Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bonds Hits 756

All I have to say about this is:

***** YAWN *****

My grandfather loved baseball. I spent a lot of my weekends traveling around South Dakota in my Grandpa's car. If there was a game being played Grandpa would be listening to it on the radio in his car. I remember one day, he pulled over to the side of the road and we sat there for an hour because he wanted to hear the end of the game and the direction we were traveling was weakening the radio signal. So we sat there in the middle of nowhere, listening to the baseball game end.

Grandpa often took me to home games of the minor league team in town, the Rapid City Chiefs. One summer he took me on a business trip with him to Minneapolis. The highlight of the trip for Grandpa was the Minnesota Twins game we went to. The only thing from that game I remember is Harmon Killebrew hitting two home runs. I remember it because Grandpa went on and on about what a phenomenal performance that was, and that I should remember it because Harmon Killebrew was going to be one of the great players in the game.

A year or two later a couple guys from the Oakland A's were in Rapid City. My grandpa took me to meet them. They signed a baseball for me, then later sent my grandpa a ball signed by the entire A's team. I still have that ball and its signatures including J. Catfish Hunter, Vita Blue, Reggie Jackson, Dick Green and a whole bunch of other guys I never heard of before.

I think my grandpa was always very disappointed that I never learned to love baseball the way he did. But I just never got the hang of the game. I tried playing as a kid but could do nothing right. I didn't understand the rules, the theory of the game nor how to throw, catch or hit. It might have help if I could have had an adult try to teach me those things. But grandpa never tried playing ball with me, he just listened to it, watched it and talked about it. My Dad was only into cars and probably cared less about baseball than I did. My little league coaches and PE teachers didn't teach either. They just sent us out to play.

As I got older and started discovering other sports I just sort of ignored baseball. I would see an occasional headline in the paper. I was pleased to see Harmon Killebrew inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. Its too bad Grandpa didn't live to to see that his prophecy fulfilled.

As I progressed though college and beyond I learned to play football, volleyball, soccer and racquetball. I got into these sports because I had friends who were willing to teach me the rules and how to play the games. I also started running and bicycling. I even ended up playing on a couple softball teams. But I was allowed on them simply because I could run fast and catch. I never did learn how to bat or throw. My cousins used to tease me that I throw like a girl. I wish.... I know lots of girls that I would love to be able to throw as well as they do.

As my love of sports continued to expand my apathy for baseball slowly turned into feelings of disdain. When Bud Selig canceled the world series in 1994 I pretty much completely stopped paying any attention at all to baseball. Any more, baseball is just something that shows up this time of the year on the front page at ESPN's website that I have navigate past to find the sporting news I am looking for.

So when I read this morning that Barry Bonds had broken Hank Aaron's home run record I had mixed feelings. For the most part I couldn't care less. But I was also a little sad. I haven't followed his career closely, but from my limited perspective, Barry Bonds' dramatic increase in size, power and ability to hit home runs at an age when most men are starting to lose strength, speed and power seems almost too good to be true. That coupled with the fact that his personal trainer is doing multiple stints in jail for refusing to talk to a grand jury about Barry's suspected steroid use makes Bonds look guilty as hell.

I have been told a story by a friend who did some computer work for the A's. While trying to make small talk she mentioned Barry Bonds. That is when she learned that Barry is pretty much despised by everyone there because he is apparently a pretentious and arrogant a$$hole.

At first I was tempted to be angry or upset that I guy who I think is a cheat and who others think is an a$$ should be setting records and being lauded by the media and worshiped by little kids. But then it occured to me. Why do I care? I haven't given much more than a moments thought to baseball for over 30 years. So I guess Barry Bonds can use all the 'roids he wants to, his friends can sit in jail protecting him, he can break all the records he wants, and the media can gush all over him all they want. My response (besides this long rambling blog post) is:

***** YAWN *****

I have other things to worry about. I have a job to go to and a volleyball court to repair or improve at the school. I have a patio to lay in the back yard. I also have a bunch of young athletes coming to a volleyball camp this weekend and years from now I don't want them writing about how no one ever taught them how to play volleyball when they were kids. So I have lessons to prepare.

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