Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bonds, the HR Record and the Controversy

I wasn't going to address this, but Mike Celizic at MSNBC has a slightly different take on the Barry Bonds story, one that is pretty similiar to my own. He points out that our entire nation ingests an amazing array of substances for everything from making our teeth whiter to giving men erections, and quite a few of us do things that aren't entirely ethical - steal from the supply cabinet, "adjust" our taxes, go 10 mph over the speed limit, etc.

"But, dammit, our athletic heroes better not cheat.

Does anyone detect a note of hypocrisy in this? Does anyone who reviles Barry Bonds as a cheater admit to even the tiniest flaw in his or her own personal code of ethics? Do any of us stop to consider that Bonds, who has never tested positive for any banned substance, isn’t doing anything that just about every one of us has done at one time or another?

Those are rhetorical questions, so don’t bother answering. We’re not very good at introspection, anyway. Our own flaws are never flaws, and even if they are, what the other guy is doing is a lot worse, and everything’s fair in love in war."

He goes on to point out that baseball has a pretty long history of looking the other way when it comes to pitchers "modifying" the baseball, and that something illegal doesn't necessarily equate to what is right. He also examines the history of steroids and has a pretty valid point - they were declared illegal in the Olympics because the "wrong" nation's athletes were using them to gain an advantage. He also points out that it is human nature to do anything to give us an advantage - it's a highly evolved survival trait.

I don't know if Bonds took steroids or not, and I really don't care, and I'm a baseball fanatic. Personally I think alot of this has to do with Bond's own personality, and his disregard for the media. He's an amazing talent, no question about it, and the fact of the matter is, taking steroids doesn't help you hit a baseball - it may help it travel a bit farther, but you still have to hit it, and hit it correctly, in order for it to leave the yard. And Barry Bonds, up to this point, has not been declared quilty in a court of law for anything.

Obviously, some people (probably alot of them) feel differently than I do. But I certainly think Celizic has a damn fine point, and he makes his case pretty well.

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