From antipathy to apathy

I think it’s been fairly well established that I am not a baseball fan. Never have been, and probably never will be. Although I enjoyed my trip to Dodger Stadium last month, I still equate the sport with golf: occasional moments of action with a lot of nothing in between. Perhaps enjoyable to play, probably more enjoyable to watch live, but excruciating to watch on TV.

It doesn’t really help that most of the stories that are going on nowadays regarding the sport involve two of the biggest narcissists the sport has seen in the past 50 years. One of them, Roger Clemens, epitomizes the “me first” attitude that seems so pervasive in professional sports today. Then again, no other professional athlete is so self-absorbed to demand that the team he signs with at a grotesque six-month salary of $18 million dollars allow him to completely detach himself from the team whenever his number isn’t up in the rotation. If you amertized that amount based on how much work he’ll actually perform for the team, he’s probably going to make around $40,000 a pitch. Yes, you heard that correctly – Roger Clemens will pocket $40,000 every time he throws a damn ball.

But the real pariah is Barry Bonds, whose ongoing Home Run Krystallnacht has everyone worked up in a foamy lather. Now that he’s just 10 bombs away from pulling even with Hank Aaron’s career total, the indignation and loathing has reached a fever pitch. But while I also secretly hope that Bonds’ Achilles tendon rolls up like a window shade before he reaches the hallowed 755, all of the collateral stories swirling around the vicinity of this hurricane’s eye is exposing just how ludicrous the whole issue is.

I listen to a lot more sports radio than I have in the past (I still enjoy Rush, but he hasn’t really said anything that I haven’t already heard nine times), and every segment, they keep rehashing the same topics: will Bud Selig be there to watch Barroid shatter the record? Is Curt Schilling a hypocrite for calling him out? Is anyone going to let him break the record in San Francisco, or are they going to force him to do it on the road in front of a hostile crowd? Are people rooting against him because he’s black?

It’s even boiled over to the degree where any other player who talks about it – or talks about a player who talks about it – gets analyzed within an inch of their life. Suddenly, because Schilling makes some offhanded comments, now Jose Canseco has to weigh in about Schilling. And here’s David Wells, who purportedly was drunk while pitching a no-hitter, throwing in his three cents. It’s like a chain letter now: every person who talks about it has five people talking about him and what a hypocrite he is. I’ve never seen such breathless indignation about an athlete since the Pistons/Pacers brawl three years ago. And at least that was just one moment in time: Bonds’ pursuit of the home run record has been ongoing for no less than three seasons. That’s 1095 days that people are wasting their time on this issue. Rome was built in a shorter time frame.

Seeing as I’m not a baseball fan, you’re probably wondering why I care about this enough to say this much about it. Well, put simply, I’m tired of the whole Bonds fiasco hijacking the discussion. I hit my saturation point with Bonds a long time ago, and it’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to hear his name anymore. Never has such a foregone conclusion been given so much scrutiny. I would rather he hit all 10 home runs tomorrow so we could just be done with it, than have to endure another month and a half of endless punditry about what Bonds should eat for breakfast tomorrow.

So as much as I hate Barry Bonds and what he’s about to do to a sport that I already care little about, I do hope he breaks the record sooner rather than later, because the sooner he does it, the sooner I never have to hear about him ever again.


6 thoughts on “From antipathy to apathy

  1. jetworld12

    That was amazingly written. You’re very articulate. Baseball isn’t my sport either by the way, so I normally would’ve skimmed but that was too good of a POV entry to ignore. Awesome.

  2. hiphopnotik

    Yea… narcisist for sure. Give me a break. Whine about Barry all you want, just dont knock a guy for taking a deal of a lifetime, especially when his resume includes 7 Cy Young awards and 2 World Series rings. Dont get me wrong, that is a fuckton of money, but would you ask them to knock it down if that kind of a deal was thrown on your lap??

    Note: I am not a Yankee fan, and not quite a Roger Clemens fan.

  3. tleberle

    You forgot a word between “amazingly” and “written,” to wit “poorly.” It was a bunch of redundant hand-wringing over a sport he doesn’t care about, and it’s not even the first time that he’s gone to the “Baseball sucks, but I still have something to say about it” well. And his “occassional moments of action == not fun to watch” POV just proves to me that Tim doesn’t get the sport. Anyway:

    It is on the Sports Spew talk radio shows because the home run chase is at the forefront of the public consciousness. People want to discuss it, and the hosts want to keep their jobs, so you can expect a Daily Bonds HR Update until he gets to 756. Personally, I think the guy is a chump, and the difference in his appearance and his statistics is evidence that there’s something fishy going on with the steroid use angle, but fie on MLB for not banning more substances earlier.

    As to the narcissism and friendliness thing, so what? Players are paid to do their job, and nothing more. Quite simply, (see, I can use bloat-speak and non-words too! How fun!) it’s a matter of economics. Quite simply, if a team is willing to pay $40,000 per pitch to make sure that they win 20 more games with Clemens on the mound, good on ’em. Sure, it’s a huge pile of cash, but to drag your feet and say that the league maximum salary should be $100,000 per year is sheer lunacy. If Clemens wants to do his job and not fraternize with the teammates, that’s for the two sides to iron out.

    Simply put, this was not an essay. Quite simply, this was a big steaming pile of words strung together in sentence form. Pure and simple.

  4. donaldduck5671

    All I ask is Clemens throws 10 Ks and has a ERA below 2.00 and a WHIP of 0.75, and the Yankees bullpen to blow it on Roger’s off days.

    The Original Rotiserrie Geek
    Yes I play fantasy baseball, why do you ask?

  5. loogaroo

    The whole thing about Clemens is not so much about the money he makes – yeah, it’s a lot of money, but if someone’s willing to pay it to him, then go right ahead – as much as it is about all the hoopla surrounding his re-un-retirement. I was just making the point that Clemens’ signing with the Yankees was one of the stories that I wished would just go away, because it’s been scrutinized in more ways than it really ought to.

    As for Bonds, I’m just sick of him, and I’m sick of everyone talking about him. It’s bad enough that the only thing going on in sports this time of year is baseball, but to keep bringing up the same points of order that were done to death long before Bonds was tangibly close to the record, is incredibly annoying to someone who’s just waiting for the NFL season to start anyway.

    It doesn’t make much difference, anyway. Once Bonds hits #756, the sport will lose what little credibility it’s salvaged from the ’94 strike. I don’t see how anyone could support a sport where the holder of its most revered record is as innocent of taking performance-enhancing drugs as OJ is of murder.


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