The Sultan of Sulk

Not long ago, this would have been the Barry Bonds Show — the game itself a footnote to admiring the feats of a slugger who had somehow transplanted a mule’s hind legs onto his shoulders and a prize-winning pumpkin onto his neck. In retrospect, it was pretty obvious that Bonds was a walking, preening, baseball-mashing pharmacological experiment — hell, the whole sport was. The Giants accepted the Faustian arrangement: watch Bonds break Hank Aaron’s record, pay him $20 million a year in ransom money, then cut him loose with all the ceremony of a boil-lancing.

They probably sleep better at night now with Bonds gone, but some days the Giants surely would accept the monumental distractions in exchange for a couple of 450-foot dingers. (A recent five-game losing streak, all by a single run apiece, would vie for such an occasion.) When they come to South Florida, these Giants will have no better sluggers than the immortal Bengie Molina (age: 34; career homers through Memorial Day: 127) or the immature Pablo Sandoval (a 22-year-old hitting .300). But then, they’ll also be missing baseball’s biggest-ever one-man piece of baggage.

Catch the third of the four-game Giants-Marlins series on Monday at 7:10 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Tickets start at $12. Saturday night is Super Saturday, featuring a free concert following the game. For more information visit www.florida.marlins.mlb.com, or call 954-523-3309.
June 6-8, 7:10 p.m., 2009

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Sam Eifling
Contact: Sam Eifling