That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: Barry Bonds Snubbed by Cooperstown Again

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

By: Amaury Pi-Gonzalez

SAN FRANCISCO–In case anybody has forgotten, Barry Bonds still holds the record for the all-time home run leader with 762 over his career. Since he arrived from Pittsburgh in the early 1990’s, I traveled on the road with the Giants and Bonds under manager Dusty Baker and I called many of his home runs specially at AT&T Park (now Oracle Park) by the McCovey Cove in San Francisco. The reason he is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame is not because of his on-the field performance. Similar to pitcher Roger Clemens, who also had the same results this time.

Barry Bonds received 59.1 percent of the vote. You need 75% to get in. So the question is: Will he ever be inducted, and if so, when? I really cannot answer those questions because humans vote, and where there are committees and humans vote for these things, we never know what’s going to happen.

What we know is that in 2015 players were no longer on the Hall of Fame ballot for a maximum of 15 years. Now, it’s 10 years. So my educated prediction would be that he will make it during the next three years, and if not then it is up to the Veterans Committee. A player of Bonds’ caliber you would think is not looking forward to that committee, but maybe that is the best he could do. Giants great Orlando Cepeda was inducted by the vote of a Veterans Committee.

In baseball, like in politics and many other things, everybody has an opinion. As a player, Bonds belongs in Cooperstown. His accusations of steroids use obviously is keeping him out, there is nothing else stopping him from Cooperstown. When he went to court in San Francisco, all the public heard was Balco Laboratories and all the terminology for the steroids he allegedly used. He and the Giants didn’t enjoy very good publicity during that ordeal. And it was a circus as other players and even Mike Murphy, the longtime Giants equipment manager, had to testify that the size of his head got bigger through the years.

In conclusion, to get elected to any Hall of Fame, you need friends. And, to be honest, Bonds has a shortage of those, as of today; but like anything in life, things can change.

Headline Sports with London Marq: What else will happen if Bonds gets elected to Hall of Fame?; How big was Terrell Owens’ mistake?; Braves’ Acuna accomplishes a great feat; plus more

Photo credit: @Deadspin

On Headline Sports with London:

#1 Barry Bonds, who had his number retired by the San Francisco Giants last week, unofficially launches the campaign to have the former outfielder bid for the Hall of Fame. After all, that has been reported regarding steroid use by Bonds and his admitting to using the cream and the clear undetectable steroids unknowingly in grand jury testimony. If Bonds were elected to the Hall, will this also open the door to players like Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeriro and others to be voted into the Hall too?

#2 The A’s won their 21st one-run game of the season against the Seattle Mariners. They are now just one game back of the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West. The game was close and the M’s are trying to chase the A’s in the AL West for second, but the A’s now have taken two of the three game series from the Mariners.

#3 In football, people are still talking about how Terrell Owens broke with protocol and held his own Hall of Fame ceremony at his alma mater and not in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. How big of a mistake was that move?

#4 The Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna “Matata” Jr. is just having himself a time at the plate, homering in five consecutive games, three of those homers as a lead off hitter, accomplishing the feat that no other player has accomplished.

#5 The Oakland Raiders play game two of the preseason in LA against the Rams. The Raiders, who defeated the Detroit Lions 16-10 last Friday, face the Rams this Saturday. Talk about some of the things that head coach Jon Gruden will be looking for in this game and what does he expect out of his quarterback Derek Carr?

London Marq does the Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

That’s Amaury News and Commentary: Will Barry Bonds Be in Cooperstown Before Pete Rose?

Photo credit: @Cabbie

By: Amaury Pi-González

The San Francisco Giants retired Barry Bonds’ number 25 in front of a sellout crowd this Saturday at AT&T Park.

Bonds is a beloved figure in San Francisco, Calif., but not so much for the non-Giants fans in the rest of the country. In these days of polarization in our country, Bonds is a very polarized figure. Bonds rarely makes appearances at other ballparks, as he would probably get an embarrassing round of boos instead of standing ovations.

Although Bonds was never convicted of using steroids, we went through that whole soap opera for many years in the Bay Area from the Balco Laboratory in Burlingame, Calif. and all the unnecessary stuff that came with that story. For a while, it looked like it was never going to end.

The Class of 2018 inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, N.Y. this month of July, were Larry “Chipper” Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman were also on the list along with some others. Once again, Bonds fell short of the 75% of votes required by the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America). Bond had just 56.4%.

I ponder if we will see Bonds inducted into Cooperstown before Pete Rose. The cheers and standing ovations Bonds is showered with at AT&T Park would probably equal a booing noise by other fans across the country. Attorneys use the word “rehabilitate” when they have a witness on the hot seat in front of a jury when he or she has been attacked and his or her reputation is not good. In a way, the Giants are trying to do that with Bonds–a plaque, a retired number and probably a statue at the park–once he is inducted. No need to be an attorney to understand that and the Giants have all the right in the world to do such things as we are a free, open-minded society and one person could be hated by some and adored by others.

I was a part of Bonds’ years with the Giants and called many of his home runs into the water at McCovey Cove, and even at the old Candlestick Park. I traveled with him and always admired his talents on the field. I remember when he arrived to San Francisco from Pittsburgh and the arguably biggest stat then with the Pirates was slugger Bobby Bonilla.

Bonds has 762 home runs and there is nobody close challenging him at the moment. Although the game has become focused on home runs or strikeouts today,  somebody could perhaps reach that total in the future.

I arrived into this country as a 17-year-old in 1961, I remember reading the newspapers everyday and watching the news that year on the great home run race between two New York Yankees: the very popular Mickey Mantle, and the not so popular Roger Maris. Maris won with 61 home runs and Mantle finished with 54. Moreover, I remember the older folks saying that the Babe Ruth record could never be broken.

Pete Rose ended his 24-year career in baseball with a .303 average and a record 4,256 hits. Although never found guilty on betting as a player or manager, he did admit it and he still permanently ineligible. The rule is, “Rule 21 Misconduct, (d) Betting on Ball Games, Any player, umpire, or club, or league official, or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”

As far as Bonds’ legal problems? On April 13, 2011, Bonds was convicted of one felony count of obstruction of justice for giving an incomplete answer to a question in grand jury testimony. A mistrial was declared on the remaining three counts of perjury, and those charges were dropped. The obstruction of justice conviction was upheld by an appellate panel in 2013, but a larger panel of the appellate court overturned the conviction in 2015.

So there you have it. Two completely different, but controversial players; one the all-time home run leader, the other the all-time hits leader. In San Francisco and Cincinnati, they would be popular, but outside in the rest of the country and in the court of public opinion, not really.  There is no coincidence that these two players with two tremendous records are not seen throwing ceremonial first pitches at All-Star Games or World Series, or representing baseball in any capacity. So far, MLB has not call on them to represent the game. My grandfather used to tell me, “time cures everything. So, maybe years later, these two would be seen in a different light.

You be the judge. Should Bonds go into Cooperstown before Rose? Only time will tell.

Some wise man once said, “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.”

The Oakland A’s are back home this Monday the 13th for a crucial homestand against divisional rivals: Seattle, Houston and Texas. Listen to all the games in Spanish on KIQI 1010AM/990AM in San Francisco, Oakland, San José, Sacramento, Stockton and the Valley.

Barry Bonds’ No. 25 is now officially retired

Photo credit: @SFGiants

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds may not be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but he received the biggest honor from the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on Saturday night.

Prior to the third game of the four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team that drafted Bonds with the seventh pick of the 1985 Amateur Draft out of Arizona State, the Giants honored Bonds with the retirement of his number 25, which is now in between his godfather Willie Mays’ number 24, and Juan Marichal’s number 27 on the Club Level at AT&T Park.

”I am overwhelmed with emotions as the reality of this day sets in,” Bonds said. ”This may come as a surprise to a lot of people but as a child I didn’t even want to play baseball. I wanted to play all sports – basketball, football, ride my bike, all the things that kids do. But once my mom signed me up … I got my first taste of what would be my lifelong passion.”

In the ceremony that lasted over an hour was attended by Bonds’ family, including mother Pat, brother Ricky and adopted sister Carol, along with his three children, Aisha, Nikolai and Shikari.

Former Bonds teammates such as Bobby Bonilla, Will Clark, Ray Durham, Shawon Dunston, Kirk Rueter, Rob Nen made appearances and there was a surprise appearance by former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagne.

“That’s great,” said Bonds.

Three of Bonds’ former managers were also in attendance, as Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy were also in attendance.

Orlando Cepeda, Marichal, Mays, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry were all in attendance to welcome Bonds to the fraternity of having their numbers retired with the Giants.

Mays took the mic, and spoke to the sold-out crowd about where Bonds rightful place should be in baseball history and that is the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

”When people talk about, ‘Oh, who’s the best ballplayer in the world?’ I don’t care,” Mays said. ”I played my 20 years, 22 years, whatever it might be. Give somebody honor that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is a type of fraternity that, when you get there, you’ll say, ‘Man, how did I get here?’ And I want him to have that honor be something that happens to him.”

”Vote this guy in!” Mays added.

The ceremony came four days after the 11th anniversary of Bonds breaking Hank Aaron’s home run record.

Bonds, who is now a special assistant with the organization does not want to return to the dugout, a place he was for one year as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins.

The 54-year old Bonds enjoys coming to AT&T Park, as it is reminder to him that he built this park.

“I built this park, Willie never played here, Willie McCovey never played here,” said Bonds.

Bonds gets highest team honor with No. 25 being retired

Photo credit: @YawkeyWayReport

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds will someday become a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but in the meantime, he will receive an honor reserved for Hall of Famers with the New York/San Francisco Giants.

This Saturday Night, prior to the Giants game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team that Bonds was drafted by with the 7thpick in the 1985 Amateur Draft, the Giants will retire Bonds’ number 25.

Bonds will be the first member to have his number retired that is not a member of the Hall of Fame.

The power-hitting left fielder, who hit a Major League record 762 home runs in his career from 1986-2007 will join 10 others with their numbers retired, and another four honored by the team, as they did not have uniform numbers.

Bonds’ godfather Willie Mays was the first player to have his number retired by the team, as his number 24 was retired in 1972 after he was traded to the New York Mets.

After he retired as a member of the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975, Juan Marichal received the highest honor from the Giants, as is number 27 was retired that same year, 1975.

Playing in his last season in the majors, Willie McCovey was honored with his number 44 being retired on September 20, 1980.

Just one day later, the Giants honored two of their heroes from their days in New York, as they retired 4 in honor of Mel Ott and number 11 for Carl Hubbell on September 21.

New York Giants first baseman/manager Bill Terry was honored with his number 3 being retired on April 5, 1983.

Two of the greatest New York Giants were honored on August 17, 1986, as both Manager John McGraw and Christy Mathewson were honored by the team with the letters NY, as neither wore a number while a member of the Giants.

Despite the fact that he never played for the Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson number 42 was retired by all major-league teams on April 15, 1997. Robinson retired in 1956 after just 10 years in the major leagues, as he was traded to the Giants from the Dodgers for Dick Littlefield, but he went to work for Chock Full O’nuts as a Vice President instead of joining the Giants.

Orlando Cepeda received the greatest honor from the organization, as his number 30 was placed on the wall at Candlestick Park in its final season on July 11, 1999.

Gaylord Perry became the first player to get his number retired at AT&T Park, as his number 36 revealed on the Club Level on July 23, 2005.

That same season, the broadcasting duo of Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons were honored with microphones on the Club Level.

Monte Irvin was the last player to get his number 20 honored, as his number was unveiled on June 26, 2010.

The next retired number after Bonds’ is up in the air, but it could be Will Clark’s number 22 and current players Madison Bumgarner and his number 40 and Buster Posey with his number 28.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips and Michael Duca: Comparisons of Barry Bonds and Willie McCovey too early for Mac Williamson, but it’s fun

Photo credit: @FareedNBCS

On the SF Giants podcast with Morris and Michael:

San Francisco Giant left fielder Mac Williamson has started his 2018 season in the show with a flourish. A right handed hitter mentioned with two left-handed hitters Willie McCovey–hence, the name Mac, and Barry Bonds for distance hitting. Williamson, who hits right-handed belted a two-run homer on Monday night against the Washington Nationals seven rows up the opposite way to right field in the 4-2 win to open the three-game series at AT&T Park.

Williamson belted a 464-foot home run to give fans a idea how far the blast was. This is an area that Bonds used to hit them and for that matter if McCovey was active and was able during his playing days he could do the same. Williamson hit Monday night was to the farthest part of the right field corner.

Michael Duca and Morris Phillips do the SF Giants podcasts Mondays and Fridays at http://www.sportsradoservice.com

Barry Bonds set to join elite group of Giants

Photo credit: @big_john819

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — In honor of the San Francisco Giants’ 60th anniversary of moving to San Francisco, the team is giving Barry Bonds the highest honor that they give to any player that wears the uniform.

Bonds, who retired after the 2007 season, will have his number 25 retired on August 12, as the Giants face the team that drafted Bonds out of Arizona State with the sixth pick in the 1985 Major League Baseball Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 15 years with the Giants, Bonds hit 586 home runs, the second most in team history, behind his godfather Willie Mays (646 from 1951-1952, 1954-1972), as he helped lead the Giants to the National League Western Division Championship in 1997, 2000 and 2003.

The Giants also made the postseason in 2002, when they made it all the way to the World Series as the Wild Card team. However, the Giants came up one game short of their ultimate goal, when the Anaheim Angels took Game Seven for their only World Series Championship in team history.

While wearing the Orange and Black for those 15 years, Bonds also won the NL MVP on five different occasions in 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004, Bonds also won five Gold Gloves in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998.

Bonds won the Silver Slugger Award nine times, as he took home the award in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The most feared hitter of this generation, Bonds also won batting titles in 2002 and 2004, and led the National League in home runs on two different occasions, the first time was in 1993, when he 46 home runs and helped the Giants to 103 wins on the season and in 2001, when he hit a major-league record 73 home runs.

He joins Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Mays, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry as the sixth member of the San Francisco Giants to get his number retired. Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin and Mel Ott also have their numbers retired after Hall of Fame careers when the Giants played in New York.

Christy Mathewson and John McGraw are also honored by the Giants, as the two are honored with plaques, as their careers pre-dated numbers.

Sports Headline Podcast with Tony Renteria: Was Bonds’ toxic behavior or steroid use the real reason for not making the Hall of Fame?

personal.pu.edu photo: Barry Bonds former San Francisco Giants outfielder’s steroid use has been the question by some writers when it came time to vote for Bonds

On the Sports Headlines Podcast with Tony:

1 Barry Bonds, the former San Francisco Giant, once again passed over by the Baseball Writers Of America in his bid for induction into the Hall of Fame. Tony weighs whether the decision is based on Bonds’ treatment of the media or his unknowingly using steroids.

2 During his career, Bonds was surly towards teammates, coaches, and even got into it with former Giants manager Dusty Baker. Did his relationships in the clubhouse also play a part in his not being elected?

3 Bonds was no doubt had Hall of Fame numbers, but the writers who vote said those numbers are tainted.

4 Bonds got just a slight bump up from 53% of the voting in 2017 to 56% this year–well below the 70% needed for election.

5 What will Bonds be most remembered for his surliness or his hitting ability?

Tony Renteria does the Sports Headlines each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

 

Cubs clutch again in their return to AT&T Park as defending World Champs

AP17220110755737
Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez, left, slides past San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey to score on an inside-the-park home run during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–It’s been the better part of a year since the Cubs and Giants last met with the stakes at their highest. Neither team is anywhere near where they were in the 2016 NLDS, but the one difference between the two clubs is a big one.

The Cubs have hope for the remainder of this season. The Giants.. not so much.

On Monday, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta wasn’t much better than the scuffling Matt Moore. And the Giants power game wasn’t absent, in fact their four doubles and Ryder Jones’ first-ever, big league home run outpaced the Cubs’ homer and a triple.

But the Cubs made winning plays, and Arrieta got the big outs leading Chicago to a 5-3 win. And a win was all the Cubs needed to increase their narrow lead in the NL Central, and inch further away from just being the most noteworthy team hoovering around the .500 mark.

And where have we seen elements of the clutch Cubs and faltering Giants previously? Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon knew as soon as he arrived on Monday.

“First of all, no time elapsed. What was it, nine months ago?” Maddon said before the game, referring to the Cubs’ miraculous, four-run, ninth inning rally that took them past the Giants, 6-5, in Game 4 of last season’s NLDS. “It’s incredible how, we as humans, time just evaporates. The nine months evaporated. It was like we had just walked in yesterday.”

Maddon went on to say that win was the key to the Cubs erasing their century-long championship drought. The win on Monday might have some greater significance as well. The Cubs got stunned late by the Nationals on Sunday at Wrigley Field, and saw their lead over the Brewers remain precarious.

And then the Giants provided a path, uniquely off the outfield wall in Triples Alley.

After Jason Heyward singled with two outs in the second inning of a scoreless game, Javier Baez sent a shot into right center field that caromed offensively past Carlos Moncrief toward the right field foul line. That sent the speedy Baez into overdrive rounding second base, and given the green light from third base coach Gary Jones, all the way to home plate.

But Moncrief, the powerfully built rookie, recovered and unleashed a monster of a throw–over 300 feet–to the plate. With catcher Buster Posey applying a swipe tag, the sliding Baez was safe–barely.

“That’s Bo Jackson-arm stuff right there,” Maddon said.

A great play by both players and Posey with the tag, but the significance to each club? Like a night and day difference.

The Cubs’ highlight play of the game plated two runs, and those would become the margin of victory. The Giants’ big play–Moncrief’s monster of a throw–neither scored a run or produced an out.

Matt Moore surrendered Baez’ shot, and took the loss, his 12th of an increasingly rough season. Moore has won just once in his last 14 starts, and Bochy pointed to the pitcher’s epic struggles with left handed hitters, who are hitting .380 against him. On Monday, Moore allowed six of his eight hits to lefty batters.

“He’s really good at times,” Bochy said. “And then he makes mistakes.”

Arrieta continued to right his season, after a rough middle part in which he was beaten in consecutive road starts at Boston, Denver and St. Louis. California is more to the 31-year old’s liking where he’s 7-1 in his last nine starting assignments dating back to August 2015.

Arrieta admitted to not being at his best physically on Monday, but his approach proved correct.

“Gave up some hard hits, but afterwards I was able to spin the ball and get some guys out,” he said. “You want to pitch to contact in this ballpark.”

The Giants offer Ty Blach on Tuesday in a battle of lefties. Jose Quintana gets the start for the Cubs.

 

 

 

Maple bats: Do they cause more harm than good?

In this June 4, 2013 photo, the wood of choice for the Uppercut Bat is a high grade piece of Maple that can be custom ordered and designed with a variety of stains and paints, at the Uppercut Bat Company in Tupelo, Miss. Ever since the game of baseball was invented, players have needed two essential pieces of equipment: a ball and a bat. The Uppercut Bat Co. is less than two years old, but it has drawn a legion of fans and customers who have taken to the company’s wood bats. (AP Photo/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Thomas Wells)

By: Ana Kieu

Maple bats became popular after the MLB introduced the first sanctioned model in 1997.

Former outfielder and first baseman Joe Carter was the first baseball player to use a maple bat. Carter played for the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants. In his professional career, he hit 396 home runs and drove in 1,445 runs. He was also named to five All-Star teams.

Former left fielder Barry Bonds used maple bats over the course of his career. Bonds broke the MLB’s single-season home run record in 2001. He also broke a career home run record in 2007. He finished the season with 28 home runs, 66 RBIs, 340 at-bats and a .276 batting average. He led both the American League and National League with 132 walks. He became a free agent on October 29, 2007. He served as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins in 2016.

The validity of maple bats decreased in 2010. The MLB inspected them after they began to shatter at a faster rate. The doubtfulness surrounding maple bats revived after Chicago Cubs rookie Tyler Colvin was struck in the chest by a piece of a broken bat. As a result, Colvin was hospitalized in stable condition and sidelined for the rest of the season.

Despite the incident involving Colvin, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said that eliminating maple bats was impossible due to a shortage of high-quality ash. However, Scott Drake, vice president of communications for TECO, said that Louisville Sluggers could produce some bats made completely of ash. Although there’s a shortage of ash, the overall supply hasn’t been hollow just yet.

The close call for Colvin should’ve been enough for the MLB to take steps towards action. The league shouldn’t have to wait until a player dies on the baseball field before the necessary changes are made in bats. In 2010, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said the same thing and put an emphasis on how the league would wait too long for an in-game death.

Colvin’s injury came two years after the MLB started looking into the issue of shattered maple bats. 2,232 bats broke in the final three months of the 2008 season. 756 of those bats separated into multiple pieces. It’s obvious the problem came from the increased use of bats made from maple, but all we can do is educate ourselves about the dangers and risks until the league wakes up to smell the coffee.

Maple bats can cause more harm than good.