Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Barry Bonds' Legacy Gone?

I was just reading Scott Miller's article at about how Barry Bonds has disappeared from the San Francisco Giants facade. You can read the article HERE. Essentially, PAC SBC & T Park was decorated with TONS of Barry Bonds stuff for years- but not so anymore. Exhibit A would be the wall to the right- which shows me fake robbing a homerun after sneaking onto the field after a game, then having my friend Mike photoshop in the crowd and the '85 Fleer border. The wall has a picture of Bonds, Aaron and Ruth and it reads "A Giant Amoung Legends." They also used to hang fake chickens up after every intentional walk (yes, they hung up chickens even if another member of the Giants was intentionally passed.) They had multiple signs and practically every marketing campaign was based around it. Now it's all gone. For being a cheater and a polarizing figure, I really don't have any hate for Barry Bonds.

I posted on Scott Miller's story saying this:

Bonds is not the most popular dude (as a person or ballplayer) but as a Northern California resident for many years, I really enjoyed watching him play. We clearly know that the game was very juiced during his generation and he was the best of the best of that juiced generation. He should be recognized to a certain degree for that (I don't know what that degree is, but at least he can be recognized by the Giants.)

How quick us "regular people" forget that people cheat ev
ery day. If you have EVER cheated on a test or homework, left work a little early when your boss didn't notice, took credit for something that wasn't directly your doing, or exaggerated a tax write off (all pretty common things and the list could go on) - you should really understand that your life isn't scrutinized by the media so you don't have to be accountable in the same way as Barry Bonds. This can't be a double standard of "cheating is wrong, but only when a baseball player does it!"

The point is that he helped keep the Giants in SF, helped them build a beautiful ballpark, and got a lot of people out to enjoy the game- that doesn't disappear. I DO NOT think Bonds was right in what he did, or how he conducts himself- but I can't buy into this massive amount of hate that goes his way.

I'm not sure if this is right or wrong, but I actually do have more of a problem with fringe players that juice to make the last roster spot. Currently, minor league salaries are:
Minor League Baseball player contracts are handled by the Major
League Baseball office. Here are the salary ranges:

First contract season: $850/month maximum. After that, open to negotiation

Alien Salary Rates: Different for aliens on visas--mandated by INS (Immigration).

Class AAA--First year: $2,150/month, after first year no less than $2,150/month

Class AA-First year: $1,500/month, after first year no less than $1,500/month

Class A (full season)--First year: $1,050/month, after first year no
less than $1,050/month

Class A (short-season)--First year: $850/month, after first year no
less than $850/month

Dominican & Venezuelan Summer Leagues--no lower than $300/month

Meal Money: $20 per day at all levels, while on the road.

From The Official Website of Minor League Baseball
Now, I have a problem with those guys robbing a clean Major League player of the $300,000+ money they would've made per year in the Majors. Beyond that, I actually did enjoy watching Bonds play. I've seen him hit balls into the Bay while I was at the park. It was impressive. One of the best games I ever went to was Yankees vs. Giants last year where A-Rod went 4 for 4, Bonds hit a home run (751 I think) and Rivera closed out the game. It was so fun watching all of these Hall of Fame caliber players play at such a high level. The vibe in the park was amazing. You just don't get that now- and it's impossible to white wash from memory.

Look, I could care less what happens to Bonds. He may never play again, and disappear into obscurity. He may be black-balled from the Hall of Fame. He may die of steroid induced injuries from using over the years. But here are two things I'll say about him: 1) I don't hate him and 2) it was fun watching him play.

1 comment:

GMoney said...

Wait a minute...that card is a PHONY!