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Bonds a Magnet for Criticism

So I bought one of these bracelets designed to balance your body's magnetic forces.

Slap it on your wrist, align the magnets with your pulse point and within hours a feeling of warmth and well-being will take over your body and ease your aching joints.

Like Vicodin, without the brain fog.

The theory is interesting. The accompanying booklet said it creates a force field around your body, pushing out all the negative ions caused by driving over the potholes on Ninth Street, breathing the dusty valley air and paying $100 a month to something called Mello-Roos.

The booklet doesn't really say that, but you get my drift.

Trouble is, those negative ions have to be flowing out somewhere. And on Tuesday, I suddenly felt as if I had more than my normal amount of opinions to share with the world.

My remote garage door opener suddenly has a two-foot range (could it be the bracelet?) while No. 1 son is celebrating being only five weeks away from college by staying in his pajamas all day.

Yep, as all these ions flow away, I have the urge to vent:

If Barry Bonds had somehow connected for a home run to lead the National League to All-Star victory last week, then came out to accept his MVP award in street clothes, the Barryhaters would have further vilified him as less-than-a-team-guy.

Ichiro does exactly that, and you don't hear a peep.

Of course, Bonds was in a no-win situation for declining to participate in the Home Run Derby.

When's the last time you saw Tiger Woods compete in a long-drive contest?

It's not good for the swing, and it's not good for a 42-year-old sore-legged slugger who has trouble walking by the fifth inning.

Of course, had Bonds competed in the Home Run Derby and hurt himself doing it, he would have been criticized for putting the individual contest ahead of the needs of his team.

Let me get this straight: The Cal State Stanislaus administration is willing to pick up the cost of street signs proclaiming Monte Vista Avenue as University Avenue but is forcing Warriors baseball boosters to raise money to pick up the cost of renaming the school's baseball diamond for longtime, two-time national title-winning coach Jim Bowen ... something that should have been done years ago.

And kudos to letter-writer Ted Trujillo, who offered the perfect solution: changing the name of the road as soon as the school changes its name to Cal State Turlock.

Laughed out loud the other day when someone said the Modesto Relays' need for speed was the driving force behind the decision of Modesto Junior College to install a new track.

No, MJC is putting down a new surface because MJC needed one for its students, not for an organization that rents MJC Stadium once a year.

According to the school, the new track is designed for long-term use. It's a cost-effective surface that will stand up to the daily pounding of students and the community.

It will not feature the texture and calculated rebound the modern world-class athlete needs to chase records. Such tracks require limited use to stay in such condition and thus would not fill the needs of the school or community.

Bravo, MJC, for making the right call.

Oh, and a word to those who seek to name the track after Relays founder Tom Moore. Tom was a prince, a friend to all who knew him, a force in the world of track and field and — even after passing — the face of the Modesto Relays.

He certainly is deserving of the honor, and it's impossible to argue otherwise.

But if a name is to be placed on MJC's track, only one would fit:

Jack Albiani, who headed the Pirates' running programs for 29 years.

Was very saddened to hear about the passing of Chuck Hughes, which brought back ancient memories.

Way back in the tight satin-shorts era of high school basketball, I remember the times we'd run onto the court for warmups with our high school band playing "China Grove."

I'd always glance over to the scorer's table to see who that night's game officials would be, and if the duo was Hughes and Jerry Streeter, I'd be nervous.

They were the best crew out there, so that wasn't a worry. But if they were working, it must have been an important game.

Instant butterflies.

Hmm. Maybe a magnetic bracelet would have helped.

Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at or 578-2300.