A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bonds vs. the Bambino

Sometime soon, Barry Bonds will reach a milestone when he breaks Babe Ruth's home run record of 714. The milestone isn't the great achievement it used to be since Hank Aaron broke that barrier some thirty years ago, but it will be one step closer to gaining a new home run king in baseball. Unfortunately, this time around the race is marred by allegations that Bonds has used steroids to enhance his home run hitting.

This leaves the baseball commissioner with a dilemma. Should baseball acknowledge the record begrudgingly with an asterisk noting that drugs may have been used? Should baseball just refuse to acknowledge the feat at all given the allegations? Or should baseball just pat Bonds on the back with a "Good job, Barry," and a wink of an eye?

There is no easy solution. Refusing to mark the record will start a lengthy court battle. On the other hand, the boys-will-be-boys attitude with the eyewink would be morally reprehensible. It would send a bad message to anyone who has looked up to the ball players as role models. The most likely outcome will be to mark the feat with an asterisk, but this could become meaningless after awhile too. After all, an asterisk next to George W. Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2000 hasn't hurt his career either.

The fairest way to solve this is impossible: Bonds and Babe Ruth going mano a mano for the home run record. They could both compete with their respective talents, strength and handicaps intact. While the contest could never take place (Ruth hasn't felt much like playing baseball since he died in 1948) we can still imagine.

So, Bonds would step up to the plate, looking very solid and muscular in his uniform, with perhaps a syringe jutting out from his back pants pocket. This is Bond’s handicap: the drugs may admittedly boost performance temporarily, but the addiction in the long run would become a liability. He looks at the first pitch, high and outside, then signals for a time out. He steps out of the batter's box, whips out his cell phone and calls his agent to re-negotiate his contract with the Giants! Meanwhile, everyone on the field and in the stands waits, and waits, and waits....

Then the Bambino steps up. His strength can be seen in the muscles in his arms; his talent in the practice swings he takes with the bat. For the purpose of our contest, we will make his handicaps appear for all to see: wine, women and song! The Babe would have a hip flask full of gin in his back pocket, several cigars would peek above his breast pocket, his belly would hang over his belt, and a prostitute would be flung over his shoulder. The Babe has seen better days, but he's ready and willing to give it his all.

In the batter’s box, he swings, connects and it's over the fence! Home run! The Bambino has done it! He half-walks, half-runs around the bases what with all that weight he's carrying (you try lugging a full-grown woman around the baseball diamond and see how fast you go), but he doesn't let anything stop him. Why? Because he has that good old American “can-do” attitude.

The Babe’s performance is very inspiring! It makes me want to go out and accomplish something special this weekend. I know, I can whack some dandelions in my front yard! Meanwhile, Barry Bonds has been put on hold.


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