Thursday, March 09, 2006


And So It Begins...

I usually like to be chipper and cute on this page, blending reasonably intelligent baseball writing with humor and Heartbeeps references, but this whole Bonds thing just has me bummed. Not necessarily because I'm disappointed over hearing about these new allegations about Bonds's supposed rampant steroid use. On the contrary, it was getting increasingly silly to deny that he had at some point used performance-enhancing chemicals in the 1998-2002 period. This new book simply whittles away a little more of the doubt, even if it uses circumstantial evidence to do so.

No, the reason I'm so down is because we're about to enter a long period where the baseball being played will take a backseat to an endless stream of preaching and outraged blather from any number of idiot sports columnists. If you needed any evidence that professional sports journalism is (mostly) a cesspool of knee-jerk, senseless, and completely unfounded raving, you're about to get it in droves.

The media is out to get Bonds, and it has been for as long as I can remember. These new allegations just add fuel to the moronic fire. You're going to read articles accusing Bonds of being a cheater, a liar, a criminal, and of killing Little Leaguers and all that other bullshit. Dumbasses will want to strip him of his Hall Of Fame Credentials and all of his records. There will be no intelligent debate, no questions asked about how much Bonds's use of PEDs improved his play, just a bunch of self-righteous moralizing.

I won't apologize for Bonds. I think he set a bad example by using PEDs, if true. But I also believe it's idiocy to strip him of his records, HOF candidacy and whatnot. The guy was a Hall Of Famer before 1998, when he supposedly started taking steroids. And if you strip him of his records, you're taking away history, and how do you do that? Just pretend that he didn't hit this home run on such-and-such a date?

In Ken Kesey's great book Sometimes a Great Notion, one of the characters talks about how loggers will stop what they're doing, no matter what it is, to watch a gigantic tree come crashing to the ground after being cut down. People like to watch big things fall, because there's always a lot of commotion when they do, and that's why they like to see famous people fall from grace. It's why when O.J. Simpson murders his wife it turns into a national fiasco. It's why when Bill Clinton gets blown by a fat intern, he gets impeached. Bonds is famous, way, way more famous than these guys who wrote "Game Of Shadows" will ever be, and people go after him because it's fun to see millionaires and guys on the big stage get taken down.

Do you think that if there were a wonder drug that would turn two-bit, piece of shit sportswriters into Leonard Koeppet, that every single struggling sportswriter on some no-name publication wouldn't be tempted to take it? Come on. Steroids are bad, everybody knows it, and Bonds was wrong to use them, but I don't want these assholes to sit there and tell me that in the same exact situation, given the chance to be the best at what they do, and to make lots of money while doing it, those writers wouldn't take that extra step to get that extra competitive advantage. I mean, is Dan Wetzel a fucking saint or something?

This post may not have any coherence, but I don't really give a rat's ass. It's just flat out disgusting that we can't just focus on baseball. It's unfortunate and depressing that for the rest of the season we have to be treated to this garbage. Instead of enjoying the greatest player in the past thirty years hit moonshots into the McCovey Cove water, we'll have to listen to diatribe after diatribe about how every home run is tainted and how Bonds is a cheater and blah blah fucking blah.

If you want what is probably a more level-headed, articulate, and less blatantly profane take on the Bonds thing, go to this post on McCovey Chronicles that was written by Daniel of Orange and Black Baseball. It's a refreshing change of pace from the usual teeth-gnashing, but unfortunately there just isn't enough of this kind of common sense to go around.

I should be back with the end of my pitching preview next week, with Matt Cain and the bully. Until then, let's just play some baseball.

The guy was a Hall Of Famer before 1998, when he supposedly started taking steroids. And if you strip him of his records, you're taking away history, and how do you do that?

Ask Pete Rose. Not that I disagree, but if we put Bonds on the ballot, a man whose cheating DID have effect on the outcome of games, how can we not put Rose on the ballot whose cheating did NOT have effect on the outcome of games?
Hate to break it to ya, John, but that post wasn't by me (on Grant's site, I'm just plain Daniel with no last name).

And what's the big deal, callin' me level-headed and articulate? Them's fightin' words!
Well, sunuvabitch, there I go sucking up to fellow bloggers and it comes back to bite me in the ass. See if it were me I would have just taken the credit, real Daniel be damned. Any "Chronicles" diary by me generally involves ravings about a plot to break Pedro Feliz's knee Nancy Kerrigan-style.

And by my standards, "level-headed and articulate" just means a post contains less than eight F-bombs and has no references to large female breasts.
As for Pete Rose, I do think he should be allowed into the Hall Of Fame. In my mind, you can still induct a guy into baseball's most hallowed shrine even if he is not allowed onto a major league baseball field ever again. We can still honor his accomplishments as a player while at the same time recognizing that his blatant disregard for baseball's rules should prevent him from any involvement in baseball today.

I just don't see how you can't include the all-time hits leader, even if he is an amoral jerk off the field.

And referring back to Jack's point, if we keep Bonds out for cheating, then we also have to keep McGwire and Palmeiro out as well, and perhaps Roger Clemens and Ivan Rodriguez, who were supposedly "outed" by Jose Canseco.
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