What sort of gifts will Barry Bonds receive from the hitters when he arrives in Giants camp?

Doug Pensinger

Nobody likes a teacher's pet, but what teacher doesn't appreciate students falling over themselves for extra attention?

With Barry Bonds in camp now as a special instructor, the race is on for Giants hitters to ingratiate themselves with the greatest living hitter. The chances of boosting their game (and, by extension, their future earnings) might not rest solely on the knowledge gleaned from Baseball's home run king, but every little bit helps and might give them the advantage in just enough situations to make a difference in the long run; and, for a group of professional competitors, it's not a silly notion that they'd compete for his attention in order to hoard his help.

Given what we know of the players' personalities and what we know of Bonds, my instincts tell me this article is fairly accurate. So, then, here are the gifts Giants hitters will present Barry Bonds on his first day in camp.

HITTER: Brandon Belt

GIFT: A leather Harley Davidson jacket

REASONING:
"I heard you've been getting into cycling a lot lately. That's cool, man. Now you'll be the coolest guy on a hog."
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Bicycling, Brandon. Not motorcycling."
"Oh. Those are... so those are different."
"Yeah..."
"Well, here's the receipt gotta go bye!"

Star-divide


HITTER(S): Non-roster invitees Jeff Arnold, Guillermo Quiroz, Andrew Susac, Ben Turner, Chris Dominguez, Brandon Hicks, Mark Minicozzi, Joe Panik, Javier Herrera, Mac Williamson

GIFT: $50 gift card to F.Y.E.

REASONING: $5 each was the most these minor leaguers could afford, so it made sense to pool their resources. While there was some debate over whether or not this should be an Amazon gift card, it was ultimately decided that F.Y.E. was the right place because of the greater likelihood of Mr. Bonds being surprised. Typically, people use Amazon because they know exactly what they want. Since Bonds has everything and can get anything he fancies, the minor leaguers reasoned that surprise was going to be their biggest gift.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Last time I went into one of these stores they had Veronica Mars season three, brand-new, unopened, for forty-five dollars. Can you believe that? The show has been off the air for six or seven years but here's F.Y.E charging Game of Thrones prices for it. Unbelievable."

Bonds walks away shaking his head, staring at the card, caught in the memory of seeing the store's prices.

Star-divide


HITTER:
Michael Morse

GIFT: 100 boxes of Magnums

REASONING:
"Just 'cause you're pushin' fifty don't mean you can't be pushin' swifty."
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"What's 'swifty' mean, Michael?"
"That's what I call dames."
"It sounds like you couldn't find a word to rhyme with fifty."
"Nah, nah. Swifty's a thing. It's definitely a thing. Said it all the time in Wash-tone."
"Michael, is... that how you say 'Washington'?"
"What?! Everybody calls it Wash-tone!"

Bonds shakes his head and walks away.

Star-divide


HITTER:
Tony Abreu

GIFT: His hotel room's TV remote

REASONING: He forgot what day Bonds was supposed to arrive.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE: Disappointment.

Star-divide


HITTER:
Nick Noonan & Angel Villalona

GIFT: A gun rack.

REASONING: Villalona *really* wanted to get Bonds a gun rack and Noonan was too afraid to oppose the idea.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"A gun rack? What am I gonna do with a gun rack? Oh right. I have many guns that actually necessitate an entire rack, but have been so busy -- and forgetful -- that I've never gotten around to buying one. Thanks, guys!"
"I'd kill to come over and shoot with you some time."
"No thanks, Angel."

Star-divide


HITTER:
Joaquin Arias

GIFT: Kobe Bryant jersey

REASONING: He has a lot of them for some reason, he'd like to get rid of them as quickly as possible, and tries to unload one whenever possible.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Thanks, man... I guess. But just so you know, I can't help you. Not even a little bit. Your swing has more moving parts than Michael Bay's Transformers. But if you and your wife are having trouble getting pregnant, give me a call. That I can definitely help you with. Good talk."

Star-divide


HITTER:
Marco Scutaro

GIFT: Denny's gift card (black unlimited - free meals for a year)

REASONING: People their age just appreciate Denny's.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE: A long, grateful hug.

Star-divide


HITTER:
Tyler Colvin

GIFT: A printout of "The King In Yellow"

REASONING:
"It'll really help you decode all the hidden meanings in 'True Detective'. You been watching that? It's crazy, right?"
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Maybe the time you spend watching TV and printing out free stories off the Internet could be better spent studying how to hit better. But that's just me, and what do I know? Oh that's right: everything."

Star-divide


HITTER(S): Gary Brown, Roger Kieschnick, Juan Perez

GIFT: Jon Dowd jersey

REASONING: Bonds' pursuit of the single season home run record and overall career barely registers with these youngsters, who were instead tied up in video games. Sadly, they know more about Jon Dowd -- the video game avatar created to replace Barry Bonds in games like MVP Baseball -- than Barry Bonds.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Ordinarily, one would not receive such a memorable gift from such a forgettable trio. Still, while I truly appreciate this jersey, it represents a time in my life when I struggled with what it meant to be a part of a group while also remaining my own person. And that struggle was separate from the very real financial implications from remaining part of a group license. You see, I like to think of myself as a name brand. While it's true that I would be less recognizable were it not for my association with Major League Baseball, it is also true that I am -- or, at least, at the time I was -- bigger than the game. Strictly from a brand perspective, of course. Marketing people get this. My accountant certainly got it. Sadly, I was unable to get the players' union to understand my perspective. I do not think it would surprise you to know that my decision to opt out of the licensing agreement made me some enemies. But that's the risk an individual runs when he tries to stand out from a crowd. Good talk, fellas."

Star-divide

HITTER: Gregor Blanco

GIFT: A walking stick

REASONING:
"You're good at drawing walks. Get it?"
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE: Later in practice, he will use the stick to hit 400-foot home runs.

Star-divide


HITTER: Brandon Crawford

GIFT: A turkey sandwich.

REASONING:
"My family has season tickets. One time, when I was little, I asked for your autograph. You said, "Shutup and get me a turkey sandwich!". My parents got mad at you and wouldn't let me go get you that turkey sandwich. So, here it is. After all these years. To be clear: this sandwich is not years old. I have not been holding onto it since the day you yelled at me or some time in the interim. It's a brand new sandwich. Made fresh. Today. I think by one of the stadium people, or maybe Murph. I'm not sure."
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Shut up and get me a fungo."
"Right away, Mr. Bonds!"

Star-divide


HITTER(S): Hector Sanchez, Adam Duvall, Ehire Adrianza

GIFT: A tattoo that spans all three of them. On Hector Sanchez's upper thigh, Bonds prepares to swing at an incoming pitch. On Adam Duvall's lower back, Bonds has smashed the baseball (with a comic "THWAP!"). Finally, on Ehire Adrianza's chest, the ball has splashed down into McCovey Cove.

REASONING: Hector Sanchez is crazy about tattoos and gets even crazier when people try to back out of a group tattoo.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"My shoulders are never hunched."

Star-divide


HITTER: Angel Pagan

GIFT: A homemade 2014 calendar of a gawking, shirtless Angel Pagan inserted into photos of historic Bonds home runs

REASONING:
"I wanted to make something sexy, like when Shakira and Wyclef collaborated."
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Did you Photoshop these yourself?"
"You know it, man. Oh hey, turn to September."

Bonds flips to September.

"What am I looking at?"
"That's me without my shirt on and with Pedro Gomez in a headlock. I'm giving him a noogie. He's like 4-11, so, it was really easy to control him, you know."
"Thanks, Angel. I really appreciate this."

Star-divide

HITTER: Hunter Pence

GIFT: Purple Infinity Gem (aka Space Gem)

REASONING:
"I figured someone with your out-of-this-world talent should travel to other worlds to find some real competition. This Infinity Gem will allow you to teleport through space. It can also interfere with the motion of other objects... kinda how your bat interfered with balls in motion. Get it?"
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"Hey, get that thing away from me! I don't need that kind of galactic heat!"

Star-divide


HITTER: Pablo Sandoval

GIFT: A five-course meal with a five-layer cake for dessert, cooked and baked by Pablo Sandoval himself.

REASONING:
"They don't let me eat what I want anymore. I can't even go near food. My brother brings it to me, but not even at a dinner table. I stay in the gym. They feed me behind a screen, like I'm the Bubble Boy or a zoo animal. All I do is exercise and swing a bat and field grounders. It's a good living, but I can't stop thinking about food. The textures... the smells... parsing every flavor... every bite... as though it were the very first bite... and then I get angry. And I want to smash everything. But I can't smash. It's a contract year. And I can't eat. It's a contract year. But I can cook. I can bake... provided I tape my mouth shut and wear gloves. So I can't feel the texture... or smell the smells... or parse the flavors. Food is a dream now. Will you, Barry... will you live my dream... now?"
BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
Wynnwtf_medium

Star-divide


HITTER: Santiago Casilla

GIFT: Casilla steps in for a plate appearance

REASONING: Casilla's plate appearances are known throughout Baseball as being wonderful to watch.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE:
"That was wonderful. Thank you."

Star-divide

HITTER: Buster Posey

GIFT: A knowing nod.

REASONING: There's nothing more that needs to be said.

BONDS' PROBABLE RESPONSE: A knowing nod.

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