SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

BARRY BONDS TO BE OUT OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL? In "Baseball's Lucky Break," Wall Street Journal's Allen Barra discusses San Francisco Giant outfielder Barry Bonds' recent press conference. Bonds discussed his knee injury and basically blamed the media for it. He seemed to go so far as to say the media could conceivably keep him out of the game for good. We'll see. He could be back by mid-season, as he is closing in on Babe Ruth's home run record. (Bonds has 703, whereas Ruth had 714. Hank Aaron stands at 755.)

Barra goes so far as to suggest that a Bonds retirement could be good for MLB, which is going through some dark days, in wake of the steriods scandal:

...Mr. Bonds's bombshell may have come at the best possible time for baseball. Surely one person elated by the news--and who is no doubt praying that Mr. Bonds's retirement talk was genuine--is Commissioner Bud Selig. No public-relations crisis in years--some say since the Black Sox scandal of 1919--looked to be as ugly as the one looming for MLB as Mr. Bonds approaches Babe Ruth's career mark...

In my view, Barra correctly surmises that if Bond proceeds to shatter Ruth's record and take on Aaron, rumors and chatter will continue about the legitimacy of Bonds' accomplishments--regardless of the effectiveness of new steroid rules in baseball.

Says Barra:

...Mr. Bonds's assault on baseball's two most cherished statistics, Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's, will bring questions about his past drug use back into the news, regardless of how players fare in this season's drug tests.

Nice Guys Finish Third--a blog mostly devoted to the Seattle Mariners--has a post about the same Bonds' press conference, etntitled "Of Jerks and Men." A comparison is made between Bonds and the late Ted Williams. The comparison seems to bottom in the fact that they were both very ego-driven and not fans of the media. (By way of contrast, Williams was never accused of using steroids.) The point IS made that we don't know for sure whether Bonds used steroids. That is all true while I am strongly opposed to steroid use and hope that the current MLB rules are vigorously enforced, I don't consider myself all bent out of shape over Bonds' case. The facts will eventually come out.

However, I don't feel sorry for Bonds on the media issue. Sure he has faced a lot of media scrutiny. But he's been involved in business that at least appears to be shady. Furthermore, he's a baseball super star and a multimillionaire. This doesn't mean he should be treated unfairly, but that kind of attention comes with the territory. Its a trade-off. If he doesn't like the attention he can retire.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)


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