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Bonds: Has the tide turned on the media bullies?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by creamora, Jul 5, 2007.

  1. creamora

    creamora Member

    Scanlan has got it right in the article below. It seems that the public is becoming tired of the constant hating on Barry Bonds by sports journalists. They are smart enough to understand that Bonds has been singled out unfairly. Journalists are beginning to look like bullies and the public is starting to become sympathetic towards Bonds. The fact that the fans recently voted Bonds into the All-Star game speaks volumes. Plan and simple. They respect his talent.

    Bonds no longer universally hated

    Wayne Scanlan, Ottawa Citizen
    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Death threats. Racist insults.

    The shameful reaction in some parts of America to Aaron’s assault on Ruth’s sacred total of 714 scarred Hammering Hank for life.

    Isn’t it odd, then, 34 years later, how fans seem to be warming up to one of sport’s most vilified figures, Barry Bonds, as he inches ever closer to Aaron’s career record of 755 home runs.

    On Tuesday night — how weird was this? — Bonds hit No. 751 against a pitcher named Aaron. Aaron Harang of the Cincinnati Reds.

    The reaction of baseball fans in Cincinnati was typical of the ambiguity involved with the exploits of Bonds.

    The Reds and Giants both stink this year, and yet the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati was nearly full for the arrival of Bonds.

    In the first inning, Bonds was booed as he strode to the plate and took three mighty hacks, ultimately connecting on the third swing off a Harang pitch.

    But when Bonds returned to the plate in the third inning, it was Harang who heard boos from the home crowd for pitching around Bonds.

    “I’m playing pretty good for an old guy,” Bonds said after the game. He turns 43 this month and Wednesday sat out an afternoon game to rest his sore legs.

    No, Barry. You are hitting pretty good for an old guy. Playing implies being able to field your position, which you haven’t done capably for years.

    Still, he has us watching.

    Fans can boo Barry. They can cheer Barry.

    But it’s getting to be impossible to do what commissioner Bud Selig and Hank Aaron himself have tried to do: Ignore Barry.

    In a stunning turnaround last week, doubling as a barometer on Bonds sentiment, he was voted onto the National League’s starting all-star lineup. What made it stunning was the fact Bonds trailed Alfonso Soriano for the third and final outfield position by 119,000 votes heading into the final week of voting.

    When the votes were counted, Bonds beat Soriano by 123,000. Even if Bonds’ Giants organization successfully urged fans to stuff ballot boxes — the all-star game is being held in San Francisco next week — the huge surge by Bonds suggests a show of support outside the Bay area alone.

    Bonds’ former manager in Pittsburgh, Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers, certainly saw it that way.

    “I think people throughout the country, obviously, must not be as disgusted with Barry Bonds as some people have let on,” Leyland said.

    What has led to America going soft on Barry Bonds?

    A number of things:

    • Media bullies: Beat up on a guy long and hard enough, as sports writers have with glee on Bonds, who wears a “kick me” sign on his back, and eventually the tide turns. The media start to look like bullies.

    • Story fatigue: We have more than a pretty good idea that Bonds and a lot of other major league players have been consuming something stronger than sport drinks since the macho home run derby between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. Attention spans aren’t what they used to be. A lot of fans just don’t care that their heroes were dabbling in steroids during a period in which baseball turned a blind eye to the abuse.

    • Get in line: When it comes to jerks in sport, Bonds has no end of competition from a group of gun-toting, drug and alcohol-abusing, women-abusing thugs from the WWE, NFL and NBA.

    Barry is never going to be a warm and fuzzy American hero. Neither do his sins compare with a murder-suicide.

    In certain company, Bonds doesn’t seem so evil.

    • Barry makes nice: Bonds even seemed genuinely thrilled to be voted into the all-star game. Keep in mind, a lot of players would give their left arm to skip the festivities and stay home to sleep for three days.

    “I’m at a loss for words right now,” Bonds said when he got the news that he had tallied more than 2.3 million votes. “It just means more ’cause I’m at home. This is my town. This is my house … This is the one I’ll remember forever.”

    • They’re over it: The inevitability factor has set in. For years, fans have been dreading the day when Bonds would close in on the all-time home run number. Now, they’ve had all that time to get used to the idea. And it doesn’t seem quite as appalling as it once did. Ask yourself this question: Would you sleep better at night if and when Alex Rodriguez, that charming third baseman for the New York Yankees, becomes the next to seize the throne as home run champ?

    Bonds sometimes acts as though he gets a raw deal. As if reporters and commentators deserve all the blame for his lousy image.

    Before he takes his historic jog around the bases, this month or next, Bonds might understand that fans grudgingly respect his talent.

    Hank Aaron wishes he could have been as lucky in 1974.
  2. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    Very easy to cherry pick one possible cause listed in the column, while ignoring the other four bullet-pointed possiblities.

    The reality is it that if the public has softened on Bonds, it's probably a combination of all five, not just one.
  3. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think it's just the media's fault, but I'm also surprised that the fans voted in Bonds. Creamora knows where I stand on this, and I'm amazed enough fans disagreed with me to vote him into the game. There are probably hundreds of different reasons why it happened. None of them good enough for me to accept.

    But it did, and I think the public is now waiting for an indictment or arrest to come so they can justify their dislike of the guy, and if it doesn't come, they'll feel somewhat duped and blame it on the media.
  4. creamora

    creamora Member


    What you say is true. That's why I posted the article including all of the points made. I'm simply bringing attention to what I believe is a very important point. There seems to be a backlash from all of the hating on Bonds by sports journalists. It's my opinion that at some point in the near future there will be new polls showing that a majority of fans support Bonds. As more about the history of the rampant use of drugs in baseball is revealed, more fans begin realize that drugs are simply a part of the game and always have been. The historic problem of drugs in sport is massive and fans are finally beginning to grasp the truth.
  5. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    How is it a backlash against the media when the fans are booing him when he first comes to the plate?

    Or a backlash when the writer puts out the supposition that the fans in San Francisco stuffed the ballot over the last week in comparison to fans in Chicago for Soriano?

    To me, it's more likely that its reason five, that fans have grown to accept it's going to happen, and are over it. As the writer puts it, it is more grudging respect than actual joy.

    When A-Rod makes his run at the new HR total, as he should if he continues at his current pace, the atmosphere around the countdown will be entirely different.
  6. creamora

    creamora Member

    Sports journalists have focused far more upon Bonds than the fact that there is a long history of rampant drug use in baseball. It's my opinion that more facts will gradually be revealed that will shift the focus to the much larger problem that exists.
    It seems that many sports journalists believe that Bonds is entirely responsible for baseball's problems. It's about more than Bonds,Balco and Selig.
  7. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    The jury's long been in.

    Barry's a POS.

    He'll make the HOF . . . but not on the first ballot.

    Aaron's five times the MAN BB will ever be.

  8. GB-Hack

    GB-Hack Active Member

    I very much doubt any sports journalist believe Bonds is responsible for all of baseball's problems.

    The blame falls all over the place, from the players for doping, to the owners for looking solely at the money signs, to the commisioner for wringing his hands but not doing anything because the fiasco of the strike was close to forgotten in 1998, to sportswriters who now feel like they either a: should have done a better job finding out what McGwire, Sosa, Caminiti et al. were taking, or b: feel like they got duped by the players who were doping.

    There have been numerous calls by columnists for Selig to be in attendence when Bonds breaks the record, because his inactivity when the steroid era began led to the situation we are now faced with. A player who almost certainly used drugs that were and are illegal in the United States breaking one of the sports grandest records.
  9. Ensign Pulver

    Ensign Pulver Member

    Pull your head out, Pollyanna.
  10. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member


    Epic, simpleton oversimplification.
  11. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    The nightmare I have is that the next big thing to happen to baseball, whether it be a revelation that half the game used, or another strike, etc., would reduce average attendance per season to around 3,000 or 4,000 fans. Hardcore baseball nuts like myself would be ridiculed, driven out of existence.

    I don't think that way anymore. I've learned one thing. Fans don't care. They'll come to games. They may not like certain players, but it won't keep them from going to ballgames.

    Of those five points, I'd have to say story fatigue and get in line are the closest for me. This story's played out for now (until we find out just what IS going on), and compared to the news about the NFL, NBA and Chris Benoit... some of the shit players do there make Bonds look like a saint.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Well, not to totally threadjack, but it seems like everyone agrees the "media bullies" stuff is creamora's typical idiocy, so I feel OK about taking this in a more intelligent direction...

    So, here's something I am curious about that maybe we can discuss instead... According to court records, in 1998, BALCO had gross income of less than $43,000--apparently selling overpriced zinc and magnesium pills wasn't working out very well for Victor Conte. Imagine that. In 2000, BALCO's income was $1.18 million. creamora linked to some stories about BALCO being back in business on here. Unless the owner of the company--an admitted drug-dealing felon---has gone back to his old scam of giving athletes illegal drugs in exchange for them endorsing his worthless legal mineral pills and hyping them in body building magazines, should we expect BALCO to be the same failed company it was before it discovered how lucrative illegal drugs can be?

    I guess that doesn't directly relate to Barry Bonds, but since his drug dealers got busted, does anyone else wonder where he turns to for his stuff?

    How much HGH do most of the people on here think Bonds pumps himself full of, given that it seems to have been a favorite of his during the season because he doesn't have as much time to lift (unlike his roids, it promotes lean muscle without having to hit the weights as hard), and mlb doesn't test for it? Anyone else wonder what kind of regimen Bonds is on nowadays--is it possible that one of Victor Conte's shadowy friends (anyone else wonder if they all have porn star mustaches?) has come up with a new formulation for The Clear (Are we up to Clear IV, Clear V or Clear VI nowadays?) that is undetectable and that the guy is brazenly dealing drugs again even though he was caught red-handed once by the Federal agent creamora has ridiculed over and over again on this board?

    Those are the kinds of questions I wonder about sometimes. Anyone else?
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