When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When the came for Barry Bonds,
I remained silent
I was not a pumpkin head steroid user fascinated with counting stats.
Now that they are coming for Alex Rodriguez,
I don’t feel like remaining silent anymore;
Even though I am not a pretty boy with arrested social development.
One of the main reason I quit blogging was that the steroid circus had become a ludicrous witch hunt that had nothing to do with justice or morality, and everything with to do with dragging heroes off pedestals — the new national pastime in the TMZ era (hey, let’s go after Miley Cyrus because she is too sweet to be real).
Let’s rewind to the roaring late nineties, when grunge was dying, John Hart hadn’t completely screwed up the Indians yet, and MLB was seriously thinking about openly assuming the persona of Gordon Gecko. The concept that baseball was rooted to a near universal childhood experience (God Bless America, and No One Else!) was certainly being ushered out the door, and “EXCESS! COME AND GET IT” was the ballpark experience.
Oh, baseball was good. It wasn’t your daddy’s game or your grandpa’s game; it was a new game, and the new heroes were better than those of past generations. The music that played as the closer trotted in was rightfully more important to many than past glories of now retired or dead players– Hells Bells trumped Honus Wagner every time . It wasn’t until many perceived Bonds’ assault on the HR records as pornographic that things went south — Sosa and McGwire were Wally and Beav, but Barry Lamar was Johnny Wadd (yeah, there were other things between the Maris HR chase and the Aaron HR chase, but Bonds was cast as the Numero Uno bad guy).
In 2001, Bonds realized he was getting screwed by less talented cheats, so he decided to play the ultimate game of “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.” Baseball was fake, and Bonds was going to bomb baseball back into the Pastoral Age one HR at a time. In times past, the pastoral element, although a myth, was always a healing element for baseball — even Hollywood picked up on that with the Field of Dreams, The Natural type movies that came after baseball’s Dark Eighties. Watching Shoeless Joe bat wrong handed with Kevin Costner sure beat hearing about Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry’s latest cocaine bust.
With that in mind, Saint Barry hoisted baseball on his shoulders and climbed on a cross atop Telegraph Hill. Barry, bad knees and all, was willing to give up his own career so future generations of ballplayers wouldn’t be able to fake piss tests. He knew he would be a pariah until future generations would one day recognize his tremendous sacrifice, just like Edgar Allen Poe and the heroic rock band, Styx.
Maybe it didn’t go down quite like that. Whatever the case, Bonds was vilified (much of it rightfully) and made Public Enemy Number One. The steroid circus began permeating almost every baseball story, and every dipshit with an opinion suddenly was an expert, so I stepped out.
Now A-Rod is going down hard because dammit, it is fun to take down the top dog. The super sleuth of the Duke lacrosse team rape fiasco writes a book about A-Rod, and in the media’s eyes, she has more credibility than A-Rod, despite her obvious short comings as a journalist and her conflict of interests. That is just the way America rolls these days.
However, A-Rod should have handled the situation much differently. Once his test was illegally released, he should have said this:
“Fuck yeah, I took steroids. Everyone was doing it — in this game, it you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying. Do you know how much fun we had? It was great — I could crush the ball, and people cheered very loudly. I received a boatload of money, and more pussy than I could handle. Yes, it is possible to get too much pussy; I am proof of that. You stupid schmucks will never know what that is like, so don’t pass judgment on me. Most of you have to pay for pussy, even from your wives. The only thing I regret is that I got caught because now I have to stand here and answer your questions. You people smell.”