Sunday, August 05, 2007

Shame Where Shame Belongs

Barry Bonds is about to break Hank Aaron's Home Run record. That's cool. Good for Barry Bonds.
Even if Barry is known to be a jerk of the highest order, you can't fault a guy for rising to the top of his profession, and giving him all due respect is the American Way. I mean, hey, if it was me smashing those baseballs through the air, I would be hard to live with, too. I can already be a jerk without a reason.But, give me a reason to brag and swagger, well, who knows how many friends I'd have left?

Unfortunately for Barry, he's catching a bucket of shit for being the best bat in baseball.
And it ain't right.
Lots of folks out there are dissing the American Way when they dis Barry's achievements and his use of steroids to enhance his competitive edge. It's not his fault.
Yeah, you heard me.
I said: "It's not his fault."

Major League Baseball, and it's commissars, were digging every minute of it when Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and the like were setting batting records, surpassing Roger Maris' mark, and the fans started coming out in droves to see the big guys do their thing.
After a depressing down period following a players strike,suddenly baseball was on the daily front page. Talked about in the shop. Debated at the water coolers. Cheered in the living rooms. Baseball was big again.
The sluggers were bigger than ever.
Ticket sales ballooned.
Viewership, and revenue, sky-rocketed.

And steroids were everywhere.
The commissars knew it, but looked the other way.
In other words: they allowed it, and all but encouraged it.
Whatever rule Major League Baseball had about steroids,(from my understanding, they had none) it was obviously not enforced.
The rules, either in reality, or in practice, did not rule out steroid use.
Players were free to indulge, and did. And since each player is competing against every other player for contract terms, headlines, endorsements and just plain success, a level playing field requires each player to seek out whatever edge he could attain.
So Barry,Mark,Sammy, and nearly every other slugger started shooting up.
Can you really blame them?
Don't fault a man for playing by the rules laid out before him.
Barry Bonds played by the rules. Every Home Run is his. He earned them.
Now,give the man his due.

And heap the shame were it belongs: On the commissars of Major League Baseball.
Not Barry Bonds.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Being strong may be a huge advantage in any number of other athletic endeavors; but, not when you're swinging a bat at a ball moving 95 mph or breaking about 4 feet in front of your eyes. That takes a skill level totally different from just being strong, and there are many, many great athletes who are unable to master that skill---Michael Jordan being a prime example.

Bonds is a major league twit no doubt; but one with some pretty good hand-eye coordination


Palm boy said...

Right on.
Its a level playing field if everyone is using steroids.

Mercy Now said...

Well, innocent until proven guilty so right now he hasn't been found guilty of anything.

Jade said...

It's unfortunate that his record is perpetually underlined by this footnote of "but he used steroids"... if it's found that he isn't using them now. Maybe he did back when it was somewhat normal to do so (similar to The Governator, right? He used steroids back in his Mr. Universe days, didn't he?)

Of course my first thought upon seeing this post was "whoever photoshopped this image overlooked the grass between his legs". Completely not the point of the post, I know.

Uncle Ben said...

That's probably the best apologia that I've heard for Bonds so far. He's had a fantastic career without a doubt, but I just don't feel all that celebratory. Maybe it's unfair, but the recognition you get isn't just based on your performance on the field; it's based on your performance off the field too.

Gino said...

lets see...just on this page alone:
i've defended bonds, endorsed sheehan, excused vick, deflected critism from islam, cheered the destruction of traditional marriage,
encouraged john edwards, and gave backdoor advice to the democrats.

why do i still have readers left?

Jade said...

why do i still have readers left?

Your charming personality!

Gino said...

jade:i didnt notice the grass in his crotch.
the eyes of a true photog at work?
or evidence that women do indeed notice detail? ;)

ben: note to bonds: hug more babies.

KD: yeah, but can bonds jump?

palm boy and mercy: and the books are about numbers, not character.
or ty cobb would be unknown to us.

Jade said...

Gino, I'm not sure if it's a woman thing or not, but I tend to be rather detail oriented anyway (made me a great candidate for working on export documents for the Department of Commerce in my former life) I was actually looking to see if the haze around Barry was a vignette or what when I noticed the grass.... it's still a lovely Photoshop job, the glow is nice, particularly since it looks like the original photo was shot in bright sun... the harsh light makes for a nice effect.

Gino said...

someday, i'll learn how to photoshop stuff myself.

so many ideas...
but no knowledge.

Andy said...

Who's Barry Bonds?


kr said...

why do i still have readers left?

independent thinking ;)

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

To everyone who is having a hissy fit about Bonds being a bad example and chemical-abusing ass, I have two words: Babe Ruth

Stacy said...

why do i still have readers left?

I already told you; cavemen are hawt.

Vas makes an excellent point. Babe Ruth didn't exactly live a clean life.