It’s been a few years now since Barry Bonds played for the Giants, but some sportswriters are still stuck on autopilot when it comes to the Barry Hatred. The latest is Gene Wojciechowski at ESPN.com, who blames Bonds for the Giants long-awaited World Series victory.
Yes, I said “blames.” It is a typical Bonds screed, one which reminds me of Gregg Pearlman’s classic, “The Sun Glinted Off His Jewelry As He Homered to Win the Game.” Only Barry haters would see a World Championship and look not to praise the victors but rather to assign blame. Yes, that’s right … Wojciechowski doesn’t credit Bonds for the title (which would be silly, since he wasn’t on the team), but instead blames Bonds for the title.
The opening to his column ascribes the Giants’ success to Barry’s absence: “Barry Bonds helped the San Francisco Giants win the World Series last season. And he could help them win it again this season. How? Because he's not a Giant anymore.” In a fine example of post hoc ergo propter hoc, Wojciechowski takes the events of 2010 and assigns blame for them on events from before 2010, because they came afterwards and if B occurs after A, then of course A caused B. Using this logic, we can finally understand that the reason the Giants won the World Series in 2010 is because Ted Kennedy died in 2009.
Wojciechowski does a good job in his piece describing the positive clubhouse vibes of the current Giants. The evidence on that point is clear, as the players are always telling us. And it is true that the Giants, despised across the country during the Bonds era (in part because of the Bonds-hating that the media loved so much), actually became lovable to even non-Giants fans last season. But Wojciechowski isn’t really interested in telling us how lovable the team is … he merely uses today’s lovability as evidence for his case against Bonds, “a dark cloud in the clubhouse,” “an entire storm system of scowls and controversy” with “a depressing aura.” The next time Barry shows up at China Basin to the cheers of 40,000 fans, I’m sure Gene will take notice and remind the world of what amoral creeps we are.