Going to see the Natural; and Bonds

We just got word that we’re getting treated to another dispatch tonight in Cincinnati. We’re going to get to see Barry Bonds play this season, probably days before he breaks the all-time homerun record. We’re also expecting to see Josh Hamilton play, because there is a right hander on the hill for the Giants in the person of Matt Morris. We were pissed because the last time we went, we didn’t get to see him play. Hopefully this Pete Mackanin will learn to play Josh every day, against lefties and righties.

Bronson Arroyo takes the hill for Cincinnati. It’s been a rough go for Arroyo thus far this season as he’s just 2-9. It’s been a rough go for every Cincinnati pitcher save Aaron Harang.

Oh and we don’t link stuff that won’t be a good link forever very often, but we simply have to on this one:

‘I’m proof that hope is never lost’: Josh Hamilton’s story in his own words. (ESPN the Magazine)

An exerpt, and some reasoning as to why he’s our boy:

And now, as I stand on the green grass of a major league outfield or walk to the batter’s box with people cheering for me, I repeatedly ask myself one simple question: How did I get here from there?

I’ve been in the big leagues as a member of the Cincinnati Reds for half a season, but I still find myself taking off my cap between pitches and taking a good look around. The uniform, the ballparks, the fans — it doesn’t seem real. How am I here? It makes no sense to anybody, and I feel almost guilty when I have to tell people, over and over, that I can’t answer that one simple question.

I go to sleep every night with a clear mind and a clear conscience. Every day, I walk into an immaculate clubhouse with 10 TVs and all the food I can eat, a far cry from the rat-infested hellholes of my user past. I walk to my locker and change into a perfectly clean and pressed uniform that someone else hung up for me. I grab a bat and a glove and walk onto a beautifully manicured field to play a game for a living.

How am I here? I can only shrug and say, “It’s a God thing.” It’s the only possible explanation. There’s a reason my prayers weren’t answered during those dark, messed-up nights I spent scared out of my mind. There’s a reason I have this blessed and unexpected opportunity to play baseball and tell people my story.