Friday, May 12, 2006

Please, tell me why I [don't] care

One of the more common talk radio themes of late has revolved around the lack of enthusiasm for Bonds nearing second place in number of career home runs. Evidence offered has been non-sellouts in SF, MLB not formally celebrating 715, and signs held by fans in Philly. Obvious reason offered: steroids.

While I agree that I probably don't care about Bonds getting to #2, I think it's just as much about it being only #2 as it is steroids. Is it really a story that MLB is NOT celebrating 715?

The other issue here is that disenchantment about offensive records is nothing new. This gem by Ken Rosenthal is really published in May of 2006?


Fans, media and baseball people have grown understandably more skeptical after being exposed as naive, ignorant and just plain blind to the unseemly events of the past decade.

I find this insulting. I'm a "fan" (and who the f is "baseball people"). And I feel like maybe it was just the "media" that didn't pick up on the fact that Sosa was 30 with acne, Bonds' head grew 18 sizes, and McGwire admitted to andro use. Who the f cared about those actual "records?" Now when Bonds "chases" 2nd place, the media write stories about how apathetic the fans are? Well done Ken.

Major League Baseball has implemented the harshest penalties for steroid use in professional sports, but only a fool would proclaim that the sport is clean, given MLB's inability to test for human growth hormone and other non-detectable substances.

Ahh, so, it's just MLB that is unable to test for "non-detectable substances?" Dictionaries, buddy, dictionaries.

Still, fans aren't scrambling to snap up seats in the right-field stands the way they did during Bonds' 73-homer season in 2001. Heck, MLB didn't even decide to mark the balls used in Bonds' at-bats until the Giants arrived in Philadelphia. Some MLB officials thought the marking was unnecessary, even though — at the very least — Bonds is on the verge of passing Ruth for the most home runs by a left-handed hitter.

OMG. I'm on the verge of most vomits in an article by a near-sighted dude. Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron. Hank Aaron. Only the worst stat-whores of us keep tabs on records that must be qualified by dominant hand. Maybe a little backround would help: I listened to a sportscaster say with a straight face (I assume) that we should be Bonds fellating because Aaron's home runs barely cleared the wall. Breathe, Wrangler. Breathe.

Perhaps the excesses of the era will grow less offensive over time. Perhaps the next wave of stars — players like Rodriguez and Albert Pujols — will be justly celebrated for whatever milestones they achieve. But while asterisks would be inappropriate, the record book should include a qualifier: MLB did not test for performance-enhancing drugs until 2003 and did not penalize players for using them until '04.

Oh, I get it. The federal government didn't make steroids Il-fucking-legal until 2003? Cheaters. F-ing Cheaters. Ban them from the game.

Rant complete.