Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Controversy
Barry Bonds
How Far
Has Come

Dr. Blogstein makes a great point:

Lost in the hoopla and/or outrage over Barry Bonds hitting his 715th home run to pass Babe Ruth into second place on the all-time home run list is what that hoopla and/or outrage says about how far we've come as a nation.In 1935, when Babe Ruth, then of the Boston Braves, hit his 714th home run African Americans weren't even allowed to play baseball with white people. They had their own league, the Negro League.

Then, in 1973, Henry "Hank" Aaron began closing in on The Babe's precious record. As the chase for 714 and beyond began heating up, so did the pens and pencils of thousands of racists across America. Aaron received hate mail and death threats, sent to try to intimidate him, so perhaps he would quit before overtaking Ruth. Here is a sampling of those racist letters, courtesy of

"Dear Nigger Henry,You are (not) going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if I can help it. ... Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies. . My gun is watching your every black move."

But instead of intimidated, Aaron was motivated and on April 8, 1974, in front of 53,775 Atlanta Braves fans, he hit 715 and took over first place on the all-time home run list.

Now, its 2006 and again it seems that nobody wanted Barry Bonds to hit more homers than Babe Ruth. Bonds has been mercilessly booed and heckled in every visiting ballpark he's played in. He's been vilified and asked to retire and I'm sure he's received his fair share of death threats and hate mail.

But what makes this different than 32 years ago, is that the hatred does not come from Bonds being a black man. It comes from Bonds being a cheating bastard.

Well, I think it is true that Bonds is hated because he is perceived as having cheated. He is also hated because, apparently, he is not very nice to reporters. I wouldn't know whether or not that is true.

But, I honestly don't care about the steroids thing. The truth is, the future holds wonders many of us can not even begin to fathom at this time. Future baseball players, and athletes in all sports will have access to bioengineering to enhance strength and healing, computer chips in the brain to enhance reaction time, and vision, some players may even be genetically manufactured specifically for the purpose of playing their sport.

In short, I tend to agree with this guy: