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Batter Up

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As Memorial Day passed last week and temperatures soared toward the nineties, the moment seemed ripe to start swinging for the fences. Barry Bonds finally ’roided past Babe Ruth on the all-time home-run list, then dragged his cartoonish biceps and Charlie Brown head to Queens, where he was received with an ice-cold reception by Mets fans. (The only people less welcome at Shea last week were the creators of the new Mets theme song, “Our Team, Our Time,” who reportedly received death threats for having penned such lines as “We score the runs! We shut you down!”) In at least one precinct of the city, however, the Giants slugger was still revered as the gold standard in power-hitting. Frankie Agostini, testifying in the Howard Beach bias assault case against pal “Fat Nick” Minucci, described with the awe of a wide-eyed bat boy the wallop that his friend allegedly delivered to the skull of Glenn Moore. “It sounded like Barry Bonds hit a home run,” he recalled. “Like, ‘Bing!’ ” (The Reverend Al Sharpton, self-appointed designated hitter for racial-strife amelioration, offered to “take the stand and explain the history and connotations of the N-word.”) After his intentional walk toward the gubernatorial nomination at the Democratic state convention, Eliot Spitzer took a mammoth swat at the ground-zero redevelopment, comparing it to “an Enron-style debacle.” Hank Paulson agreed to move from a renowned, hugely profitable team (Goldman Sachs) to a disreputable, money-losing franchise (the Bush administration). Every pol in the tri-state area lined up to knock the cover off the Department of Homeland Security, which slashed New York’s anti-terror funds by 40 percent and managed to leave the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty off its list of “national monuments and icons” deserving federal protection—while finding room for Jacksonville’s Alltel Stadium. Finally, the All-Star roster of celebrity children with goofy names added a new member when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie dubbed their progeny Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, or Messiah New Pretty-Pitt, as trilingual friends are sure to call her.


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