How many of you saw the game last night on ESPN? What a mockery of a telecast. It was worse than the normal pull-your-ear-drums-out banter between Jon Miller and Joe Morgan because all they talked about was Bonds. The camera showed shots of him just standing in left field and all the sideline reports from Peter Gammons and Sam Ryan were about Bonds, except for one by Gammons on Aaron Rowand which seemed to come out of nowhere. The ridiculousness hit its zenith in the final innings as they continued the Bonds chatter and swing analysis long after he was pulled from the game and assumingly already left the building. Barely a word was said about the Phillies’ 7 – now 8 – game hitting streak, the team’s slow start, the new catcher roster, or anything having to do with the Phillies. Even though Jon Miller is the Giants’ regular announcer, it went far beyond that. Did the nationwide audience mostly tune in to see Bonds? Yes. But this was not an episode of "Bonds on Bonds," this was a baseball game involving 50 players and Jon, Joe and the entire ESPN crew failed miserably to realize that. But ESPN is not the only villain here. Everyone is to blame for fuelling the Bonds media mayhem this weekend. You know things are blown out of proportion whenever the Inquirer commissions articles by writers outside their beat (Ashley Fox on the Phillies, Jim Salisbury on the Eagles, Steven A. on anything). I understand why he is receiving all the attention, I just don’t like it.
To his credit, Bonds did hit a moonshot to tally his 713th career homerun. Philly fans were able to witness a little piece of history in the most comfortable of circumstances – an 8-2 Phillies lead. Behind Burrell and Rowand homers and a bit of small ball, the Phils were able to cruise to victory and secure Jon Lieber his second win of the season. So in the setting of an 8 game winning streak, one major subplot leaves town as another prepares to arrive. The Mets with a 21-10 record are never far from hot themselves, despite a 13-3 whooping by the Braves yesterday. Phillies fans have a day off today to rest their lungs as they will no doubt be used to vilify Wagner, perhaps even more so than Bonds. Billy-boy’s latest comments only fueled the fact that – unlike Bonds – with Wagner, it’s personal. I hope that fans turn out in similar numbers to verbally abuse Wagner and build off their clever reputation of this weekend. So break out the bed sheets and magic markers everyone, because hell hath no fury like a Philly fan scorned.