Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The sound of crickets chirping

Okay, I try to be as tuned in as possible when it comes to sports. Makes the whole "writing a sports blog" gig seem more credible. But sometimes, I'm a little out of touch, especially when my attention gets sidetracked by things like the NBA All-Star Game, Ricky Williams' drug tendencies, and America's new sweetheart, Tanith Belbin. I'm not too proud to ask people who might be more tuned in if I'm behind the times on a particular subject. So may I ask you something?

Am I supposed to give a $#!+ about this Barry Bonds thing?

Over the weekend, Bonds told USA Today's Bob Nightengale, "I'm not playing baseball anymore after this," meaning he was retiring the 2006 season. Just as baseball fans tried to decide if this was a good or bad thing, if Bonds is someone we wanted to see break the all-time home run record or just go away and shut up, he tells MLB.com, "If I can play [in 2007], I'm going to play; if I can't I won't."

Bonds points the finger of misunderstanding at Nightengale, claiming he thought they were having a personal conversation and was just explaining his state of mind. Oops. Looks like a tape recorder was running, Barry. Okay, so the tricky reporter chose not to write about where you like to eat dinner during Spring Training. What were you really saying?

"If my knee holds up, I'll keep on going. I'm playing psychological games with myself right now. I don't want to set myself up for disappointment if things don't work out this season. So I go back and forth. Back and forth every day. These are the things that are going through my mind. This is what I'm struggling with."

And oh, by the way, he wants to remind you that he's clean. He's really, really clean.

If he walks like a drama queen, and talks like a drama queen, does that mean Barry Bonds is a drama queen? My Magic 8-Ball says "All signs point to yes." He sounds like someone who wants a "farewell tour," like Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar received when they retired from the NBA. Teams all around the major leagues could thank Barry for a great career and give him farewell gifts like motorcycles, saxophones and rocking chairs. But what if Barry hasn't broken Hank Aaron's career home run record by the end of the 2006 season? Somebody needs a little wiggle room there.

Where does the line of people who would rather not see Bonds break Aaron's record begin? Actually, tell me where it ends so I can join the queue. Sure, as a sports fan, I'd love to see that record broken in my lifetime, especially when I grew up thinking I might never see another guy hit 500 career home runs, let alone 756. It's not so much that Barry is, shall we say, an abrasive personality. That's fine. It has nothing to do with how he hits a baseball. And it's probably helped him achieve everything he has.

But the pink elephant in the room is the S-word. And with that question hanging over the last ten years of baseball numbers like an ominous cloud, I'd rather it not taint one of the most hallowed records in sports.

▪▪ What do Bonds' Giants teammates think? Nothing to see here, move along.

▪▪ Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci abides by the "Things happen in threes" theory, and wonders if Bonds will join Sammy Sosa and Kevin Brown at the retirement home. (Of course, that's assuming that Sosa is really done.)

▪▪ ESPN.com's Buster Olney doesn't take anything Bond says seriously.

▪▪ Olney's colleague, Gene Wojciechowski, wants Bonds to go away. So does FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

▪▪ And the Washington Post's Tom Boswell thinks Bonds will be more warmly remembered if he steps away short of Aaron's record.


  • At February 21, 2006 3:24 PM, Blogger the sports dude said…

    I hope his knee doesn't hold up, therefore he is forced to leave the game short of the record. I agree, I would hate to see that record tainted by someone tainted.

    I still remember the testimony where he admited using "the clear" and "the cream", but swears he did not know they were laced with steroids. Kind of reminds me of Clinton and his BS "I didn't inhale"... whatever! Look, I am a underpaid lazy bastard, not a million dollar athlete that depends on his body. The point is I would even question someone (even my own mom!) if they said, here take this, it will make it all better! Dude, don't give me that shit Barry, the first question out of your mouth should have been "What's in it?" Trust me, you knew you SOB, so just shut the hell up and go away, trust me no one will care and yes we will have retirement parties, but not to give you gifts but rather to give ourselves some because we are rid of your shit.

  • At February 21, 2006 11:48 PM, Blogger twins15 said…

    If there was a way for Barry to just play and never have to talk to the media ever, I would be all for it. Seriously, steroids or not, he's an enormous talent with an enormous ego. I love watching him play, i cringe watching Barry with the media.


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