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The Tragedy Of Barry Bonds

Aug 18, 2007
If you ask an English professor at any university they will tell you the classic definition of tragedy is when a character is doing something that is correct or dearly loved, and it becomes the undoing of them or the thing they love the most. Nowhere is this tragedy being played out more dramatically or obviously than the story of Barry Bonds and the chaos he brings to Major League Baseball. No one has ever questioned Bond's affinity or passion for the sport. However, his behavior both on and off the field has led many to believe the while he strives to break the greatest record in baseball history he is becoming the sports greatest villain.

The scandal

There was a time when watching Barry Bonds beat Babe Ruth's homerun record and begin to chase the famous 755 homers by Hank Aaron was a delightful and exhilarating past time. However in the light of allegations of the use of performance-enhancing drugs and various anecdotal evidence thereof, watching him tackle the record has become a painful and angering process. What does it matter how many home runs you hit if you have to have drugs in your system to make you more able to do it? Barry Bonds has categorically denied that he is ever used performance-enhancing drugs although many in baseball who have confessed to doing so had named him as a co-conspirator. Still he maintains that there is no proof and until there is, he is innocent. Unfortunately, while proof is the foundation of the justice system, common sense goes a long way. Barry Bond's continuing appearance in the scandal shows him to be a tragic figure, doing what he should not be able to do in a way he should not be doing it.

The attitude

Barry Bonds is closing in on Hank Aaron's record and the resulting scandal of possible performance-enhancing drug use have brought him some attention that he didn't want. Frequently whenever he takes the field, he is booed, heckled and hissed. Some people boo because they feel he did cheat in pursuing this homerun record. Others, however, claim they boo because he is generally an unpleasant person. Baseball is and will always be about relationships with fans. Whether you like it or not, when you're being paid $2.5 million a year they expect to be willing to shake their hand, to smile, and to treat them with general warmth and affection. Most baseball players manage to find a wonderful balance of creating a fan base built on genuine love for the game and finding private time where they can experience their full range of emotions. Bonds has no such desire or balance. His attitude towards fans is often described as hostile, mad or snarling. Even when he smiling for cameras there is a general fakeness to his pose that makes people believe he is not happy to be around anyone. Nobody questions Barry Bonds is a great baseball player. They do question if he is a good person.

The theft

The issue of taking Hank Aaron's homerun crown creates ire in many fans in part because it is such a special memory. Anyone who was alive then and remembers the grainy images on television of number 755 coasting over the fence will tell you it is a treasured part of their recollection. For anyone to come near that number, and potentially eclipse it creates a certain amount of loss and grief in fans. Add to that the possibility of performance-enhancing drugs or steroid use, and the attitude of someone who seems less like a hometown hero and more like a big bully with a bat, and you see why they consider Aaron's crown to be stolen from his head, rather than rightfully earned. This more than anything else, is what is created concern about Barry Bonds eventually taking over the record.

Historically, Barry Bonds will go down in baseball history as a tragic talent. His inability to overcome his self and his sins will forever tarnish his achievements and his hopes.
About the Author
James Brown writes about FansEdge.com coupon code, Pro Sports Memorabilia discounts and Mitchell & Ness discount codes
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