08 August 2007

You think I'm crazy?

Well, I'm not paranoid! Here are some gems from the letters section of today's King Kaufman Sports Daily:

Mostly, though, I imagine that baseball will continue to decline as fewer & fewer boys have the time, space, or inclination to play the game.
Generally, in order for something to continue declining, it has to begin declining.

And is anyone really surprised that the man breaking the most famous record in sports (though I'd argue that Ruth's 714 was the real iconic record, the one boomers like me grew up with. Until this recent hoo haw, I wasn't sure what Aaron's exact number was, 750 something) should elicit a lot of negative reaction? He's not some faceless pitcher juicing, he's a superstar who by most accounts just couldn't bear the adulation McGuire/Sosa got during their HR fest. It seems fitting to me that Bonds starting to juice was ultimately an act of supreme petulant ego.
Well, at least he admits it.

Kids today wouldn't get it. The asterisk is there for those of us who do remember when as a society we almost uniformly ridiculed those who cheated by using steroids, associating such cheating with totalitarian regimes who used athletics to "prove" the superiority of their system.

I'm keeping the asterisk next to Bonds's name, to always remember that Hank Aaron was the one who scored the most home runs during the time that America was a Democracy.
*faceplant* Remind me someday to ridicule those people who claim the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" was somehow a microcosm of democratic victory over Communism.

King Kaufmam is one of the most insightful sports commentators around, but even his modified rapture about Barry Bonds breaking the home run record is too much. Bonds' use of steroids attacks one of the most best features about baseball--the integrity and universality of records.

For all the sanctimonious nonsense going on in that thread, I did think this was a valid point:

This is really a human issue. And a workers' rights issue, in a sense. What if Kaufman worked for a publisher where there was a culture of people working 20 hours per day to produce bigger, better stories, and the management knew some people coped with this demand by using drugs but turned a blind eye? Would his stance on that situation be any less abstract and ambivalent?