Last week I was at the Dodgers game in which we beat the Giants and booed Barry Bonds like crazy to stop him from getting the record at our stadium. Although I didn’t join in the “Barry Sucks” or “Steroids” cheers that were being yelled every few minutes (Caleb was only allowed to chant “Barry Stinks,” but I saw him start chanting “steroids” with the crowd. Ironically, I am pretty certain he has no idea what that even means.), I was glad he didn’t beat the record against us.
One of the sports talk stations in LA, refers to the Giants as “the hated ones” whenever they mention them in the score updates. I have a very hard time being excited for a Giant, especially Barry Bonds.
I am so devoted to the Dodgers, I cannot even put a picture of Barry Bonds on my blog, so this will have to work:
I believe wholeheartedly in the idea that “people are innocent until proven guilty.” I have to admit I have slipped into the mindset I cannot stand, a mindset which has hurt people in significant ways and even sent people to jail who shouldn’t be there.
Too often our response is that “people are guilty until proven innocent.”
Or as Dwight Shrute from the Office has said, “Better a thousand innocent men are locked up than one guilty man roaming free.”
I even heard a sportswriter say that about Bonds last night. Until proof is presented which clears Bonds, he won’t accept this record without an asterisk. As I began to get frustrated with this mindset, I realized that is how I have been looking at this.
I was surprised to discover that Barry Bonds got to this home run record in fewer games and fewer at bats than Hank Aaron. If Bonds has been using steroids, he has cheated. I realize that steroids prolong careers and turn line drives into home runs, but I also realize that many of the pitchers facing Bonds have probably been cheating as well.
I am also amazed with his hand-eye coordination. Any pitch close to what he likes is gone, and he has so many walks he rarely gets a pitch to hit. That is remarkable. At the same time, stadiums are smaller now than ever before.
For now, I am glad the record was broken in San Francisco. If it was ever going to be broken, I am glad it was there where he could enjoy it. I am glad Willie Mays was there and Hank Aaron was on the jumbotron. Knowing that Aaron congratulated him made me think I should too.
In a few years (perhaps as soon as 5 or 6), another one of my least favorite players, Alex Rodriquez will probably break this record. So perhaps alot of the commotion will soon be moot.
Caleb loves Barry Bonds because he hits left-handed just as he does. Caleb also loves A-Rod because they share the same birthday (July 27). I have tried not to fill Caleb in on all the reasons not to cheer for these guys. I am just glad he likes baseball so much.
Is Bonds the best home run hitter ever? Right now, he is.