Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Clear or the Cream?

Being exiled from Sunday's celebrity status, I found myself back in the cheap seats last night as the Nats continued their winning streak despite two homeruns from Ray Durham (Ray Durham!) in back to back at-bats. Attendance was about 8,000 above average for a Tuesday night with all of those additional seats of course being filled by those wanting to catch a glimpse of dubious history; Barry Bonds. To be honest, he didn't look that big from all the way up in 406.

I did have to smile last night as I took in all of the disrespect that Bonds was shown from the radical defensive shift when he was at the plate (Zimmerman shifted to cover short leaving the left side of the infield wide open), to the "Hank Don't Cheat" banner in the stands, to the "boo's" that rained down on him the entire night. Call me cold, but it is hard to muster up any pity for a despicable millionaire superstar. But I was surprised that during all of that, there was a noticeable number of fans who were loudly applauding Bonds during his at-bats.

Now I have been called a contrarian before -- a very fair accusation -- so I understand the desire to go against prevailing opinion and always take the counterargument. But to get behind someone like Bonds, that is just beyond me. In a game where a player's legacy is absolutely relative to those that came before him, the evidence is overwhelming (damningly so) that he has spent the last half of his career tipping the scales in order to cheat history. While guys like Ruth, Cobb, and Rose may have been of equally questionable character, their performance on the field was legit and strictly a result of their effort and god-given ability. On the other hand Bonds has chosen to stand on the shoulders of giants, or so I believe, in order to the acheive the same level of greatness.

In sports there is gamesmanship and there is cheating and what I believe Bonds is guilty of is outright cheating. To stand in his presence and cheer him on while he lamely struggles in his last seasons to dupe history is just plain sad. I hope those people's cars got broken into out in the lot so they can feel just as robbed as those of us forced to watch Barry build a cult of personality to himself.


At 7/26/2006 10:18 AM, Blogger Dara said...

I'm going to the game tonight, and I am also back in my normal (cheap) season tickets after sitting down in the 200 section on Sunday.

I have mixed feelings about the whole Bonds thing. On the one hand, he's a cheater and a liar, and that should not be supported or encouraged. On the other hand, he's not the only cheater and liar in baseball, at least in this era.

And, man, when he hits the ball, it's a pretty sight.

I don't think I'll be cheering for him, since I'm a Nats fan and all, but I don't think I'll be booing either.

At 7/26/2006 12:35 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I absolutely agree that he is not the only guilty party, but for me his cheating is more damaging to the "game itself" than anyone else's.

As for his stroke, it wasn't looking too good last night but that's OK because the Nats are on a roll.


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