Saturday, August 04, 2007

An open letter to the commentators at ESPN...

I know that many of you who were not either professional or collegiate athletes, were journalism or English majors while in college. It is why I hold you to a higher standing of the language which is the canvas for your art - and why I hold in utter contempt the recent page 2 column by the Notorious PhD.

It seems to be consensus that Hank Aaron's home-run record is the, "most sacred record in sports." I hear this regularly from the pundits. Then I hear the ESPN pundits take Hank Aaron and Bud Selig to task over their disapproval of Barry Bonds', an admitted drug cheat, breaking of said record.

Let's think about this - the term sacred is a synonym for the word holy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Holy: adjective (holier, holiest) 1 dedicated to God or a religious purpose. 2 morally and spiritually excellent and to be revered.

"Morally and spiritually excellent." Let's stay with that for a second.

Aaron was known to despise cheating of any sort - so much so that, according to reports, he feels that Gaylord Perry who admitted to using the spit-ball, should not be in the Hall. Aaron broke the record with quiet dignity while fielding death threats due to his race.

Many are claiming this is about race, but I fail to see how a criminal breaking a black-man's record could be about race.

And let's make no mistake about this - Bonds is a criminal. Multiple witnesses have testified to his use of substances that are banned by federal law - use of substances that were solely meant to enhance his power numbers.

If the record is so, "sacred," then why do you so badly want a criminal to break it?

Isn't that like deciding that Charlie Manson is indeed the second coming of Jesus? Hey...ignore the murders, this guy is the real deal! Please.

"Everybody else was doing it," is no defense. Do you remember your mother? "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you too?"

This isn't about breaking a record. This isn't about race. Those of you who convince yourselves that it is are fooling yourselves.

This is about compromising your morals.

What is it about Bonds that is allowing you at ESPN to whore out your moral compass? I would love to, just once, hear one of your commentators rip Bonds without excusing his actions. But of course, this is the same network that gave us that horrible, self-serving pile of steaming dung entitled Bonds on Bonds. I guess journalistic balance and integrity is something I shouldn't expect from a network whose first name is Entertainment.

I take little consolation in the fact that I have not yet heard the venerable Peter Gammons weighing in on the subject. I can only hope the taste of bile in the back of his mouth and his station in the pantheon of baseball writers have kept the brass at ESPN from pushing their pro-Bonds/anti-Aaron stance on the man.

Unfortunately, I know that this will reach none of them.


The Angry Fan


soxfaninny said...


Kevin Smith said...

Couldn't have done it without you pointing me to that page 2 piece.

Of course what's so offensive in the Notorious PhD's commentary is the fact that a so-called college professor is perpetrating every street stereotype he can in an argument that amounts to, in his street lingo, "Man, why you doggin' my boy? He ain't done you nothin'."

Of course he conveniently dismisses facts such as criminal behavior in order to justify his berating of Hank Aaron.

What an asshole.