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Mon, April 22

Sports Column: Karma's kiss seals the Bond

One of the most intriguing things to witness in sports is the way karma plays itself out. Karma is great, even when it hurts.

I knew I was going up against karma when I decided to root for the Rangers to win the World Series. I hoped that karma would continue to punish the San Francisco Giants fans, but deep down inside, I knew karma was going to relinquish its hold. I mean, 1954 is a long time ago. That's when the Giants had last won the World Series, and they were the New York Giants back then.

I don't have any disdain for the Giants, well, at least not anymore. During the 1993-2007 era, they were my last choice to win the World Series. I was a casual fan of the Giants before that time span. I remember freezing my butt off at Candlestick Park, which ranks up there as one of the worst ballparks of all time. How many home runs would Willie Mays have had if he didn't play half of his games there?

During those years when I couldn't stand the Giants, it was because they had a certain Barry Lamar Bonds on the roster. The guy came into the league with a chip on his shoulder because of the way he perceived the MLB had treated his father, and it seemed he always felt entitled to what came his way. He changed the style of his play after he saw the accolades that were showered down on Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire in 1998. Now, he's set to go on trial in March 2011 for perjury and obstruction regarding his steroid usage.

Even with Bonds off the Giants roster for their World Championship run, I went with the Rangers. I chose Texas because of two words - Cliff Lee. I've long been a Lee fan. I latched on to him during his early years in Cleveland, and I've made sure he's on my fantasy team ever since. However, I knew karma was in play.

It began to lurk during the NLCS between the Giants and Phillies. When I saw Bonds paraded out in front of the faithful in San Francisco, I knew something had to give. And though I hoped karma would frown at the adulation accorded to Mr. Asterisk, I knew karma's real object of curiosity was Bonds himself.

The self-described "greatest player in history" was kissed by karma Monday night when the Giants beat the Rangers for the World Championship. Karma let Bonds have a taste of what being a world champion might mean in 2002 when the Giants lost to the Angels in the World Series, but it wouldn't let him have it.

I wrote an article years ago titled "Barry Bonds is no Reggie Jackson" that was published by I still stick to that assessment regarding baseball played in October, but I would add, "nor is he Edgar Renteria."

Though Bonds hit 762* home runs, karma got him in the end when the Giants won their first championship in San Francisco. The Giants won it without Bonds, and karma gave him a great big kiss on the cheek.

It hurt a little bit, but it did make me smile.


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