Remember when you were a kid and there were three holidays that you always looked forward to? There was of course Christmas where you had expectations of hitting the gift jackpot between relatives and of course Santa Claus. There was the fourth of July which gave you a legal reason to play with explosive devices and typically ended when you blew up something you probably didn’t mean to (hey, that was my story when I was 10 and I am not about to change it now since I still fear that my mom will find out what REALLY happened at “The Great Firecracker Incident of 1971” and she’ll call me and tell me I am grounded). Lastly there was your birthday. It was that special and magical day where you were the center of attention and your family gushed over what a great kid you were and how deserving you were of all the presents and wonderful cake. Your birthday was the most special of these three since you rarely had to share it with anyone else (unless you were a twin or your parents defied the laws of probability and had multiple children born on the same day but different years). As we get older we can never seem to rekindle the magic that those early childhood birthdays held. Families try to do their best but you feel a little awkward jumping out of bed first thing in the morning and rushing into the living room hoping the family would be gathered around the table surrounded by brightly wrapped presents and wearing cute little pointed party hats.
As you become an adult, it becomes harder to sit down and plan your birthday. As a kid you always wanted a party with hats, noise makers, an inflatable toy, or maybe a pony that could give kids rides around the backyard. When you begin to assess your friends you quickly realize that you don’t want to see any of them wearing a hat with a kazoo in their mouths mounted on a small horse traipsing around your yard. Well there may be a few of your friends you might like to see in that position just because the pictures would be priceless and probably would peg the interest meter on YouTube. For the most part though your birthday becomes less of a factor the older you get. After a certain age you just hope not to be reminded that you are one year older. There are of course exceptions to this rule.
Today Barry Bonds reached that magical age where he is no longer a child although he may still act like it at times (i.e., see the interview he gave in the locker room after he had gone 0-20 recently). Barry though didn’t seem to be interested in having a party for his friends to stop by his backyard for a few party games and a piece of cake. Part of that might be because he doesn’t have that many friends. Ask Gary Sheffield how excited he would be to attend Barry’s birthday party. Well he might consider coming over if Barry promised they would play “Pin the Tail on Joe Torre” but wouldn’t show up when he realized that Sheff’s former chef would be the one making the cake. Barry could of course invite a few of his Balco buddies over but most of them are serving time for contempt or other federal charges. So what is a guy to do? Why not invite his little buddy Bud Selig to come over and play. Bud’s too old to play games himself but he does like to watch. And who knows maybe Bud will give him a special birthday present like an asterisk that he can use next to all of his records. That would be a really cool gift that I think everyone is hoping that Barry gets for his birthday.