Bacsik denies grooving pitch to Bonds
Former pitcher allowed record-breaking home run No. 756
Former Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik said Thursday that he did not purposely give up Barry Bonds' record-setting 756th home run on Aug. 7, 2007, in San Francisco.
Rockies pitcher Tim Redding said on Wednesday he felt Bacsik meant to groove a pitch to Bonds in order to get publicity and make money in the future.
"Obviously, I didn't try to give it up," Bacsik said when reached by phone on Thursday. "It was a 3-2 pitch, and the pitch before I threw a curveball that was just foul. Did I throw the ball good that night? No, but to say I tried to give up the home run I don't think is very smart. I was fighting for my life in the big leagues. I thought I might get sent down."
Redding, Bacsik's teammate in 2007, made his comments while appearing on Sirius XM's Home Plate channel.
"Mike Bacsik is a stand-up guy," Redding said. "He's a little quirky, but he's a nice guy -- means well. I think he wanted to give it up. And he can say what he wants in defense or whatnot, but doing the chart, I mean, every ball that Barry hit -- the ball was center cut, right down the middle, fastball.
"You know, I think he was -- maybe inside -- he was thinking he was going to get a little bit more publicity and maybe, you know, some money out of it -- appearances, stuff like that. But, you know, it is what it is."
Bacsik said he was at the end of his baseball career and was trying hard to stick with the Nationals, and he added that he has not made a dime by giving up the record-setting home run because it has been alleged that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs.
"As time goes by, stories like [what Redding said] will happen," Bacsik said. "Tim and I had our differences. I don't know what to say to that. Tim is not the first person to say that. I don't want to bash Tim -- there is no need for me to do that. My career is over."
After an easy first inning, Bacsik ran out of steam on that historic night. In the second inning, the Giants took a 2-0 lead but the Nationals suddenly jumped ahead, 3-2, off left-hander Barry Zito thanks to a two-run home run by Austin Kearns.
By the bottom of the fifth, the two clubs were tied 4-4 until Bonds hit Bacsik's 3-2 pitch over the right-center-field wall to give San Francisco a one-run lead.
Then-manager Manny Acta said at the time that Bacsik was too pumped up and threw almost nothing but fastballs during the game. The Nationals ended up winning the game, 8-6.
Bacsik, 32, retired from professional baseball after the 2008 season. He is now a radio personality for 1310-AM in Dallas and considered a baseball and basketball expert. He and his wife are expecting their third child this week.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.