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30/30 VISION
Hank Hersch
June 25, 1990
Pittsburgh's Barry Bonds sees those numbers coming
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June 25, 1990

30/30 Vision

Pittsburgh's Barry Bonds sees those numbers coming

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"Barry has to have faith in his coaches, his manager, the players on his team," Leyland says. "He has to know they believe in him. He's a guy like so many of us—he has to know that he's needed."

But some people have begun to question whether he is, indeed, needed. When Bonds lost his arbitration case over the winter—receiving $850,000 instead of his requested $1.6 million—the Pittsburgh press quoted Wright as saying that if he were Bonds, he would not bat leadoff and would, in fact, be happier playing elsewhere. Every broadcaster and columnist in the city urged that the deal be done. The Pirates did shop him for a frontline starting pitcher and a solid position player but did not get a viable offer.

The millstone of "potential" may hang around Bonds's neck for the rest of his playing days. Perhaps when they are over, he will have reached 30-30 once or twice or joined his father and Mays as the only members of the 300-300 club. But maybe he will merely have the best career he is capable of having. Either way, he seems to be going forward, but with only his family at his side. Bonds talks about entering the dugout after his 400-plus-foot homer to straightaway center in St. Louis earlier this season. It was a moment of triumph, but because he had been withdrawn from his teammates before the game, they chose not to revel in it with him.

"What they were saying is, Let us applaud you, instead of you applauding you," Bonds says. "But you can only be happy for what you do, you can only be disappointed for what you do. If I'm supposed to wait for you guys to applaud me, I could be waiting a lifetime."

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