HONOR BONDS FOR HIS ACHIEVEMENT.
RECORDS are made to be broken. It's too bad we can't choose who should break them.
The question here is, how should a newspaper cover Barry Bonds breaking Henry Aaron's career home run record of 755. I thought it was our job to cover the news. It certainly is news when someone does something no one has ever done before. I think we report the news, then offer personal views on the subject later on as editorials.
Barry Bonds is a future Hall of Famer, a seven-time MVP, 14-time All-Star. He was a Gold Glove outfielder eight times, the only player to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases. He rates as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Yet, he is the most hated ballplayer in any sport I can think of right now.
Why? He is hated by the public -- or is it by the media -- who seem to think he has tarnished the sacred image of baseball because he's suspected of using steroids to enhance his natural talent.
Major League Baseball has allowed some athletes to continue to play despite evidence of steroid use. A few minor league athletes and a couple of low-rated major leaguers have been suspended or fined. How many major league superstars have been banned?
During the home run record runs of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 and the run of Barry Bonds in 2001 when he hit 73, MLB was all too happy to cash in on the excitement. Never mind that all were suspected of steroid use of some kind.
The baseball commissioner, who looked the other way about steroid abuse, has finally decided to be on hand when Bonds breaks the record. But Aaron won't be there. He seems like a bitter man who was unlucky enough to have played in the shadow of greats Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente. How many photos are there of Aaron and Mays together? Not too many. Aaron was not a friendly guy.
Baseball didn't suspend Bonds, it condemned him. He is baseball's bad guy, hated by fans in other cities. Did he commit a crime, assault someone or run a dogfighting business? No, he is suspected of using steroids, but the FBI, MLB and every news agency in the world has not come up with enough evidence to convict him.
In today's world, where athletes and other celebrities are committing sex crimes, abusing drink and drugs and driving, and engaging in violence, where does Bonds' alleged steroid use rank?
Barry Bonds may not be the nicest guy to be around. But he is about to accomplish what no other person has ever done. How can we not honor him?
The world is at war, people are starving everywhere, global warming is in our minds. I say celebrate Bonds' feat and save some of this outrage for something more important.
Let's get one thing straight. I am not a Barry Bonds fan. I used to love sports, but I don't think much of today's athletes: a bunch of spoiled, selfish, defiant, egotistical brats.
But great achievements deserve to be honored without running someone's rap sheet. So forgive me if I choose not to put an asterisk on Bonds' record. I happen to think it is one of the greatest feats in sports. Not in life, in sports. There is a big difference.