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Monday, August 6, 2007

On Bonds and other thoughts

For almost a week now, I've been fearing that the Nationals were being set up for Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants. It doesn't take a marketing genius to figure out that Bonds and the Giants desire all season was for Bonds to break Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron's career home run record at home rather than on the road. Going into August, Bonds was 1 homer shy of tying the record, but he accomplished that on Saturday, against the San Diego Padres in San Diego. Since Bonds never plays a day game after a night game, I knew since Saturday night that his greatest career moment was likely to occur when the Washington Nationals went out to San Francisco for a 4-game visit.

To my mind, Bonds really has just 3 days to accomplish this feat against the Nationals, since the Thursday game will be an afternoon game following a night game. So the sacrificial starting pitcher is going to be, in order, either John Lannan, Mike Bacsik or Tim Redding. Lannan is a rookie, not even 2 weeks into his major league career, but Bacsik and Redding are veterans. I feel good about our bullpen's chances against Bonds, as the Nationals bullpen has, I believe, the best E.R.A. in the National League, and the second best in the majors.

On the one hand, I like that the Nationals will indeed be on the "national" stage for at least one game, possibly three, but on the other hand, I don't like that one of our pitchers will forever be the answer to a trivia question, eternally linked with a controversial personality.

The best case scenario for Nationals fans? That Bonds doesn't hit a homer, of course. The second-best scenario would be that the Nats walk Bonds, which some would consider a spineless move and others would consider smart, depending upon the game situation.

If Bonds does break the record in the next 3 days, I hope that the Nationals at least win the game. That would be an emotional Pyhrric victory, but a victory nonetheless.

I just wish that the Nats weren't in this situation. They don't need such distractions.

It would appear, however, that not all the Nationals are letting this situation get to them. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman seems positively bellicose about it. Just click below to hear what he had to say about it:


*EDIT: I just realized that, over the weekend, our Ryan (Zimmerman) beat the Cardinals Ryan (Franklin) and our Flores (Jesus) beat their Flores (Randy). It's eerie how this has happened with the Nats and some recent opponents (i.e. refer back to my posts such as how our D'Angelo Jimenez beat the Colorado Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez). Surely there is some baseball voodoo at work here in the Nationals favor.

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