Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Why don’t I give a shit?

24 comments:

Steven said...

I do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd7tLUMvvVc

Undercover Black Man said...

Congratulations on being there, Steven.

justjudith said...

barry is such a weird case. i am not sure if he's a jerk or if he is just covered like one or both. it doesn't keep me up at night but for me, sports is such a huge part of our culture and Black culture that it becomes a social issue whether it is intended to be or not. i find it fascinating that so many Black athletes are written about by overweight, non-athletic men who are not of color. in st. louis, it was so obvious that they couldn't understand where certain athletes were coming from. and they wrote about them like they didn't. and then there's the element of mlb just turning its head as the money started pouring in. i can see why you don't care but it's interesting to some of us.

Dan Coyle said...

Here's an interesting article by Dave Zirin on Bonds. I don't agree with all of it, but it's worth a read:

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/8857

Anonymous said...

PEDs still are, and always have been, a much larger problem in the NFL. but nobody gives a shit about that.

why?

SJ said...

I'm not too familiar with American sports, but from what I've seen so far Bonds is someone who people don't like and for good reason...the steroids scandal has tainted his legacy and I think that's how history will remember him.

When I think of great athletes, I think of people like Michael Jordan and Roger Federer.

Anonymous said...

sj - bonds was a surefire first ballot HOFer, and a tremendous athlete, before he started with the PED's (if you go with the timeline provided in Game of Shadows).

it appears as though the PEDs took him from one of the alltime greats to absolute superhuman.

ultimately, I wish the numbers were still important, but they are not as important to me as they once were. but for me, it's still about the game itself, and baseball is still the greatest game of them all.

Undercover Black Man said...

Justjudith: My headline reflects a genuine internal mystery. I consider myself half a baseball fan. Collected baseball cards as a kid. Never was an athlete, but always appreciated the beauty of this game.

And I remember when Aaron broke Ruth’s record, and what that meant to the culture.

Bonds breaking Aaron’s record... I don’t see the magic in it. Unless we’re talking about the magic of performance-enchancing drugs. It’s all about the juice.

I assume you were in St. Louis and watching closely and cheering your heart out as Mark McGwire demolished the single-season home run record. Looking back on it, what do you think about McGwire’s 70? A historic human accomplishment brought about through talent, focus and determination?

Or a guy who cheated?

I hate to get personal by bringing the Cards into it... ;^D

... but I’m really trying to get a handle on what has happened to America’s Pastime.

SJ said...

"baseball is still the greatest game of them all."

We'll just have to agree to disagree here ;)...I find baseball to be an overly long and boring game. I myself am a huge soccer (it's football damn it!) fan, and i know I know, Americans think it's a boring sport...but at least it doesn't run for hours and hours!

jena6 said...

Here's an interesting article by Dave Zirin on Bonds.

I was reading the replies when I saw
this comment: i find it fascinating that so many Black athletes are written about by overweight, non-athletic men who are not of color.

I immediately thought about Dave Zirin (I subscribe to his Edge of Sports column). He gets it.

About the Bonds thing, it's just kind of anti-climatic for me because I can't help feeling that it's a race thing as much as it's a steriods thing. Baseball players have been cheating one way or another for ages. Red Faber threw spitballs (an illegal pitch) yet he's in the Hall of Fame. And Ted Williams was known to be surly, yet he's revered.

Anyway, now they're saying that Alex Rodriguez will be the player to root for, since (barring injuries) he has the best chance of surpassing Bonds.

Invisible Woman said...

I'm with you UBM...I live in S.F., 2 blocks from the ballpark, and heard the fireworks go off last night...I said to myself "Barry must have made it" and felt---absolutely nothing. Then a bit of guilt for feeling nothing.

I don't know, I just kinda wish it was still Hank. Is that horrible?

Anonymous said...

sj (same anon here)- fair enough.

for the record though, I for one, respect the hell out of soccer (I mean, football). I think it too is a beautiful game. What I don't understand is why more soccer fans don't appreciate baseball (and perhaps vice versa).

To me the beauty of baseball is that you don't have to be a fanatic to enjoy it. Games can go on for hours and hours, but the absence of a clock it one of its greatest virtues, IMO. During a baseball game you can hold a conversation and enjoy at YOUR lesiure.

anyhoo, I'll drop it now, sorry. please don't think, however, that I don't respect soccer and more importantly your opinion.

Anonymous said...

UBM, it is all very conflicting isn't it?

to me, nothing has happened to baseball that hasn't happened in all other sports. doesn't make it any less sad though.

I have no doubt, in my own mind, that McGwire, Sosa, Bonds and hundreds of other used PEDs during their careers. However, in those hundreds of others there are many, many pitchers. In fact, most of the players who have been busted since 2003 have been pitchers.

How many home runs have these guys hit off juiced pitchers?

BTW - the NFL (with it's far more severe PED problem) and it's response to the concussion issue, is criminal compared to the powers that be in MLB looking the other way while PEDs began to run wild in MLB.

Undercover Black Man said...

Anon wrote: ... most of the players who have been busted since 2003 have been pitchers.

I'm no expert, but do pitchers juice in order to help their bodies recover faster? As opposed to grossly exaggerating their strength?

The equivalent impact of steroids on power pitchers (compared with power hitters) would've been if pitchers all of a sudden started throwing 110 m.p.h. fastballs.

BTW - the NFL (with it's far more severe PED problem) and it's response to the concussion issue, is criminal compared to the powers that be in MLB...

Great point.

Undercover Black Man said...

Jena6 wrote: Red Faber threw spitballs (an illegal pitch) yet he's in the Hall of Fame.

You don't have to go back that far. Gaylord Perry was famous for doctoring baseballs... spitters, Vaseline, scraping. He, too, is in the Hall.

Jeff said...

There's so many things that come into play with Bonds. As a lifelong Giants fan, I'm just glad it's over, so that the team can now get back to the business of winning ballgames instead of being a showcase for the "greatest show on earth."

I think Bonds is justly reviled as a public figure - he truly does have a knack for saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time - though I'd agree that some - emphasis on SOME - members of the press have gone out of their way to antagonize him. And he falls for it every time.

As for the PED issue, in the end that will be decided by the historians. Joe Sheehan of "Baseball Prospectus" says it better than I ever could:

"...We can’t say with certainty, on August 8, 2007, whether Bonds’ career achievements come with a taint. What we can say is that any taint comes within the context of his time. Call him a cheater? So were many of his peers, if the storyline is to be believed, including the pitchers he faced. Unnatural advantage? I refer you to Jim Bouton’s extensive coverage of amphetamine use two generations ago. Unfair playing field? You probably don’t want to compare him to Babe Ruth, then. Bad guy? Get in a very, very long line."

"...It will be a long time before we can put the latter stages of Barry Bonds’ career in historical context, and it’s conceivable that the answers so many people want will never be there. What did he do, and how many of his peers did it? What impact did any illegal activities have on his performance? What are the long-term effects of any actions on his health? The simple storyline—Bonds did bad things, and those things made him bigger and stronger, and he leveraged that size and strength into history-making performance—is too facile given all of the potholes along that particular road."

SJ said...

@ anonymous,

It's nice to see someone else appreciates "the beautiful game" too.

My lack of interest in baseball stems from my lack of interest in a similar game: Cricket. It's very popular where I come from (Pakistan), and I find to be too long and arduous too. I find baseball to be a much simplified version of cricket, which is more tactically advanced. These games can be fun if you spend a day with people watching them, but not so much otherwise.

jena6 said...

You don't have to go back that far. Gaylord Perry was famous for doctoring baseballs... spitters, Vaseline, scraping. He, too, is in the Hall.

Well, there you go. That makes at least two HOF cheaters. Do I hear three?

justjudith said...

ubm: sadly i did root for mark mcgwire. i thought he was doing it naturally until the andro was seen in his locker. but even then, i just ignored it. the cards weren't very good at that point and mcgwire was pretty much the most exciting thing. and i'm sure this is pervasive in all sports but in what's supposed to be America's iconic sport (i don't think it is anymore) it's all kind of hard to swallow. i don't care that barry bonds broke the record. and not bc of the steroids but bc he's not a really likeable sports figure. and the people who report on him hate him. at least with mcgwire, the stl media LOVED him and the team would never do anything to polarize him bc he kept the cards relevant when they weren't winning games. i am not a baseball fan -- just a cardinals fan. and i kinda feel duped. but i am sure this problem is far worse in football like anon said. did u ever watch playmakers on espn? there was a reason the nfl got it taken off. look what the cream did to track and field. marion jones?? think she wasn't on something now? for me, i grew up liking hank aaron. and not for the record but because he was a nice guy and good ballplayer. barry was the latter and now the steroids thing cast a cloud over what would have been a great career anyway.

S.O.L. said...

I have a lot of thoughts on this whole Bonds thing which I've addressed over at my blog, but the one thing I do know is I've no sympathy for Bonds, the victim. It's not about racism, either, a charge I find particularly galling. The thing is most of what Bonds has had to "endure" has been brought on by his own behavior. His choices, his demeanor, his defiance, whatever you want to call it, has marshaled his critics. He has only himself to blame.

He could have gone down as a great ballplayer with a thick head and a guy that didn't get along with the press.

Instead, he's going down as a great player who couldn't see his own legacy in deciding he had to keep up with the Jones' (read: McGwire and Sosa).

If anyone fucked his legacy, it's Bonds himself. Not the press or the fans or Selig, who by the way, is as culpable for this whole disaster as Bonds is.

bumpster said...

Baseball as played in the big leagues is a beautiful and complex game. My friends and I follow every pitch. We try to manage the game as it is played which is way fun. Even still if I get bored or lose focus because the game is out of hand my friends and I can start telling stories and heckling the other team's hot dogs. Or just enjoy the scene. As for Barry, maybe he is an asshole, and because of this every baseball pundit on the planet is taking their best hacks at him. But is he considered an asshole because he smarter, more talented and lacking reverence for big time sports media pundits?

dez said...

^He's considered an asshole because he's a jerk not only to the press, but to the fans. Screw him.

If anyone fucked his legacy, it's Bonds himself.

ITA.

Not the press or the fans or Selig, who by the way, is as culpable for this whole disaster as Bonds is.

What has Selig done? I haven't followed that angle of the story. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

America is racist. Don't give me the bullshit about he is a jerk, ya'll just hate a black man with his head up, and not submissive. Plain and simple. We know how the majority of white americans think

Anonymous said...

Bonds don't owe you shit so get your head out of your ..... He does not have to be nice to the fans, why? he plays baseball, he is not your servant or your slave, get the hell out of here with that racist bull crap.