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Sunday, December 05, 2004

Was a Great Player

The sad truth is Barry was a great player, even though I never warmed to him; he just seemed too full of himself to warm up to. Now, with great respect for his achievements but without much of any reservoir of goodwill to draw upon in baseball fandom, Barry will be crucified, or worse, ignored as he protests his innocence while breaking first Ruth's and the Aaron's HR records.

I don't believe him when he says he didn't know they were steroids, nobody in baseball believes him, and neither do the fans. It seems to me that all Barry ever really wanted was to be respected and looked up to, earning a place on that same pedestal where we have placed Mays, Aaron, Ruth, and Williams. His achievements, before steroids, had already earned him that place - and that is the irony. The problem with steroids is that is allows likely mediocre talents such as Jason Giambi to achieve top-level performance, non-steroids Bonds-level performance. From that perspective, Barry's outstanding, non-steroid supported achievements were diminished by the inflated stats of the juiced mediocre pool of the likes of Canseco and Giambi.

Now, he will likely get neither, and join that netherworld of tarnished achievers inhabited by those such as Pete Rose and Jose Canseco. Selig needs to do something dramatic to put this scandal behind the game as soon as possible.
Right now, Bud.