Barry Bonds takes his place in left field during his number-retirement ceremony

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Barry Bonds had his number 25 retired by the San Francisco Giants on Saturday. It was quite a ceremony. Among the highlights:

  • Hall of Famer Willie Mays — who, as you probably know, is Bonds’ godfather — used his speech to stump for Bonds being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Mays said, “Give somebody honor that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame . . . I want him to have that honor. On behalf of all of the people in San Francisco and the country, vote this guy in.” Based on the comments that usually come up regarding Bonds on this website, I presume your mileage varies on that.
  • It was a pretty star-studded affair beyond just Bonds and Mays. Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry were there too. His former managers Jim Leyland and Dusty Baker were there too. I assume Jim was a bit more cordial to Bonds on Saturday than he was on certain occasions in the past (NSFW language!). So was former Giants outfielder Fred Lewis. For real. The Giants didn’t even invite him. He paid his own way to fly there from Mississippi because he wanted to thank Bonds for taking him under his wing when he was a young player.
  • The crowd stood and roared and it got all emotional on several occasions. You’re gonna act like that’s dumb because you hate Barry Bonds, but people in San Francisco don’t. And you don’t hate the PED-associated dudes who played for your team. Don’t pretend otherwise, even if you want to make a case that it’s totally different.

Finally, Bonds took his old place in left field one last time. I wish that Sid Bream was on hand to round third one last time so Bonds could once again float a wounded duck to home, at which point the ghost of Skip Caray would go crazy, but we can’t always get what we want.

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Angels name Brad Ausmus new manager

Brad Ausmus
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Former MLB player and manager Brad Ausmus will manage the Angels in 2019, the team announced Sunday. His contract will extend through the 2021 season, though it’s not clear whether a club option exists for 2022. A formal press conference will be held on Monday at 1:00 PM PDT to introduce the new skipper.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler gave a statement following Ausmus’ hiring:

Ausmus, 49, was also considered for a managerial role with the Reds prior to their hiring of David Bell on Sunday. He’ll replace longtime manager Mike Scioscia, who finished his 19th and final campaign with the club on the last day of the 2018 season.

A former catcher and three-time Gold Glove Award winner, Ausmus capped his 18-year MLB playing career in 2010. He managed the Tigers from 2014 to 2017, during which he guided the club to a 314-332 record and a postseason berth in 2014. After the Tigers declined to offer the skipper an extension in 2018, he was hired as a special assistant to the Angels’ general manager, and remained in that role for the duration of the regular season.