Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Joyless Celebration

Well, Barry Bonds has tied Babe Ruth for second place on the Major League Baseball career home run list. Soon he will push the Babe back into third. It says a lot about Babe Ruth that such attention is paid to this, when you remember the oft-quoted sports expression that 'nobody remembers second place.'

The wait for Bonds to tie the record had more the feel of a deathbed vigil than a celebration, since Bonds has become such a controversial figure. Bonds is personally unappealing and prone to playing the race card. And when it comes to allegations that he has used steroids, he is disingenuous to the point of disbelief - claiming that the trainer who gave other athletes steroids that were called 'the cream' and 'the clear,' would never have done such to him. No, when he gave Barry the cream and the clear, they really were flaxseed oil and vitamin supplements.

So now Barry has tied the Babe. He did it in two fewer seasons, but needed about a season's worth of games more than Ruth did. Major League Baseball will soon be able to catch its collective breath, and hope that Bonds retires before he has the chance to pass Hank Aaron for first place on the list.

It's only fitting that the 'fan' who caught the historic homerun ball is himself a Bonds hater. That's no surprise really; most fans seem to be. For his part, Barry says he can't imagine why someone who doesn't know him would express hatred for him.

Barry is reaping what he has sowed.

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