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.
"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."
"Bicycling, Brandon. Not motorcycling.""Oh. Those are... so those are different.""Yeah...""Well, here's the receipt gotta go bye!"
"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.
HITTER: Michael Morse
"Just 'cause you're pushin' fifty don't mean you can't be pushin' swifty."
"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.
HITTER: Tony Abreu
HITTER: Nick Noonan & Angel Villalona
"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."
HITTER: Joaquin Arias
"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."
HITTER: Marco Scutaro
HITTER: Tyler Colvin
"It'll really help you decode all the hidden meanings in 'True Detective'. You been watching that? It's crazy, right?"
"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."
"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."
"You're good at drawing walks. Get it?"
"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."
"Shut up and get me a fungo.""Right away, Mr. Bonds!"
"My shoulders are never hunched."
"I wanted to make something sexy, like when Shakira and Wyclef collaborated."
"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."
"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?"
"Hey, get that thing away from me! I don't need that kind of galactic heat!"
"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?"
"That was wonderful. Thank you."