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.