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Old 05-31-2006, 07:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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For all his flaws, Bonds is still great

John Smoltz is exceptional at what he does. Confident, too. So there have been times he'll talk trash to Barry Bonds, promising to strike him out from the mound. And then he will. And Bonds, like a little kid, will scurry around the dugout, hiding from TV cameras to raise a middle finger at him.

Smoltz figures this began at a home run contest a few years ago. Bonds apparently thought Smoltz and Tom Glavine were picking someone else to win it. So he sauntered up to Smoltz and announced that, next time he faced him, he would hit a giant home run and then do a little dance around home plate. Smoltz countered by saying that he would strike Bonds out and do a dance around the mound.

So what happened next?

''Unfortunately,'' Smoltz says, ``he hit a home run.''

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