Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello, Barry

It's Tuesday and Thursday night Ballclub this week at Shea. And with the Giants coming in to town, controversy is abound with the annual Barry Bonds appearance in New York. It's already known that Bonds won't play Tuesday, but I suppose he will on Wednesday and Thursday. It makes some sense, sit Barry against lefty Perez, play him against Glavine, who he has had success against (including a HR earlier this month in SF) and against El Duque on Thursday. A few weeks ago, I was intrigued as Bonds sat on 745 HRs, a mere 10 shy of Aaron's record, and with an unconscious couple of weeks, Bonds could conceivably have come in to this series close to or at the record. He slumped, and he won't come close this week. At least, not at Shea, where he has had spotty success in the past (112 games, 413 ABs, only 13 HRs and 60 RBIs, 72 walks and 66 Ks).

I have seen Bonds many times over the years, going back to his Pittsburgh days, when he was a shell of the man he is today. I know many people come out in droves to see him and the spectacle that he is. I've become somewhat desensitized to him over the years. I'll still boo him, though.

I'll boo, but not because of the Steroid business. Whether or not he did steroids is fairly academic to me, although the evidence is pretty well stacked against him. I have, over the years, grown tired of hearing about it all, because nobody produces any sort of ironclad proof, and the testing system is inherently flawed, mainly because Selig has no Yarbles, and the Players Union is far too strong to allow invasive testing. The whole business has carried on, for the most part, as a media creation (and the creation of people with far too much free time on their hands, as evidenced here). The fact is, yes, the integrity of the game has been compromised by players juicing themselves up to hit more HRs, but the reality of the situation is that Selig and the Owners allowed it to happen. Sure. A rule banning the use of steroids was put in place in 1991. But there was no testing put in place to back it up. Players used it all the time, free of the fear of getting caught. I'd go so far as to say that it was a complete conspiracy to freely allow the use of Steroids following the strike in 1994, when Baseball severely needed to regain fans and popularity. It was the easiest thing in the world to create a chase for the single-season HR record, fueled by two eminently likeable figures, McGwire and Sosa. But Bonds ruined it all. Because although Bonds may have only been a Steroid user for 7 or 8 years, he's been a Jerk for his entire career. So what did he do? He went out and broke the season HR record himself, and kept on going, and now, he's going to pass Aaron's career HR record. And for years, all this went on as a blind eye was turned to the fact that these guys were shooting themselves full of whatever amphetamine or horomone they could get their hands on. And by the time people caught on and a softball testing system was put into place, it was far too late. So, feel free to blame Barry, boo him, throw needles at him, whatever. He's just another cog in the system. It's not his fault that MLB allowed him to get away with this.

I'll boo Barry. I'll boo him because he's a First Class A-Hole. That's why we should boo Barry.

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