Today In Poorly Formed Thoughts

In today’s link dump, I linked (appropriate, no?) to Craig Calcaterra’s informative post questioning the prosecution’s strategy in attempting to embarrass Barry Bonds through evidence that doesn’t really prove whether or not he knew he was using steroids.

As the Bonds trial draws nigh, baseball fans will no doubt be presented with varying opinions on the guilt or innocence of Major League Baseball’s home run king.  However, I doubt any will be quite as stupid as Rich Walcoff’s column in yesterday’s San Francisco Examiner.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

An open letter to Barry Bonds …

What a novel idea.  Has this format ever been used before to get a point across?  Fantastic.  So original.

Tough times bro. It seems like just yesterday you were San Francisco’s favorite son and baseball’s greatest star. Now the Feds are swarming over you like an al-Qaida operative.

Maybe you should avoid the waterboarding-style treatment you are sure to get in court and cut a deal.

Yes.  Great metaphor, bro.  Because al-Qaeda operatives in America are swarming to turn themselves into the FBI on an almost daily basis and admit all their wrongdoing.  The Feds don’t even have to hunt them down. And just in case that doesn’t make any sense, why not equate physical torture to the constitutional right to a fair trial, in which the accused is innocent until proven guilty?

Perjury won’t be an easy thing to acknowledge, but it sure beats a daily parade of former friends publicly dissing you. Besides, who didn’t lie about juicing back in the day? Everyone knows Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa couldn’t carry your jock, yet their steroid-fueled 1998 home run chase elevated them to cult hero status. If baseball was going to turn a blind eye, why should you get the stink eye and possibly prison time for following their lead?

If Walcoff had bothered to read even the smallest bit about the Bonds trial, he’d know that the case has nothing to do with whether or not the former San Francisco Giants star lied about not using steroids, and everything to do with whether or not he knew he was using steroids.

But why let facts get in the way of making yourself look like a moron?

Look, everyone knows how hard it must have been growing up with an alcoholic father who rarely offered any praise. As gifted as you were on the field, the blessing of being raised around Giants baseball royalty also came with the burden of great expectation. Ultimately, you were derailed by an all-consuming quest to be the best.

How dare he?  A professional athlete attempting to be the best?  What a jerk.  Just like those horrible Olympians and anyone else attempting to overcome obstacles in order to make something of themselves in this life.

Seriously, I’m pretty sure it’s not his intent, but Walcoff is actually contributing to my feelings of sympathy for Bonds.

I remember a confrontation we had in the Candlestick clubhouse before the 1995 season when I asked whether you and other major leaguers owed anything to the fans for the players’ strike that wiped out the 1994 World Series. You angrily answered, “I don’t owe anybody nothin’.”

Okay.  Now we understand where this is all coming from.  Sixteen years ago Bonds dared to give Walcoff an answer he didn’t like to a question that Bonds didn’t like.

A few minutes later you apologized saying racial abuses and biased reporting you faced while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates made you sensitive to criticism from the media. You then talked about keeping a scrapbook of damaging stories you hoped to one day show your kids.

And then he dared to apologize for being snappy, giving a reasonable explanation for his reaction.

The defining Bonds headlines are about to be written.

My ultimate hope is that the defining Bonds headline revolves around an investigation into why Federal prosecutors have spent so much time and money on their own investigation into Bonds.

Your daughters and son will read those too.

Really?  The only shame that Walcoff is heaping down in this entire column is upon himself.

Let’s assume that Bonds used steroids knowingly.  Let’s assume that he cheated.  Let’s assume that he lied about it.  Big deal.  After bringing the man’s kids into a hack job attempt at shaming him, Walcoff should have to lie to himself just to look into the mirror.

This makes me ill.