Bonds vs. Baseball – Battle of the Jerks

May 29, 2007 | Drew Forrester

Quick, name another sport where the generation’s best player would EVER put himself above the game like Barry Bonds is doing.

Quick, name another sport where the game itself wouldn’t be in position to treasure one of its greatest players ever and, in the meantime, allow skeptics (like me) the opportunity to laugh at the game’s integrity level.

Can’t name another sport?  Or player?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Can you see Wayne Gretzky telling the NHL Hockey Hall-of-Fame they can’t have his skates or a stick from the night he broke Gordie Howe’s scoring record?

Can you see the NFL telling Ray Lewis they don’t want his cleats and helmet from his final game in the league?

Barry Bonds might be the ONLY athlete in sports so villified and so disliked that even the game itself doesn’t know what to do with him.

To honor him in the manner in which he deserves might somehow indicate that the game is willing to overlook how sour and acerbic he’s been to about 90% of the people he’s come in contact with over the last 15 years.

To NOT honor him would only magnify how much he’s disliked – and all that does is put baseball’s grandest star in the spotlight with a banner above that says, “Baseball’s greatest home run hitter is a jerk of HALL-OF-FAME proportions!”

They deserve one another.

Bonds is a jerk from the word go.  Whatever happens to him, he deserves.   He’s been mean, dishonest and disrespectful.  And that’s a trifecta he’s actually embraced, oddly enough.  Why he enjoys being cast a horse’s ass, I have no idea, but he seems to take pleasure in all the ill-will he creates.

Baseball, on the other hand, needs new medication, because whatever they’re on now ISN’T working.

Crowds – REAL numbers, not those obscenely-falsified numbers teams are publishing each night – are down all over the place and weeknight crowds in a half-dozen cities are bordering on laughable.  Unfortunately, Baltimore is home to some of those laughable gatherings, where last week less than 10,000 live bodies showed up for the Tuesday and Wednesday night thrillers vs. Toronto.

Their cure-all used to be post-season play.  No matter what happened in the regular season, it all got fixed on baseball’s biggest stage…the playoffs and the World Series.  Alas, they’ve even screwed that up, playing virtually all the games at night, starting them just before Larry King Live comes on at 9:00 pm and then, in the dumbest of dumb moves, they actually have games being played opposite one another on the same night, thereby guaranteeing even more customer confusion and dissatisfaction.

Yep, whatever “stuff” baseball is on these days needs to be re-evaluated, because this prescription hasn’t made them better, it’s made them worse.

And now they’re faced with the undeniable fact that the biggest offensive star of the last 25 years is about to set one of the game’s most treasured records and not only do less people care than ever before, but those that do sort-of care don’t know whether or not to applaud or cry.