Location: Vienna, Virginia, United States

A graduate of Dartmouth College (2005) and Washington and Lee University School of Law (2010). These are my personal blogs, and the musings expressed on them do not reflect the positions of my employer. They do reflect my readings, thoughts, and aspirations, which I figure is good enough.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

In Parody Of....

Yahoo!'s new MLB writer Jeff Passan, who has a flair for the dramatic, even when it's not called for.

In his latest article "The ghost of Barry Bonds," Mr. Passan writes

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – One of these days, Barry Bonds will look in the mirror and see what the rest of us see. Nothing.

None of this matters anymore. He can't undo the lies, the injections, the arrogance, everything that follows him today and tomorrow and beyond. The home runs he hits will be ignored, the records he sets empty. To the baseball world, Bonds is dead. And, much like Bruce Willis' character in The Sixth Sense, he's the only one who doesn't realize it.
Yadda yadda, etc. etc. blather blather.

Now, there are good points in this article, like when Passan calls the San Fran Giants Barry's co-conspirators, but there's also a lot of hyperbole, which could get Mr. Passan into trouble. Or at least get him a lot of criticism.

He hasn't read "Game of Shadows," which comes out later this month. He's read an excerpt in Sports Illustrated, which claims that Barry used a ton of steroids, but does NOT provide names of previously unknown sources or direct quotations. The excerpt mentions sealed testimonies and interviews, but as the journalists who wrote the book must know, those don't mean much if those sources are not documented and explicitly named. Otherwise, it's a bunch of he said, he said.

Which makes Passan's statement "An excerpt from the book Game of Shadows itemized the steroids Bonds took. Details filled crevices where any doubt existed. The tangible proof was right there, down to the cubic centimeter, as indicting as a positive test, the final needle mark" extremely disingenuous, because that's not what the excerpt says at all.

Now, I think Barry used steroids, and that it is at least somewhat likely that the book does substantiate its claims with sources and concrete evidence, but Passan can't write this. He can't take a book he hasn't read and use it as incontrovertible proof. Maybe if he has read the book, or if I had read the book, and there were a list of sources, I could accept this melodramatic article. But until then? This is what I think this article should read.

The Ghost of Barry Bonds

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – One of these days, Barry Bonds will look in the mirror and see what the rest of us see. Nothing.

Because Barry Bonds is a vampire, a Nosferatu. Although he himself does not realize the full extent of his power, steroid and hormone treatments have turned Barry into an undead creature which now can only be defeated by a stake through the heart. According to legend, he can, however, be held in check by immersion under running water and garlic liberally strewn in his path. First basemen, take note.

Bonds is now so strong that he has recently emerged from his coffin, where he slept the entire winter, and now braves the daylight to take batting practice with his human teammates. That the emergence into the sunlight did not destroy him is further evidence of his awesome strengths.

Despite attempts to disguise his malformed, pustulent body, teammates, media and fans recoil from him, no matter what shape he takes.

Bonds' teammates, who once revered his abilities as a player as much as they feared his prowess with a bat, now only feel revulsion at the monster which confronts them, a monster which is still capable of hitting baseballs out of the park, despite Major League Baseball's best efforts to check his infernal powers.

As Bonds takes batting practice, flaunting his super-human strength and vision, possibily aided by a bat-like sonar, Bud Selig plots to put an end to Bonds and those who Bonds would convert to his side. Baseball's greatest fear is that Bonds will place himself at the head of an army of darkness and blanket the world in a cacophony of mayhem and steroid-aided home runs.

It would be too blantant to hire a pitcher to take a piece of a broken bat and run Barry through during a game. The pitcher would likely fail, as Bonds is simply too fast and strong to be defeated by a single pair of mortal hands. Also, the FCC fines would be astronomical, if the Super Bowl debacle is any indicator.

No, Bud Selig, the latest in a long line of bespectacled heroes that includes Professor Van Helsing and Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, must work quickly but carefully. He cannot let Barry Bonds know of the plans against him.

The only future for Major League Baseball as we know it rests on not only the shoulders of Selig, but on Congress and the owners of baseball, and on the sacred and holy contract known as the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a contract which even a creature as demonic as Bonds fears.

For although drug testing has been set to catch the nefarious Nosferatu, and amphetamine testing is underway this year, we must wait with bated breath until everything from drugs tested to methods of testing to lists of MLB sanctioned supplements, not to mention the contentious issue of revenue sharing, are in the renewed CBA. Only then will the balance between the owners and the players association be set anew.

Until this contract can be remade, a dangerous, intricate ritual taking place every four years which requires the most careful planning and execution by the owners of all the major league baseball teams and representatives of the player's union, Bonds and his ilk will still play, only held in check by a heroic army of "pure" baseball players led by Albert Pujols and David Ortiz.

And if the ritual should fail, all baseball could come to a standstill. While it is not in the interests of the owners or teams, it must be pointed out that such a stoppage would stop Bonds, as he would no longer be invited into the opposing teams' ballparks to wreak his havok. Without an invitation, Bonds would be limited to standing at the gates and hissing in impotence, as he could not cross the threshold of the ballpark otherwise.

The fight that is happening at this very moment is surely a difficult struggle, one which will likely claim the soul of more than one hero, the lure of the transformative steroids being strong. But if men will stand against the forces of the night, we may yet see a day when, under a renewed CBA with more revenue sharing, all men can play baseball without the aid of steroids, on an even playing field, only judged by their on-field performance, as well as their looks, quotability, nationality and race.


Anonymous Ron TL said...

I doubt if anything the guy's written is going to "get him in trouble." Do you really think Bonds is going to sue anybody, and win, who says that the evidence indicates he was totally jacked up on steroids? I don't think it's the nuisance factor that would keep Bonds from suing, either: you just won't win a case when the other guy is right.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Satchmo said...

Is he going to get sued? Likely not.

But should he get a lot of letters telling him that his article was a piece of crap? Yes. And should his editor warn him about writing crap like that? Absolutely.

That's simply bad journalism there - his research is minimal and what he does present is sensationalistic and wrong. By wrong I mean that he misrepresents the SI article - which does NOT provide proof - it just claims to have proof and sources.

I know it's not just this guy, but his article really rubbed me the wrong way.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Bert said...

all men can play baseball without the aid of steroids, on an even playing field, only judged by their on-field performance, as well as their looks, quotability, nationality and race.


10:32 PM  
Blogger William Li said...

I finally got around to responding to this on my blog.

2:47 PM  

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