The Kool Aid references, while funny, aren’t really apt in my case. To suggest that someone is drinking Kool Aid is to suggest that they are lemmings, following the masses. In point of fact, I am the one who is outside of the box, here. Nonetheless, as long as you’re here, we might as well talk….
Rick Maese, of the Baltimore Sun echoes some of my sentinments, albeit a tad more eloquently. Here’s a taste:
…. Before we put both feet through this looking-glass of absurdity, let’s go on record with a few things: Bonds is more likely a jerk, not a pariah….. Consider this: The longest-running grand jury investigation into clerical abuse ran for three years. It revealed hundreds of children had been abused by 63 priests over a 35-year period. With yesterday’s indictment, in four years’ time, all we’ve learned is that Bonds isn’t the best role model and he might not be very truthful. That’s not a good return on our investment. In fact, I suspect if you devoted four years to similarly focused crusades, we might learn that much of corporate America, a good chunk of the legal world and many of our elected officials are guilty of similar character crimes.
Exactly. If you investigated anybody for four years, virtually unfettered by decency, with unlimited resources and a right-wing White House backing you the whole way, you could come up with something. Bonds didn’t obstruct the BALCO investigation. They got their indictment, got their conviction, Anderson and Conte got jail time, paid their fines, paid their dues. If you were asked to testify against a cocaine dealer and you lied to save our job, and the dealer got indicted and convicted anyway, there’s almost no chance that the DA would go after you for doing so. It wouldn’t be worth the money, it wouldn’t be worth the risk of losing a difficult perjury case, it wouldn’t warrant attention.
Bonds was, in fact, singled out, because he was an asshole who broke the home run records, a black man who acted like he was the best, the biggest and baddest man in the room. He was insulting and demeaning and rude and pretty much got what he wanted, did what he wanted, for twenty years or more. So, yeah, petty jealousy, inflamed sensibilities, and maybe a little racism thrown in for good measure; all of these things and more contributed to this effort to get him, to take him down a notch, to show him who’s really boss.
If you are on board with that, you’re the one drinking the Kool Aid. You’re the one who thinks that everything the man in charge says is right, that everything is black and white; that it’s easy to say Bonds is bad, and you don’t care about whether the entire league should be under the microscope. You don’t care that players like Paul Byrd, or noted good guy, gamer of the decade Matt Williams also seem to have been involved, or that it’s been mostly pitchers that have tested positive, or that maybe, just maybe, players were encouraged to do whatever they could to win by management, by ownership, or even the commissioner.
And let’s be clear, the home run binge that started pretty much when everyone came back from the strike saved baseball. McGwire and Sosa brought the game back into the public spotlight, with each player’s individual at-bats cutting into other sports live coverage as the season went on. You think Seligula thought it was bad at the time? You think the owners of the Twins and the Royals thought it was terrible as their revenue sharing sclice went for $1 million a season to $20 million? You want to put an asterisk on Bonds, you better start giving back wins for the Giants, start changing everyone’s stats. If you’re gonna strike Bonds’ records, that means all of the pitchers he victimized, the 400-plus guys who served up his home runs, all of those guys get a break, don’t they? What about all the merchandise? What about all the advertising revenue?
If McGwire’s such a pariah, why don’t you go ask the Busch family to give back all the money they made in ’98? Baseball’s revenue’s just passed $6 billion, you think maybe the home run chases that captivated the nation in ’98 had a little to do with that? You think the House that Bonds built –and the extra 2 million fans per year that went there– maybe contributed a little? You bet your ass.So now we’re gonna hang Bonds. Good for you, good for all of you. Tell me this isn’t appropriate:
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way….
You fuckin’ people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That’s all you did. You put people’s lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son.
UPDATE: Here’s the link to my interview. Let me know if it sounds OK.