Wednesday, August 08, 2007


For the record folks, I am one of those (and I don't live in San Francisco) who are happy for Barry Bonds and think, if anything, he has gotten a raw deal. I am thrilled to have been able to watch the guy play the game as no one else has before him.

And my friends, even if he did use performance enhancing drugs (which has never been proven, by the way) so did just about everyone else in the game at the same time. That includes pitchers, who I guess we should presume, thus were better than they would have been without them. Also, keep in mind that for the longest time baseball cared less then two hoots about it anyway. And again, keep in mind that athletes have been using various drugs (like speed) for years and years. Keep in mind Babe Ruth never had to play at night or against African American players. Keep in mind Barry was the best player in the game long before anyone alleges anything about him. Keep in mind he is now 43 and has hit more home runs at that age than anyone else ever. Keep in mind that the eye hand coordination needed to hit a baseball is something quite unique. Keep in mind that Barry, especially in his prime, also was one of the best fielders around, one of the best base runners around, one of the best all around hitters around. And keep in mind that for years he was seldom even pitched to. The facts stand out no matter what the sports world wants to say or do about it.

And again, no one has ever proved Barry used anything.

As to his personality. Again, I say so what? Babe Ruth was a bit of a lout and Ty Cobb was a Klansman, Mickey and the boys were out partying every night and were sexist as hell. Ted Williams wouldn't even tip his hat to the crowd. Why is Bonds a bad guy because he is not friendly with the press boys and girls (who have been hounding him for years), or because he doesn't grin often enough, or isn't out in public the way some think he should be? What's the point. That's why we have politicians.

American wants it heroes to be white. And if they have to be African-American then it wants them to be smiling all the time, to be "aw shucks" sorts of folk, just pleased and so happy to be here.

Barry isn't that way and I say more power to him.

Henry Aaron was and always will be one of the greatest men to play the game. But I remember the death threats and the hate that followed him as he pursued Babe's record, too. I remember the talk about juiced baseballs, better bats, better physical training etc. and how that should disqualify anyone from saying he was better than the Babe (who, of course, happened to be a white fellow).

Now, of course, everyone likes Henry, just as now everyone likes Muhammad Ali, but things were different back when. I was there. I know.

It's America after all.

So again, I congratulate, probably the best player in the history of baseball for his remarkable achievements.

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