Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Bozo Bus, Rt. #3: Barry Bonds. There's an elephant in the room... and I'm going to talk about it.

Barry Bonds. Christ, what a spectacle. The cancer in baseball that won’t go away.

It’s interesting that the elephant is the logo for the Oakland A’s, who are across the harbor from the San Francisco Giants, because the elephant is in the latter team’s park. The issue being that the most coveted record in all of sports, the career home run record, is soon (we assume) to be broken by Bonds—a record that has been held by Hank Aaron since the 1970s—at 755 home runs. Aaron passed Babe Ruth in 1974 when he hit 715 near the beginning of that season… and he did it on nothing other than persistence, concentration, strength, talent, and a little luck in being injury-free for most of his career.

I’d like to digress for a moment by saying that hitting a home run is one of the most difficult athletic feats that any human may achieve. The amount of “equipoise,” meaning concentration coupled with relaxation, in addition to all of the other physiological factors that go into hitting a baseball over the fences—let alone at all in the first place—are too involved to describe. If you're a player on a streak, and you wake up constipated one morning, you're probably not hitting a home run that day. That being said, baseball records have been sacred and contained a confident degree of authenticity. Up until the recent past, however, the American public always had the satisfaction of knowing that these baseball records were hallowed and knew the numbers by heart; what "61" means, and what "755" means, or "56" in the case of Dimaggio's hitting streak. ".406" in the case of the last time a man had a batting average over .400 in a season, as was in the case of Ted Williams in 1941.

But Barry Bonds has tainted the whole picture due to his steroid use. He already tainted the single season home run record (which is at 73), so why not the career one as well. The ugliness and controversy surrounding this character are enough to make my living room turn into a vomitorium. At this point, I really no longer know what to do with this Bozo. I feel like dumping him in the San Francisco Bay wouldn’t be enough, he’d just get out, dry off, and come back to the plate. He just simply won’t go away.

The Commissioner won’t comment on the matter, other than revealing the fact that he’s “biased” and that “personal feelings are getting in the way” of the way he feels about the matter. Selig, who I personally like but feel should turn over the reigns of Commissioner soon to “someone else when they leave office” (see my post a month or so back) has also revealed that he won’t be involved in any ceremony for the record unless the Giants organization invites him to be part of it. Well, he need not say anything more.

Bonds hasn’t helped his case with his combative attitude, abrasive demeanor with reporters, and asinine comments over the years. Frankly, I’ve never known any professional player in all of sports who has been more of a total jackass. Allow me to point out a few examples on how badly the dung on this elephant stinks (...but only if YOU allow me...).

  1. Hijacking the Bucs. For those who don’t know, Bonds began his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (anyone recall the “Killer Bees” of him, Bobby Bonilla and Jay Bell from 1991-92?). After 2-3 years of close but unsuccessful runs at trying to make it into the World Series with Pittsburgh, Bonds suddenly demanded a trade to the Giants, citing the fact that “Willie Mays is my Godfather and I should be on the same team as he.” As a result, the Bucs were held hostage and forced to negotiate with San Francisco (and therefore no leverage), so they basically had no choice but to shovel him off due to his demands. ...and compare that scrawny physique to the photo above...
  1. The shoe contract denial. It was around 1998, when Air Jordan and Shaq ruled the world of shoe endorsements, and apparently no shoe company had a desire to give Bonds an endorsement. So they didn’t… and Bonds complained about the fact that “he had to purchase his own shoes” to play the game of baseball. So what did we do in San Diego and Arizona that year when the idiot was in town? Since he was in such need, all the fans threw their shoes onto the field not as a loaner, but to keep. Barefoot fans were leaving the stands that season… and Barry got his free shoes… probably more than he had asked for…
  1. The "walking and standing" comment. It was the summer of 2004, and this comment still leaves me trying to pick my jaw up from the floor to this day. Bonds has a history of getting walked a lot, for obvious reasons. So around August of that year, he complained to the media about how he was getting walked all the time, and how it resulted in “all the walking and standing he was having to do, and why won’t somebody else do it.”

See my hand raised? Okay! I will! …and so would the rest of America. Meanwhile, see me rub my forefinger and thumb together? That's my violin prowess playing a sad song for you Barry. Cry me a river.

With all the money he earns to play a game, and for his “walking and standing,” Bonds basically offended the entire working class of the nation with that comment. What about all the waiters and waitresses that “walk and stand” all day? What about the nurses, construction workers, and salesmen who have sore feet at the end of the day? Don’t be mistaken folks, this guy is a first class a-hole with zero sensitivity.

  1. Then there’s the steroid use, which seemed to have started up following the snub that happened to him after Ken Griffey, Jr. was voted over he and Greg Maddux as the “player of the 1990s.” While is was a periphery reward and issue, I know that got to his ego and pissed him off—so interestingly enough, he stooped to the lowest level possible. Doping.

As it stands tonight, he’s 5 homeruns away from the record, and going through a bit of a cold streak in July. Perhaps he’ll hit a couple in the next few days, and then venture to Dodger Stadium where he can really turn up the heat and be well-received by the Dodger faithful.

It’s amazing that his doping hasn’t been technically proven, but it doesn’t need to be. Everyone knows, and everyone can see it. It’s evident as he went from being near-anorexic to the physique comparable to that of a beefy football player as he turned 40. Come on, who in the hell are you fooling? Barry, you’re not only insulting my intelligence, but you’re insulting the game, the record, and above all—YOURSELF.

When Bonds breaks the record, no matter how you slice it, and no matter how silent everyone will be with an elephant in the room, one word will be attached to the new home run record for all of eternity: DOPING, DOPING DOPING. Bonds, you’re a complete fraud. Do us all a favor and go away. S

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