Asterisks

by sawamix


Aljazeera.Net:

Bonds becomes new home run king

The controversial slugger hit his 756th career homer No. 756 breaking the 33 year old record held by Hank Aaron.

Bonds connected with a fastball from Washington’s Mike Bacsik, sending the ball high into the San Francisco night, 435 feet into the right-center field seats.

Later, Bonds refused to admit that the record was tainted by the rumours of steroid abuse.

“This record is not tainted at all. At all. You guys can say whatever you want,” Bonds said.

I don’t like Barry Bonds.

In my opinion, he’s just another selfish African-American athlete who speaks his mind about racial injustice only when he’s fucked up in a big way (infidelity, tax evasion, being a major league asshole) and needs camouflage. Otherwise, throughout his brilliant but turbulent career, his single response to political questions has always been the same: “I’m here to play the game, man.”

Still, when it comes to these allegations about steroids, I think Bonds is being unfairly maligned, and it needs to stop. And no, it’s not for the reasons you suspect.

Yeah, Bonds is rude, arrogant, and nasty, but he’ll certainly have plenty of company in the Hall of Fame (Oh, Mr. Cobb? When you’re finished pulling your cleats out of that guy’s face, can you step over here?). More to the point, what really gets me angry is the idea that Bonds has poisoned the spotless purity of Baseball is revisionist bullshit. It’s like the guy who thinks he’s not cheating on his wife because he took off his wedding ring.

Let’s be honest, O.K.? Cheating has always been a part of the game, it’s just that the owners, the commissioner, the writers, the players, and the fans have chosen to ignore it. Guys have taken “greenies”, thrown spitballs, and corked their bats for decades. Whatever works, right? When Jose Cancesco, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire became these lumbering, muscle-swollen behemoths slamming balls out of stadiums, how did people think they got that way? As Richard Pryor said when his wife caught him in bed with another woman, “Who are you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Although the official rules in baseball say, “Don’t Take Steroids”, what the fine print says is, “Don’t Get Caught”. The last I heard, Bonds hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, so if they decide to keep Bonds out of the Hall of Fame sometime in the future, they better kick out Gaylord (“I don’t where that Vaseline came from”) Perry out first.

Oh, by the way, I believe those holy numbers that baseball is so proud of are fraudulent anyway. Before Jackie Robinson knocked down the “White Only” sign in 1946, great African-American baseball players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, “Cool Papa” Bell, Judy Johnson and Oscar Charleston, were exiled to the Negro Leagues because they weren’t allowed to compete with the white guys. If you ask me, that policy of blatant discrimination is a a bigger outrage than a syringe full of HGH. They can’t scotch-tape an asterisk on Barry Bonds without giving themselves one first.

Sadly, the eclipsing of Hank Aaron’s record has turned into a hollow triumph, and Major League Baseball has nobody else to blame but itself. If Barry Bonds is an embarrassing circus act, then it was the guys running the sport who set up the tent and sold the tickets.