Sports Outside the Beltway

Mocking Barry Bonds

Tom Verducci has a rather maudlin piece about what it must be like to be Barry Bonds right now.

Hey Barry. Move Your Head. We Can’t See.

The signs, including that one in the left-field seats, were so prevalent in Philadelphia last weekend that Barry Bonds’ pursuit of the greatest record in sports has become embarrassing and awkward for baseball. Bonds can have his home runs, his “wiping out” of Babe Ruth, as he promised five years ago, and even The Big One — the record Hank Aaron has held with 755 career home runs — but real legitimacy and honor never shall be his. So what then would he really have? The mocking of Bonds and his ill-gotten home run total was so savage I wonder if any such great and accomplished athlete was treated so harshly in his twilight.

Seeing Barry Hit 715: Worthless.

Bonds chasing Ruth and Aaron was bound to be a missed opportunity for baseball, what with the moral issues clouding the athlete achievement and dampening the celebration. But I did not expect it to be this negative, this sad. It is worse than joyless, what with Bonds treated so rudely and being a mope himself.

While Bonds has surely brought much of this on himself, not only with his apparent use of steroids but with his arrogant attitude, the fact remains that he’s the most spectacular baseball player of the last generation, if not all time. It’s amazing that people paying to see a baseball game are focused more on the sideshow than catching a last glimpse of an iconic figure as his career winds down.

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