Sunday, August 5, 2007

755 and Beyond

And they said he could no longer get around on a fastball. Please.

But I'm not here to extoll the virtues of Barry Bonds, but rather express sadness at what I consider a missed opportunity.

There's an aspect of this event that's missing, and that's the celebration of all that Hank Aaron accomplished. I don't think he even needed to be there for it. I think it has to do with the cowardly way (for the most part), MLB commissioner Bud Selig chose to handle this entire situation.

For any number of reasons I don't blame Aaron for not being there, but I do blame MLB/Bud Selig for not using this opportunity to completely celebrate and honor all that Hank Aaron did (whether he was at the games or not). Selig did wind up doing the right thing if doing the right thing was trying to be at the games. The way he went about it though was seemingly to pray like hell Bonds would be indicted, and then when that didn't happen to suck it up and be at the games.

The statement Selig issued after 755 was true. The paraphrase of Selig's statement: "Regardless of what you think about the controversy, it's a very impressive feat". But if it's on youtube, you should look for the Selig reaction as the homerun was hit. You'd think he was watching paint dry.

I do understand that it's tricky to navigate, but if Bonds represents all that is wrong with MLB, Hank Aaron represents everything that's right about it. That aspect was not well represented in any of this, and not because Aaron wasn't there, but because Selig and MLB didn't make that happen. I see that as a big missed opportunity, not just for Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds, but MLB and its fan base.

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