Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dirty Souf
"Close your eyes and picture it. Think about what the fans are really cheering. The Giants were supposed to play in Tropicana Field that season. They were gone. The Tampa/St. Petersburg Giants were a done deal. A young Brandon Crawford was sad. When baseball started the next season, the Giants weren't gone, and they had the best player in baseball. The best player in baseball helped the Giants win.
The winning helped the Giants build their profile in the Bay Area, and it helped with the team's chances at a privately financed ballpark. The ballot measure passed by a two-thirds majority, so maybe it's a stretch to suggest that a perennially losing team wouldn't have swayed the voters, but I don't think Bonds's contributions were insignificant.
The only thing the park lacked was history. Bonds brought a pennant, two division titles, a single-season home-run record, and a career home-run record to the new park. That whole time, there were good, warm, fuzzy feelings about baseball in the Bay Area. There were sellout streaks that begat longer sellout streaks because baseball in the Bay Area was a thing. It was the kind of fan support that allowed the Giants to sign players like postseason hero Barry Zito.
And after the hammer dropped, and after the accusations and the evidence and the shame, those feelings weren't something you could pack up and donate to the Goodwill. They were coiled around your synapses and gray matter, an inextricable part of why you're a baseball fan. You understood it was a sad situation. You understood it was tricky, there were moral ambiguities and failings, and that something didn't feel quite right anymore. But you still couldn't help but root for the guy who made your passion and hobby a better experience than the one enjoyed by just about every other baseball fan in the world.
Then open your eyes. You're not as annoyed now."