Barry Bonds returns to AT&T Park; fans cheer, media grumbles

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Barry Bonds just ran out onto the field before the Phillies-Giants game, where he and other past Giants stars threw out the first pitch.  When he appeared: a loud ovation from the crowd.  I looked to the Twitter feed and this is what I see from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

SF Giants make you wonder if they have a clue. Bonds throws out first pitch. You can catch him again in March at his federal perjury trial.

I think the Giants have a perfectly good clue. They’re clued in to the fact that their fans got 15 years of some of the most phenomenal baseball that has ever been played from Barry Bonds. They’re clued in to the fact that, however PED-aided that performance was, the fans still enjoyed it and now remember it fondly. They’re clued in to the fact that hardly any of them give a rat’s kiester about a perjury prosecution that, the longer it drags on, the more it appears to be a persecution. They’re clued in to the fact that even those who disapprove of Bonds for his legal and ethical issues surely can’t be bothered by him throwing out a simple ceremonial first pitch. They’re clued in to the fact that pretending their past stars who have been tainted with PED associations don’t exist is silly, and unlike the Yankees and Cubs, aren’t going to scrub those players from team history. Or at least try to.

Baker is a guy who, though I often disagree with him, certainly never shies from grappling with the big issues in the game. And for that I respect his work. But in this instance, I do wish he’d remember that it is just a game, those big issues notwithstanding.

People enjoyed watching Barry Bonds hit. Who are we to take that away from them? Or even to want to?

Giants sign Austin Jackson to two-year, $6 million contract

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The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.

Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.

The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.