Despite feats, title eludes Bonds again
Despite Barry Bonds' home runs, the Giants' slugger again was denied a World Series championship.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- His feats meant nothing now, all his homers adding up to the smallest number in baseball: Zero rings.
All the records, all the slow trots after amazingly long shots, all the walks, all the fear he created in opposing pitchers couldn't bring him the one thing he wanted, the achievement he said would crown his life in baseball.
The World Series title, dangling in front of Barry Bonds Saturday night, just six outs away, was snatched back faster than a decision to give him an intentional walk. For the 17th straight season in a major league career that's been among the greatest, he went home without a championship.
"I went 1-for-3 with a walk. That's a good day," he said. "Am I supposed to go 3-for-3 with three home runs? What do you want from me?"
Glaus is MVP
Bonds, who also lost the MVP vote 4-1 to Anaheim's Troy Glaus, had a World Series matched perhaps by only Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Reggie Jackson and Gene Tenace.
He was as snippy as ever when it was done, following the mold of Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, two other great uncomfortable talking about their feats in their playing days.
The difference in history?
DiMaggio is remembered as a winner, Williams as a great who came up short.
When it was over, when the Angels ran onto the field and let out 42 seasons of frustration, when the Rally Monkey-waving, Thunder-Stix bashing crowd went wild with glee, Bonds walked down the steps of the first-base dugout and picked up his glove. He went back, tapped son Nikolai on the back and walked down the runway to another off-season.
"It's not going to haunt us," Bonds said. "We'll go to spring training and start again."
He swatted 1,800 feet of home runs against the Angels, hit a record eight homers in the postseason, but still couldn't win that ring.
Walked 13 times
Anaheim pitched to him just once with a runner in scoring position -- and he doubled in the first run of the Giants' 16-4 Game 5 rout. He walked 13 times, two more than the previous Series record shared by Ruth and Tenace. Seven of those were intentional, another mark.
He scored on three of the walks, including two of the free passes. Of the 112 pitches he saw in the Series, only 39 were strikes. He swung just 25 times.
When he did connect, the ball went a long way. He batted .471 (8-for-17), with four homers and two doubles.
He homered in his first at-bat of the opener, then put a 485-foot shot halfway up Edison Field's bleachers against Troy Percival in Game 2, and he connected again in Game 3. He hit another bomb in Game 6 off Francisco Rodriguez, and pumped his arm like Kirk Gibson as he started his trot.
His 1.294 slugging percentage broke Tenace's 1972 record of .913 for a seven-game Series, and was third for the overall mark behind Gehrig (1.727) and Ruth (1.375) in the Yankees' four-game sweep of 1928.
He reached on 21 of 30 plate appearances, his .700 on-base percentage breaking the record of .625 for a seven-game Series, set by Johnny Lindell of the 1947 Yankees, but shy of Billy Hatcher's overall mark of .800 in Cincinnati's four-game sweep in 1990.
"I'm not going to lie -- it was fun," Bonds said. "It was great."