Saturday, June 30, 2007

Barry Bonds and Henry Aaron

I stopped following my beloved sport of professional baseball a few years ago because of the steroid scandals, the obscene salaries, and the destruction of the game by television. Nevertheless, I see that Barry Bonds is closing in on Hank Aaron's home run record.

Bonds used to be a lead off hitter with a bit of power. Then he hypertrophied himself through steroids and the homers flew off his bat into the stands. Another video game character comes to life. He tends to be hostile or indifferent toward fans and reporters and shows no class from what I can tell. He is booed around the country. Henry Aaron, on the contrary, was a humble man who did his job with excellence. He relied on his talents and on hard work. As he neared breaking Babe Ruth's record, he received hate mail and even death threats from racists. He kept playing the game and ended with 755 home runs and a splendid career.

If Barry Bonds hits 756 there should be no celebration, no exaltation, and no elation. To do so would only be to further applaud our debauched and depraved culture of egotism and extremism.


Craig Fletcher said...

I absolutely agree.

Also, fans make the athletes who they are even moreso than their ability to perform.

Professional athletes would be out of work, would have no fame, and would certainly be humbled if there were no dedicated fans to support them. Without fans and their money and time, professional sports would not exist.

Therefore, any pro athlete who is not kind to fans, and who does not go out of their way to show fan appreciation is not worthy of their position. Bonds is one of these.

Jeff S. said...

I often see fans in the stadiums holding up Home-Run count signs for Bonds, with the guy at the end holding up an asterisk sign. I think that's kind of funny.

Being a Pirate fan, I am still stuck with the memories of Mr. not-October Bonds back in the early 90s, the last time the Pirates were above .500. He was smug back then as well, always expressing a "whatever" attitude towards the media because he was being picked on. Oh, for the days of Roberto Clemente...

Mary Lee said...

Ah, but he will break the record, there will be celebrations; and there will be boos! But; in my opinion he is no where near Henry Aaron just because he will surpass his record! Hey Doug have you been over to the bumbling genius' blog lately? He has a great post there.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Amen and amen! I refuse to visit the ball park. The great American game has become a bad joke. As for B.B. -- I can't stand that his name is mentioned in the same sentence as that of Hank Aaron!

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your lamentations on Barry Bonds. He is a disgrace to the game and to his own heritage as a ballplayer. What a sad situation his breaking the record is.

Here's the good news: Barry won't hold the record for long, if things go right. Most likely, barring any career ending injury (or a several season injury bug like what happened to Ken Griffey Jr), Alex Rodriguez will break the HR record in a few years. You can have your own opinions on A-Rod, of course, but you have to give him this: he has done it all with absolutely no steroid use. He's one of the hardest players in the game. He works all off-season, shows up earlier than most on the team to practice, stays later than everyone, etc., etc. Through incredible natural talent and an amazing work ethic A-Rod will eventually hold just about all the records (most likely). And that's good news, in my opinion.

(One other quick side note on this: it really is too bad that Ken Griff had the injury trouble he had, or he'd be getting rather close to breaking it by now. Ken is another very hard working/natural talent player. His abilities are simply amazing and it is quite sad his career stats will be much lower than they could have been due to his injury problems).