A few thoughts now that the curtain has closed on the Barry Bonds era:
— The emotion in the ballpark last night was about what you might expect from a mid-week gathering at the local tavern. The video montages on the high-def scoreboard were a nice touch, as was the No. 25 etched into the grass in left field. But overall, it seemed like jus another night at the ol’ ballyard. The Giants announced a sellout, but there were several empty seats in the upper deck. Managing general partner Peter Magowan kept referring to his memories of Ted Williams’ final game as a Red Sox in 1960, but that was like comparing Babe Ruth’s style of play with Ty Cobb’s.
— Bonds’ refusal to make a speech for fans was a glimpse into his personality. Simply put, he’s one of the most selfish athletes ever to don a uniform. He often referred to those fans as “his family,” but then he heads out of town without so much as a “Thanks.” So much for class.
— The scene inside the clubhouse was also very revealing. Players usually spend time during the final week getting memorabilia signed by their teammates, exchanging phone numbers, etc. Nobody was asking for anything from Bonds. If anything, there seemed to be a pending sense of glee and anticipation for a season without him.
— On the other hand, heckuva classy maneuver by Padres starter Jake Peavy. He basically grooved a 2-0 pitch in Bonds’ final at-bat. Peavy hinted he might do such, and with the Padres holding a huge lead at the time, there was no need to paint the corner. Bonds’ drive fell short, but it gave his fans one brief thrill.
— It would be only right if Bonds and the Giants reunite someday, because Bonds’ stature in the franchise’s pantheon can’t be ignored. But for now, they’re like a couple that has just split after a sometimes volatile 15-year affair. They need time in their respective corners.
— In a postgame video tribute, the Giants serenaded Bonds with Frank Sinatra’s “I Did it My Way.” Terrible choice. Where was Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”? Not that Barry noticed. He already was out of the ballpark, having cleaned out his locker and removed his nameplate.