In addition to brilliantly stating that Bob Costas knows nothing about baseball, Barry Bonds has now taken his rage (insert ‘roid in there if you wish) out on Marc Ecko – the chap who bought ball #756. But Ecko did not have intentions of using the ball as a bragging mantle piece for empty dinner conversation. Rather, he had a novel idea – one that allowed the fans to decide the future of the ball.
Not surprisingly, Bonds thinks Ecko is an idiot for letting fans decide what to do with the ball. Turns out fans want an asterisk, as opposed to an exclamation point or dollar sign, put on the ball and sent to the baseball hall of fame.
There’s an irony in all this. I thought about idiots and came to Dostoevsky’s The Idiot. Part of the historical background of when the classic novel was written reflects the general disillusionment among Russians of Alexander II’s failing liberal reforms in the 1860s.
Has anyone checked the barometer of how fans view sports these days? Pretty jaded huh? The war on drugs seems so overwhelming that realists feel it will never be won. Comparing contemporary North American sports fans with those of 19th century Russia seems a tad ridiculous if not lame.
Still. There is a link there somewhere I am sure.
Personally, I think Ecko’s idea is swell – but what do I know? The ball has a shot at truly serving the interests of history. In this way, Ecko spent his money with a conscience.
Barry “Save my” Bonds wasn’t the only one lashing out at Ecko. ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons has also weighed in with pontifications of his own. Though he did not go quite as far as Bonds in calling Ecko an idiot, he did condescendingly dismiss him by suggesting history would forget his name.
I love it when sportswriters talk about what’s good for the fans and the game when it suits them. Now that the fans dare to speak their own minds, they are derisively derided and defecated on.
Sometimes the perception becomes the truth, and if Bonds or MLB have not explained themselves properly regarding the “cream” problem, then the fans have every right to express their feeling. After all, editors at sports magazines get to decide what we read. Consider this our own editing process.
This battle between fans, sportswriters and athletes is all beside the point. On the conglomerate, they form the ties of history. Individually, none are bigger than the tides of history. History is not about the good, bad or the ugly- it’s about history. Period. For a sport that revels in history they should understand this better than anybody.
So the ball is to be sent to the hall. For shame! Shame!
That’s what a museum is there for. In my mind, the Baseball Hall of Fame is correct in accepting the ball. Gosh, we take sports a tiny bit too seriously sometimes. Bonds broke a hallowed record. Congratulations to him. It’s a part of baseball folklore and heritage now. However, it was achieved under a cloud of suspicion. It seems to me this ball will serve as a great reminder of this.
In the end, history will judge. It really isn’t about the “asterisk” per se. It may very well turn out that we will remove the asterisk or forget Marc Ecko one day.
But that isn’t the point, now is it? The point is that the ball will record the mood of a people during this particular baseball era. If we are honest, progressive and as skillful as we claim to be, then perhaps we have arrived at some form or variation of the truth.
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