But then the Angels began their monkey business. Balls started landing one foot away from San Francisco outfielders, including Mr. Bulky himself. Bonds has gotten so thick that he doesn't seem to be able to bend over and pick up a baseball. He doesn't run down bloops and flares anymore, either, and he has this new habit of trying to barehand a bouncing ball, as though he no longer needs a glove. His botching of Garret Anderson's bloop single in the eighth inning of Game 6—Bonds looked like a man in a tub trying to find the soap—led to the unearned winning run in the worst clinching-game choke in World Series history.
The next night, Game 7, left Bonds's dream dead at the Ed, and a few hundred reporters had no choice but to go to his locker to ask him about it. He greeted them with, "Back off or I'll snap."
They asked if he would take solace in his amazing World Series performance. "What are you going to write," he growled, "that I had a good postseason and we still lost?"
They asked if the Game 6 loss would haunt him during the off-season. "Why would it haunt me?" he grumbled. "What does that have to do with me?"
Our bad. We thought you were actually part of the, er, Giants.
The whole thing lasted four minutes, tops. And then he bolted, leaving an unforgettable imprint on anybody who watched the Series, one of the clubhouse attendants included. "He didn't tip," the attendant said. "Nothing." And to think the man employs three public relations agents.
One hundred feet down the hall, the mostly starless Angels were up to their eyebrows in joy and hugs and Korbel, 25 lucky guys who will forever know the glory of winning a team sport as a team.
So, no, Barry Bonds doesn't get his ring. But then, he doesn't get a lot of things.
And that's the sorry part.