Miller Park, Milwaukee
Day II of the Bond-age Tour and guess what? Barry Bonds spoke before Saturday's game. The upshot is he's not worried about the extension of the grand jury called to investigate him - "Do I look concerned? I haven't been discussing it forever and I will not discuss it," - he feels good "when I'm just like the other 24 people in here (the clubhouse).
"You guys can go home right now if you want," Bonds said. "You guys don't have to be here. You all hate me anyway. I don't know why you're here anyway. Most of you say whatever nasty things you say about me anyway. If you really, truly, believe all the things you write, why are you talking to me anyway."
Bonds brushed off any concern about how commissioner Bud Selig viewed his attempt at breaking Hank Aaron's career home run record (Bonds started the day at 753 and needs two to tie it.) He did say that Selig always treated his father, Bobby, with respect.
Hey, isn't that old pal Dave Bush on the mound? Former Blue Jay? Sure is: the first three batters reach base on him in the second inning and he gives up a run and looks like he can't get anybody out and now he's fussing a bit and - double-play, ground out and he's out of it.
But he made quick work of Bonds in the first inning. The situation? Dave Roberts on third, two out. Bonds fouls off the first pitch. Strike two - Bonds gives home plate umpire Jerry Meals one of those looks. A pair of low-90 MPH fastballs under the arm pit makes the count 2-2 and Bonds swings and misses as the bottom drops out of a filthy 72 MPH pitch.
Oh, and while I have your attention - don't under-estimate what the Toronto Blue Jays release of Jason Phillips means. Yeah, it's nice that they want to see Curtis Thigpen catch and all that but Phillips was only in the Majors because manager John Gibbons knew him from the New York Mets system. He was the manager's "guy," - every manager has one, you know the player that the general manager doesn't think much of but let's stay on the team as a sop to the manager. The fact Phillips is gone is a further indication, to me, that Gibbons won't be here past this year.