Barry Redux

We’ve celebrated William Bonney, likewise Jesse James…
We’ve also cheered – or some of us – a host of other names…

Like Willie Sutton, robber of a lot of banks, it’s said,
And Clyde, and also Bonnie, who were, both of them, shot dead.

Mike Tyson, likewise, is regarded by a host of folks,
As somehow worthy of respect, and not ear-biting jokes.

And so we should not be surprised at all the celebration
When Barry Bonds showed up and caused a long and loud sensation

At San Francisco’s ballyard, where he’d homered quite a lot…
Last weekend, fans stood up for Barry, and the cheers he got

Went swirling ‘round the heads of the two guys who run the team.
You ‘spose the C.E.O. and president would even dream

Of re-employing Barry at that ballpark by the bay?
(He’s smaller now, I’ll grant you, but I wonder who’s to say

He couldn’t still whack homers over all the distant walls?
If they re-hired Barry, you’d admit that they had courage.)

There never was a doubt that Barry Bonds could hit a ton.
And when he was a younger man, the guy could also run

As fast as any player could. He covered ground as well,
As he patrolled the outfield, and his value none could tell…

But that was not sufficient for the player that he’d been.
Nor was it quite enough to merely help the Giants win.

For Bonds craved all the glory and the loud cascade of praise
That followed Mark McGwire on his most productive days,

So Barry, as the story goes, pursued long-ball advancement
Through means that might be charac’trized as chemical enhancement,

And when the congress asked him if he’d sought that sort of aid,
He said he’d never knowingly transgressed, and I’m afraid

His answers didn’t ring quite true, nor did his tax returns.
But San Francisco loves him still. There everybody yearns

For their heroic Barry. They’re determined to embrace
A hero who’s regarded as a bum in every place

That isn’t San Francisco, so the moral of this story,
Is there is no place quite like home for those who would crave glory.

This program aired on April 30, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Headshot of Bill Littlefield

Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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