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Bonds doesn’t always use his skills to the fullest

You’re either a Barry Bonds backer or you’re not.

No one sits on the fence when sizing up the Giants slugger’s enormous-but-abused skills.

Judging Bonds solely by his skills in the batter’s box, he’s a Hall of Famer. But once he’s leaves, or shall I say, strolls, away from the box, he’s very ordinary.



In fact, many Little Leaguers get down the line quicker than he does on infield grounders or popups.

He also abuses the home run trot.



Next time he hits a home run – and there will likely be many more – see if you can go change a diaper before he touches home plate. I bet you can.

Even Bonds’ fans remember blatant moments of him refusing to hustle. Last year he was booed in Pac Bell for not budging in the outfield on a well-hit ball that he thought was out of the park. It landed in the field of play.

But I think his greatest travesty this season is refusing to play days games following a night game. Manager Dusty Baker allows his star player to do this, even late in the season when the Giants are fighting for their lives to win the West Division title or earn a wild-card berth.

This shows baseball fans that he not only doesn’t care about breaking Mark McGwire’s single-season home run record of 70, but he must not lose any sleep over costing the Giants’ potential victories.

Without Bonds in the lineup on Friday, the listless Giants were dusted by the Cubs 9-3 in Chicago. Bonds didn’t even make a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning when the Giants made a fleeting effort to rally.

With Bonds back in the lineup on Saturday and Sunday, he contributed in a pair of Giant victories. A series sweep would have put the Giants in first place.

But before you sell those Bonds’ Topps baseball cards stashed in the bottom of your closet at your next garage sale, just remember, the card collectors won’t recall Bonds as having any weaknesses.

Speaking of baseball collectors items, how about someone forking out a record $577,610 for one of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s bats?

What was Rob Mitchell of Pottstown, Pa., thinking?

”I was shocked for what the bat went for,” Mitchell told the Associated Press. ”I think the bat’s worth somewhere between $1.7 million and $4 million. I think if it’s not the best, it’s in the top five best buys ever recorded in the memorabilia industry – baseball or any other sport.”

He better keep the kids away from the bat. Remember what happened to the Babe Ruth ball in “Sandlot?” That old piece of wood is probably only one swing away from winding up in the fireplace.


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