Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Barr-oid Bonds

As I write this entry, Barry Bonds is one single, solitary home run away from tying Hank Aaron's all-time home run record, and two away from having it all to himself, and at this point, there's little I can do but resign myself to the fact that it's most definitely going to happen. His knee is simply not going to explode like a firecracker stuffed with tendons and ligaments before he puts two more on the board (and if that should somehow happen, I'll begin prognosticating atrocious fates for the likes of Bin Laden, Chavez, and Ahmadinejad.)

There's all sorts of debate going on, of course, about whether or not Bonds did steroids, and whether or not he's tainted the record books if he did. In answer to the former, I present the picture above of Bonds playing for the Pirates in the early part of his career contrasted with his current freakish appearance. Sure, he might have gotten that big by saying his prayers, taking his vitamins, and believing in the Hulkster....but it seems far more likely that those vitamins are the same ones Hogan himself admitted to taking. And I don't buy for a second the comparison between steroids in baseball and other drugs in music and literature. Chances are you have that friend (or relative)...the one who says things like, "Dude, (the Doors/Fear and Loathing/Baby Beluga) would have sucked if (Morrison/Hunter S. Thompson/Raffi) hadn't been on drugs", possibly in between bong hits, and implies that this somehow excuses the conduct of baseball's steroid abusers. Wrong--art doesn't have rules and quantifiers to decide who's the best--that's a matter of personal choice. Sports have definitive rules (although steroids weren't officially a violation until recently) and cut-and-dried statistics to make questions of "who's the best" more objective than in other forms of entertainment. It's just an invalid analogy all around.

That said, Bud Selig is doing the right thing attending the home run chase. He's the commissioner, Bonds hasn't been caught or confessed to breaking any rules, so as the commissioner, he needs to be there. It's too bad the only he's going to see is a freak show leaving a warm, steroid-positive urine sample all over baseball's most coveted record.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Three Dog Night

I couldn't believe it myself when it happened, but for once in my life, I actually agree with kooky senior U.S. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) on something. If you've seen any of the dogfighting footage they've shown on the TV news, then you know just how disgusting it is, and just how much Michael Vick deserves to be suspended from the NFL if he's convicted of the charges for which he's currently under federal indictment.

Of course, Byrd couldn't possibly have any other, unspoken motive for coming out against one of the NFL's highest-profile black quarterbacks, could he?