Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bonds Joins Rose As Black Sheep Record Holder

They are two of the most hallowed batting records in all of baseball -- if not THE most hallowed.

Most career base hits. Most career home runs.

And here we have Peter Rose, the hits leader, banished from baseball for allegedly gambling on the sport. Not even allowed within shouting distance of the Hall of Fame, like as with a restraining order. Come too close, and Commissioner Bud Selig will yell "rape."

And now here we have Barry Bonds, the home run leader. Indicted, on multiple counts. Could face up to 30 years in the slammer if convicted. It's not a parking ticket, and far worse than a restraining order.

So that's where we are -- two high-profile records stashed away with the suspected Rose and the indicted Bonds. What a legacy!

Maybe it's of some solace to remind you that while Rose's record is nowhere near being threatened, he is still, in many people's eyes, Hall of Fame worthy. Mine are two of those eyes.

And there's solace with Bonds, too -- for his record won't last forever, not even close. Alex Rodriguez, should he decide to play long enough, figures to shatter Bonds's mark, which was confiscated thanks to the magic of creams and pills. So this won't be a decades-long run, this stint as baseball's home run king. A little consolation, anyway.

Still, with all this legal trouble swirling around Bonds, the question about where he'll play in 2008 (he's a free agent) continues to be talked about -- as if it will even matter. This indictment the other day wasn't a small deal. I mean, he could be looking at 30 years behind bars. What team in their right mind would sign a 43-year-old who's a court hearing away from wearing an electronic tether?

The Oakland A's, clearly not of sound mind, are rumored to be interested in Bonds. They're just across the Bay, so maybe employment with the A's wouldn't exacerbate any flight risks. Maybe he could play just the home games, and with a curfew. Not sure.

I jest, but it's not really all that funny. The all-time hits leader and the home run king are persona non grata within their own sport.

As Casey Stengel would say, "You can look it up."


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