Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and Retirement

I don't think Barry Bonds will finish out the season. He is obsessed with passing Babe Ruth and once that is accomplished I think it could be anytime after that when he retires. His injuries and age have caught up to him and he doesn't have the magic steroid pill (or should I say syringe) to ward off either of these problems. I know you can't trust anything out of the man's mouth so his latest statement about him doubting that he could break Hank's record (meaning he won't play long enough to) should be taken with a grain of salt. But after watching him grimace around the basepaths last night it's hard to imagine him making it through the entire season. I'm sure Bonds wants the all-time HR record but he also knows that if he gets it the steroid talk will never cease (it won't anyway) and he might end up with an asterisk by his name. Plus passing Hank Aaron doesn't hold the same allure for Bonds that passing Ruth does. You would have to have your head in the sand to believe race doesn't have something to do with this. In 2003 Bonds made this statement, "755 isn't a number that's always caught my eye..... the only number I care about is Babe Ruth's. Because as a left-handed hitter, I wiped him out. That's it. And in the baseball world, Babe Ruth's everything, right? I got his slugging percentage and I'll take his home runs and that's it. Don't talk about him no more."
Bond's doesn't claim that Ruth being white is part of his motivation but his other reported racist statements along with this quote, "Babe Ruth was a great player, but he wasn't black. I'm black, and it's tougher for blacks"; lead me to believe that Ruth's whiteness is definitely a motivating factor in his desire to pass him.
Anyway, whether or not race has anything to do with Bond's obsession with Ruth, the point is he is fanatical about getting ahead of the Bambino. To get to Hank's record he would need to play part of next season as well and I just don't think that happens. So here is how I see it playing out this summer.

- Bonds passes Ruth and gets giddy over it.

-Whether its a day later or 2 months later, Bond's will have a press conference and citing injuries as the reason, announce his retirement. Additionally he will pull out his victim act yet again and tell us that the emotional toil from all the media harassment has dampened his desire to play anymore. Tears will probably roll as he props up his very cute daughter next to him and whines about how tough it has been to be Barry Bonds. Then it's back to the mansion to swim in the pool.

-Also, this gets him out of active player status if and when this so called official investigation ever amounts to anything.

Just as a sidenote, I read something today that compared Barry Bonds to Ty Cobb. Although Cobb was definitely more racist and more of a jerk, the comparison has some merit. Both were extremely talented players with huge egos and personalities that turned people off.

No comments: