What seems to be the longest, death march of a record-setting chase is finally over. It took entirely too long to come to fruition. But now it finally has.
Thank ((insert divine being here))!!!!!
And counting, I'm sure. We all know that the gentleman wants to get 3,000 hits before his, ahem, esteemed career comes to a close.
And I've been over the whole thing for quite some time...
I'm not a big Major League Baseball fan, anymore. I kind of grew out of the sport after the strike in the mid-1990's. Guys complaining about money and self-worth. Owners complaining that there isn't enough money to go around.
"Whatever to the both of you! And a pox on both your houses!" I said at the time.
I keep a casual interest in the sport, just to the idea that I "have" to know what's going on at any given moment. The same thing applies for professional wrestling these days with me. And you know what? Both activities are strangely similar. And I still wish a pox on both your houses.
Before you go and complain... sit down for a second...
It's either everyone's fault, or no one's fault. I choose to look at the former.
I choose not to look at Bonds, who is without a doubt, the poster child for this drug-induced assault on the history books. But I'm looking at an entire era of athletes that have taken advantage of a system set in place ((or, probably to be more accurate- not set at all)) for their own personal, financial and statistical benefit. I look at Ken Caminiti, Brady Anderson, Eric Gagne, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa just as much as I do a player like "25."
I look at John Rocker, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens and all the owners and Commissioners that have passed through any turnstile or business office just as much as I do our current homerun champ.
The whole process is disgusting...as was the turning of that phrase that ended the last paragraph.
Players take advantage of a system. Owners and personnel turn their heads and cough.
All of them have not only soiled the very game we all grew up idolizing ((and all the records that were accomplished within)), but have soiled themselves in the process. We all need to shower and grab a change of clothes.
It's only fitting that the record was set in "25's" home stadium. The response he got in Los Angeles was nothing short of expected. San Diegans wanted to boo- and to cheer- simultaneously. The easy-going ones wanted it both ways. Boo until he gets to the plate. Cheer when he makes an out. Cheer louder when he hits 755 off Clay Hensley ((himself server of a steroid suspension in the minors)). Boo their own pitchers when they choose to pitch around him. Greg Maddux being the only savior in the weekend. "Doggie" played with Bonds' mind saying he'd walk him so as not to get tagged with the 755 moniker. What does he do? Challenge him and send "25" home- going oh-fer-four.
Chicks may dig the longball, but I dig the artistry of the backwards "k" in the scorebook just as much.
San Franciscans have chosen to wear the rose-colored glasses the entire time. And that's their prerogative. If they choose not to see the extremes a truly talented player went to to make himself better than those before him instead of believing in his God-given abilities- it's his fault for not having faith in himself, but having the hubris of a hundred men to want to see his name in every history book from now until Doomsday- asterisk be damned.
Would "25" have been a Hall of Famer without enhancement- still unproven, but alleged from every mountaintop? Absolutely.
But the greed of wanting that "little extra" turned into "a lot extra." And I don't think that one of the most surly stars of this generation could give a tinker's damn about what the rest of us think one way or the other about him.
Included, godfather Willie Mays, who seemed ignored by "25" when they were on the field together after 756. And you know... you KNOW... Hank Aaron will collect some big favor someday for reading the cue card and prepared statement of congratulations after the fact. The heart-felt love and appreciation shown by "25" to the big screen almost reminded me of a bad buddy movie, I-love-you-man moment that sends the release straight to DVD shelves and cable television.
What do we get instead in all of this?
We get Bud Selig, hands in pockets, fishing for car keys and the closest exit while "25" circled the bases after 755. We get Jimmy Lee Solomon from the league office to represent The Game. Or was it Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio? Mary Stuart Masterson? Joe Don Looney? Joe Don Baker?
Jimmy Crack Corn... you know the rest...
But what they say about karma may return to the ballpark one day. It always gets a hand stamp. I'm still waiting for it to tap David Stern and Gary Bettman on the shoulder.
I don't think any one of us could root for Alex Rodriguez any harder or any faster these days.
I can't believe I just volunteered that information, either.
And where was "Commissioner" Selig? Meeting with George Mitchell and his toothless committee results trying to determine which major leaguer he could blackmail into testifying next.
Will people remember the names Clay Hensley and Mike Bacsik? Maybe as much as Jack Billingsley and Al Downing...
Will people remember the "chase?" Probably.
Will people remember the sunken feeling in the pits of their stomach around the country after the chase ended?
One can only hope... this wasn't fun to watch at all.
Play it safe, everyone... I'll talk to you soon...