How sad is it for the "National Pastime" that two record holders of two of the most important categories in MLB could be banned from Cooperstown? Pete Rose of course was deemed ineligible by the late MLB Commissioner Bart Giamatti for betting on games. How much do you think that current Commissioner Bud Selig is salivating over the prospects of banning his personal nemesis Barry Bonds from Baseball? And of course that would mean that the men who hold the records for most hits, and most home runs would be banned from Baseball Valhalla.
When the indictment came down on November 15, charging Bonds with perjury, and obstruction of justice, his playing days came to an end. Remember he is a free agent no team has any financial, legal, ethical, or moral obligations to him. He is adrift in a very unkind sea, that is highly unlikely to give him any solace. With these charges hanging over Bonds head no team in the Majors will have any thing to do with him. The players union can't help him, saying it's collusion, that dog won't hunt. No team is obliged to even meet with him.
As I have written often over the last ten months, Bonds is a product of the times, and his own worst enemy. To think that Bonds was some sort of exception in that he allegedly used performance enhancing substances is delusional. Not even the biggest Baseball loyalist in the world would buy that. No, as I said he is a product of the times, if not encouraged by MLB certainly not discouraged strongly enough. I have made this point before, if not for Canseco's book there would be no stronger steroid prohibitions in MLB than there was in 2002. But Canseco's book got Congress involved, who told Selig and Donald Fehr to get their house in order or they would do it for them. Just like magic tougher and more stringent rules were put in place.
But, as I also just wrote Bonds is own worst enemy. As much as athletes, and many members of the public feel the "Media" is one faceless homogeneous glob it's not true. We are depicted as soulless vampires who derive pleasure in reporting controversy. Now don't get me wrong, there are some members of my profession that fit that description. But as a whole most of us are just hard working people that just want to do our jobs in as pleasant environment as possible. Which would you rather go into a NFL locker room of a team that just won, or a team that just got their heads handed to them? Granted, I have gotten some of my best interviews after losses, but the tension in any Pro locker room after a loss is palpable. You are dealing with highly competitive athletes who are pumped with testosterone. Woe be that reporter that asks that stupid question, they will be lit up like a Christmas Tree!
Most of us who have covered the NFL, MLB, and the NBA, have formed good working relationships with athletes we cover on a daily basis. We are people with emotions and feelings just as they are. Treat me right, and I am the best friend you will ever have. But if you treat me wrong, watch your back. I believe most people are like that and respond in kind, Barry Bonds does not fit into that group.
The one word that best describes Barry Bonds in my mind is surly. He seems to have a permanent sneer on his face and always has a defensive look in his eye, as if he is ready to pounce. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword, and Bonds is feeling that blade's effects now. Ty Cobb, could be a racist piece of crud back at the turn of the last century. He would never be able to get away with that vile behavior in the days of ESPN, and the Internet. What we reap we sow, and Barry Bonds crops look like poison ivy.© Copyright 2007 thesackattack.com