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  1. #16
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    He gone.

    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  2. #17
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    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  3. #18
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    Pranks, panic, power: Tales of Barry Bonds’ magical years in Pittsburgh

    Rich Donnelly, Pirates assistant coach: Before I go further, I’m gonna tell you a story. And you could put this anywhere you want — because it’s hilarious.

    Andy Van Slyke, center fielder: Oh, sure, I remember this one.

    Donnelly: Bondsie didn’t practice a whole lot, because the game was easy to him. And when I say easy, I mean easy — and he’s playing against the best players in the world. Well, Bondsie had a habit. He’d take a couple rounds of BP, come into the clubhouse and then lay on a couch and sleep.

    Bobby Bonilla, right fielder/third baseman: That was pretty common.

    Donnelly: If the game was at 7:30, he’d sleep till about 7:10. Then he’d get up, put his uniform on, wouldn’t stretch, and hit a three-run homer his first at-bat.

    Barry Bonds, left fielder: I slept before games my whole career. I learned that from Mike Schmidt. That’s when they started doing all this energy stuff where you’d go into a room, close your eyes for about 30 minutes, just really take everything away from yourself, and then reopen up your eyes and things will be clear. I just took it to the extreme and went to sleep. Some guys like to listen to music. Some guys want to play the bongos all day. Some people want to play cards. I just wanted to relax and then go hard for three hours.

    Donnelly: Anyway, Bondsie is sleeping on the couch. He’s snoring. Andy Van Slyke was the instigator, the Eddie Haskell of the clubhouse. If you remember “Leave It to Beaver,” Eddie Haskell was always getting little Beaver in trouble.

    Bonds: We did all kinds of pranks.

    Donnelly: Now it’s about 7 o’clock. Andy said, “Let’s do this. Everybody leave the clubhouse.” Then he called over the clubhouse kid, who was named Red.

    Van Slyke: I told the clubhouse guy, “Go in there and turn the clock forward.”

    Donnelly: The whole team goes into the hallway. Red turns the clock to 7:45, walks over and goes, “Hey, Mr. Bonds! Mr. Bonds! You want to get up? It’s 7:45.” Bondsie wakes up, looks at the clock. “Oh my god! Oh my god!” He runs to his locker. He puts his uniform on, stuffing his shirt into his pants. He runs out into the hallway. And the whole team is out there howling. Just howling.

    Van Slyke: It’s the only time I’ve seen Barry Bonds panic.

    Bonds: It started in A-ball (in 1985). (Manager) Ed Ott was saying what he expected and his rules — be on time, things like that. He asked if I had any questions. I said, “I only have one question. How long does it really take to get through the minor leagues?” It was great. Ed Ott didn’t even answer me. He just got up out of his chair, went to my locker, grabbed my bat and my glove. He handed them to me and says, “There you go, kid.” I understood what he meant. If you want to get there, those are the two items you’re going to need.

    Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Press columnist: The Pirates had an incredible lack of success with No. 1 draft choices until that point. In my mind — and I think in a lot of people’s minds — it dimmed the enthusiasm. It was certainly nothing like what you’d see today, especially for someone taken (sixth overall) and with the last name of a famous major leaguer.

    Rich Sauveur, reliever: It was a lot of fun knowing I was playing with Bobby Bonds’ son. That’s what it was then. It wasn’t Barry Bonds. It was Bobby Bonds’ son.

    Bob Hertzel, Pittsburgh Press beat writer: Right after he got drafted, I drove down to Lynchburg (Va.). They were on the road. I met them at the motel — a beautiful place. Bonds would not be found dead there now, I’m sure. We sat poolside. He told me that he was a mama’s boy. His dad was a ballplayer, which meant he wasn’t home a hell of a lot. He said, “Sometimes you knew he was your father, but you didn’t really know him. It was as if someone just said, ‘That’s your dad on TV.'” It didn’t impress him that he was a player’s son.

    Bonilla: B.B. and I met in A-ball.

    Bonds: We’ve been best of friends ever since then.

    Bonilla: When I first met him, he hit three home runs in a minor league game. I was like, Who is this dude?

    Bonds: One game, we were leading by seven or eight, and I bunted and got on base. I heard the other manager over there screaming and yelling, but I couldn’t calculate why. Right before my next at-bat, Bobby Bo comes up to me and puts his arm around my shoulders. He says, “B.B., whatever is gonna happen next, don’t react.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” He says, “Just trust me.”

    So, I go up to the plate. I didn’t think anything of it. And I got drilled almost in the head — really high on the back or shoulder. I went down to first base. I didn’t do anything. I came into the dugout and Bobby Bo says, “This ain’t college, kid. You can never do that. We’re up by eight runs in the seventh inning. You do not bunt.” I said, “I got that. I’ll never do that again.”

    Donnelly: Bondsie came to spring training the next year (1986). We had heard all about him. But you know, you hear about a lot of guys. He was in a batting cage, and me, Gene Lamont and (Jim) Leyland came over. He took about five swings, and we just all looked at one another and went, What the hell is this?

    Jim Leyland, manager: You knew you had something really good on your hands.

    Bonds: I remember (general manager) Syd Thrift came up to me during spring training and said, “You’re a little bit closer than you think.” We played Cincinnati — (Dave) Parker was there, and Eric Davis. I made two great plays on the field, and I got sent down to Triple A. I didn’t understand it at first. I was like, Wow, that’s weird. I’m doing really well, and I got sent down.

    Sauveur: The Triple-A team was in Hawaii, believe it or not. It was the last place that had a team, and the Pirates got stuck there. I’m dead serious.

    Leyland: It sometimes took three days for the players to get to you. Sometimes, I think they would rather stay in Hawaii than come to Pittsburgh.

    Steve Blass, broadcaster: (laughing) You’d call over there, “Hey, we want to bring you up to the big leagues.” And you’d hear, “Nah. I’m OK here.”

    Sauveur: It was phenomenal for the players. We would do two weeks on the mainland and then stay home for two weeks.

    Benny DiStefano, first baseman/right fielder: We stayed at a hotel at the Outrigger Surf, right on Waikiki.

    Sauveur: We would always have Mondays off. There’s a beach called Makapuu Beach. We used to go almost every Monday as a team and have some fun.

    Bonds: We were just on fire in Triple A. I’ll never forget this. We were in Phoenix. And here comes Syd Thrift again, bless his heart. He says, “You’re a little closer to the big leagues than you think.” I’m like, Here we go again. He asked me to hit BP. “We need to see if you have power the other way.” I believe in the game I hit three home runs — one to left, center and right field.

    DiStefano: I’m talking to Carlos Ledezma, because the trainer knows everything. I go to Carlos and ask, “Is Barry going to the big leagues?” He nods.

    Bonds: (Manager) Tommy Sandt took me out of the game. I thought I did something wrong. He liked to play jokes on me and pretend he was mad.

    DiStefano: I get in the showers, and Barry is there. I say congratulations to him. He goes, “For what?” I realize then that he doesn’t know yet. So I say, “You had a great game. Good job.”

    Bonds: Then Sandt took me into the locker room, and he had all my stuff packed up. He said, “Get out of here. We don’t need you anymore.”

    Blass: The mid-’80s were awful.

    Rick Cerrone, Pirates vice president of public relations: Jim Leyland tells the story that he couldn’t give away tickets standing on street corners.

    Sid Bream, first baseman: When I was traded over in ’85, they were making a lot of changes. Getting the old out. Bringing the new in.

    Van Slyke: I went basically from the penthouse (St. Louis) to the outhouse.

    Blass: But when Barry got to Pittsburgh, I said, here’s a kid who arrived as a major leaguer.

    Cerrone: He was a marquee guy right from the start.

    Bonds: I wasn’t allowed to have a locker when I first came up. They made me sit on the floor. I had one of those little hanging rod things in the middle of the floor. Lee Mazzilli was my locker mate. Well, really wasn’t my locker mate. He had both lockers. I just had the floor. Lee was always like, “How you doing, kid?” I’m like, “I’m OK, man. As long as I’m in the locker room, it’s all good.”

    You had to earn your way. My first road trip, the guys told me to go down to the baggage claim to get the luggage. I was sitting down there by myself, and then the bus took off. I didn’t even know. I was still sitting there. The next minute, somebody comes — I can’t remember who came to get me — and got me out to a cab. Then I get to the hotel. They made me walk all the bags up with the bellman to everybody’s room. It took me til 4 o’clock in the morning.

    Donnelly: When Bondsie first came up, Jim had him batting third. He was hitting foul balls over the third-base dugout. I remember this distinctly. And Jim says, “I gotta get him out of that third spot. He can’t hit. I’ll put him in the first spot where he can at least get on base and steal some bases.”

    Leyland: Like all players, I think he was very confident on the outside, but initially there’s some questions and reservations with young players — no matter how good you are. Do I really belong here? Am I good enough?

    Blass: It was just a matter of time.

    Donnelly: I make all my young kids now look at his stats. I think he’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen. It’s probably a tie between him and Larry Walker. And he struggled his first year. Then after that, he took off. The rest was history.

    Donnelly: We were in a cab one day going to the ballpark. And we had seen enough of him. I turned to Jim and said, “We’re gonna win this division soon. Because we have the best player in baseball.” He goes, “Who’s that?” I go, “Bondsie. He’s the best player in baseball.” And Jim goes, “Are you nuts?”

    Leyland: Here’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game, but there’s still an adjustment when guys come to the big leagues. Most guys don’t come up there and tear it up. You’re gonna have to have some patience with him. But you could see superstar was written all over him from Day One.

    Bonds: We had Andy hitting third, Bobby hit fourth and me fifth. We had Spanky (Mike LaValliere) there, Sid Bream, Jay Bell. I could name every one. R.J. Reynolds. I could go on and on and on. And now if I forget someone’s name, believe me, I do remember you. … We were at this time in our careers where we were just coming up. We all went through the bad parts of ’86, ‘87, ’88, ’89. And then in ’90 it kind of clicked. If you stick together, eventually it’s going to click — if you have good players, and if you have a great manager.

    Blass: Barry reminded me of a young Lou Brock, with more power.

    Hertzel: He was as close to Ted Williams as anybody I ever saw, and I saw Ted Williams as a kid. I’m old. Ted Williams wouldn’t flinch until he swung at a ball. Barry was the same way. I don’t ever remember Barry taking a half swing.

    DiStefano: Know what it was like? Did you play Wiffle ball growing up? You always had that one kid who was the best, and everyone else was OK. That best player was Barry. The things he could do, you’d ask, How did he do that? You’re a major league player, and he’s three levels above you. You’re in awe.

    Bream: There’s people who have a lot of talent in the big leagues, and then there’s people who are just blessed with a little more God-given ability.

    Van Slyke: I think the most misunderstood thing about Barry is his intelligence on the field. He was a really smart player. Instinctive.

    Hertzel: The Pirates’ eye specialist back then, Dr. William Harrison, tested Bonds and said no one he had ever tested had Bonds’ ability to see. So, I asked Bonds, “Well, if you see so damn good, what do you see?” And he said, “Sometimes I see the ball as soon as it comes out of his glove. Sometimes I can see the rotation of the curveball as soon as it pops out of his hand. There are days when I come to the ballpark” — and this was before he was a big-time home run hitter — “and I’d know I’m going to hit a home run.”

    Donnelly: He would come in the dugout after he popped up and go, “Richie, if that guy throws me a slider again, I’m gonna hit it in the second deck.” The next time up, the guy threw him a slider, and he hit it to the second deck. He was amazing. When he got real good stealing bases, he would do whatever he wanted. He would tell you what he was going to do. And do it.

    Leyland: If you have any scouting or player-development instincts at all, it’s not that hard to spot talent like that. It stands out like a sore thumb.

    Donnelly: Later, we’re in a cab going to another game. Jim said, “Remember what you said about Bonds? You’re right. He is the best player in the game.”

    Donnelly: I know he had that blow-up with Jimmy in spring training.

    Hertzel: I missed the start of it. Just before that happened, I found out three nobodies had signed. I’d gone into the clubhouse to call it in — we were a p.m. paper — and by the time I came out they were all yelling at each other.

    Van Slyke: Remember that Barry had lost his arbitration case, and I had just signed a three-year contract. He called me the great white hope of Pittsburgh.

    Lanny Frattare, broadcaster: I often got the impression that people made more of that spring training incident than Jimmy thought it was.

    Donnelly: I have the tape on my phone. But what they don’t show is when the year was over, and we clinched a pennant, Jim Leyland was carried off the field on Barry Bonds’ shoulders with Lloyd McClendon. He admired Jimmy. And to this day he loves him. He said Jimmy was the best thing for him.

    Bonilla: People don’t realize how close the two of them are.

    Bonds: Oh, it’s like father and son. It’s probably the best relationship ever.

    Leyland: We are very close. I know Barry pretty much as well as anybody.

    Bonds: If it wasn’t for Bill Virdon being my outfield coach, I never would have been the outfielder I was. Never. Not even close. And if it wasn’t for Leyland, I wouldn’t have been the player I was. He is the man that made it all happen.

    Bonilla: Listen, Jim doesn’t get enough credit. He held us all together. He was great for us. He let us do our thing. We always showed up for him.

    Bonds: Jim Leyland was the type of manager that didn’t care if he got fired. He didn’t care what anyone thought. He was there to manage his players and have the respect for his players, for his city, and do his job. And we respected that. He would protect you like a father, then he would discipline you like a father.

    Van Slyke: Jim Leyland was the foundation of the Pirates’ success in the ’90s. He needed stars like Bonds, Bonilla and (Doug) Drabek, but just because you have the best horse at the gate doesn’t mean the jockey knows how to ride it.

    Bonds: (laughing) In Bradenton, they had built that golf course behind Pirate City. We were having great practices. And everyone gets off days, right? So, Leyland made it fun. Not every time, but once in a while he’d tell whoever was off (a certain day) that week, “You have to tee off on that golf course by 10 a.m. or you’re fined.” So, your teammates are over there practicing. And Leyland is standing by the fence watching you tee off. He made it fun. If he gave you an off day, you were off. You’re not coming on this bench to sit around.

    Donnelly: With Jim and Barry you have two guys that didn’t take no **** from anybody. They clashed, but in a strange way, they both admire each other’s qualities. And to this day, they’re the very, very best of friends.

    Leyland: Underneath all that toughness, I know what a big heart is there. I know the things that Barry has done for kids and different (charities), things he did for people that a lot of people never knew about. I saw a side of Barry that some people to this day haven’t seen. We’re very close to this day. I went out to San Francisco for his retirement ceremony and spoke. He texted me on Father’s Day, not too long ago. Happy Father’s Day! How you doing? I texted him back.

    Hertzel: Barry’s mouth, as you know, would get him in trouble.

    Donnelly: He could be the biggest jerk in the world. And then on the other hand, he could be the nicest. I mean, he was good looking. He had a great smile. Funnier than hell. Had the greatest laugh in the world.

    Hertzel: I asked him one time why he does it. He’s a very intelligent guy. I said, “Why do you do this ****? Why are you always shooting off at the mouth?” He told me, “I talk that way because, honestly, it bothers other people. I could say what people want to hear and make them happy. But that wouldn’t be me.”

    Lamont: I almost think Barry thinks he has to have a little bit of an edge about him. But I never saw Barry as a bad guy. He was very respectful.

    Leyland: Barry could get under your skin a little bit, from time to time, but it wasn’t anything that was abnormal in clubhouses. Everybody in that clubhouse had the utmost respect for the way Barry Bonds played the game.

    Donnelly: Like Jim used to say, “I don’t have to take him out to dinner every night. But between 7:30 and 10:30, I love him.”

    Smizik: He was a standoffish guy right from the beginning. With the media, with his teammates. Some of us wondered, What’s with this guy? And you find out that’s the kind of person he is. He’s not going to be buddies with everyone.

    Donnelly: I remember the time he hit a home run against the Mets at our place. We didn’t have a real cafeteria. So, after the game, we’d come into the clubhouse and set the food on these equipment trunks while you ate. (Bonds) put his food down and then put his feet up. All these writers came in. He looked up at them and said, “Hey, let me ask you —” I don’t know what he said, jerks or something. “Do I come into your dining room at suppertime and bother you?” They all said, well, no. He says, “Well, get the hell out of mine.”

    Smizik: One time, I was late getting to the Bonds interview at his locker. There was a big crowd there. Now, he’s talking. He’s looking right down at the floor. He’s never lifting his head up. I’m way at the back of the pack, maybe four deep. I asked him a question. He never lifts his head up. “I ain’t talkin’ to you, Smizik.” He said Smizik with such venom. (laughing) I’ve never forgotten that.

    Hertzel: He could be surly. You kind of had to play a game with Barry. You had to poke him at the right time. But once he trusted you, I found him to be fine. Barry was worth playing a game with, maybe more than anybody else.

    Smizik: At the ’07 World Series, I’m walking back to the hotel, and Barry is coming out of the hotel. Our eyes met. We looked over. We shook hands. I congratulated him on the season. He said, “Good to see you.” And we continued on our way. It’s the best interaction I ever had with him.

    Donnelly: When he wanted to, he could turn it on.

    Cerrone: Barry could light up a room.

    Donnelly: Perry West, the baseball coach at Brooke High School (in Wellsburg, W.Va.), asked me if I could get Bondsie to come to his coaches’ clinic. It was December. I said, “Well, I doubt it, Perry, but I’ll ask him.” Bondsie was in town. I said, “I’ll pay you $500 to come down and talk to these guys.” So, Barry is coming. I tell Perry. Oh my god, Perry can’t believe it. I wake up (the morning of the clinic), and there’s seven inches of snow. I go, aww ****. I called Perry and said, “I apologize. Bonds ain’t gonna come down here in this blizzard.” And Perry said, “What are you talking about? He’s holding court. He’s sitting in a jump circle on the basketball court. He’s got all these coaches sitting around him talking. And, by the way, he took that $500 check, tore it up and said, ‘Buy some bats and balls.'” So, that was the good side of Bonds.

    Hertzel: The best day I spent with Barry was in Bradenton. Him, Bonilla and me went out to play golf on the golf course right by Pirate City. It was strictly off the record. What happened out there, what was said, I don’t know. Bonilla wasn’t a very good golfer. I was abysmal. I’ve covered Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus in the Masters and the Open. And I’ll tell you what: I’ve never seen anybody hit a golf ball the way Barry Bonds hit a golf ball.

    Lamont: Boy, a nice, easy swing. He pounded the golf ball.

    Hertzel: He hit them so ****in’ far. He’d hit them in the next county. The problem with that is the next county was out of bounds. He’d hit them way the hell out of bounds. I’ve never seen anybody hit a ball like that. That’s how he was. Barry was Barry. There was never anybody like him.

    DiStefano: I was a pretty good racquetball player. Barry had never played. We worked out probably five or six times in the winter of 1989. I wanted to play racquetball, so he learned. After three games, he was kicking my ***.

    Bonds: We played around-the-world basketball in the locker room all the time.

    Donnelly: My son Bubba was a great shooter. In fact, he went to Robert Morris, and he led Division I in three-point shooting for three months of his junior year. Well, Bondsie heard about him. He says, “Where’s this great Bubba Donnelly?’ So Bubba comes into the clubhouse. He’s about a junior, maybe. It’s about 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Bondsie goes, “OK, you’re the great shooter, Bubba. I challenge you to a game of H-O-R-S-E.” Bubba goes, “OK, when?” Bondsie goes, “Now. Let’s go. We’re going down to the park.” Bondsie puts on his Pirate pants and a T-shirt, and they go out in his car. They drive down to a city park in Pittsburgh about a mile away from Three Rivers. I went with them.

    They play a game of H-O-R-S-E — best out of seven. Each guy won three games. Now it’s about 4 o’clock. I go, “Bondsie you gotta get back for batting practice.” He goes, “I don’t need no batting practice. I gotta beat this sucker.” In the seventh game of H-O-R-S-E, the game is tied at H-O-R-S. Bubba gets out at the top of the key. And he goes, “OK. No net. Swish. I’m calling it.” He swishes it. Bondsie goes, “You little son of a *****.” Bondsie takes the ball. He goes out. He makes the three but it rattles in. Bubba wins. And Bondsie chased him all over the ****ing court. And they’re laughing like hell. We go back to the clubhouse. It’s like 5 o’clock. Leyland goes, “Where the hell you been?” I go, “Skip, we were down playing H-O-R-S-E with Bondsie. He wouldn’t leave.”
    https://theathletic.com/1960126/2020...in-pittsburgh/

    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  4. #19
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    ^^^^

    Great read. Couldn't fit the entire article in but got maybe 75%.

    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  5. #20
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  6. #21
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    Coonrod to the 10-Day IL with a shoulder strain. Kapler said he first mentioned discomfort when leaving the game last night.

  7. #22
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    10 day IL - Bruised ego.


  8. #23
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    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  9. #24
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    Longoria led all of MLB with 10 GIDP in 2020.

    PSD: where the moderators consistently cave to crybaby tattletales and it's a lot safer to be openly racist, hateful, and ignorant than to be a little rude to the racist, hateful, and ignorant

  10. #25
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    ...yay?

  11. #26
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    yay!...


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