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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Jacked And Jack

Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and give a man his due.

Barry Bonds could very well be the best hitter of all-time. He's certainly the best hitter right now, even at age 39. If he actually saw the same pitches that every other hitter in the league say, he'd blow everyone away, no contest. Sure, Albert Pujols and A-Rod are tremendous. And since those are probably the only two players you could even put in Bonds's league right now, you have to think about how they affect a game.

Pitchers don't walk those guys with the bases empty or a man already on first. Pujols and A-Rod are probably seeing twice as many strikes as Bonds over the course of a season.

Steroids or no steroids, a needle full of THG isn't going to give you the incredible eye at the plate that Bonds has. As I'm writing this, I have my eye on a Giants-D'backs game in which Bonds took Casey Daigle deep after fouling off a few pitches. Daigle finally put one slider in the wrong spot and Bonds took his opportunity and hit the ball to Flagstaff.

There is no such thing as a lucky break with Bonds. If you make a mistake to him, you will not get away with it. That is the nature of the hormonally enhanced beast that is Barry Bonds.

It is especially hard to admit this, because not only do I strongly dislike Bonds, I spent a good deal of effort trying to convince a fellow sports editor back at The Sun that A-Rod was the best player in baseball. And while I'm not going to give up that argument (because at this point, A-Rod is the entire package, and he's shown that he can even field a new position well), I'll concede that Bonds is the best hitter.

Of course, I'd still boo him when he comes to the plate, I still say there are other players around which I'd rather build a team, and I still say he's not my first choice for my fantasy team.

***

This is a week late, and by no means is it a knock on the show...but let's take a quick look at the last 24 hours in the world of Jack Bauer.

Jack started a prison riot, found out that his daughter was dating his colleague, tried to combat his new heroin addiction, went to Mexico, was involved in a deal with Mexican drug lords that was ultimately useless and only resulted in both of their deaths, made several fruitless agreements with the woman who killed his wife, chased the guy who was ultimately behind the Mexican deal only to see him die, then found out he wasn't behind it after all, found out it was an old British agent with whom he used to work who was masterminding the whole thing, barely escaped the MI6 building before it was attacked, went to the bad guy's daughter's college to kidnap her, killed his boss because the bad guy demanded it, tracked down the bad guy, tracked down a fellow agent who was trying to escape with the bad guy's daughter, tracked down the bad guy again, captured him, then chased a deadly vial of a virus through a subway station and into a middle school.

And that doesn't even touch upon things like Tony getting shot, returning, admitting that he and two other agents orchestrated a year-long covert plot to infiltrate the Mexican drug cartel, dealing with his wife's exposure to a deadly virus, then committing treason in an attempt to save her once she was captured after she was found to be immune to the virus, and then his subsequent attempt to escape, his capture, and his impending imprisonment.

Oh yeah, there are also a whole bunch of quarantined zones in Los Angeles due to the virus, and the President has debated his opponent, broken up with his girlfriend, somewhat orchestrated the death of a prominent contributor and its coverup, and decided against seeking reelection, all while dealing with an impending terrorist attack.

There's much more that I'm forgetting from the latest season of the show, and it all supposedly went down in 24 hours of real time. Plausibility is an issue that must be ignored in order to fully enjoy the show...so I ignored it and fully enjoyed the show.

On the other hand, the last 24 hours of my life went something like this: I slept for eight hours, then I woke up, showered, went to work and watched baseball for eight hours, took a break, then came back to work to watch some more baseball.

My life is more believable, but somehow not nearly as exciting.

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