Monday, May 29, 2006

Ruthless at Last, Bonds Hits 715th et al

Ruthless at Last, Bonds Hits 715th - Washington Post

Five Reasons Why Babe Ruth is Better Than Barry Bonds - Washington Post

Beer Here! Thirsty Fan Gets Bonds' HR Ball - AP

The Call Not Heard 'Round The World - AP

Bonds Hits 714th Homer, Ties Ruth - Washington Post - Washington Post

It is poetic justice that the baseball fan that ended up with Barry Bond’s tie-busting home-run ball, had used the controversial player’s at-bat to grab a hot dog or such, wherein while in line the valuable ball fell literally into his lap. This guy, probably the smartest person in the park, cared as much about watching Bonds as Bonds seems to care about his team, not very much.

I happen to be at the Giants game the day before Bonds broke Ruth’s record, and through my binoculars, I was amazed at the hitter’s show of un-sportsmanship and selfishness. Baseball indeed suffers from racism, but Bond’s problem is not racism, but jerkism, his own. Should fans ignore his behavior to prove that they are not racist? Let us hope not.

Sure, I had heard the guy had problems, but I was also willing to let him slide because I also remember what racist brutality Hank Aaron went through when it became clear that he would become the greatest hitter of all time. But what I saw of Bonds literally turned my stomach, and made me glad my son had opted for a birthday party that day instead. Smart boy.

When one of the Giants scored early in the game the entire team, except for Bonds, greeted and congratulated him in the dugout. Strike one. Later in the game, on base from a walk, Bonds, along with a teammate, scored on a triple by a third teammate. Bonds did not wait at home base, as is customary, for his trailing teammate, to congratulate him and be received together into the dugout. Strike two.

On the day he broke the record, even as he has ignored them, his team and the Giants fans still showered him with affection. Nonetheless, I had the feeling that Barry’s race card was at-the-ready awaiting the slightest whiff of hesitation by anyone. He has used it often to explain why people treat him so poorly. Wrong. Strike three.

Notice that I have not said anything about steroids. Why? Because it is a complex issue, and much like racism, the view is not clear. But, after reaching 715, what is not complex is why people do not like Barry Bonds. I saw it with my own two eyes, the man is indeed a jerk, and an embarrassment.

James C. Collier


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