Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bonds Breaks Record; Here Come the Yankees

American League Boston 4 LA Angels 10 - The Angels downed the Sox for the second straight night, with LA backing Joe Saunders for his 6th win without a loss in 2007. Most of the offensive damage was supplied by Gary Matthews Jr. (right), who singled, doubled, homered, drove in four runs and scored 3 times. The Angels maintained their 4-game bulge over Seattle in the West, but the Red Sox are now just 5 games to the good over the charging New York Yankees. NY Yankees 9 Toronto 2 - The Bombers won their fifth straight and 8th of their last nine. Since the All-Star break, New York has been on a 20-7 tear, and are closer to the Sox than they've been since April 25. Both benches emptied twice, in the third, when Josh Towers plunked Alex Rodriguez, and again in the seventh, after Roger Clemens nailed Alex Rios in the back. Both Clemens and manager Joe Torre were ejected and both face possible suspensions. Clemens took the win (4-5), allowing just 2 hits and one earned over 6 innings. The Rocket fanned six. Bobby Abreu singled and tripled, driving in four runs. The Yankees look for the 3-game sweep tonight in Toronto. Seattle 10 Baltimore 3 - Raul Ibanez socked a pair of homers, doubled, and drove in four runs as the Mariners stayed alive in both the AL West and wild card races, trailing the Angels by 4 and Detroit by 1 game. Cleveland 2 Chi White Sox 1 - Jake Westbrook returned for his second straight solid performance, allowing 2 hits and 1 earned run over 8 innings. Westbrook, recently off the DL, shut out Texas over 6 innings on Aug. 2 and looks to be fully recovered after spending most of May and June nursing injuries. His presence on the mound will be important down the stretch for the Indians, who currently hold a 1/2-game lead over Detroit in the Central division. Other AL Scores Minnesota 1 Kansas City 5 Oakland 6 Texas 8 Tampa Bay 6 Detroit 9 National League Atlanta 7 NY Mets 3 - The Braves crept to within 3 1/2 games of the Mets with a big win in the series opener in New York. Jeff Francoeur went 4-5 with a pair of doubles and a 3-run homer, driving in 3 and scoring twice. Florida 1 Philadelphia 11 - Ryan Howard (right) drilled a couple of balls into the stands Tuesday, giving him 32 homers on the season, one behind NL leader Prince Fielder. Howard's 3 RBI gave him 93, and the National League lead. The Phillies are 1/2-game behind Atlanta and 4 back of New York. Milwaukee 4 Colorado 11 - Todd Helton cracked a pair of home runs and drove in four as the Rockies caught the slumping Dodgers for 3rd place in the NL West, 4 behind Arizona. San Diego 4 St. Louis 0 - Jake Peavy (12-5) blanked the Cardinals on 3 hits over 7 innings, getting the Padres back to just a game behind Arizona. Pittsburgh 8 Arizona 3 - Tom Gorzelanny (10-5) gave up just 2 runs on 4 hits while striking out 9 in 7 innings, handing the Diamondbacks only their 3rd home loss in 11 games since the All-Star break. Washington 8 San Francisco 6 - Barry Bonds took a 3-2 pitch from Mike Bacsik and deposited it in the right field stands. Home run #756 had finally arrived and for a night at least, everyone was gushing with praise for Barry Bonds. The laudatory sentiments expressed by Hank Aaron (who appeared in a special pre-taped scoreboard video), MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, who was not in attendance, and sportswriters around the world, are, frankly, some of the most hypocritical mutterings ever seen and heard, even in this twisted media-driven world. After years of divisive commentary over Bonds' supposed use of performance-enhancing drugs, the media is suddenly gushing with praise for the new home run "king", trotting out such phrasing as, "the drugs don't hit the ball", and "breaking the record took years of effort and hard work," or, "he only hit more than 50 once." Balderdash. The media attempts at justification for Bonds' behavior and his record-breaking are hollow and cynical. Sure, he only hit more than 50 once, but that year - 2001 - he hit 73! And he followed that up with seasons of 46, 45 and 45, playing in 143, 130 and 147 games, respectively. Prior to 2000, when he knocked 49 in just 143 games, Bonds had only cracked the 45 mark once, in 1993, when he had 46. The argument that Bonds committed himself to the gym and a serious conditioning program after 1999 overlook the fact that Bonds admitted to using performance-enhancers, saying he was unaware that HGH or steroids were in the cream he was using. If Bonds had played the game within the rules, last night's home run might have been #625 or 650, which would have been a grand accomplishment, though apparently not big enough for the vastness of Bonds' overgrown ego. So, now it's done, and the world can get back to baseball. The final chapters to the Barry Bonds saga have yet to be written. He may still be indicted for lying to a grand jury or maybe Greg Anderson, Bonds' one-time trainer, who still is in prison for refusing to testify, may break his silence. Maybe Bud Selig, the real criminal in all of the steroid mess for not cracking down sooner, will strip Bonds of 100 home runs or instruct statisticians to put an asterisk next to the record. Time will tell. Other NL Scores LA Dodgers 0 Cincinnati 4 Chi Cubs 2 Houston 5

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