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5.02.2004

Why Bonds Was AWOL Today 

As if leaving Bonds out of the lineup and batting Neifi leadoff wasn't enough to wave a white flag over today's game, Felipe Alou had me pounding the steering wheel in outrage as I listened to the late innings on the backroads of Sonoma County this afternoon.

In the seventh inning, the Giants crept back to within a run, 8-7, and had the bases loaded with one out. Dustan Mohr was due up. Sure, Barry deserves a day off, but six and a half innings is enough down time when there's a golden chance to win the game in one swing. Here was the perfect spot: the Marlins couldn't walk in the tying run...could they? Mohr was utterly expendable, despite having a nice little day at the plate up to that point. But Alou let Mohr hit, and he came through with a sac fly. Tie game, 8 to 8.

Then Torrealba showed great patience by laying off a bunch of curveballs, and the bases were again loaded for the pitcher's spot. Well, now, of course Barry was going to hit.

Nope. Deivi Cruz was Alou's choice. He grounded out. End of threat. Greg Papa on the radio surmised that perhaps Felipe was determined to give Bonds a full day off, no matter what.

But there was Barry in the 11th, walking to lead off the inning and scoring the winning run on Torrealba's gapper.

So what the hell was going on?

According to this wire story, Barry had a sinus infection and wasn't even dressed in the 7th inning.

The Giants won, so all is forgiven, I guess. But if Barry had been ready in the 7th, there's a good chance the game wouldn't have gone extra innings, and a few relievers would have had the day off, too, which at this point is just as necessary as getting Barry a day off. Barry, spend a few hundred bucks for a personal sinus trainer, OK?



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