T Nation

Barry Bonds and The Fans


To me, the Fans are being a LOT more classy, a LOT less pompous and a HELLUVA lot less hypocritical than the politicians, Sports Writers and the Commissioner about this whole Bonds thing. (Sports Writers have been the WORST.

As he got closer to Aaron’s record, the fans voted him into the All-Star Game, and it seems like Barry is taking it all in stride.

History will ALWAYS (most likely) put an “asterisk” beside his record…but what I’ll remember will be the Fans rising above the hypocrisy of it all.

Questions to discuss:

  1. Should (will) Aaron and the Commissioner be there for the record? (I think MAYBE the commissioner; but Aaron can do whatever he chooses to do. He’s earned that right. But it would be good for him to be there).

  2. What do you guys think of the flap? (Hitting that damn ball involves a HELLUVA’ lot more than strength).

  3. Other?

Let’s discuss.

Mufasa

I was noticing the same thing just a day or two ago, Mufasa.

It seems the sport’s talking heads are beside themselves because Bonds was voted to the NL All-Star team.

It just shows how utterly shallow and conceited the media can be when regular people just want to watch the damn game instead of listening to a talking head tell everyone how evil Bonds is.

Bonds may well be the second incarnation of satan himself - but you know what? People will pay $20 a pop to watch him hit the ball.

WRT Hank Aaron - he is being a little bitch. He still makes his living from baseball. He owes it to the fans and baseball itself to be there on the night Bonds crushes his record. He is just trying to steal the spotlight from Bonds by squealing like a spoiled child in the checkout line at the store.

He has lost a lot of my respect by politicizing an issue that has yet to be PROVEN true. Maybe he should just get a job with ESPN - he’d fit right in.

I don’t care too much about Bonds himself. It’s not like he’s the only player who’s used steroids.

But I do think the commisioner HAS to be there. If Bonds using steroids was such a tragedy, then he’s the man who should have stepped up and done something. He didn’t, and now he has to be there when bonds sets the record.

If he pulls some half-assed, “well I’m not going to do anything to stop Bonds from setting the new record, but I won’t be there to celebrate it” shit then he should be tarred and feathered.

Steroids don’t make you hit home runs. Just look at Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. And before he got bigger, Bonds was already one of the best hitters of his time. For that reason there shouldn’t be an asterisk.

Bonds isn’t as good as the other NL outfielders this year and he didn’t get my All-Star vote, but he should at least be a backup. If the game is going to be in SF, might as well start SF’s deity.

Bud Selig should be there, absolutely no question. I agree that it would be nice if Hank Aaron was there too. Aaron will lose a lot of money and fame because of Bonds so understandably he’s being a baby about it.

bonds is the best hitter ever…nothing is more exciting than watching bonds hit. i mean seriously the tension is crazy every time he comes to the plate and it’s been this way for YEARS !!!

the hypocrisy is unbelievable…people say they love baseball but will pass on their opportunity to watch the best hitter EVER in action ? jeez it’s not even the hitting -the pitches he TAKES are sometimes unbelievable. the way he makes pitchers WORK. the discipline and judgment he has. that guy is a ballplayer.

but the crowd cries " barabus !"

as for the record…it’s just a record. who gives a shit ? it looks to me like bonds is far more interested in actually PLAYING than sitting around and talking about what’s written in books.

What I find interesting is the lack of caring. An amazing record is about to go down, one that happens only once in a lifetime (That’s probably not true anymore. Alex Rodriguez among others have a chance of re-breaking this record in the next decade.), yet it seems like no one even cares, myself included.

Steroids or not, it’s an amazing feat and I’m just not that interested. And I’m not quite sure why.

Is it because it has the very real chance of being re-broken very soon?

Is it because Bonds is possibly baseball’s biggest asshole this side of John Rocker?

Is it because the homerun has been cheapened recently (look how many players are now part of the 500 club)?

For me, I think it’s a combination of the first two. A-Rod, if he stays healthy, should easily make it 800 homers, and there are other young sluggers hitting home runs like never before who might make a run at it as well.

Plus, I’ve just never really liked Barry Bonds.

Let me throw this out, guys…

I’ve been around a LOT of Baseball guys…

And 100 out of 100 tell ME that you can juice to the COWS come home…and you still won’t accomplish what Bonds as accomplished even if you were facing marginal Minor League pitchers day in and day out…

And Barry has Pistol Whipped the best pitchers in the World…

Thoughts?

Mufasa

(P.S. Rainjack…I’m readin’ 'ya, Brother. I keep going back and forth on Hank. I REALLY hope he changes his mind…)

[quote]malonetd wrote:
What I find interesting is the lack of caring. An amazing record is about to go down, one that happens only once in a lifetime (That’s probably not true anymore. Alex Rodriguez among others have a chance of re-breaking this record in the next decade.), yet it seems like no one even cares, myself included.

Steroids or not, it’s an amazing feat and I’m just not that interested. And I’m not quite sure why.

Is it because it has the very real chance of being re-broken very soon?

Is it because Bonds is possibly baseball’s biggest asshole this side of John Rocker?

Is it because the homerun has been cheapened recently (look how many players are now part of the 500 club)?

For me, I think it’s a combination of the first two. A-Rod, if he stays healthy, should easily make it 800 homers, and there are other young sluggers hitting home runs like never before who might make a run at it as well.

Plus, I’ve just never really liked Barry Bonds.[/quote]

I’ve never really liked Baseball, but I think it is ridiculous that Bonds isn’t getting the hype he deserves from this. If this were years ago before this steroid witch hunt, this would be considered criminal the way the media is responding.

I don’t care about Bond’s personality either. Why does anyone think that being a celebrity means you have to cater to everyone else? If the man won’t sign autographs or won’t give interviews, who the hell cares?

Maybe if there wasn’t so much hero worship, none of this would be an issue in the first place.

There is no known drug that can increase the vision required to see the ball like Bonds can.

A previous poster mentioned something about how watching Bonds take a pitch can be as amazing as watching him hit the ball. I agree.

His ability to see a ball traveling 85+mph, and make the decision to swing or not is mind boggling.

One would also think that if he were horribly worried about the record, he would have a lot more strike outs over the last few years. He doesn’t do that. He only swings at strikes.

I’m going off memory here, but I do believe Bonds has far fewer strikeouts than either Ruth, or Aaron.

Where do the steroids come in - if anyone can ever prove that he juiced? I think that at the level of play that you have in MLB now days, especially being in NL where you have to play to hit(no DH), Bonds has benefited from the increased recovery of AAS.

I also think that his increased strength have turned several long outs into home runs. But honestly - how much more strength does one need to hit the ball 20 feet further?

Here is something that really bother me -

I remember Aaron breaking Ruth’s record - I watched the game on TV. Back then, the drama over the record being broken was all about skin color. Not quite the same as Bond’s drama, but drama nonetheless.

Fast forward 25 years - the media is all up in arms over McGuire’s use of Andro in his chase to break season dinger record.

Now here we on the verge of breaking Aaron’s record, and we have more drama.

It seems that the media can’t just let the guys play the damn game. there always has to be some sort of Watergate goig on when it comes to HR records.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I don’t care about Bond’s personality either. Why does anyone think that being a celebrity means you have to cater to everyone else? If the man won’t sign autographs or won’t give interviews, who the hell cares?[/quote]

The thing regarding personality is that a lot of baseball fans, or sports fans in general, start out fans as kids. When a kid sees a player like Barry Bonds acting the way he does, it can turn him off to that player forever.

At the same time, I’m an adult now and can recognize greatness, yet I just don’t care that much about this record. And it’s not just because I don’t like Bonds as a person. Maybe I’m just not into home runs like I used to be.

Or maybe it’s because THE BREWERS ARE IN FIRST PLACE and nothing else matters this year!!!

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Here is something that really bother me -

I remember Aaron breaking Ruth’s record - I watched the game on TV. Back then, the drama over the record being broken was all about skin color. Not quite the same as Bond’s drama, but drama nonetheless.

Fast forward 25 years - the media is all up in arms over McGuire’s use of Andro in his chase to break season dinger record.

Now here we on the verge of breaking Aaron’s record, and we have more drama.

It seems that the media can’t just let the guys play the damn game. there always has to be some sort of Watergate goig on when it comes to HR records. [/quote]

I think you hit on something here. It’s like “old man syndrome.” Things were always better in the past. Ruth will always be the best. Wilt will always be better than Shaq. Jim Brown is every old man’s favorite running back. Soon it will be Payton. In 20 years, everyone will say Emmitt is the best.

It’s like people can’t appreciate greatness as it’s happening.

I have never been a big fan of Bonds, but you have to give him his due. I dont care what any sportswriter in America says, STEROIDS do not help you hit home runs, period. Barry has a God given talent that cannot be ignored, and after he retires he should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

I can’t stand the ESPN jackasses and play by play guys… They are the dumbest misinformed bunch of retards EVER! I guess if you have a microphone you know what your talking about…

Tim McCarver and Joe Buck should not be allowed in a baseball stadium, Rick Sutcleif is a bitter ex player who never acomplished anything great in his carrer and still holds grudges against former teams/players he played against which is blatanly obvious in his commentating.

I can hardley watch a baseball game anymore even though it was a game I LOVED as a kid because of the annoucers. They are either out of date bitter old men or young guys you agree with everything these bitter old men have to say.

What gives you the right to talk about steriods in ANY context if you have never done any research?

The double standards are mind boggling.

They mention how Griffey JR, Alex Rodriguez, and Frank Thomas are clean great homerun hitters and they are doing it “the right way” What PROOF do you have to throw out comments like that with NOTHING to back it up. Just becuase they didn’t gain some muscle over their carrer? (which all of them have BTW.)

Hell I heard a sports talk radio show a couple weeks ago mention Tiger Woods is probaly on roids because he looked “to jacked” Thing is he was just wearing a very tight t-shirt…

They act like a sports stars who have gained 15 pounds of muscle over their carrer are juice monkeys, maybe they do more than pushups, run, and eat hot dogs now unlike in your time of “pure” baseball.

Hell Shawn Mermain of the San Diego Chargers tested POSITIVE for some sort of steriod last year and what did the NFL do? Give a minor 4 game suspension, blame supplement comapnies for spiking legal supplements with illegal products and on their own tv network say how horrible it was that Shawn Mermain had to go through this. Of course the supplement or comapny was never reported even though I’d sure like to know some legal supplement I might be taking has something in it that is not listed!

This is why the NFL is HUGE and growing more year after year, while I wouldn’t be suprised if MLB as we know it is dead in my lifetime.

BTW I HATED Barry Bonds as a player when I was a kid, even when he was on the Pirates. I NEVER Liked the Giants even though they are a hometown team.

I have a new found respect for Bonds now that I am older and I realize all the unfair biased BS he has to deal with when all he is trying to do is play baseball.

I hope he crushes the record and retires. The bad thing is this won’t go away even after he retires.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

I don’t care about Bond’s personality either. Why does anyone think that being a celebrity means you have to cater to everyone else? If the man won’t sign autographs or won’t give interviews, who the hell cares?

Maybe if there wasn’t so much hero worship, none of this would be an issue in the first place.[/quote]

I don’t know, I don’t like Bonds because he constantly comes across like an ass. Personality is the main factor involved, people loved big Mac and Sosa so they went crazy for that race. Anyone who didn’t think Mac was on steroids at the time is just lying to themselves. People went nuts, but when Bonds re-broke the record, there wasn’t much fanfare comparatively. I think its probably because Bonds seems like an asshole.

I’d rather he didn’t break the record because I don’t like him, but I can’t tell you how amusing it is to watch Lupica think armageddon is upon us. God, that guy really annoys the hell out of me, he’s such a dick (I always like listening to Jason Whitlock talking about the Sports Reporters and slamming Lupica).

I’m San Francisco born and raised, so I suppose I’m a bit partial.

First off, the guy’s INSANELY talented. Period. Juice or not, he’s on another level.

Second, I’d bet my bottom dollar that, of players who are paid for hitting ability (Bonds, Sosa, Gonzalez, Giambi, etc) and not for their glove, that upwards of 70% were juicing. The Mcgwire / Sosa home run race SAVED baseball, and it was certainly aided by steroids. The coaches knew it, the commissioner knew it, the writers knew it – and nobody cared, because it helped the game.

Lastly, I’ve never minded Bonds as a person. He grew up around writers who gave his Dad a hard time, always gave him a hard time, and I think it’s just ingrained in him to be a bit on edge around writers. I don’t blame him. He may be a bit of an asshole, but he’s not evil by any stretch. Just a bit jaded.

The science of hitting a baseball.

Now I may be a little bias as baseball was my sport of choice but I honestly believe that hitting a baseball is the single hardest/most impressive sports act there is.

A 90 mile/hour fastball reaches the plate in about .41

The average swing time is .28 and the fastest around .17

The average time to decide to swing or take is .17 to .21

A baseball bat has a diameter of around 2 2/3 inches

This means the batter has to start swinging when the ball os just over half way to the plate and he has to accurately predict where the ball is going to be.

Selig should be there, but Aaron does not have to be there. It’s his life on what he wants to do, and he should not be forced to attend if he doesn’t want to. He even said he and Bonds do not know each other that well, and that he is not interested in going.

I think Bonds is getting a raw deal. From what I know (and I may be wrong) he has not failed a single drug test, and as others have said, steroids do not help you hit homeruns. Unless something is proven that he tooked steroids and he is indicted, it’s all speculation.

Regardless of steroids, 755+ homeruns is ALOT of homeruns. You need power, great hand-eye coordination, and most importantly, a healthy body to play a long time, and to hit a lot of homeruns over a sustained period of time. In essence, you have to be a marathon runner. You have to perform over a long period of time.

Also, I’m glad he’s an All-Star starter. With the game being in SF, and I’m sure a lot of fans in the SF area voted for him this year so they can see him, I think it’s great, and he deserves it. The media is making a big deal about nothing.

Bonds is an ass. I don’t care if no one shows up. I don’t care either way about his steroid use. I would bet he has hit a lot of homers off steroid using pitchers.

Aaron is the man and doesn’t have to be there when Bonds passes him.

Selig should be there or suspend Bonds if he is cheating. One or the other. Selig is just trying to avoid the whole thing, not a good stance for the guy that is supposed to be in charge.

As usual the sports media absolutely sucks.

I am sorry but I don’t like Bonds. I agree that Bonds was a hall of famer before the juice. I would even go as far as to say that Bonds could have done all this naturally if he had started serious weight training at an earlier age, like his early twenties.

At the risk of sounding tribalistic it bothers me as a black male, to see Barry Bonds break Aaron’s record;considering what Aaron had to go through to break it, I hate to think of a sh-thead like Bonds replacing him.

Btw, I dont believe Bonds was the best of his time. I think Ken Griffey Jr was a better overall player NATURALLY.

[quote]KJ Bridgewater wrote:
Btw, I dont believe Bonds was the best of his time. I think Ken Griffey Jr was a better overall player NATURALLY. [/quote]

I think that’s part of the problem with this whole issue. How do you know Griffey is/was natural?