Monday, July 02, 2007

Bonds and Aaron

Does anyone disagree with Doug Groothuis's assessment of Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's record? Will anyone celebrate when the record is broken?


Sturgeon's Lawyer said...

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and don't really care if Barry Bonds makes his goal or not. (Part of this is because I live in the East Bay so I should theoretically be an Oakland fan -- but that's AL ball, which isn't real baseball anyway. Lex clavitoris designatum delenda est!)

Quite aside from the various things mentioned in the linked article, I'm old enough to remember that, when Hank Aaron was approaching the record, it wasn't really used to whip up publicity. Yes, there was some media speculation, and some people buying tickets in hopes of being at the Game Where He Did It, but in general, folks weren't speculating on it years in advance, and so on.

Now. If he used steroids (unproven but highly likely), does that "taint" the record? And if the record is tainted does that mean Bonds and his teammates should not celebrate?

I'm not sure how I feel about this, honestly. I think the use of steroids is not the moral horror that it has been made out to be by the Clean Sports people; there's a continuum that goes from a training table to vitamins to herbal supplements to, well, steroids.

Where draw the line, and why?

Because steroids can be harmful? So can the other things, well, except for a well-designed training table. I certainly don't want to see kids using them, but then I don't want to see kids using vitamin supplements without their parents' informed involvement either. Bonds is an adult and knows the risks; if he took steroids, he will reap both the rewards and the dangers.

But that doesn't answer the question: is the record "tainted"?

Well -- is the single-season record tainted because there are more games in a season than there used? Things change. Records are not set under identical or ideal conditions.

But more importantly, in fact fundamentally, I think that America is spending far too much attention on this when we should be paying attention to things that matter. Just like Paris-in-jail and Who gets Anna Nicole's Baby, sports scandals are distractions from things that matter.

Okay, off the soap box, Dan'l...

Anonymous said...

So do we asterisk everything that ever happened during the steroid age? Bonds is picked, perhaps unfairly, from the rest of the pack even though he has never tested positive for anything.

Doesn't matter who has the most home runs in their career, because Babe Ruth is still the greatest home run hitter in history.