Tuesday, August 07, 2007


From the Houston Chronicle sports section:

Entire game is diminished

Congratulations, Barry. You did it. You joined the 755-homer club Saturday night.

You and Hank Aaron. How does that feel, Barry?

You now share baseball's most coveted milestone with one of its most respected players. Thanks to you, the record feels different this morning. It feels a bit less magical. In fact, the entire game feels diminished.

On the other hand, you certainly did it your way. You did it without regard to what teammates, managers, coaches or fans thought of you. You apparently were unbothered by the rules, either. You believed the means justified the end.


According to exhaustive reporting by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters, you did it by using an array of illegal performance-enhancing drugs.

At a time when many players are starting to decline, you got better and better. Beginning in the summer you turned 36, you averaged 52 home runs a season. You averaged 37 in the five years before you added those slabs of muscle. You showed the world that steroids and human growth hormone do work.


Cheating is something that you do when you're a little kid and don't yet understand that doing so renders the entire point of game-playing moot. Or maybe it's something that you do when the stakes are literally life and death, although god knows why someone might get themselves into such a situation. Maybe cheating is okay if your opponent is also cheating.

It's certainly not okay for Bonds.

Ultimately, the real problem here is with Major League Baseball, the very old, very American organization which is so wired into the national culture that it enjoys anti-trust exemption on Capitol Hill. When the San Francisco Chronicle made utterly apparent what The Cheater was doing, MLB should have kicked him out immediately. And when MLB didn't do that, Congress, which allows pro baseball its privileged economic status, should have revoked the exemption.

For me, and for any baseball fan with any sense of ethics at all, Bonds is a non-entity. He has not tied Aaron's record, and when Bonds finally blasts that steroid-powered 756th homer, he will not have broken Aaron's record.

I guess this is just a sign of our decaying culture: we live in an era when politicians steal elections and when star athletes steal records. That's what decades of pro-capitalism "greed is good" propaganda gets us.

Totally sickening.