Speaking of Barry Bonds….

Barry Bonds' record 756th home run traveled 435 feet.

Barry Bonds’ record 756th home run traveled 435 feet.

I really haven’t been following this because I’m not a baseball fan I must admit.  Several months ago on a Military forum I even asked what was all the foaming at the mouth about.  I read varied opinions, respected them all, and until today haven’t really said much about the “controversy”.  A co-worker asked me this morning how I felt about it and ignorantly I asked him did Bonds finally break the record, and he obviously spooled me up on the current events.  I didn’t offer an opinion, but did mention that he thought it was racist.  Personally, I smirked, this was coming from my South American co-worker and not a “typical” as some would say black American.  That got me to thinking:

Why was I so indifferent about it?

Is this really something to ponder on?

I realized that the truth is I became indifferent because the reactions in my opinion were expected.  I can’t quite say it’s racist (since he did break a black man’s record), however his treatment surrounding the steroid issue and the reaction of some, does not help rid one of those thoughts and accusations.

I told him that I definitely believed Bonds used something, but I also added that so did Sammy Sosa and Mark Mcguire, my only “supporting” evidence were baseball cards I had as a youth from about 15 years ago, so………well you get the point.

However, it doesn’t matter to me.  I don’t see it as cheating.  In my opinion, hitting a small white ball traveling in excess of 90mph with a bat takes more hand-eye coordination and outright skill, then strength.  I can’t quite get how being stronger really gives one that great of an edge in baseball, outside of running or throwing a ball.  Hitting is about skill, it really doesn’t matter how strong you are if you can’t coordinate properly to hit the ball.  To me, that takes tremendous skill, and their in lies much of the truth I believe.

I think this is just a classic case of jealousy mixed with other factors like race, steroids, the fact that Bond’s isn’t a typical “nice” guy to many, and others.  None of those factors truly deny or debate his awesome skill, they just give people ammunition to hate the guy and give a reason not to celebrate.

It’s actually pretty sad.

Maybe it’s just me (and I know some wise guy will say it is), but I believe he earned every home run, steroids or not, it was inevitable.  If this were football and we were talking about steroids then maybe we could have a serious discussion about how it is cheating because it’s more of a physical sport.  But hitting a baseball, much like a golf ball, tennis ball, etc. is for the majority part all skill.

Is there an element of racism?  Of course there is, this is America!  A black man who’s already hated in the press, still rises above that and makes history!  What do you think in a country that not even 40 years ago was hosing down, lynching, sending dogs, and beating their own citizens in the streets?

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