01 August 2007

Being Barry

I am in the midst of an all-nighter (it is already 1am here in Chicago, and I have to leave for the airport at 4.30am...why sleep?), and in a little lull waiting for some info from my boss (who is also all-nighting it). I have just watched several episodes, it seems, of SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight, both of which we broken into several times to cut over to the SF/LA game and Barry Bonds' at bat.

I was at the Giant's game the other night (yes, I know I am an A's fan...but my friend had good tickets...and I had fun!); it happened to be the night Barry hit is 754th HR. I have to admit, I was swept up by the excitement. I stood up each time he came to bat. I cheered (yes, I KNOW!) when he hit his homerun. I was pumped to think he could tie or break the record while I was there.

A lot of the conversations around me focused on 1. if the pitcher would pitch to Barry or walk him, and 2. how people should treat the breaking of this record. I was, of course, surrounded by Giants fans, so there was some bias, but I bought most of what they were saying.

Should there be an asterisk next to his name? I don't think so. While I don't think what he did was right, I tend to look at it in the context of what was going on at that moment in history. Many players were using steroids (again, not that it makes it ok). There was a loophole in the rules and they found a way to exploit it. I think it is dangerous to start putting the infamous asterisk next to records; it will force the issue that there are caveats to every record. What if Babe Ruth had played against African-American or Hispanic players? What if Hank Aaron would have played at PacBell Park? What if, what if?

The game changes and evolves, sometimes not for the better. That is the fact of many sports, industries, people. It is just the way.

Perhaps if Barry was a friendlier person, more media-savvy, perhaps then he wouldn't be the scapegoat for many people who were doing the same thing. I am not condoning his actions. I am not supporting him. I really just wish that this saga would be over already.

And, I'll give him props where they're due. One of the hardest feats in sports is to hit a baseball. That's just to make contact. So to hit the ball well, to connect that many times, to me, is pretty darn impressive.

1 comment:

genaro is cool said...

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