 08, 2002 - 12:38 pm:

I think it is reasonable to think the Giants could make the playoffs, but I don't think that they are one of the 4 best teams in the National League... they have the advantage of playing in a division that has one other reasonably good team and 3 jokes.... the Padres and Dodgers will "lead" the league in fewest runs scored, the Padres may turn it around but they looked really bad the first week of the season (could be facing Johnson and Schilling back to back), but then you have Colorado with absolutely no pitching... playing those 3 teams 60 times a year has got to help the overall record... meanwhile the Phillies and the Mets and the Braves tear each other apart and the Astros and the Cardinals and the Cubs will go toe to toe.
1 week in things don't look so bad for the Ginats, of course Rueter, Jensen and AInsworth have all had one start, don't expect them to keep cruising.

All of this doesn't matter however.... the A's will win it all.


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