Those following Barry Bonds HR march know that baseball commissioner Bud Seeig has attended two weeks worth of recent SF Giants games to be there when the new record is set. Everyone seems to think he should be doing it, but some have questions about his modus operandi.
In today’s WaPo, Michael Wilbon takes issue with how Selig has followed Bonds progress, taking special aim at Seelig’s reaction to HR 755:
Study the replay and the only conclusion a person can reasonably come to is that Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks had to tell Selig to get up from his seat as Bonds rounded the bases. Selig, saved by Hicks, stood but never took his hands out of his pockets, never applauded politely, never gestured . . . just stood there disengaged, his facial expression and body language telling everyone who looked at him that he’d rather be anyplace else in the world.
On the other hand, Jon Heyman at SI.com thinks Selig’s conduct has been “altogether appropriate”:
He was there to commemorate the occasion, not celebrate it. Selig stood up and acknowledged Bonds’ 755th home run. He did not cheer. He did not even smile. Instead, he wore an expression of resignation, a slightly unhappy look that fit the event exactly. His hands were in his pockets. That fit how he felt. Had he stood and applauded, he would have looked phony.
Well, such is what happens when ones record breaking accomplishments are due less to the mechanics of your swing than the mechanics of your doping program.
Yes, I know…the Bonds defenders-such as Wilbon-say the case is circumstantial, as if circumstantial evidence has no value. Wilbon somehow forgot to mention that the penitentiary is full of folks who took the fall due to circumstantial evidence.
Heyman’s article brings home the real awfulness of what Bonds has done in pursuit not of pennants but of personal glory. Heyman goes on to say he will vote for Bonds for the baseball Hall of Fame:
Believe me, it isn’t because, as Selig has tellingly said in his statements, that Bonds is “innocent until proven guilty.” Because for the purposes of his Cooperstown review, I am as convinced Bonds juiced as I am that Mark McGwire juiced.
I didn’t vote for McGwire in this past election because I felt he used his syringe to turn himself into a Hall of Famer. Therein lies the difference, at least for me. Long before he ever started juicing, Bonds was Cooperstown qualified.
The man already had a Hall of Fame worthy career, yet he chose to juice.
To quote Bing Crosby in “White Christmas”, “Well, its a reason. Not a good reason, but a reason.”
It is startling to see how Bond’s single minded pursuit of glory to the exclusion of all else-team, personal reputation, mark on the game-drives reasonable men to positions that are poles apart. So much for consensus…
I doubt Barry will be seeing the same high vote marks as Cal Ripken and Tony Gwinn received in the last election. Then again, isn’t that a consensus of a type?