Friday, February 14, 2014

You know those garish USA Opening ceremony sweaters? They were available online and sold out and are now going for $3,000. How something so tacky can cost so much has a name: The Kardashian Effect.

"Deadspin" featured an article on great moments in heckling. It reminded me of my Barry Bonds story.
It gives me pride to admit I was early on the "I Hate Barry Bonds" Bandwagon. Remember Jim Leyland screaming at him for being such an assh*le, and, when he was traded from Pittsburgh to the (this one if for you, Janice) 'Frisco G'ints*," many Pirate players said they would rather lose without him than win with him. That is some statement from people paid millions to win.
It’s Barry’s first year with the Giants in 1993. Our seats at Wrigley Field were amazing: on the First base wall in front of the visitor's warm up circle. Barry Bonds was kneeling and swinging a weighted bat in the warm up circle with his back to us. 
It is weird how some things hit you in person that you don’t notice on TV. It was the middle of the game, so it must have been the way the late afternoon sun hit Barry. Or the way the Old Style beers hit my brain, but suddenly I noticed all the jewelry Bonds was wearing: a diamond cross earring, two diamond stud earrings, a gold chain and cross, a cable gold chain, another gold chain. 
It was a full-blown Mr. T. starter kit.
Now, I am not a heckler, but before I knew what happened, during a deathly quiet lull, I shouted out:
“Hey Barry, your wife called, she wants you to stop wearing her jewelry.”
This got a loud and appreciative laugh from the crowd and a smattering of applause. 
Then I noticed Barry had dropped his head. Uh oh, am I in trouble? Is he pissed? Players who aren't a-holes can get a fan tossed. 
All of a sudden, with his head down, Barry’s shoulders started bouncing up and down. Oh . . . my . . . god, Barry Bonds was laughing at my joke.
Then he turned around, looked straight at me and flashed me a thumbs up and mouthed: “Good one.” The crowd laughed again. I was in shock. From that moment on Barry Bonds did a horrible, horrible thing:
He made it so I could never hate him again.

* I am a pretty big fan of the Giants. They are my fourth favorite team behind the Cubs, the Padres and whoever is playing the dog-ass Mets. 
But the talented comedy writer, Janice Hough, is a die-hard Giants fan. 
Giants fans hate "Frisco" and they hate the old New York expression G'ints.