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The Reemergence of Barry Bonds

If you want to know just how stupid and short-sighted this site is, this is a pretty good place to start:

Those are screen caps from this site's search field, and the number to pay attention to is the one at the left by "stories." That's how many times the search phrase appears in front-page stories. This site started in 2005, right before Barry Bonds got hurt, so that has something to do with it. Also, there are "minor lines" results included with the Bowker totals, which pad the numbers.

Still, the name "John Bowker" has been on the front page of this site almost as much as "Barry Bonds." I never felt like I gave enough attention to Bonds when he was putting up OBPs over .450 and single-handedly keeping the offense afloat in 2006 and 2007, nor have I mentioned him enough in subsequent seasons. He was sure easy to take for granted.

In retrospect, every post about the 2006 Giants should have been about Bonds. Here's a post on how long the Giants should have stuck with Lance Niekro. Who in the absolute hell cared about that? Why did I waste my time? Good god, what a miserable existence. Barry Bonds was active and playing for the San Francisco Giants at that time. That post should have been a collection of Barry Bonds limericks.

Later on that month, I mentioned Tim Worrell for some reason. That should have been a post filled with links to oil paintings of Barry Bonds. That was all that mattered back then. It's so cute that we used to pretend otherwise.

And since Bonds has retired, it's almost felt like the Giants have ignored Bonds similarly. Part of that had to do with Bonds withdrawing on his own, sure, and it's quite understandable that the Giants were looking to build a post-Bonds existence and identity. It's probably not fair to suggest that the Giants completely ignored Bonds for the past five years -- he did throw out the first pitch of the NLCS, after all.

But there wasn't the slate of post-retirement bobbleheads, or team-related appearances that you're going to see for the five years after, say, Derek Jeter retires. Bonds had a trial going on, related to the kegs of chemicals he likely ingested as a member of the San Francisco Giants, so you can see how the team might want to keep their distance a bit. And you wondered what the statute of limitations was going to be with all of that ... other stuff.

Looks like it's five years. Bonds was in the booth for Monday's game, and he's eager to join the Giants' organization in some capacity:

"Maybe some of us just don't ever want to retire," said a smiling Bonds. "I'm not playing anymore, so whatever you want to call it. I'll let the Giants figure that one out for me."

Bonds said he spoke in recent weeks with Larry Baer, team president, about helping the Giants' players. Manager Bruce Bochy, while agreeing the club enjoys Bonds' clubhouse visits, suggested a decision to hire him would be up to general manager Brian Sabean.

There's always been a naive "Barry 4 hittin' coach!!!" segment of the Giants-loving population, which always seemed slightly insane. For every time you'd read about a teammate sticking up for him, there were piles of anecdotes that suggested he might not be the most empathetic and/or caring and/or pleasant people in the world. You expect coaches to have patience and a positive attitude. Even the biggest Bonds fanboys had to admit that would have been hard to expect for a full 162-game season. It will never happen.

But it would be just as nuts to think that there's nothing the guy could offer to the Giants. He kinda sorta has the mysteries and secrets of hitting figured out and stored in his brain. Them secrets could surrrrrre come in handy one of these days if they were shared and whatnot. So if I could pick one player to address or work with the Giants' hitters for an hour, it'd be Bonds. Same thing goes for a day or a week.

For 162 games and road trips? Yeah, there'd be better options, I'd think. But it doesn't have to be all or nothing, and it looks like the Giants and Bonds might be moving toward something, at least. It was understandable that the team stepped away for a bit, but if Bonds is really thinking about helping in some capacity, I can't see how that's a bad idea.

Well, unless he's in charge of, like, the "How To Handle The Media" rookie orientation every year. But I'm assuming the Giants are thinking about hitting instruction, whether at the major- or minor-league level. Sounds great to me. Sounds absolutely amazing.

Oh, jeez. I think the Giants' response to that, though, would be prefaced with the metaphorical unbuckling of a belt. Not Brandon. And I was thinking about them mooning Selig, not doing anything metaphorically worse or metaphorically graphic. Great, now this is weird.

But I'm pretty sure that if the Giants want to hire Bonds, there isn't a thing that MLB would do about it. I think the Giants want to, I think it will happen in some capacity and I'm almost certain that's a good thing.