Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bonds and Ramirez - Brief Requiem for the Home Run Hitter

Well that was time and taxpayer money well spent.  Barry Bonds has finally been convicted.  Not for the three counts of perjury he was charged with or simply for being a jackass, mind you, but for Obstruction of Justice by misleading jurors and prosecutors on non-steroid statements he made, seriously.  Home confinement for a year or two say the federal guidelines.  Great job, guys!  That's three years that I'll never get back.  Between this and the ridiculous witch hunt against Zdeno Chara in Montreal, law enforcement and prosecutors around North America must be pulling their hair out.  This comes on the heels of Manny Ramirez retiring from the Tampa Bay Rays, instead of being the only fool to ever have to serve a 100 game suspension after unbelievably testing positive for a masking agent during Spring Training.  

Bonds has been convicted and Ramirez has finally been stopped, but serial killers are still free and the idiots who attacked the Giants' fan are still on the loose...all right I'll stop.

Looking back, wasn't it obvious?   
It's not really about Bonds or Ramirez, really, or about David Ortiz or ARod, or even Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa.  It's about adults who feel that knocking down professional athletes is more fun than the more mundane tasks in their lives.  It's about adults who feel a high profile case might held build their careers and perhaps even make them D level celebrities.  It's about adults who spend hundreds of dollars to see a baseball game (in Boston at least) who feel better about themselves if these athletes screw up.  It saddens me because its a kid's game, after all.  

But in my living room, and in living rooms across the country, we couldn't care less about steroids, or BALCO, Greg Anderson or where Barry Bonds was injected and by whom.  All we cared about then were and all we care about now are the entertainment value of the games and how our teams are doing.  We care about scoring runs and hitting home runs.  I'll admit that 1998 and 2001 were great years.  Watching, first, Sosa and McGwire chase Roger Maris' single season home run record in 1998 and then Bonds chasing McGwire's record three years later, I was glued to the TV everytime ESPN cut away to the game when one of them was at bat.  It made for great drama.  My kids weren't born when these games were being played, but I know they'd be sitting right next to me.

These days, my kids are similarly enthralled.  We watch the Red Sox and the first question either of my boys ask is how many home runs player x has.  They don't care that Big Papi or Manny might be juicing it up, all they care about is whether they'll hit a home run.  Maybe they're naive, but they just want to be entertained.  Talking about steroids and what's wrong with the game is boring.  I wouldn't blame them if they got up from the couch and started playing their video games. 

And I have to agree with them.  When I watch Albert Pujols or Jose Batista hit, I want to see a home run.  I want to be entertained.  Maybe I'm naive like my kids - and I like it that way.

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