Ralph Wiley ESPN PAGE 2 wrote:link
For some, this is simply an attempt to negate the accomplishments of Barry Bonds. I tend to agree with Bobby Valentine -- I've seen Bonds do things no other human being can do, just as Ruth and Ted Williams and Mantle and Mays and Aaron did things no other human being can do. Muscles don't play baseball. Hands and eyes play baseball. Longevity books it.
Great merit: Six MVPs and ... 756 home runs?
So Barry Bonds remorselessly and relentless marches on, beyond the 660 home runs of Willie Mays, on past the 714 home runs of Babe Ruth, and finally, by the 755 home runs of Henry Aaron. Barry Bonds will become the greatest home-run hitter in baseball history.
And apparently, that's what outrages many people, deep down inside.
It has nothing to do with any steroids. Please. Oh please.
A long time ago I wrote a funny little book called "Why Black People Tend To Shout." Now, if you hear that title and you don't laugh -- then you need to read that book! It is a humorous book. I was taught by the master, Mr. Mark Twain, that humor was the great leveler, that against the power of laughter, nothing can stand. Well, this 'Roid Outrage is funny to me.
What Barry Bonds has done is show great merit in the game. Unfortunately, when you are what is called "black," that can be inconvenient; often when you show merit, the rules on merit are changed to make them more obtuse.
When Aaron was approaching Ruth's home-run record in the early 1970s, all the stories were about how he had to endure all this racist hate mail and kidnapping threats against his daughter -- how he had to endure against the real protagonist, the Status Quo. It wasn't about how great a htter he was.
I'd say that's the part that's cheating. I'd say Aaron got cheated.
It's all fine and good to make up myths about so many events, athletic ones included, that don't contain any African-Americans, and I don't have to list them all here, and in fact don't have time, but sometimes I get the feeling some sports fans would like it better if all of sports history was rather like an episode of "Friends." Fine, when it comes to making movies, and giving out awards, and waxing nostalgic. But it seems to me when a man spends 20 years showing merit, in reality, not fiction, he ought to able to eat his grapes without people saying how sour they are, what a cheater he is, how impure his records are, how what he's doing doesn't count in the grand scheme.
No? That's exactly where he does count.
We don't judge Barry Bonds, friends.
I do fear we only judge ourselves.
David Schoenfield ESPN PAGE 2 wrote:Guilty before proven innocent
The implications are as clear as the fear in Turk Wendell's eyes when Barry Bonds steps to the plate.
Bonds is big, strong and lethal at the plate, Bonds takes steroids, Bonds is a fraud, Bonds' records should be wiped from the books and Bonds should just go to hell because we never liked him in the first place anyway.
Wendell -- a man who wears a chain of animal teeth around his neck, mind you -- says Bonds is a steroid user. Wendell may be an active player, but he's just the latest to join the Bonds-bashing bandwagon. The Bonds-on-steroids issue isn't about presumption of innocence before guilt. It isn't about steroids. It's not about putting an "asterisk" next to Bonds' 73 home runs. I don't even think it's an issue of race.
It's really about another chance for the media to jump all over a man they love to hate and a player they love to discredit.
Food for thought: Barry Bonds is listed at 6-2, 228 pounds. Brett Favre is listed at 6-2, 225. I'm sure both totals come in a little light.
Maybe it's time to blow up all the Bonds criticism.
Yet, as one columnist wrote a couple week ago, after suggesting the Bonds "story" can no longer be ignored: "It's the drugs, stupid. It's always been the drugs."
More food for thought: You know how many times Bonds has hit 50 home runs in a season? Once. You know how many times he's led his league in home runs? Twice. You know how many writers suggest Bonds is the smartest hitter in the game, that he knows which pitch is coming, that his eyes and patience allow him to wait for exactly the pitch he can drive out of the park, that what makes him superman isn't all the home runs he hits, but the way he does it, despite drawing all those walks, which puts him on base a must-be-a-misprint more than 50 percent of the time? Very few.
But of course, nobody likes Bonds anyway -- writers or opposing pitchers. So bring him down when you can. Say that he's nothing without the drugs, nothing but a cranky, sour SOB, that deep in his soul he's not this good, because nobody can really be this good, nobody can put up these softball numbers in the major freakin' leagues.
Freak? Yes, Bonds is a freak.
Steroids? Maybe. Or maybe it's just a man who regulates his body to optimal performance by staying away from those In-N-Out burgers that Jason Giambi craves so much. We don't know, and surely Turk Wendell doesn't either. Bonds has sculpted himself to his current frame from a lean 185 pounds as a rookie, and thus must be using steroids, as writers and talk-jock hosts love to point out? Means nothing. Look at Henry Aaron. When young, he was built exactly like a young Barry, long and lithe; by the time he was hitting No. 715, he had expanded and added bulk. All I know is that pitchers feared both Henrys.Asterisks next to all those records? Don't even bother humoring us with that.
Baseball vs. football | From Jim Caple
230-pound baseball players are on steroids. 260-pound linebackers are just strong
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