A letter to Mr. Bonds.

>> Wednesday

Dear Barry,

I am writing to you on behalf of baseball fans everywhere. I know that it is awfully pretentious of me to assume the voice of some billion people worldwide, but someone needs to clear something up. Tuesday night I saw you play at Miller Park where you were, of course, booed by 30,000+ people that were there in hopes of seeing you hit a home run, so they could watch in awe...and then boo you some more. I half-heartedly joined in the boo parade (although I much more adamantly booed Craig Counsell's spot in the starting lineup). Since I kinda booed you, I thought I should explain myself, and in the process explain everyone else.

See, it's really not about you, personally. People aren't booing Barry Bonds; they're booing steroids. I'm betting that if you asked baseball fans straight up, "Are you really booing Bonds personally, or are you booing the steroids era?" you could get a lot of them to admit that it's the steroids themselves that piss them off, not an individual user of those drugs. And no, you're not singled out because it's so obvious you used steroids or because you're an asshole (if those were the only qualifications, we'd be all over Roger Clemens); you're singled out because you're going to break the most precious record in sports with the help of artificial performance enhancers. Steroids are interchangeable with the broad concept of cheating, which we like to pretend that we care about. Of course, any time we do anything competitive ourselves, we're more than likely to cheat. Who hasn't snuck a couple $500 bills from the Monopoly bank when our little brother wasn't paying attention? So yeah, we're hypocrites when we complain about cheaters, but we aren't about to etch our names into the MLB record books. You are. So the closer you get to that magical number, the harder we boo.

Now here's the tricky part. We don't really even care about the home run record. At least, we shouldn't. If any city has a right to be truly pissed at you for breaking the record, it's Milwaukee, where Hank Aaron is probably the biggest sports name in our city's history. But when you hit 755 and 756 sometime in July, will Aaron's name be at all tarnished? Have you lessened Babe Ruth's greatness by passing him up? Of course not. The game today is not the game it was then; the pitching mound is lower, the training is better, the body armor is fucking ridiculous, to name a few changes...so to compare any numbers, you need to add an asterisk.

So here's why we're really pissed off about the whole steroids thing. Because you, and the rest of baseball, tricked us. Now, I'm speaking for the general population here, and not for die-hard baseball fans, but after the 94 strike, we were fed up with baseball. The egos and the money and the bullshit was too much for many of us to handle, and we left baseball. Then in 1998 Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire had their unforgettable race to 61 and we were won back. The commercials were only half telling the truth when they said that chicks dig the long ball, because chicks, men, children and beast all want to see home runs, and all of a sudden everyone was hitting them. So we came back, and baseball regained its rightful spot as America's Pastime.

Then the steroid reports broke open and all the home runs that we had been drooling over were suddenly illegitimate, at least partially. Now we're faced with one mindfuck of a dilemma. We still love the home runs, and Sosa/McGwire or not, we've been reminded that we really do love baseball...but we hate that we were tricked into coming back. We feel duped, and we are really pissed off at steroids for duping us.

We're not about to stop watching baseball, and we sure as hell are not about to stop cheering home runs. So our only alternative is to insist that Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron are still the home run champs. Then we find a few scapegoats and boo them and yell the cleverest of chants like "Steeeeeeer-oids, Steeeeeeer-oids." And I'm afraid you're going to have to take the heaviest dose because of the whole 755 business. But just remember that we're not booing you. We're booing our own contradictory nature.


Vinnie 9:16 PM  

I just wish people could accept that sports have changed permanently from when Aaron played--just as they'd evolved from days before Aaron had played. This is not a "Steroids Era." It's a permanent evolution of sports, and professional and ameteur athletes alike will forever utilize advantages that we consider "cheating."

Amphetamines were already huge in baseball by the time Aaron broke his record. Does that mean he took them? No--but it's just one way the game evolved from the Ruth era to Aaron's career.

It's like when we hear a movie breaks the record for gross revenue at the box office. Is this a big deal? Well, no because inflation and population growth have made it inevitable. I'd say homerun production has followed a similar--though not as rapid--evolution, so we really shouldn't care about the 755.

What we should acknowledge is how long Aaron held that mark because I suspect it will be longer than Bonds holds it.

Mike 8:42 AM  

Another thing to take into mind with the evolution of the game is the evolution of medical care for players. Barry has had his share of injuries and at his age, 30 years ago might they might have ended his career. I wouldn't suspect many fans would hate Barry for seeking medical care.

Vinnie 10:02 AM  

When Babe Ruth hurt his back in 1924, the doctor gave him a bag of leeches, eleven cigarettes, and a belt of scotch. Then he smacked him on the shoulder and sent him on his way. The next day, the Babe hit three homers and pitched all 18 innings of a double-dip.

There will never be another Babe Ruth.

Post a Comment

NSAwins is a popular site for daily vegas sports odds including updated Vegas Super Bowl Odds and weekly NFL totals and odds during football season. Check out NSAwins during March Madness for FREE March Madness Brackets to Print and Expert Picks on the NCAA Tournament. NSAwins also offers HUGE 100% BetUs Bonus Code and BoDog Bonus Code sportsbook promos.
Online Casino Reports - Online Gambling Guide and Directory for casinos, poker and sports betting.

Get out of your yellow chairs and onto some treadmills to train like a pro.

Check out Casino Guide Canada for free NFL online betting picks and the best online casinos for Canadian and US players today!
USA Online Casino guides you not only to casino bonus, but odds of sportsbook for online sports betting. Try your luckiness today to enjoy gaming games on the internet.

Blog Archive

Try GP sports for luscious sports betting games in a stylish setting. Play to your heart's content and be in with the chance of winning big!

  © Blogger template Webnolia by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP