NPR logo
Bonds' Teammate Closes In on a Different Record
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/12374710/12374711" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Bonds' Teammate Closes In on a Different Record

Sports

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

Back now with DAY TO DAY.

RANDY SKLAR: It's no secret, Jason, that one San Francisco Giants stands poised to eclipse a long-standing baseball record this season.

JASON SKLAR: That's right, Randy. The controversial chase for this sacred record has transcended the game itself while locking pundits from all sides in impassion debate.

CHADWICK: Here again with their unique take on athletics, the sports brothers, Randy and Jason Sklar.

R. SKLAR: Commissioner Bud Selig has been reluctant to reveal his true feelings about this milestone. His lack of enthusiasm on the issue speaks volumes as to where he really stands.

J. SKLAR: As baseball fans, we are left to wonder if the Giants organization...

R. SKLAR: Or even the game itself...

J. SKLAR: ...is strong enough to withstand the maelstrom of media attention that surrounds the record. We're of course talking about Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel...

R. SKLAR: And his quest to become the sacrifice bunt king of baseball.

J. SKLAR: Vizquel already leads all active players with 229 career sacrifices.

J. SKLAR: And now he's trying to obliterate history by catching the only player in the modern era ahead of him, Dick Bartell, who retired in 1945 with 269 career sacrifice bunts.

R. SKLAR: In baseball, the sacrifice bunt is the antithesis of the homerun.

J. SKLAR: The homerun is about individual accolades...

R. SKLAR: Bulging forearms...

J. SKLAR: ...and stylish homerun trots.

R. SKLAR: It's all about the glory.

J. SKLAR: The sacrifice bunt, on the other hand, doesn't even show up in the box score.

R. SKLAR: It doesn't even count as an at-bat.

J. SKLAR: It's as if a ghost advanced the runner to the next base.

R. SKLAR: An altruistic ghost with a tremendous grasp on the fundamentals of the sport.

J. SKLAR: It's the ultimate act of selflessness in a sport oft-maligned lately by individual greed.

R. SKLAR: Such consistent self-sacrifices has turned Vizquel into almost a messianic figure in San Francisco...

J. SKLAR: Bunting for the sins of other teammates...

R. SKLAR: Taking himself out of the equation so others can stand in the spotlight. Amidst a media onslaught this season, Vizquel has held his composure beautifully and gone about his business of showing up and laying down sacrifice bunts with a level of dignity that is disarming.

J. SKLAR: Not once has he used his children as shields at press conferences...

R. SKLAR: Not once has he played the race card...

J. SKLAR: We can only speculate at the level of pressure Vizquel must be under as he inches closer to bunting immortality.

R. SKLAR: To unseat Dick Bartell is to unseat a legend. He was also a shortstop who played for the Giants...

J. SKLAR: ...of New York during the Great Depression.

R. SKLAR: A time in America when every citizen was asked to sacrifice his or her fair share for the greater good.

J. SKLAR: Dick Bartell set the bar for unselfishness...

R. SKLAR: And perhaps was an inspiration for Roosevelt's new deal. One has to wonder how frustrated Barry Bonds must feel at this point. If he has to come to the ballpark and listen to one more person talk about Vizquel's chase for the record, he just might turn on the media and be less than amicable.

J. SKLAR: The question is this. When Vizquel breaks the record...

R. SKLAR: Not if - when he breaks it.

J. SKLAR: Will the game stop like it did when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's mark?

R. SKLAR: Will there be a ceremony with a golden bunt cake in the plaque?

J. SKLAR: At any rate, we imagine at the moment of acceptance, Vizquel will simply step back from the microphone and gracefully allowing other player to accept his award.

CHADWICK: Sports brothers Jason and Randy Sklar and which is which? We'll try to sort them out Sunday night. They'll be on the HBO series "Entourage."

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.