America's Favorite Pastime

It’s a very memorable year for baseball. BARRY BONDS IS CLOSE TO BREAKING THE RECORD! He’s at #754 yaaaay!

Barry Bonds is a jerk, it’s too bad he is going to break the record.

The brewers on the other hand are in first place in the central division, and that is pretty kewl.

As a Braves fan, this blows. Barry is a jerk and a cheater, so fuck him.

I find it very difficult to sit though entire baseball game unless it’s the world series. It’s too bad the Tigers blew it last year, they were doing so good until their game completely fell apart at the end.

I don’t see how anyone can cheer for Barry Bonds. Seriously.

Oh well. ARod will get the record in a few years anyway, so we can all take solace in that.

I don’t particularly like A-Rod either, but he’s a Yankee and it kind of comes with being a Sox fan. At least he’s not an asshole like Barry Bonds is.

What can that record mean anymore? It’s no secret he’s taken performance-enhancing drugs – there’s no question of human excellence in the achievement.

Except I guess pharmacological excellence. Give his dealer an award!

Yeah. You may not like ARod, but you can at least probably stomach him holding the record. I know many die hard Sawks fans, and they all take solace in the assumption that ARod will break Bonds’ future record. That just speaks volumes to how much Bonds is reviled.

Barry Bonds isn’t guilty of using steroids.

Barry Bonds is guilty of not APOLOGIZING for using steroids.

It’s a dance almost every athlete learns to play. Don’t alienate the fans. Make a show of kissing the customer’s ass. Act like you care what they think, act like you’re genuinely sorry for offending them with your “controversial” statement, or your drinking, or your cheating on your wife, or whatever. Call the press conference, put a suit on, play at remorse. Every athlete ends up being judged not by their actions, but how well they say “my bad.” Because the fans’ forgiveness is always a game winning touchdown, home run, or goal away.

Barry is an “asshole” because he doesn’t cheapen his word or insult our intelligence by jumping through the flaming hoop on demand for the doggy treat at the end like everyone else does. Giambi was forgiven because he cried and like that sort of thing. Also he never got close to Ruth even with the cheating. Sammy Sosa is forgiven because he keeps smiling and shaking our hand. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Bonds is “guilty” of using steroids to advance his career – and he is the only one guilty even though lots of other players have, many more than we will ever know about – because he doesn’t fall to his knees and beg The Almighty Sportswriter or The Lord Thy Fan for forgiveness for his sins.

Hank Aaron magically became an asshole, too, when he approached the record. Because all of a sudden he was under a lot of pressure – not only from trying to break the record, but from trying to help his team win, and of course from all the racist death threats people were sending him and his family for daring to Approach Ruth’s Record While Black – and had to concentrate on doing it and yet a bunch of sportswriters and fans wanted to get all up in his face and TALK TO HIM ABOUT IT. Not, like, you know, give him a break and a chance to think about something else and the piece and quiet we all take for granted.

As Barry Bonds gets inevitably close, the inquisitors give The Rack a few more turns. Now he’s always been “an asshole” because he isn’t Derek Jeter-like in his dealings with the media. But now he’s even more of an “asshole” and he’s a “cheater” too.

[SIDE NOTE: How many of his home runs came off pitchers who took steroids so they could get the strength to push their fastball in to the mid 90mph range, thuss adding all that momentum to the momentum of his swing, pushing it out of the park? The answer is a lot more than you think. Are those “tainted”?]

Alex Rodriquez is already known and semi-widely reported to cheat on his wife in every American League town. It’s not made too big a deal out of – nor should it be until/unless it adversely affects his play. It’s a matter between him, his wife, these other women, and his conscience.

But when HE gets near and above 700, just you wait. This will become a much bigger story, and he’ll magically become an “asshole” too for his own personalized reason, just like everyone else who reaches Ruthian heights.

Meanwhile, here’s what Barry is ALSO like.
boy I bet this kid thinks Barry’s a real dick too, huh?

No national news outlet touches these of course, because after all we all “know” he’s an asshole and this doesn’t fit the profile.

Whether its sincere or a cynical PR move is not for me to say. In the past athletes have done similar things for both reasons. But we eat this shit up when they do it and look the other way on their less honorable other acts. Probably because they do it to impress us, to look like a “good guy” and a hero to us.

Barry doesn’t give a fuck about what we think about him.

And the fans and sportswriters will never forgive him for that.

Omg! Barry Bonds is not a cheater and he’s not a jerk either. I talked to him after one of the baseball games and he was reeeally nice to me. So I guess he’s only mean to people who deserve it, which isn’t being a jerk.

Also he didn’t do steroids. Anyone who says he did is completely ignorant. He was a good player even before he allegedly started using steroids and if you look at pictures of him between 1999 and 2001, the time when he supposedly started using them, there is no difference at all. And he gained weight cuz he’s 43 and people get fatter as they get older. People only say he used them because he’s about to break the most important record in sports and people don’t like it because of how he treats the reporters or he’s not on their team.

Rookie year


That is a TERRIBLE argument. That’s a twenty year difference, OBVIOUSLY people can build muscle and gain weight and all that in twenty years time.

Kaiser makes a good point of fans being quick to forgive inappropriate behavior if celebrities act like they’re sorry, regardless of genuine remorse, but why then does it become necessary to forgive the “honest” ones? Why not the other way around; that we should be more critical of the ethical failings of the supposedly apologetic celebrities?

I don’t care much about sports any way, coming from a high school with no championship teams of any sport since the early '80s, and living next to the city with the losingest sports team in history (Phils broke 10,000 losses the other week).

It isn’t necessary, but it does speak to our collective hypocrisy.

For the most part we cannot seem to admit to ourselves that most of us really don’t care what they’re like as people as long as they keep entertaining us. We too make an insincere show of indignation to ourselves and each other because we’ve gotten the idea that this is the appropriate public social behavior/reaction.

But in private, we like the entertainment they provide and we like being entertained by them and that trumps our feeble public indignation. Like I said in passing in my earlier post, for the star athlete Forgiveness is only one game winning Home Run/Touchdown/Goal away. (Since you’ve indirectly brought up non-athletic celebrities into the discussion, I’ll extend it to them. One good movie, or tv show, or song, and there we go, it’s the big happy “comeback story” that we lap up so eagerly.)

BM1: Good start. You’ve only got a few hundred more Then And Nows to go.

I call him an asshole because he’s a jackass in the club house (hell, he got in a fist fight with Jeff Kent). He even had the audacity to say that he was better than Babe Ruth, which is in and of itself complete blasphemy. I’m not calling him an asshole for breaking the record, I’m calling him an asshole because of how he’s treated the press and the fans in the past. Sure, you can’t treat the home fans like shit but you can sure as hell pester the away fans.

Sure, the pictures aren’t much of an argument, but how about the stats? He’s the only player in history to have 500 stolen bases and 500+ home runs, but all those stolen bases came long before the home runs (sorry, I don’t know the figures off hand), and long before his knee started to bother him. So how do you explain that? I can - he bulked up on the 'roids and was too big to really run fast.

I’m too lazy to quote so I’ll just pick and choose. I’ll start with the “whoever says he did is ignorant” comment. How about his personal trainer, Victor Conte, and his training center, BALCO, were busted in the largest steroid sting in history and were caught red handed with “the clear”, the only steroid undetectable by modern drug tests. Victor Conte, being Barry’s personal trainer, wouldn’t give his star athlete the best of the best? Please. Guilty by assosciation at least. And people don’t people neccessarily get fatter as they get older - look at Julio Franco, the Braves utility First Basemen. He’s almost 50 and I’d put him at about 40 pounds lighter and just as tall.

Also, Hank Aaron wasn’t an asshole - he was black. Back then that was probably worse.

Look, just because he gave you an autograph doesn’t make him a saint, and he’s no more a martyr for his refusal to bow to the suggestive advances made to him by the press and the fans. The plain, simple fact is that he cheated and he is a rude, presumptious, arrogant jack ass who doesn’t pay his taxes and also cheated on his wife.

I thought this thread was going to be about _________

In a perfect world…

I don’t like Barry Bonds. It’s a good point that kaiser brings up though, but it’s just hard to like a guy that doesn’t even try to humor the crowd or even show up for games (like you said, this is entertainment after all!).

Baseball right now is nothing more than a showman’s sport. Not only do the players act like assholes, but coaches also add to the 'pay-per-view’ness of ‘Ye Olde Americana Pastime’ by throwing their hats at umpires as a thinly veiled attempt to liven the action.

Originally Posted by Kaiser
It’s a dance almost every athlete learns to play. Don’t alienate the fans. Make a show of kissing the customer’s ass. Act like you care what they think, act like you’re genuinely sorry for offending them with your “controversial” statement, or your drinking, or your cheating on your wife, or whatever. Call the press conference, put a suit on, play at remorse. Every athlete ends up being judged not by their actions, but how well they say “my bad.” Because the fans’ forgiveness is always a game winning touchdown, home run, or goal away.

Hey, it worked for Paris Hilton and it’ll probably work for Linsey Lohan once she uses up her current stash of ‘Get out of Jail free’ cards. Hell they could even get away with trying to sell a book based on a murder that they’re suspected of committing in the first place.

Whoa whoa whoa! IMO he IS a better baseball player than Babe Ruth. And you’re logic makes no sense. He stole all those bases when he was younger, he started to bulk up so he could become a home run hitter. If he didn’t, then he would still probably have been the best all around player, but he didn’t like the fact that Sammy Sosa and that other guy were hitting all those home runs so he wanted to, too. Also, you can’t really look at the past records of who was the only one to do 500 this or that because baseball was segregated so anything before 1960 doesn’t matter and people learned how to work out better since then.

And NOBODY on the Giants liked Jeff Kent, he is a LOSERR! Especially now that he’s joined the terrorist group known as the Dodgers. Everyone else on the Giants love Barry and think he’s a great teammate. Even people that aren’t on the Giants love Barry like A-Rod and Prince Fielder. (Btw, A-Rod can’t even handle the pressure of hitting 500 home runs without going into a slump let alone beating Barry’s record)

And with the whole trainer thing, Greg Anderson didn’t confirm or deny whether he gave him steroids because he gave it to other guys and doesn’t want to say who they were. The whole “the clear” thing, Barry only said he used a clear substance and a cream substance for his arthiritis, but they twisted that into “the clear” and “the cream.” Don’t be so gullible and believe everything writers tell you about people they don’t like.

If we’re going to talk about ethics, why don’t we look at that alcoholic wifebeater Babe Ruth and compare him to Barry.

Heh, if he was “training” with Balco he’s probably doped to the nose. Look how many MLB players were involved. Do you believe Olympic runners are natural too? As for people working out more efficiently just compare past Mr Olympias.

This is the California gov. Mind, Arnold also got steroids.

This is Ronnie Coleman, the last Mr Olympia who is a bloated mass of meat. Performance enhancing drugs are a reality in competitive sports where they can ‘help’.