Wednesday, August 8, 2007

No asterix

Steroids don't give you the eye to see the pitch coming, the brain to decide if it's the one to swing at, or the coordination to actually hit it.

The greatest basketball player in history (and perhaps one of the greatest athletes of all time, period) tried to play pro baseball, and never could manage to hit a breaking ball from AA pitchers.

Steroid-powered musclemen strong enough to pick up Fernando Valenzeula and throw him over the outfield fence wouldn't even have been able to get a bat on one of his pitches.

Congratulations to Barry Bonds.

4 comments:

Eric said...

I used to admire Barry Bonds as a player.

I've got his most rare rookie card, a 1986 Fleer Update card.

He had it all, speed, a good bat, and a slick glove.

He was one of 3 players to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases. As far as I know only Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez are the only other players to have done that.

But something changed Bonds, as he saw Griffey, McGuire, and Sosa get all the attention for hitting home runs.

Mysteriously, he bulked up with a lot of muscle, and his home run output spiked upwards.

He claims he took steroids unknowingly.

Right.

756 Home runs is quite a feat.

I just hope it isn't tainted, by scandal, when it's all said & done.

Montana Headlines said...

Too late. It's already tainted by scandal, although it could always get to be an even worse scandal.

Barry Bonds is by all reports a jerk, and has been for a long time. The way that he has handled the steroid investigation is just part of a bigger picture.

But then Hank Aaron is and was a pretty unlikeable guy, too -- and not just when he started getting racist threats, if the stories are true about his earlier career.

Hank Aaron has an asterix of sorts behind his record because he had many more games per season in which to hit home runs.

He was also an unlikeable and uncharismatic guy replacing a likeable and flamboyant American hero -- Babe Ruth, so a lot of people weren't wild about that.

So Hank owned the record, but Ruth was and always will be the mythical legend. Barry Bonds knows that, too.

Ty Cobb was a sociopath, on and off the field. Pete Rose was ethically challenged, to say the least. But they both could really play the game. The list could go on.

Do some digging, and there would be many an asterix in baseball records and stats -- thrown games, lively or dead balls, poor or excellent pitching in a given year, who was ahead of whom in the batting lineup, etc...

Bonds will never be a legend on the level of Ruth, DiMaggio, or even Pete Rose -- he's already done that to himself.

But he can hit the ball out of the park -- with or without steroids, with or without injuries. I see no reason to worship Bonds, but neither do I see a reason to demonize him.

Eric said...

I'll never demonize him, and I hope he isn't kept out of the HOF.

jcurmudge said...

At last something in Montana Headlines that I can agree with.