Friday, May 05, 2006

Worshipping False Idols

I was appalled to hear Ryan Howard say after the game tonight that meeting Barry Bonds for the first time was “like a dream come true.” Not that I care so much about the guy’s fantasies, but now I question his judgment.

Whether Bonds was one of his “childhood idols” is not the issue. When you’re a ten-year-old, you might not look at that baseball card and see a junkie. But after you’ve sown a few wild oats, boyhood innocence peels away and the hideous truth about your heroes are revealed. They’re human, and you’re one too. Heroism is no longer relevant or useful.

In Bonds case, he is no longer human (he’s “The Thing”) and aside from showing the fawning Howard the battle scars of steroid abuse, he was useless in tonight’s match, an easy (!) 8-3 victory for the Phils.

You’re a man now, Ryan. Learn how to despise the cocksucker.

Media crowded the clubhouse, field and parking lots before the game dangling digital devices to detail Pumpkin Head’s every movement. What a waste. After a long wait, it was meekly announced that His Highness was too busy rubbing “the cream” over his shrunken balls to talk. “Go tell the white devils to eat a motherfucking hoagie and have a happy Cinqo de Mayo,” a BALCO buddy read to the assembed.

“But we just want to ask Barry how he…how he feels,” quivered Scott Graham, chewing bubble gum and holding Bonds’ Topps rookie card.

Attention quickly turned to the other major event of the evening, a baseball game, and the 85.7 percent-full stadium was rocking in anticipation of the effusive verbal bitch-slapping that so vigorously is arranged in South Philly for all enemy combatants, but is cherished like a stinky hunk of cheese from 9th Street when it comes to singular bamboozlers like Barry Boy.

Already down a run and not yet out of the 1st inning, Scared Shitless and Schizo Gavin Floyd faced the Parade Float We Call Bonds, and the television audience was made keenly aware that the youthful hurler had said before the game that he would “treat him like a regular hitter.” Meanwhile, as he stepped up, an incessant cadence of boos was disgorged from the lungs of the locals. If only the air had that dead-cat-and-piss smell of the Vet, the act would have been sensorially complete. Bonds flied meekly to center, and Floyd found his way out of the inning. Ah, growing up.

It seems the Phils have turned a corner in May, because they immediately battled back in the bottom of the opening frame with the first of two homers each from Chase Utley and Howard. It was 3-1 and they were never to trail again. Briefly tied in the third after an intentional walk to Bonds and a Moises Alou single, Howard came back in the bottom of the fourth with his second tater to make it 4-3, a game-winning RBI against his pompous hero and the Giants.

The only spectacle left was the Bonds Show. As the score creeped up to 6-3 before his third at-bat in the top of the 5th, a well-executed 3-5-4 double play courtesy of an overshifted Phillies’ infield vanquished Mr. Sensitivity and ended the inning.

Then, the coup de grace. Aaron Fultz, relieving Frog Rheal Cormier and his 0.00 ERA, faced Bonds to start the 8th inning, and, in a story sure to be told to his descendants, struck the fuckhead out swinging. That’s all the fans needed to see, and half the crowd headed for the exits to get sloppy drunk and start fights with the idiots who thought it would be cool to wear a Giants hat to the game.


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