Barry at the Bat

I'll state this right up front - I'm no lover of baseball. It's slow and tedious and its chief appeal is sitting around drinking beer and eating hot dogs in the hot sun. Personally, I'd rather drink my beer and eat my hot dogs in the comfort of an air-conditioned room accompanied by a more exciting spectator sport - croquet perhaps.

I also dislike baseball because it has another major disadvantage - it's played by a gaggle of overhyped, overspoiled, overpaid shitheels who whine about poor treatment in between stints in the county lockup or Betty Ford clinic. In my omnipotent opinion, the shittiest of the shitheels is the San Francisco Giant's folically-challenged crybaby Barry Bonds.

For the uninitiated, Bonds has been implicated of using steroids to boost his performance, a fact that seems apparent by his freakishly proportioned body and repeated rounds of grand jury testimony. Despite the admissions of several other player/users and his former dealer, he steadfastly claims he never used steroids. His alibi? He thought the stuff he was flaxseed oil. He and his lawyers never have explained why it's necessary to inject, rather than ingest, the stuff or how flaxseed oil does anything to your body other than give you the shits. This is one of the reasons why I hold lawyers in the same esteem as asshat-clad baseball players.

In case you haven't heard, Bonds is also in the headlines because he's closing in on Babe Ruth's second place position on the career home run list. This feat not only requires a bat and great swing, it also requires a team of lawyers to keep Barry out of jail and security guards to protect him from the fans and keep the media away.

Several days ago, Bonds slithered onto the field in Philadelphia to hit #713, one less than the record-tying run. Philadelphia fans came equipped with numerous insulting posters, lots of jeers, and general vitriol for the slugger, so it was a happy coincidence that the "lucky" fan who caught the ball just happened to be one of the few Giants fans in the park that day. A fervent supporter, Mr. Happy Fan Guy posed for pictures with the Steroid Slugger and told the press how pleased he was that he'd caught the ball and had been able to meet his sports hero.

At the end of the well publicized meet and greet, Mr. Fan asked Barry to sign the now-famous and valuable ball - a custom at such times. Overbearing Barry gave an emphatic NO, bolted for the exit, and told the sports fan, over his rapidly disappearing chemically-enhanced shoulder, to sign a release waiver allowing Barry to use the pictures of the touching moment in an upcoming reality show the slugger plans.

Even for a man who's filed suits against reporters, claimed of being railroaded out of the league, charged teams with non-existent racial bias, and once half-jokingly threatened suicide, this was a very odd and sad act. It must have been a crushing blow for the star-struck fan to see the back of Barry's lumpy, shaved head disappear over the horizon while the ball was still warm in the his outstretched hand.

Baseball is a statistically driven game, so there's much hubbub about whether the record should be yanked if Barry is convicted or at least asterisked because of steroid abuse and numerous changes that made his record easier than it had been for the Babe. This argument misses the point I think.

Here's a boorish, rude cheater who whines about every perceived injustice while single-handedly causing rising ticket prices to cover his outrageous salary. Meanwhile, he sees fit to crap in the face of those self-same ticket holders when they dare to ask him a small favor.

This requires a debate?

I say string him up by his steroid-shrunken balls and put him on rotating display at all the major league ballparks as a warning to the other shitheels. He doesn't need an asterisk, unless it's tattooed on the top of his lumpy-assed head. Dock him salary. Banish him from the league, or even better, planet Earth. Don't give him any record, asterisked or otherwise. And make sure that when he perp-walks off to jail, his cell is on the lower level of the block with the toilet from the cell above plumbed directly to the ceiling of his. But above all else, make him sign baseballs until the bastard's chemically strengthened fingers cramp and fall off.

It's what the Babe would have wanted.

Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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