Wednesday, August 08, 2007

756

As I'm sure everyone is well aware of by now Barry Bonds hit his 756th homerun tonight. In the effort of full disclosure I have long been a Bonds apologist and I even wrote a post in his defense last March in light of the allegations levied against him in "Game of Shadows". Ever since Bonds hit 754 I've kept an eye on his at-bats on ESPN2 when I've had the time. (Wait. By writing, "when I've had the time", I'm implying that I might have been too busy to take time off to watch the games and I want you to know this couldn't be further from the truth. For example, yesterday I didn't even put pants on until 9 P.M. and not because I was going anywhere or leaving my apartment or anything but rather based on the principle that I should wear pants for at least a portion of the day....but I digress.) I was fortunate enough to witness No. 755 live as I had been flipping back and forth between Guitar Hero and the game and happened to catch that at bat. However, I wasn't able to witness his record shot tonight as I was driving home from my friend Matt's house. Matt called me during the drive and told me that Bond's had just broke Aaron's record and I felt an immediate pang of sadness. Not because I was sad to see Aaron, the symbol of everything stoic, gracious and humble, have his record broken by that arrogant, cheating, jerk face with the face of a jerk Barry Bonds or any bullshit moralistic high ground reason like that. I was upset that I missed a chance to witness history being made. A chance to watch the most meaningful record in sports fall right before my eyes. This moment of sadness almost immediately subsided when I remembered that I would be subjected to the highlight on ESPN 5 million times over the next two weeks and have to listen to the jackasses on Around the Horn yell at each other while debating the merits of his record. Anyways here are my thoughts on Barry Bonds surpassing Hank Aaron on the all-time homerun list.

1: Steroids: Like every other baseball fan I hate the steroids era. I hate the fact that steroids were so rampant during the time period that I grew to like baseball as a child. However I do not for one second feel sorry for Major League Baseball nor Commissioner Bud Selig as they oversaw this whole era and turned a blind eye to it. In my opinion the only thing that is more preposterous then denying that Barry Bonds used performance enhancing drugs during his career is believing that MLB was completely ignorant of a massive problem that threatened to destroy the integrity of the game. Who knows what the record books would look like if people like Ken Caminiti and to a lesser extent Jose Canseco hadn't spoke up publicly about steroid use when they did. Right now Bonds would probably be closer to Sadarahu Oh then Aaron while Sosa closed in on The Hammer and MLB sat back and banked on the fan's interest in seeing these artificial sluggers topple the most storied records in sports. Instead a few former players blew the whistle on the whole operation and baseball stumbled all over themselves covering their tracks, instituting drug testing about twenty years too late and launching a lengthy multi-million dollar investigation that will yield little to no useful information in an effort to save face and show the fan's that they are concerned with something about baseball not associated with the bottom line. MLB played a part in creating this problem even if their participation was only passive and when shit went crazy they bailed and made a concerted effort to vilify individual players, as long as those players were African-American. (I know I'm not mentioning anything new but seriously, how the hell is it that Bonds is hated yet Roger Clemens who has the exact same suspicious career path of peaking in HIS EARLY 40's be lauded for his achievements and work ethic. I hate when people play the race card but come on that's pretty blatant.)

The only analogy I can think of is this. Let's say MLB and a friend named Steroids are going to a party and when MLB picks up Steroids he notices that Steroids has a gun and a giant sack with a dollar sign on it. Steroids has MLB stop by a party store to pick up some smokes and runs inside with the gun and sack. While Steroids is away MLB here's a woman screaming and gunshots before Steroids returns breathing heavily and with a sackful of money. MLB thinks the money and gunshots might have been related but says "fuck it" let's celebrate my friends new found wealth by going to Meijer and buying $300 worth of Andy Capp Hot Fries and wine (sounds like fun to me). Later the police find MLB and Steroids covered in cheese residue and stinking like booze and bring them in for a suspected party store robbery. When the police go to interrogate MLB, MLB loses his cool, sells out his friend and offers to testify against him before the police ever ask him a question. What a rat, right. That kind of snitching gets Luca Brasi sent to your house to take care of business and makes MLB a very unsympathetic character. But that's exactly what happened in real life and yet MLB seems to skate. I don't understand.

2: Another pet peeve of mine is when sports writers take on the air of our moral superiors and protectors of the last vestiges of decency for a society of immoral hedonistic sports fans. I'm sure Woody Paige will be on Around the Horn calling Bonds a cheater and bad role model and as soon as the camera stops rolling he'll walk over to some young intern, pull his dong out, lay it on her desk and make her stare at it for the next 30 minutes. Or Mitch Albom will file some interview he had with Babe Ruth's ghost at Ebbet's Field when it turns out Babe Ruth's ghost was really holding his press conference at the Polo Grounds. Or Mike Lupica will give a 10 minute speech on the Sport's Reporters before feasting on a barrel full of live baby animals with largest and saddest eyes. That's why I loved Hank Aaron's sincere congratulatory video to Bonds after his record fell. I bet that blew a hole through all of the columnists who had mailed in some Hank Aaron is the true champ and hates Barry Bonds and blah blah blah type column. Man I hate sports columnists. They only make everything not fun.

3: Bonds is a jerk. Who cares? I don't. You know who else was a jerk? Jack Morris. And he may be my favorite non-knuckleball pitcher in the history of Detroit. So what if he thought women were objects (they are) and shouldn't be within 25 miles of a lockerroom (they shouldn't...i'm kidding, i'm kidding. I love women they are very interesting and attractive....things) he won games and that's all I was interested in. I don't understand why people care if an athlete gets along with reporters. I don't care if Bonds snaps at Pedro Gomez after Pedro asks him the same retarded question about Greg Anderson for the 85th consecutive day so he can run back and report his findings on SportsCenter. I'm a very private person and understand why someone would bristle at constant and in many instances unwanted media attention. If I were a rich and famous athlete I know I would be the most insufferable and ungracious jerk. I would probably live in a castle surrounded by a moat filled with alligators and gorilla's, (Can they swim? otherwise I'll have to purchase some very expensive gorilla SCUBA gear), answer questions by flexing and emasculate pudgy writers by making them lift their shirts and do the Truffle Shuffle. I would make Bonds look more accommodating than Tiki Barber. I guess that's why I'm cursed with a poor work ethic and nine inch biceps. It keeps me humble. Hang on that amazingly talented blogger and Adonis of a man has reappeared in my mirror and I feel compelled to stare at him for awhile.

4: I had another reason for writing this but it got really late and I'm pretty sure I can see the sun rising so I'm calling it quits on this one after saying Congratulations to Bonds (I heard he's a big fan of mine) and I know I'll be watching 8 years from now when A-Rod comes through and smashes your record.

6 comments:

k said...

The ideal moat has alligators inside, tigers stationed roaming around the perimeter and specially trained dogs with bees in their mouths. Not to steal from Mr. Burns, but come on, that's some genius shit.

Also, I completely agree with you on Bonds, seriously. Really refreshing to see this morning.

When I should be working.

das411 said...

There is also the whole minor issue of how Bonds has never failed a drug test in the 3+ years MLB has gone after him, not found any significant evidence of anything (or do you *really* think they would have waited until after 756 if they did?), and the only proof anybody has is hearsay "leaked" grand jury testimony and a book written by two reporters he had spent a decade having pissing contests with.

It would be really interesting to see fan attitudes towards Bonds and the record analyzed by age, as I suspect our generation is much more supportive of him than the baby boomer dbags who are retroactively lionizing Hank Aaron the same way they did to Roger Maris back in '98.

Also, those Andy Capp Hot Fries are indeed quite awesome. Good post!

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