You did it. Not only did you tie the record, but you have done it on your own terms.
No amount of discussion can minimize how difficult that must have been for him No disrespect to Hammering Hank. I remember exactly where I was April 8Th 1974. Hank Aaron had the mountains of his generation to climb to pass Babe Ruth. He took on segregation, integration and prejudice to pass Babe Ruth.. There is not an accomplishment in sport that can reduce the importance of what Mr Aaron accomplished. He will always be revered.
Barry Bonds shouldn’t be revered for his accomplishments, but he certainly should be respected as one of Baseball’s all time best. Barry Bonds should be appreciated for being the most prolific home run hitter in baseball history when he breaks the record.
Every generation of sport has its own unique fingerprint of change. Every generation of sport has traditions that have been retained and those that have been lost. For some reason there are a lot of baseball fans who seem not to recognize the challenges of each generation. That only the “gold old days” mattered.
The PR problem Barry Bonds faces is that all baseball fans know far less about players from their past than they think they do, and that allows them to think far more fondly of them.
Those of us who grew up pre cable, satellite and Internet don’t know nearly as much about our sports icons from the early ’80s and before as we think we do. Back then we got the game of the week and Sports Illustrated as our source of national baseball information.
Barry Bonds has had the misfortune of winding up his career and tying the record in the generation of Massive Media. The last 10 years , with the advent of satellite TV, digital cable, the Internet and even camera phones, have placed every minute of Barry (and most prominent figures) lives under continuous scrutiny. Unlike the legendary stories in baseball history that were never made public at the time they happened to protect the player involved, today there is a “bounty of fame” on any person or outlet who can catch Barry in anything that can be sold to an Internet site or any of the sports TV networks across the country.
The escalation of scrutiny, even since late 90’s annual Home Run Derbies , has been dramatic. Everything is on video these days.
Barry, rather than taking the “film me please, I’m a celebrity” approach to media scrutiny, has done everything he possibly can to live his life on his own terms. He hasn’t been media friendly. He has been family friendly… to his own family.
I respect that to no end.
In 25 years any controversy associated with Barry’s quest for the record will be long forgotten. In 2032, For all the video available on demand that would allow the most die hard fan to relive these 2007 moments as if it were happening in real time, they wont. In 2032 there will be something new that captures our imagination and attention while we yearn, like every generation before us, for the Good Old Days when we watched the great players of our youth, Bonds, Arod, Glavine reach milestones that gave us something to cheer about.