Like many of you, I was paying attention to the Bonds at-bat yesterday. I heard the at-bat live, and was surprised to hear the Hank Aaron video commentary afterward. What surprised me more today is how little credit he's getting for it. Here's a man whose record that he worked so hard to obtain is being taken from him. Worse, it appears that Barry Bonds, the man who is breaking his record, is cheating. And yet, he is willing to offer congratulations to Barry on the accomplishment. No one would blame Hank Aaron if he decided to stay away or made bitter comments about Barry once Barry broke the record. But instead, we have Hank Aaron, willing to put the game first and think "Innocent until Proven Guilty", offering congratulations to Barry Bonds. I thought the videotaped message was an impressive act that let Hank look like a martyr of sorts while still giving him wiggle room should Barry Bonds be convicted of steroid use. Just masterful on many, many levels, and I was surprised so many writers/analysts brushed it off so quickly in today's articles. I'm sure that as you read this Hank Aaron is sending off his bathrobe proclaiming him as "The Greatest Home-Run Hitter Of All-Time" so that they can stitch "All-Natural" in between Greatest and Home-Run, heh.
Also, can we please have a moment to honor some other people who worked very hard on a project for a long time. They worked hard to do the best they could, and for a long time they did it the right way, the natural way. But then, one day, they decided to bend the rules a little bit; they got their hands om some illegal substances. And they injected those illegal substances into their project. Their names? Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams. The project? The book Game of Shadows, designed to expose cheats. The illegal substance? sealed grand-jury testimony that itself was illegal for them to have. Cheats writing books about cheats? I think that Barry cheated. But I still think Mark and Lance got way too much sympathetic press from their writer brethren. They too cheated. And the Game of Shadows book is forever tainted in my eyes.
New blog laws on Friday, hopefully.