Home / The Ramble: Bonds’ Balls, Daly And Barkley’s Gambling Habits, Don King And Clemens The Mercenary

The Ramble: Bonds’ Balls, Daly And Barkley’s Gambling Habits, Don King And Clemens The Mercenary

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None of this is probably as important as Paris being voted off of American Idol Wednesday night, but then again what is?

Barry Bonds’ Balls. Home run balls, that is. First Bud Selig tells us that Major League Baseball isn’t planning any kind of ceremony to commemorate Barry Bonds surpassing Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time home run list. Now we find out that MLB isn’t certifying any baseballs the Giants are using during the lead up to Bonds’ 715th. What this means is that there will be not be a way to verify the identity of any of Bonds’ home run balls that may get hit into the stands – or McCovey’s Cove – and that wind up in a fan’s possession.

Which means there will be more chaos than usual when Bonds’ balls land in the hands of a fan. When McGwire and Sosa were chasing Roger Maris’ record, and then again when Bonds was in the process of surpassing McGwire, MLB provided numbered, holographed balls in an effort to verify when fans presented the record-setting balls, these balls were the actual balls. MLB’s position on both of these issues is that since Bonds is just moving into second place there is no reason to treat these events with any fanfare or concern.

This is nonsense. MLB doesn’t have the balls to come out and say they aren’t planning to celebrate Bonds’ moving past Ruth, and are not taking any steps to authenticate Bonds’ balls when he ties and passes Ruth, because Bonds is playing under a huge, black cloud of steroid-suspicion and possible perjury-related penalties. Selig and his minions don’t have the courage to take a stand, and would rather put their heads in the sand – like they did during the steroid era – and pretend that Bonds passing Ruth isn’t a big deal. Can’t these guys do anything right?

John Daly and Charles Barkley. These two guys are hardcore gamblers. First Daly reveals that he’s lost somewhere around $60 million gambling…$60 million! Then Barkley, in an interview with ESPN, tells us that he’s lost about $10 million and that he has a problem. Gee, ya think? Rather than criticism for these guys and their problems, I’ll just leave it at amazement. But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that nothing good can come from gambling, especially at this excessive level. At best, you can lose only a couple of million bucks, and at worst it can ruin you personally, professionally and financially. Hopefully these two guys will get some control over themselves before their income stream dries up. Ask Leonard Tose.

Boxing Silliness. During the Wednesday press conference to promote this Saturday’s pay-per-view fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga, Mayorga threatened to pull out of the fight unless he is paid $8 million. He signed a contract with Don King for $2 million but says that King verbally promised him more. Okay. Don King is Don King and anybody who gets in bed with him – yuk – gets what they deserve. No doubt this fight will go off, Mayorga will get $2 mil and lawsuits will ensue.

Roger “The Mercenary” Clemens. Clemens is one of the greatest pitchers of all time and arguably the greatest of the current era of pitchers. Maddux and Pedro are great, but for sheer power and dominance nobody has done it – or is doing it – for as long as the Rocket has. I just find it a little distasteful for Clemens to be conducting this auction for his services, and in addition to the Astros, the Red Sox and the Yankees are in the mix. He left the Yankees ostensibly because he was nearing the end of his career and wanted to be close to home. He had a closet full of Cy’s and his World Series ring. We were told it wasn’t about the money, but all about family. Now after two years, it’s all about the money. What happened to the family?

The Astros have offered at least $12 million to Roger to get him to pitch for them this season, which is the pro-rated version of what he made last year. The Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees have all been suckered – beautifully – by Clemens and his agent. The Sox and Steinbrenners have been pulled into the picture to drive the price up while they get their hopes up. You would think these teams would have the sense to know they are being used. I guess the lure of Clemens is just too strong. After all of this, if Clemens just gets what he was making last year – or even a little more – I don’t see why this approach was necessary. It’s just very strange to me. But I guess as Gordon Gekko said, “Greed is good.”

Come on back now, ya hear?

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About Sal Marinello