September 12, 2005

Who's in Left?

It is perhaps the most anticipated "debut" by someone the entire world already knows since Malcolm Jamal Warner launched his smash hit series "Malcolm and Eddie" nine years ago. Yes, that's right -- Barry Bonds is back. And in his first AB of the season, in game number 143, #25 nearly hit homer number 704. But some silly fan reached out and interfered with the potential homer, leaving the most famous left fielder on the planet with a ground rule double and proving for the thousandth time that the world clearly is out to get Barry Bonds.

A couple notes on Barry, in all seriousness: First of all, he looks to be in very good shape. Saw him run full speed and attempt a sliding catch on a ball that ended up falling in front of him, and he was moving pretty well. But I guess that's not altogether surprising considering he went through one of the more cautious rehabs in recent memory. 142 games for a fairly minor knee surgery? Sorry, but that just doesn't seem right.

Secondly, Barry looks big. Like, just as big as he did before he missed virtually all of Season One of the steroid testing era. This is not Pudge Rodriguez or Sammy Sosa showing up to camp in April looking like they'd been shut in the basement and fed rice cakes all summer. Bonds looks to have kept on just about all his weight despite a lengthy recovery from surgery and a reportedly troublesome infection caused by said surgery. For once, I'm not going to speculate about what this means. All I'm going to say is: interesting.

-Speaking of Sosa, caught wind of a rumor today that he might go play in Japan next year. I for one say good riddance. Between the corked bat incident and blaring sirens that scream steroid use, I've had just about enough of Sammy's act. Now watch him go to Japan and become the next Tuffy Rhodes. A couple other baseball notes from the same article: Luis Castillo is thinking about giving up switch hitting because he's far better from the right side. Why don't more players do this? It seems crazy to me that they'd throw away well over half their AB's swinging lefty when they are clearly worse from that side. And former Cards' pitching phenom Rick Ankiel finished his first season as an outfielder with 21 HR's and 75 rbi's in 85 games. I said at the start of the season I had a hunch Ankiel could pull it off, and it looks like he just might. Considering what he's come back from, there are few guys I root for more sincerely.

-I'm not sure if the Falcons got better or if the Eagles got worse -- and I'm writing this with the game far from decided (9:15 left in the fourth quarter and ATL up 14-10) -- but this game sure looks a lot different from last year's NFC championship game. The margin might be only 4 points, but for just about all of this game, the Falcons have clearly been the better team. (Update: Falcons win, 14-10. Normally reserved ATL fans, particularly fired up on this night, consider flooding the streets but instead decide to go home and go to sleep. Everyone rests peacefully.)

More Falcons news: Patrick Kerney is certifiably insane.

-Anyone happen to see a Ravens' tight end by the name of Daniel Wilcox haul in 8 catches for 78 yards on Sunday night? Watching the game but not paying complete attention, I noted to myself in passing that whoever this was, he looked pretty impressive. It was only today that I realized, thanks to loyal OCC reader jimmyrad, that I actually knew quite well who Daniel Wilcox was. Back in the mid-90's, he was a standout baller at ATL's Decatur High, my school's top rival. We didn't have a football team, but if we did, it would have been scary to play against Decatur.

-Just when you thought they were finished, the Hawks made another big splash, signing Esteban Batista to a free agent deal. What's that? You've never heard of Batista? Well, you obviously don't follow hoops in Uruguay closely enough. This guy is a big deal. Half the teams in the league wanted to sign him! Actually, no they didn't. If this bozo ends up being half as good as Yinka Dare (R.I.P.), I'll stencil "Blair Rasmussen" into my chest with a flaming hot protractor. Any time you read that the player your NBA team just signed is "2.05 metres" tall, it's just not a good sign. How's the guy going to adjust to life in the U.S. if he's still on the freaking metric system??!?!?


Blogger jimmyrad said...

Also of note was Felipe Claybrooks brief appearance in the league playing D-line for the Browns. I guess Wayman White didnt' have the love.

Barry's not smaller because he's suffering from Raffy Palmeiro syndrome: Too big an ego to think he'll get caught.

12:44 PM, September 13, 2005  

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