Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bonds, schmonds.

Lots of people ask me, Lex, how do you feel about Barry Bonds getting the home run record? Well, a lot if you consider nobody a lot.

Other than the fact that it will make my friend and wildly loyal San Francisco Giant fan and brilliant sports joke writer, Janice Hough, happy, I would have to care a whole lot more to not give a crap.

One of the most inane things you can argue about is trying to compare athletes of different eras. Bruce Jenner scored a lot more points than Rafer Johnson in the Decathlon but, as a person, as an athlete and because he cheated with steroids, Jenner doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the great Rafer Johnson.

Technical, nutritional, training advances equal out. The swimming coach of my New Trier East high school, Dave Robertson – who will be immortalized as the target of the Baby Ruth-in-the-pool-retrieved-in-the-mouth prank copied by “Caddy Shack” is in the swimming hall of fame because he took a high school swim team and entered them in the AAU Nationals against the country’s best swim clubs and college teams, including swimming powerhouses UCLA and USC and they finished third. Why? Because he was the first person to apply interval training to swimming. Prior to that if you swam the mile, you swam a mile as fast as you could.

When other swim teams started using intervals the gap narrowed.

The only other good thing that could come out of Bonds passing Hank Aaron’s record is that Hank Aaron will get more of the attention and recognition he so richly deserves. When Aaron started out in baseball, he had to eat and sleep away from the team. Not for the reason Bonds does, because Bonds is a world class jerk, but because there was segregation.

When Hank was hammerin’, pitchers threw at players for hitting home runs. That doesn’t happen now.

No, as far as I am concerned, Barry Bonds is simply the lying cheater who was the second person to break Babe Ruth’s record. Hank Aaron will always be the first.

Now when Ken Griffey Jr and or Alex Rodriguez breaks the record, that will be something.

But give the devil his due. With it looking more and more like the grand jury will indict Barry Bonds for perjury and that means Bonds will do time, Barry is probably going to be the convict with the most home runs.