Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Politics at Its Worst

Is there anything lower than Hillary Clinton’s contortionist triangulations? Or John McCain’s outright duplicity on the war? Pikers, both of them. Rank amateurs.

Are you already growing tired of the 2008 presidential campaign, even though it’s only mid-April of 2007? Sick of the self-serving and disingenuous statements each candidate feels obligated to trot out on a regular basis? That’s nothing compared to what you’re about to be subjected to until January of 2013, when the Baseball Hall of Fame votes on whether Barry Bonds should be included.

A seminal event occurred last January that transformed Barry’s personality. (An external event is the only thing seminal left to Barry, given the years of steroid abuse.) What could it be? The birth of a child? The death of someone close to him? A near-tragic experience of his own? We’re getting warmer. Hall of Fame voters passed over Mark McGwire for admission.

On paper, McGwire was more than qualified. 583 home runs, 12 All-Star games, 3 Silver Slugger Awards. He led his league in home runs 4 times and is the all-time leader in fewest at bats per home run. (Bonds is third, behind Babe Ruth.) That’s an HOF resume, but McGwire didn’t get close. Why not?

The S-word.

McGwire looked like an idiot testifying before Congress, parsing his words like a Bush press secretary. He was caught with the androstenedione, and hemmed and hawed his way around admitting to more extensive steroid use. The media types who vote for the Hall had a moment of righteous indignation and voted him out. What will happen next time is anyone’s guess.

Imagine Barry’s plight. Poster child for the symptoms of steroid abuse. Under investigation of perjury charges. Quite possibly the biggest asshole in the known world. (Face it, it’s either him or Dick Cheney.) Treated sportswriters like something to be wiped off the bottom of his shoe for years. Didn’t need them. His numbers spoke for him.

Now McGwire’s example shows numbers alone might not be enough. Oops.

Meet soft and fuzzy Barry. Kissing up to writers, though he probably knows which ones have votes, and which don’t. Talking about all the great memories he has of Pittsburgh, and how he would have stayed had the Pirates’ ownership had a clue.

That should cinch his perjury charge right there. Barry Bonds couldn’t get out of The Burgh fast enough. Shot off his mouth every chance he got. The Burgh didn’t exactly rip Barry’s clothes trying to get him to stay. After Barry’s concentrated bridge burning effort, capped off by the infamous Children’s Hospital ball-signing fiasco, the city was happy to settle for booing him on his returns as a visiting Giant.

The Barry Bonds Image Resurrection Tour will be at a ballpark near you throughout the summer. You may also look forward to repeated media sightings after he finally pulls the plug and starts the five-year countdown toward HOF eligibility.

Remember when Deion Sanders said the NFL should change the name of the cornerback position to Deion? That’s the relationship Barry has to “asshole.” Don’t let the new stump speech fool you.

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