The Riding of the Bull
"That’s the biggest, baddest bull ever to get in the ring. Why wouldn’t you want to get on?"
~ Marlins LHP Taylor Tankersley, on facing Barry Bonds
Admittedly, this quote would have been far more entertaining had Taylor not walked Barry the first time he faced him in San Francisco. Still, it ranks right up there on my list of favorite Marlins quotes this season, and Tank redeemed himself when he struck out the all time leader in home runs* this weekend at Dolphin Stadium.
"It’s just another out in the grand scheme of things," said Tankersley, "but I’ll always be able to tell my kids that I got him."
Well, I don’t want to rain on your parade, Tank, but you may want to hold off on the bragging rights for a bit. From the look of Mr. Bonds’ face as he was wrung up, the slugger may be filing a complaint with Major League Baseball regarding that called strike. Perhaps you should postpone the bedtime tales of pitching glory to the kiddies for now. I mean, shaking his head at a called strike? That’s pretty out of character for Barry, so I am sure the pitch must have missed somewhere.
Granted, your pitch looked perfect to my (albeit untrained) eye, and to the eyes of the seasoned veteran behind home plate, but for the ever humble Mr. Bonds to take exception to the call, something had to have been amiss. Mr. Bonds is** the home run king, after all, so I am certain he has the ability to discern a strike from a ball. Obviously, had the pitch been an actual strike, Barry would have deposited the ball into the outfield bleachers.
And so, Tank, as proud as I was to see you go after Bonds, and as loudly as I cheered when you struck him out, you still might need to delay the celebration. You know, just until a panel of judges has thoroughly reviewed the complaint that I am sure Barry filed regarding the audacity of an umpire to call him out on strikes. It would just be a tragedy for you to get your hopes all up, only to have that strikeout removed from your record in the off-season.
*no particular reason…just love a good asterisk every now and again.