To escape something of a conundrum I find myself in over at Metsville, I was considering posting a picture of Randy Johnson (preferably with yellow stripes), who probably had more to do with the Mets snapping out of their funk yesterday than any black cat. I was reminded of Johnson’s infamous bean ball of a bird a few years ago (video), which made Diamondhacks’ comments on yesterday’s post oddly precognizant. I don’t remember if Johnson took a curtain call or not. I’m quite certain the bird didn’t. – Michael Norton
Dear Miss Manners:
One of my fantasy players just took a curtain call-in his home ballpark, nonetheless! Should I bench him, trade him, or give him his outright release?
I hate the Yankees. I hate curtain calls. I hate the Boston Press. I hate ESPN. I hate Joe Morgan. I hate Barry Bonds. I hate Jason HGHiambi. I hate Roger Clemens. I hate Yankee fans. I hate anyone who is arrogant enough to disagree with me. I really hate the hate mail all my hate generates. I hate all those hateful readers who express their distaste of me and my hatred on MY site. God smite down all I hate with Thy woeful Wrath!
Have a Nice Day!
Wouldn’t it be delicious if the Hated Bonds passes the Beloved Babe against the team that lionized the Blubbering **** who started this home run record circus…while on deck is the player who may put them all to shame, Albert Pujols. Of course even Pujols is under the cloud of suspicion, as Cyn over at Red Sox Chick points out. Let me state for the record that I’m a huge Albert Pujols fan—and that was before I saw the Sunday night interview on ESPN and learned he has a rather engaging personality. I didn’t know he was a nice guy. He impressed me as the kind that just took care of business. I noticed he expressed nothing but respect for Bonds, which is more than can be said for many fans. Maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t.
I mean, besides how to hit a baseball a country mile. I’m willing to stipulate he’s clean, at least until there is some scintilla of evidence, like a precursor to steroids found in his locker. But that leads us to a conundrum: Pujols is proving it is possible to do the kinds of things Bonds has been doing naturally. So how much do steroids and other PEDs aid in the production of home runs? If Bonds hits a thousand, like his agent suggests, will he eclipse Ruth? — Michael Norton
First let me state I am not a Barry Bonds fan. In fact, I have as much reason to despise Bonds as anyone. Being a native San Franciscan, I would be a natural Giant fan, except I abhor Bonds as an abomination. Not because of steroids, mind you, but because I consider him to be a lout who absurdly fouled prodigious talent.
Regardless, Bonds is the greatest hitter I have been privileged to see in my lifetime. And he has a point: fans should show some restraint and respect for the next generation. The fact that it is hypocritical for Bonds, who, like many modern athletes, accepts no responsibility for being a role model, to make the argument is beside the point. The treatment of Bonds is a disgrace.
Let the young ones believe in Santa Claus. They will learn the harsh realities of life soon enough. Bonds will be judged by history, and that soon enough, because soon enough he will be history. Like Ruth before him, Bonds is mortal. He is flesh.
And he has flesh and blood. He has children who attend the games to see their father play. He has a mother, too.
Can we show a little respect? That is a most valuable lesson my mother taught me. Happy Mothers Day, Mom, wherever you are (she passed away long ago).
Matt’s comment to my last post was absolutely on target: I didn’t make my case for Verducci’s vitriol. That is something I will address over the span of several posts. If you’ve been reading the blog, I’m building a case. In the meantime, Matt did an excellent job of framing the issues, so I’ll take his lead and briefly touch the bases.
First far be it from me to play the race card. I’m white, by the way, and like all flesh instinctively prejudiced. But this isn’t about race anymore than it is. That is a Yogi-ism, of course, but that paradox is one of the appeals of the Bonds debacle. Matt’s exercise of switching skins between Bonds, McGwire and Sosa is productive. Imagine if the congenial Big Papi were approaching Ruth’s record. If Bonds had Buck O’Neil’s personality we wouldn’t be having this discussion.
And in that sense, Cyn is correct, although I’m not ready to concede she is right. That is a more nuanced argument than I care to make at this time. For now, I would say merging Matt’s first two points yields some interesting results. Many geniuses are difficult people. Mile Davis was every bit as churlish as Bonds. In baseball Cobb was hated, and even the great Ruth made many enemies, including Cobb. Very few who reach the pinnacle of their chosen field of endeavor have many friends or much family left by the time they realize their talent. It is that deal with the devil that fascinates about Bonds.
Is he to be cursed as Mephistopheles, or pitied as Faust? Or should Faustus be loathed, and Mephisto pitied? Or is it all just a show? This is the essence of my comment about Verducci’s epilogue.
If you haven’t, you should check out MC Hammer’s eloquent treatment of the Bonds situation on his new MLBlog, MC Hammer’s Baseball Blog.