Monday, October 31, 2011

Who Are They Kidding? We Like Steroids

Isn't it interesting that the three top "alleged" steroid users in sports each bear the number "7" as a mark of his personal achievement? Barry Bonds won seven MVP trophies, Roger Clemens has seven Cy Young awards, and Lance Armstrong has seven Tour de France titles. Has "777" become the new mark of the beast?

Steroids are everywhere - from energy drinks to Viagra. We use them in our quest to get more out of life. But no one is so bent out of shape over them as are the purists in baseball. They have become obnoxious.

Much of their disdain is focused on Barry Bonds, the greatest slugger in a sport where sluggers are king. They think he has hit too many homeruns. Methinks their hue and cry is misplaced, especially when you consider that the shrinking dimensions of modern ballparks does as much to devalue homeruns as does anything else.

The other day, the Yankees' Alex Rodriquez popped a ball up and them slammed his bat down as he lowered his head and ran to first base. When he heard applause, he looked up in time to see his pop-up float over the short right field fence. Homerun!

Trying to reduce Bonds' career to steroids is like trying to reduce autumn to a rainy day. You miss the grandeur.

To have followed Bonds' career through his record-setting season - when he hit 73 homers - was to get a glimpse at the most disciplined hitter of our time. He would not swing the bat until he saw a pitch he liked. Such self-control is difficult, especially for sluggers who can't wait to crush the ball. But Barry would wait, and wait, and then, like lightning, he would strike. One pitch was all he needed. How so like the Mighty Casey of the "Mudville Nine."

Now, sportscaster, Bob Costas, has declared that the single-season record for homeruns belongs to Roger Maris who hit 61 in '61. Costas further declares that Hank Aaron's 755 is the career record for homeruns, not Bonds' 762.

I have one question to ask Mr. Costas: Just how many homeruns will you allow Mr. Bonds to have? Fifty-five for a season? Five hundred and fifty for his career? And while you are taking away his homeruns, how many of Bonds' MVPs can he keep? And while you are at that, how many of Roger Clemens' Cy Young are you allowing him to keep?

This is the skinny, Costas: You're a pipsqueak.

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