Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Anger Toward Bonds Rooted In The Public's Dislike Of His Character

A word now about Barry Bonds, and I hate to even give it that much.

But I think folks who believe that the anger that's being levied toward Bonds in the form of yelling from the stands and objects being thrown in his direction onto the field is somehow rooted in the fans' simple lack of desire to see him eclipse Hank Aaron's all-time homerun record, are off the mark. Certainly it's not racist; Aaron is black too, after all.

The vitriol and poisonous correspondence and threats directed Aaron's way back in 1973-74, as he chased Babe Ruth, were shameful and many were, indeed, based on the "white man" not wanting to see a "n*****" break Babe's record. It got so bad that Aaron's daughter had to receive special police protection due to kidnapping threats. It wasn't one of this country's better moments.

But people are angry at Bonds because he's a petulant, rude jerk. End of story. Oh -- and that he's a petulant, rude jerk who most likely used performance-enhancing drugs and then lied about it.

Let's face it. If Barry Bonds was Willie Stargell -- gregarious, amenable to the fans, gracious -- then MUCH fewer folks would have an issue with his chasing Aaron. Or even if he wasn't quite that nice but at least had gone about the chase in a clean, drug-free fashion, that would have been alright, too. But the combination of being a steroid-using a**hole is just too much for the baseball public to bear. Hence the need for heightened security in any city where Bonds is performing.

Don't get me wrong. Throwing stuff onto the field -- regardless of how clever the objects may be in their symbolism -- is plain wrong and those people should be dealt with accordingly. There's never going to be justification for that behavior -- ever.

The root of the evil being unleashed upon Barry Bonds has nothing to do with the sanctity of Aaron's record, but rather has everything to do with the quality of the person chasing it.


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