Bonds refused to be less than the best

Dennis, for some reason, hung around the clubhouse every day, needling Bonds’ teammates and talking to reporters. Barry rarely talked, Dennis rarely stopped, and whenever Bonds would turn a corner and see Dennis holding court, he would reflexively say “Shut up, Dennis.” cheap nfl jerseys Those of us who covered the team removed the comma and referred to him, with a mixture of endearment and sympathy, as Shut Up Dennis.

At the time, Dennis’ presence was seen as an amusing branch of Bonds’ odd personality, but over the years, the Dennis episode has acquired a deeper meaning. Crazy as it sounds, Bonds needed this. He needed the validation that came with Dennis and his cap and his black suit and his long car parked across three spots out in the lot. It created the stratification necessary to signify his status. Hey, anyone else in here have one of these?

There’s a power dynamic within any relationship: pitcher-hitter, player-manager, reporter-subject, employer-chauffeur. Bonds had to dominate each one, but that doesn’t begin to cover it. The dominance couldn’t simply lie below the surface, latent, an understanding between parties. No, it had to be explicit, openly stated, faceup on the table from the beginning of each encounter.

The act of assigning legacies is among the most tired of sideline endeavors. There’s nothing official, no consensus, nothing trademarked and accepted as truth. A Giants fan has a different opinion than a Dodgers fan. Someone who believes PEDs soiled America’s sacred game won’t agree with someone who shrugs and says everyone was doing it. But even those with a moral objection to PEDs would have to admit it was a hell of a lot of fun to watch Bonds hit bombs. His legacy is up to you, knock yourself out, but I know this: The best baseball player I ever saw was Barry Bonds, and the best baseball season I ever witnessed, in terms of sustained excellence and everyday astonishment, was Barry Bonds in 1993.

The numbers — .336, 46 homers, 123 RBIs, 1.136 OPS — represent nothing more than residue, cheap nfl authentic jerseys the shavings left after the felling of a tree. He played as if forced to prove the same point night after night, and he did it with a savage flair that made sure everyone knew exactly what was being proved, and by whom. It was a six-months-long siege, and despite all the dominance that came afterward, it stands alone — in my mind, anyway — as the singular achievement of his career.