Monday February 9th, 2009
Barry Bonds was in the news last week.
He has once again been indicted on perjury charges in regards to
his alleged steroid use. Lately, it seems that most of the
high profile baseball players of the past 10 to 15 years have been
identified as steroid users.
The latest casualty is Alex Rodriquez.
It was roughly 2 years ago that A-Rod went on 60 Minutes and told
Katie Couric that he had not used steroids - ever. Now A-Rod
is back on ESPN telling us that yes...I did it... for three
years! There goes another sports hero...now how can people
like Mitch Albom and Mike Lupica coronate A-Rod? His legacy
Sunday August 12th, 2007
It's been over a week since BB jacked number
756 to wrestle the record from Hammerin' Hank.. As usual,
both John Dudley of the local Times-News and Mitch Albom of the
Detroit Free Press and the ESPN Sports Reporters show waxed poetic
about what a surly guy BB is...Oh No!...he's surly...and he's a
doper....it's obvious he can't possess the record.
So their logic is that hopefully, A-Rod will
stay healthy in order to wrestle the record from BB. Well,
so what? If A-Rod gets the record it will be no
biggie. Just as BB is surly, A-Rod is a Prima Dona. At
least now, we can move on to the next big sports story which will
undoubtedly be connected to Michael Vick.
May 6th, 2007
Bonds is marching on to the hallowed ground upon which rests the archetypal
sports milestone which defined America during the 20th
Century and is soon to be in his possession.
would normally be treated like royalty during this march, but, due
to his "surly" manner he has been pilloried by any and
all baseball purists in possession of a bully pulpit.
most recent diatribe was rendered by Washington Post columnist,
George Will. The Raptor happens to like Mr. Will and has
always read his workmanship with enthusiasm. In his
development years, The Raptor was exposed to George when he
was objectified by G. B. Trudeau in a "Doonesbury"
Series that involved President-Elect Ronald Reagan.
to the Doonesbury episode, Mr. Will again showed up in Ken Burns
magnificent PBS anthology on baseball. That nine part series
was so intense that The Raptor has viewed it in total at least 5
times. Therefore, The Raptor can identify with something as
treasured as the Home Run Record.
Record was owned by George Herman "Babe" Ruth from 1936
until 1974 when Hank Aaron parked one out of Atlanta's Ball yard.
When Aaron began his career in the 50's, it was highly unlikely
that anyone expected him or any other "slugger" to break
the Babe's record. As a matter of fact, when Roger Maris
eclipsed the 60 Home Run Mark in 1961, he was derided by both the
fans and the media for stepping on Ruth's legacy.
fast forward to Barry Bonds. He came into the Big League in the
80's as a Pittsburgh Pirate. Then in 1992, after an
especially distressing loss the Braves in the NLCS, Bonds was able
to engineer a deal to be traded to the San Francisco Giants.
The Raptor is not a "stat man" so I have no idea what
kind of Home Run output Bonds was capable of, but, The Raptor was
and still is a big Giants Fan and was charged up to see Bonds in a
does one become a Giants Fan?. For The Raptor, it was the
magic of Willie Mays that ignited that spark. There is no
need to bore with a Mays history here. Suffice it to say
that the "Say Hey" Kid, was a legitimate sports
hero. Mays broke into the Bigs in 1954 and as a rookie
helped lead the Giants to the World Series against another Raptor
Fav, The Cleveland Indians. Willie's major contribution to
the Giants win was a dramatic over the shoulder catch of a Vic
Wertz line drive in the deepest part of center field at the
legendary Polo Grounds. This clip has probably been seen by
every baseball fan on Planet Earth.
Giants moved their franchise to San Francisco in 1958 at the same
time that the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. This
one event probably was a major factor in the spiraling demise of
baseball as "America's Pastime". Obviously,
Football now carries that mantle and their ascendancy occurred in
1958 when the Giants played the Colts in the NFL Championship
Game. This game was televised which was unusual at that time
and due to the presence of such legends as Unitas, Tittle, Moore
and Marchetti, the fans started to take note.
Giants got back into the World Series in 1962 against the New York
Yankees. It was at this point, when The Raptor, at the age
of six years old was searching for a sports hero that he saw
Willie Mays and his team go to the seventh game only to lose when
Bobby Richardson grabbed a screaming line drive off the bat of
Willie "Stretch" McCovey. It should be noted that
the Indians had to wait 40 plus years to get back the World
Series. However, thanks to some goofy stooge of a pitcher
that The Raptor can't even speak the name of, the Tribe lost their
chance. The Giants have since disappointed on several
occasions and needless to say, Barry Bonds has been knee deep in
the pain of losing.
his tenure with The Giants, Bonds has had several major
accomplishments. For starters, he has hit 30 Home Runs and
stolen 30 bases in one season. He may have also done a 40-40 trick
but The Raptor doesn't know and doesn't care. He has
won a batting title. He hit 73 Home Runs in one season to
establish a major league record. He has been named MVP SEVEN
Times! (New 5/20/07) and he has been intentionally and
unintentionally walked on many, many, many occasions.
Raptor has been to very few major league baseball games. I
can count on two or three visits to Jacobs Field to see the
Indians and two visits to Pittsburgh's PNC Park. On both
those occasions the Giants were in town. In the first go
round, in 2003, Bonds had a ho-hum game and may have had a single,
but on one particular at bat, he hit a towering bomb out of the
Ball yard that ultimately landed in the river. Unfortunately, the
call was foul ball.
following year, The Raptor again made the drive to PNC along with
three high school buddies. During that game, Bonds was
unintentionally walked in the first inning after the first three
Giant batsmen had reached base. What a thrill it would have
been to see Bonds thump a grand slam! Unfortunately, the
Pirates would have none of it.
there is the rub. Just like the Pirates of 2004, the thieves
of 2007 are intent on stealing Barry's thunder when it comes to
annexing the Home Run Record. For the nay Sayers, it's all
about the surly attitude and that unknown element which is the
"Steroid" story. I do not have a way of vexing
over whether Barry Bonds used steroids when he slugged out 73 Home
Runs a few years ago. After all, I am a Giants Fan and for
me and other Giants Fans, we have the memory of Barry Bonds
accomplishments, steroid based or not.
the past several months, I have seen and read many national sports
pundits including: Mike Lupica, Woody Page, Bob Ryan and George
Will describing how heinous Bonds is or how much of a yawn it will
be when he breaks the record. On the local level, newspaper
columnist John Dudley expressed his outrage by describing how the
man he loves to hate, Alex Rodriquez, will be his new hero when HE
breaks Bonds record. Perhaps the next time Dudley etal
interviews AROD, they could inquire if any one of his dingers are
tainted by human growth hormone etc. (New 5/20/07)
is an interesting study. When Mark McGuire clubbed 70 Home
Runs 10 years ago, Luppie was all misty eyed during one of his
Sports Reporter Editorials about the fete. At the heart of
the Runt's story was the interaction between McGuire and his son,
Matt. It's too bad it was later found out that the slugger
may have used steroids during his rise to the top.
Raptor is incredulous! When McGuire came into the Bigs, he was
tall and not very robust, but he could still hit home runs.
As a matter of fact, he almost hit 50 home runs in his rookie
year. However, during the run for 70, he looked like a
monster. Who can forget the mock commercial ESPN made in
1999 when the year 2000 was about to hit. In this farce TV
Commercial, McGuire was portrayed as a hulking, bat wielding fiend
and was seen smashing computer equipment with his H&B.
McGuire even mentioned in interviews that he popped some sort of
supplement from GNC to assist with his muscular volume.
McGuire is pilloried by hypocritical jack asses like Lupica.
The same fate holds true for Barry Bonds. I stated earlier
that Bonds has been walked many, many, times. There is
nothing fair in this life. Just ask the unfortunates who die
every day in some unfair fashion such as from a suicide bomber or
drunk driver or psychotic gunman. For those individuals,
life was cut short and their demise was of a sad, tragic
nature. In Bonds case, he will not die a horrible death, but
folks like Lupica, Will and Dudley wish he would rather than stamp
his name on something as IMPORTANT as a Home Run Record.