A milestone worth forgetting
Bonds made history Sunday, and no one cares. AJC columnist Jeff Schultz sums it up well:
Barry Bonds hit his 715th home run Sunday. But every overblown ESPN news break-in couldn’t drown out the sad reality of the moment. It was as awkward as it was historical. Some wanted to watch. Most wanted to cover their eyes.
This wasn’t a player punctuating greatness. This was the most vilified sports star we’ve ever seen affirming his place among the five darkest moments in baseball history.
Count them. Like plagues:
1. Eight members of the Chicago White Sox are banned for conspiring to throw the 1919 World Series.
2. Pete Rose, the game’s greatest hitter, agrees to a lifetime ban for betting — on baseball.
3. Baseball cancels the 1994 World Series, not because of natural disaster but rather mutant labor negotiators.
4. Congress holds steroid hearings. Among the Murderers Row giving testimony: Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco — who ironically turns out to be baseball’s shining light.
5. Bonds passes the great Ruth and closes in on the great Hank Aaron. But he’s the poster child of the steroid era, and his baggage and personality have led him to become the sport’s greatest pox instead of ambassador.
Sometimes, there's consquences. Apathy may not be adequate punishment for Bonds, but today it speaks volumes.