I am so very TIRED of all the kvetching about Barry Bonds.
I am tired of the fretting about him breaking a record that is not a record. I am tired of the hand-wringing-think-of-the-CHILDREN of a not so nice guy doing something amazing.
This is a uniquely baseball problem. I think it is the nature of the game, one that treasures and honors it's history in such a way, to take itself too seriously. But the hero worship of the game and of it's stars has really gone too far.
A lot of this is about Babe Ruth. And I will be blunt, the dick sucking of Babe Ruth by America just needs to fucking stop. It is about nostalgia, it is about longing for a person and an era that never really existed. I have no doubt that Babe Ruth was an extrordinary player, the numbers do speak, but I do know that those numbers do not say everything. For all the howling about Barry Bonds' alleged drug use (and guess what, a BOOK is not a conviction this is still America we can wait for some proof which probably will come), I am not certain he gained a greater competitive advantage over Ruth. Ruth played an era where many of the best players, African Americans were excluded. He played in an era where fixing games was routine. He abused every substance known to man. I am willing to guess he gained a few homeruns out of the deal.
Which is fine by the way, I have no qualm with Babe Ruth. My issue is with sports writers and fans and every other idiot in the world that has sought to turn him into a saint. But he did things that in a media soaked atmosphere like today would have people clamoring for his removal from the game--and cheering Bonds for passing him.
I never saw Babe Ruth play a game. Chances are no one who will read this post has either. But we are supposed to believe forever and ever that Babe Ruth is the best player that has ever and will ever play. This is why people don't watch baseball. Because we remove the possibility of something special. When Jimmy Rollins was on his hit streak half of the media and baseball world were bitching that it shouldn't count because it was over two seasons (despite the fact that it was a separate record and HI WOULDN'T THAT BE HARDER). The baseball world will NEVER allow any modern player to be as good as the Hall of Famers--they refuse to think about it. Is it any wonder that many of the best athletes turn away from baseball? Basketball is always talking about the next Jordan, and maybe that is a lot of pressure to be on a young player but it is an assumption that there will be another Jordan. That there will be another great player. And another after him.
The shit with Barry is only partly about steroids. That part could be reconciled. But it really is about a hero worship that is fucking up baseball. I always tell my husband you can tell how good some one's argument is because if they have to bring Hitler into it than it really sucks (this stemmed from a whole debate in Jew class about Hell and how there must be one because otherwise where would HITLER go). I feel the same way about Babe Ruth. If you need a special case for Babe Ruth than there is something wrong with the system. It was ok for Barry to pass Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle and a whole host of others. But it isn't ok for him to pass Ruth?
That says a lot about what is wrong with baseball. And that is not Barry's fault at all.