The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth

Exposing the Liberal Lie through current events and history. “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.” ****** "We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free." RONALD REAGAN

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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Sunday, July 22, 2007

BARRY BONDS AND 756 - THE SUNDAY COMMENTARY

This weeks Sunday Commentary is going to drift from Washington politics to politics of a different type. Politics that have no earth shattering impact but politics that have people talking just the same. The politics of baseball and the run for the all time home run record by Barry Bonds.

There are many records in sports that stand out. The breaking of four minute mile, the undefeated season by the Miami Dolphins in football for example but no record in sports especially professional sports holds the imagination of sports fans like the record for most home runs in Major League Baseball. The record is held by Hammerin' Hank Aaron and was set in 1974 when Aaron passed Babe Ruth's previous record of 714.

Aaron retired in 1976 with 755 home runs. That record is soon to be surpassed by Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants. As of this writing Bonds is at 753. It is not the fact that the record is about to be surpassed that is the problem. All records are meant to be broken. That is part of the excitement of making and chasing any record.

The problem is the questionable fashion in which Bonds has chased the record. The controversy centers around the, "possible, " use by Bonds of steroids which, if so, enhanced his ability to hit home runs. The use of steroids in baseball has long been considered illegal and it has never been absolutely proven that Bonds used steroids, though all of the evidence points to yes.

If steroids has played in the enhancement of Bonds power and ability to hit home runs which every baseball fan and analyst believes to be the case then the the record is tainted and until it is eclipsed by another player there will always be a question about how it was achieved.

I have been a baseball fan all of my life. I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and found every way possible from paper routes to car washing to earn enough money to attend as many baseball games as I could get tickets for. I loved watching both the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's, but the Giants were , "my team."

I grew up watching Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Gaylord Perry, and Barry's dad Bobby Bonds. With the A's I watched Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Rollie Fingers. I watched visiting teams whose players are a whose who of baseball history. Henry Aaron, Tom Seaver, and even in an exhibition game before inter - league play Micky Mantle.

My all time favorite player is Mays, who incidentally is the godfather of Barry Bonds and whose number, "24" was worn by Bonds while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates but changed to 25 after arriving at San Francisco because Mays' number 24 was retired. 25 was his dads number while he played for the Giants.

Each of the players mentioned above and hundreds of others who line the halls of Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame are there because their ability to play the game caused them to stand out among their peers. They made and broke records. They added excitement to the game and many because of their sheer ability to play brought crowds to their feet simply by taking the field.

Bonds while centered in controversy because of steroids is among those whose sheer ability would place him among the greats. Before the steroid scandal that has hung over his career since 1993 Bonds was well on his way to Cooperstown and would have certainly been in the top four for home run totals based on his yearly average before steroids became a question.

His fielding ability alone would have placed him among the greats. But it would seem that to Bonds just being among the great was not enough. While his use of steroids has never been , "proven, " all one has to do is look at pictures of Bonds before and after 1993 and the massive change in the size of his upper body adds doubts to his claim of not, "knowingly taking steroids."

His yearly home run average jumped from 20.85 prior to 1993 to 36.46 after 1993 and that includes the injury year of 2005 when he spent most of the year on the bench because of knee problems and only hit 5 dingers. Though Bonds makes the anti-steroid claim the stats and the evidence which has continually mounted over the paste few years shows otherwise.

All of this taints this race for 756 and places a scar on the record of records. But the problem of the tainting of the record does not belong to Bonds alone. The politics of baseball itself must hold a large share of the blame and the intentional turning of a blind eye by the Commissioners office to an obvious problem that haunted the late 90's and early part of the new century with steroids and baseball.

Home runs began suddenly increasing, some due to a more lively ball but mostly because of steroids. The reaction of MLB was to turn a blind eye because the excitement of more dingers and well publicized home run races like that of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire in 1998 put, "butts in the seats, " and increased revenues so much that management and the Commissioners office chose to look the other way.

It has only been in the past few years that this , "steroid scandal, " has been addressed by MLB and while controversy has surrounded Bonds again MLB because of the excitement of his breaking the single season home run record in 2001 and his continual chase of Hank Aaron's 755 again has somewhat turned a blind eye to Bonds and now 756 is soon to be, tainting the record until broken again , if it can be.

When Bonds breaks the record, and he will, for most baseball fans it will be just another day. Because of the controversy over steroids the excitement building up to the eclipse of 755 has been, "ho hum, " at best. The day will come and the day will go. Nothing earth shattering will change. Number 756 will not cause wars to end or even be delayed. It will not solve poverty, nor will it have any effect on the Stock Market.

The eclipse of Aaron will have no effect on anything in this world but the surpassing of yet another record in sports. But how it was reached and the , "asterisk," it will place in the minds of baseball fans worldwide will diminish the enthusiasm of this great sport. A record that has always held the wild eyed imagination of kids and adults everywhere will be just another statistic and the quest for greed and big bucks will forever tarnish America's former past time.

Ken Taylor

12 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

There is little question that steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs have become all-too-common in sports. There are too many financial incentives for individual players as well as organizations and the major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, etc.) to not take the chance.

That said, my attitude is that there shouldn't be any asterisk by any of the records. I don't like steroid use, but have no way of knowing who used them and who did not. Bonds was a great player when he was younger and probably was not on the juice in his early career, so I have no idea how many of his home runs were tainted.

As long as fans continue to pay to see their teams and their players play - then there isn't a financial reason to make any change. That may be too bad, but that is the market system.

1:15 PM, July 22, 2007  
Blogger knicksgrl0917 said...

hey! i'm going to cali this weekend and won't be back until september...here is the website i was talking about where i made extra summer cash. Later! the website is here

5:22 PM, July 22, 2007  
Anonymous Think Tank Commander said...

Hey Ken, sorry this isn't about baseball. I was your blog of the week awhile back. Now I'm heading overseas and I can't really associate with political websites. (I'm not in the military... I'm going to be at the mercy of extremist thugs.. so best not to raise eyebrows)

Anyway a friend and I were working on a pet project that I think could change political blogging more than the sitemeters. Its a plan for a networking site that will be able to handle both conservatives and liberals. The key is that it brings everyone together and allows for an orderly debate. (try to have that with a liberal) I believe like I think you do that if there is equal time provided any reasonable person would become a conservative.

The site is blueredbattle.com but it is still a skeleton without the workrooms and discussion rooms for the sides to prepare responses and challenges. I really think the plan has great potential for becoming the center of political discussion on the internet.

Its going to be almost completely userdriven like you tube on steroids (see I knew I could link this to your post) If you want to talk to the man pushing it forward he's at blueredbattle@yahoo.com

Mostly we just need it to be discovered and used.

11:02 PM, July 22, 2007  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Ken,

For about the last 15 years now, I've felt competition and record-breaking are iffy things.

How does one measure "the best" this or that athlete? How can one compare the athlete of yesteryear with today's athlete? Is it fair to say that someone has broken a record set seventy-five years ago, when today's technology to play the game, from equipment to the type of clothing worn, can place one at an advantage over yesteryear's athlete?

What if Hank Aaron were suped up on a nutritious diet and Babe Ruth was a junk food addict? Sure, nutritious food is legal; but what effect does diet play in giving one competitor an edge over another competitor? Does someone wearing Nikes sneakers have an unfair advantage over an athlete running in New Balance?

What about the person with the most chin-ups? How do you fairly measure such a contest? There is such a wide-range of technique. Power comes to bear over strength, depending on how fast one is cranking out those push ups. What exactly is being measured? If someone has shorter arm levers, he has less distance to travel to get his chest to the ground than someone with longer arms. So how is this a measure of true strength, if it's a matter of tendon insertion points and lever lengths? Not a measure of who has the strongest muscle fibers working in a motion specific manner.

The biggest joke is when someone is given the stature of being known as "the greatest fighter on the planet". Simply because he's an outstanding boxer; or wrestler; or UFC competitor; or has fought and won 60 stickfighting death matches in the Philippines. Or has proven himself in warfare, on the field of battle. It doesn't mean that any of these guys, on any given day, and in an environment that they are not an expert in, can't get his ass handed to him.

I've probably confused the hell out of everyone here. It's late and I'm not formulating my thoughts very well, as to where I'm coming from.

1:03 AM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Btw...I lived in Ohio in '75 and '76, and was a huge Reds fan. Sparky Anderson, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose, Tom Seaver, Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, Joe Morgan...so many all-star and standout players.

1:06 AM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Gayle said...

I wish Think Tank Commander luck with the website where liberals and conservatives can come together. When I first began blogging I tried that, Ken. It didn't work. The liberals were obnoxious and rude, and I ended up shutting down the entire experiment because it was such an abysmal failure. It was called "Let's Have a Meeting of Minds." Ha! I've learned so much since then about the average liberal mindset and it isn't pretty.

Regarding steroids in sports, it really does nothing but degrade the sport, debase the person taking the steroids, and hurting the people around him. It's sad that there is so much money in sports these days that seems to be all that many players care about. The love of the game seems to have been lost in worship of more money. Shame.

6:58 PM, July 23, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

I will say flat out that Bonds should be refused the title and if he is acknowledged with the title then it should not only be asterisked, but should have a strikethrough and written in black, because that is what it will do to the game.

Hank Aaron was one of the greatest because of talent. Barry Bonds will be seen as one of the greatest because of a number. They were not gained equitably, and as far as I am concerned Bonds can be kicked from the game just like Pete Rose.

10:18 PM, July 25, 2007  
Blogger DD2 said...

I can't argue with anything there at all.
In fact I agree with it all.

4:38 PM, July 30, 2007  
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