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Seven Hundred and Fifty-Five

Your Humble Blogger is still blogging. Really. It’s just that real-life business and a comment-spam outbreak have combined to distract me for a while. But it’s cool.

I note, by the way, that Major League Baseball seems to be perpetuating a minor part of the bizarre controversies surrounding Barry Bonds and the Deathly Hallows Home Run Chase. They’ve been narrowly following the vitally important question of exactly what Mr. Bonds will be donating to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The final news is that Bonds gives historic helmet to Hall, that is, “As promised, Giants slugger Barry Bonds presented the batting helmet he was wearing when he hit his 755th home run on Saturday night to a representative of the National Baseball Hall of Fame after the game.”

Just in case people forgot that he was an asshole and that Major League Baseball wasn’t worth watching, they wanted to make a bit deal about Mr. Bonds selfishly wanting to keep all the stuff he was wearing, and maybe sell it, later, for a gazillion bucks. Now, honestly, I think Barry Bonds is a bit an of asshole, and more than a bit of one, and I am not really weeping for him in all this. It’s just another example of MLB’s anti-marketing. Give it a rest, boys!

Mr. Selig’s released statement on the 755th homerun? “No matter what anybody thinks of the controversy surrounding this event, Mr. Bonds' achievement is noteworthy and remarkable.” One of the little ways Your Humble Blogger likes to entertain himself when reading the official releases from Major League Baseball on this topic is that they acknowledge the existence of controversy, but never acknowledge that the controversy is about anything. Notice that—what anybody thinks of the controversy. But clearly, if you think that Mr. Bonds has cheated, and think that the controversy is merited, then Mr. Bonds’ achievement is not so noteworthy and remarkable as all that, anyway, is it?

Well, actually, it is. I mean, let’s be clear about this: for the last ten years or more, many of the great sluggers of the game have been (a preponderance of evidence leads us to believe) using chemical enhancements not legally obtainable without a prescription. Of those, two have hit 70 in a year. During those years, Mssrs McGwire, Griffey, Sosa, Palmeiro, Thomas, Rodriguez, Thome, Ramirez, Sheffield, Giambi, Bagwell, Helton, Gonzalez, Conseco and Belle (a bit earlier) have had tremendous power. Great, great hitters having great, great years. Doping? Sure, I believe it, some of them, some of the years. Hard to believe that they were all clean. And none of them—none of them—have touched what Barry Bonds has done. Not even close. So I suppose that his achievement even compared to what other “cheaters” have done in those years is remarkable and noteworthy.

And I think my last comment on the subject is this: it’s terrific that Mr. Rodriguez has hit 500 home runs. He is amazing, the best hitter in baseball, awesome, fantastic, etc, etc. But it’s just silly to predict that he will hit another two hundred and fifty home runs. I hope he does. I hope he busts the record, and that Ryan Howard busts his record, and ten we have thirty years of low-scoring baseball, and then another power burst and another fellow breaks the record. But career records are just ridiculously hard to break. I mean, first you have to do the incredible and hit 500 home runs, a Hall of Fame career in itself. Nobody does that. I mean, out of hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands, twenty-two people have done it. Lou Gehrig didn’t hit 500 home runs, and he slugged .632 in his career. Willie Stargell didn’t hit 500. It’s just incredible. But then—then, you have to hit another hundred, and nobody does that at all. And then after that, after you were great and then were great for another two or three years, then you have to hit another hundred. That means, now, that having reached a Hall of Fame career already, A-Rod will have to (a) step it up just a notch, and (2) keep it at that stepped-up level for at least five years. Now, now you are at 700. Another two years to go.

Like I say, I hope he does it, and I hope that in 2014 or 15 or 16 or whatever, if he becomes the Home Run King, people have some sort of idea of just how much better he has been than very, very, very good hitters over a very, very, very long time. And that he gives his helmet to the Hall.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


"noteworthy" and "remarkable" are high on my list of weasel words, slightly more subtle than "interesting", but basically saying the same thing. It's noteworthy and remarkable when an NBA ref gets busted for gambling on games he was officiating, but not in a good way.

Barry Bonds and the Deathly Hallows

I can't believe you would post all this without a spoiler warning.

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