Asterisks, Suspensions, And The Like
(Carman Tse is a DJ on UCLAradio.com, a post-punk and free jazz enthusiast, and Dave Rawkblog’s former roommate. Please give him a warm welcome to The Rawking Refuses To Stop!, where he’ll be writing about sports, his new baby tarantula and if we’re lucky, Ornette Coleman.)
Before you read any further, allow me to provide you with the caveat that I am speaking as a San Francisco Giants fan. And yeah, it has been pretty rough these past couple of years. Rehab the Crab!
Barry Bonds is on the verge of history as he hit two home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday. This put an end to his 0-21 slump, placed him two away from Hammerin’ Hank, and further dashed the hopes of millions of baseball fans that he would be hit by a truck before he got any closer to #755.
Unsurprisingly and understandably so, Bonds is easily the most unliked figure in professional sports today. If breaking the beloved Hank Aaron’s record coupled with the BALCO scandal wasn’t enough, he has a personality that can be easily summarized as charming to the last. Booed whenever he takes the plate on foreign soil, he is still greeted by cheers from thousands of supporters at home in AT&T Park. Homerism aside, Bonds still holds a very special place in the hearts of Giants fans (including this one) in light of the controversy. [Continue reading…]
Ever since those 8 outs were squandered in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series, things have been in constant decline for the Giants. All that remains to remind us of those glory years is Bonds. And with no one else even approaching the Q factor of Bonds on the roster (sorry Barry Zito, you’re only 7-9 as a starter), Bonds has become the sole representative of the Giants. And given how hopeless the team has become, chasing the record is all that is left for Giants fans to root for, thus essentially making Bond the organization himself in their eyes. With that in mind, I don’t think it would be a stretch to say that Giants fans perceive the anger and fury of baseball fans every directed at Bonds as being directed towards the Giants team itself. We stand up for Bonds because we are also standing up for ourselves in doing so and applaud his hostile personality and nature because it is our first line of defense. When it comes to Bonds, it has become Us vs. The World.
As for when Bonds eventually breaks Aaron’s record? Well for one, hold the asterisk until Bonds actually fails a drug test and is conclusively found by Senator Mitchell or Bud Selig to be breaking the rules. It’s unfair to Bonds when Selig or Mitchell have yet to pin him for anything. If that does happen, then I’m all for retroactively asterisk-ing the record book or even nullifying his record. After all, Roger Maris’ and Babe Ruth’s single-season home run records were treated as separate entities until 1991 when Maris was posthumously named the sole holder of the record. Of course we all know what happened in the years that followed.
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