(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Honoring Barry Bonds

Lost, somewhat, in the NCLS and World Series was the Giants' having Barry Bonds throw out the first pitch and get publicly feted in San Francisco. True, most fans didn't see the heroes of years past play -- Hall of Famers named Marichal, McCovey, Cepeda and, yes, Mays. And, true, Barry is the best that they've had since then. All fans, naturally, remember him. His feats and prickliness were indelible.

So was his baggage, which continues to this day.

Was he worthy of this honor?

I don't think so. Put differently, if he was worthy of this, then most of the comic-book like steroid era heroes should be first-ballot locks for the Hall of Fame. Instead, the best pitcher (Roger Clemens) and hitter (Bonds) continue to be mired in legal problems. The most prodigious home run hitters not named Bonds won't make the Hall of Fame (at least for a while) -- Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. While the latter is trying to rehabilitate himself as the Cards' hitting coach, it remains to be seen whether this relatively humble contribution to the furthering of MLB and the Cards will be seen as a cleanser of past sins. One of the best hitters of that era -- Rafael Palmeiro, also won't make the Hall for a while and seems to be lingering in obscurity, his performance before the Congressional indelible for its insolence and its mendacity.

And Barry Bonds? Honored like a returning hero?

Is that the best the San Francisco franchise could do?



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