Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Breaking Bonds

[At Left: Hank Aaron on April 8, 1974]
Betty doesn't consider many things to be holy, but among the the pillars in the civic religion of Americana, Baseball is central.

Barry Bonds is about to break Hank Aaron's record for most career home runs, and with it, Betty's heart a little bit.

As you will see in this interesting interview with Bonds biographer Jeff Pearlman, Aaron is not endorsing Bonds' quest. Few would; Bonds is a known steroids user. I can only imagine what Aaron - who received racist hate mail and threats while he chased Babe Ruth's record in the 1970s - must think of Bonds' intense and vocal persecution complex.

BUT soon A-Rod will surpass Bonds, and the earth will resume its rotation, no more off balance than usual.

What do you think about Barry Bonds? To Betty, the saddest thing about this whole ordeal is that Bonds is actually an amazingly great player. She remembers when he was skinny and speedy on the Pittsburgh Pirates. And people are right when they say steroids don't make you swing the bat or see the ball any better; Bonds has real and deep gifts. One baseball statistician has suggested that if we deduct Bonds' steroid-fuel homers from his total, he would still end up 4th on the All-Time list, right behind his godfather Willie Mays.

When the day comes, and let's hope it comes quickly and goes away just as fast, Bond's record-break will certainly go down as the all-time most awkward monumental sports event in history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

betty, you write about baseball in the tradition of bart iamatti and roger angell. your wistfulness is touching.
papi would be sooo proud of you, and moo is too, even though she doesn'y know too much about beisbol