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Barry Bonds, Going for the Record (Monday, August 6, 2007)

Most folks who know me, know I'm not much of a baseball fan. With around 5,000 games a season, I just get sick of hearing about it. With player strikes, dugout-clearing brawls, scandals and the mind-numbing boredom of actually watching a four hour game — which turns to six hours with a little rain, or if no one can get a hit — you can't blame me. It isn't like the good old days, watching Mike Schmidt at the Vet in Philadelphia. Baseball had class in those days. But I'm off topic.

Today's headlines are all about Barry Bonds. On Saturday, August 4, he connected for his 755th home run to tie Hank Aaron for the career record. Even as someone who avoids watching more than a few innings of baseball a year, I can appreciate this accomplishment. To play so many games, over so many years, and at this age, to still be productive is remarkable. Yet there is a cloud over the record that Bonds is sure to take in the very near future. There is all this talk about Bonds' steroid usage, and how at best, there should be an asterisk in the record books next to his accomplishments. Even Aaron seems to have a problem with Bonds.

Now, I can't say for sure that Hank Aaron was squeaky clean... perhaps he was. But I don't take anything away from Bonds, because even if he has used performance enhancing drugs, it is just as certain that the pitchers he's going up against have been using them too. My mother is quick to point out that Bonds achievement doesn't mean as much because there are so many more games, but to that I respond, yes, and many more fresh pitchers in relief to make life difficult at the end of the day.

Barry Bonds may not have always gone by the book. But that doesn't have to take away from his accomplishment. The best players are always the ones under the heaviest scrutiny, and the most pressure. He's put in his years. Let him have the glory. And you know where you can stick your asterisk.

—Brian (8/6/2007 12:36 PM)
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