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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
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I've never liked San Francisco Chronicle sportswriter Bruce Jenkins' work. Ray Ratto, formerly of the "real" San Francisco Examiner is worlds better in my estimation. But I still read Jenkins. Hell, I read everything in the Sports section. That's why I read this recent column of his that sent me into an eye-bulging rage:
I'd venture to say Bonds knows more about hitting than anyone since Ted Williams. He knows smart hitting, patient hitting, high-average hitting, power hitting. He has always known these things, going way back to high school. He harbors a brand of genius that made him the perfect hitter and the envy of everyone he ever played against.
What's wrong with that, you ask? Doesn't it correlate to my own assessment of Bonds? Yes, it does. The problem is that Jenkins spent years using every available opportunity to take digs at the man. But now he wants to be able to take the high ground and chide short-sighted Bonds critics who fail to recognize that he was a tremendous player long before anyone accused him of trying to enhance his performance through artificial means. Why hasn't Barry retired? Legal reasons, perhaps. But it's also clear that Barry at 50% is a better hitter than any of the Giants' designated RBI men right now. Maybe the time he's been spending in the stands with team big wigs has made him wonder whether he might get asked back after all.

Current Location: 85704

4 comments or Leave a comment
masoo From: masoo Date: May 4th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
OK, hell is about to freeze over. If I have 15 minutes of fame, at least 2 of those minutes are devoted to my disdain for Bruce Jenkins. But ... and this is more anecdotal than I'd like, mostly because I don't want to search the SF Gate archives ... Jenkins has never been as harsh on Barry as most other sports journalists. He has always marveled at the inescapable draw that accompanied every Bonds AB, and has always been ready to acknowledge Bonds' greatness on the field. He has also complained about Bonds' supposed negative impact on the clubhouse, but he has been able to separate the field and the locker room to a surprising degree, given his generally moronic attitude towards the game. I don't want to go too far with this, but I don't think Jenkins' latest Bonds piece was that far out of line with his previous work. And, like I say, I speak as someone who has spent far too much time thinking about Bruce Jenkins and why I can't stand his sportswriting.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 4th, 2009 01:29 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I thought you might leap to his defense. I think it's more a question of tone than anything else. He was just so self-righteous in his complaints about Bonds. And the fact that he drives me nuts anyway certainly was a factor in pissing me off.
masoo From: masoo Date: May 4th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
OK, now you've broken my heart for sure. This has to be the first time anyone expected that I would come to the defense of Bruce Jenkins. Even though in this case I did :-).

True story, as they say. I was at the game ... last home stand, I think ... and my friend who used to work at the Chronicle was there. At one point, I was jabbering with my nephew about Jenkins and why I found him so predictable. I noted that for some years, I'd post an annual faux-Jenkins column that, if I do say so myself, was a very good representation of his work. In particular, I talked about how Jenkins is excrucatingly nostalgic.

Now, understand that my journalist friend has his son with him, and they're enjoying the game and each other and paying no attention to me. As I ranted about Jenkins' propensity to wallow in the past, I said, pretending to be him, "say what you want about this year's NBA playoffs, but they are no match for the classics back when there were only 8 teams."

My friend turned around and said "Bruce Jenkins!"
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: May 4th, 2009 02:13 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a great story! I thought you'd leap to his defense because I know you've harshed on him and tend to want to give the benefit of the doubt to people you critique.
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