Break A Leg, Barry!

by Ken Levine

No. Really. In three places.

As Barry Bonds closes in on the
great Hank Aaron’s all-time homer milestone I think I speak for all
baseball fans (outside of the 415 area code) when I say, I hope he trips
on a curb and falls into an open manhole.

I will grant you he’s a
superb hitter and deserving of the Hall of Fame but so what? Auric
Goldfinger was an excellent businessman. Lorena Bobbitt could qualify as
a terrific mohel. And Benito Mussolini got the trains to run on time.
Barry Bonds is a bad guy. He probably took steroids (or swallowed a
Macy’s Parade balloon), will beat the rap, and will stand by guilt-free
as others take the fall for him.

He knows we all hate him and he’s laughing. (He’s like the George Bush of baseball.)

I
remember back in the 1962 when the Dodgers were in a tough pennant race
with the Giants and Maury Wills was breaking Ty Cobb’s long standing
stolen base record. The Dodgers went up to San Francisco for a series
and the Giants had flooded the base paths so Wills couldn’t run. At the
moment Bonds is playing at home but I was hoping that on the road every
team would raise their outfield walls by 100 feet. But I also hope we
find Osama Bin Laden.

A related issue is should Bud Selig be
there to witness the (yawn) historic event? Of course he should!! He’s
the God damn commissioner of baseball! And since Bonds has never
officially been charged of any wrong doing there’s no legitimate reason
not to go.

Besides, it’s a baseball game. Wouldn’t the commissioner of baseball want
to go to a baseball game? This is not a state funeral. Other people
want to go to baseball games so much they actually pay to see them. And
they don’t sit in luxury suites or behind home plate. Selig has been
showing up of late but it’s always begrudgingly. Come on, Bud. He didn’t
kill any dogs.

The nation rejoiced when Cal Ripken became
baseball’s iron man. We cheered Mark MacGwire breaking Roger Maris’
single season homer mark (what did we know at the time?). Baseball is
all about history and records and reaching new heights. We have so few
things to cheer about these days. Other than who will win Pirate Master,
what?? We’d like to be able to celebrate this… but we can’t. Not for a
multi-millionaire who during the last baseball strike went to a judge
and tried to get a break on his child support payments.

When
Bonds hit his 715th blast last year in “Corporate Sponsor’s Name Here”
Park in San Francisco, passing Babe Ruth for second place, his mother
wasn’t there, nor was his wife and kids, the Giants’ team owner, the
so-called “commissioner of baseball” (he was probably trying on new
suits deciding which one would be the most comfortable to sleep in), or
Willie Mays. He wasn’t mobbed by teammates at home plate. Only a handful
of national reporters were there. And these guys go anywhere on their
papers’ dime.

So when Bonds breaks the all-time record (unless we
get lucky and Tanya Harding decides to go after him) it will be a huge
NON EVENT. Just another reminder that in this day and age the villain
often wins. Maybe he can have a drink and celebrate with O.J. Simpson.

Hip hip…whatever.

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