Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bonds hits number 755..ties Aaron

Barry Bonds hit home run number 755 today, off the San Diego Padre's Clay Hensley in Petco Park tonight, a dinker of about 382 feet.

This ties him for the all-time career home run record set by Henry Aaron.

Of course, Hammerin' Hank didn't have the benefit of steroids, back in the day.

I find it somehow heartening the way the fans and baseball's officialdom are reacting. Their respect for the spirit of America's game is alive and well. While acknowledging Bonds as a great athlete ( which he is) the fans also acknowledge the fact that his stats and performance are highly suspect and tainted, and he's not being treated with the sort of adulation one would normally expect an athlete who broke this milestone would be. While Bonds received applause for tying the record, it was reportedly fairly light and mixed with boos...even when he went out to his position in the outfield, which is pretty rare for someone who just hit a home run at his last at bat, let alone just tied a major record.

Baseball's commissioner Bud Selig who was in attendance stood up, but kept his hands in his pockets and did not applaud, and the fan who caught the ball reportedly threw it back on the field.

As I said,Bonds is a great athlete, and he will undoubtedly break Aaron's record. But like Mark McGwire, another wonderful hitter with 583 career homers who's still not in the Hall of Fame, his achievements will always have a huge asterik after them.

I wonder what McGwire and Bonds would do if they had it all to do over again.


Soccer Dad said...

I've seen the view on Baseball Musings that if an athlete wishes to take a risk he should be allowed to. It would be one thing if a player took steroids and like magic bulked up. But my understanding is that steroids are no magic elixir, the player still has to work out and build up his strength to take advantage of the steroids. It makes building the strength easier, but not automatic.
Then there's also the matter of Gaylord Perry or the 1951 Giants, whom we now know, cheated and yet are celebrated.
I guess it's odd, but I think I'm a bit more permissive with steroids than I am with other drugs.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hey, Soccer Dad! How are you? Pull up a chair and get comfortable..

I see this a litte differently, I think. To me it's not a matter of a player's `choice' to take a risk as much as his choice to take an unfair advantage over the competition.

That's particularly wrong when Bonds, at 43, has used steroids to break records of players who set them naturally that he likely would never have gotten near without chemical aid.

`Roids aren't a magic elixer, but all things being equal, theyunnatuarally enhance performance...and as far as I'm concerned,that ain't kosher.

To me it's a moral issue. When is cheating acceptable? And if so, how much?

Bonds is a great athlete, and so is Mac and some of the others involved in this garbage..but I think basebal fans are right to view any achevements by these guys as iffy.

I'll be surprised if either gets into Cooperstown.They will always have that asterik after their stats.

Have a good one!