Re: Bonds vs. Clemens
Bonds is directly linked, with piles upon piles of evidence, with a known steroid supplier, has a history of arrogance coupled with a massive god complex since his days in college, and underwent physique changes in his late 30's which are not only counter to the changes that 100's of ballplayers go through but are infact precisely what you'd expect from a person who took the types of substances he's accused of taking.
Clements isn't and did not. His "spike" in performance was preceded by 5 Cy Youngs and his performance was virtually identical pre-01 to post-01. The only notable change was a drop in ERA when he went from the AL East to the NL Central. Guess what, any pitcher making that move will see his ERA drop significantly. His K/9 hasn't increased. He's throwing fewer pitchers per start. He's hanging on VERY VERY well, but he's not getting markedly better.
Yes, Bonds is black. I'm sure that there are a handful of people that rush to villify him in part because of this, looking for any chink in the armor and exploiting it. All that means is that we should be particularly skeptical about any unsubstantiated claims and focus on evidence that is aracial, or supported by many sources. There's more than enough of that to go around. Bonds get vilified because he ACTS LIKE A VILLIAN. Clemens, and McGwire for that matter, don't belittle their colleagues constantly, demean the people around them, and act like Gods gift to the world.
Could Clemens be taking HGH or some other undetectable substance. Sure. Does he have undeniable ties with steroid dealers, crazy body changes, and a marked spike in his performance when most players are declining? Nope. I have no doubt about racism being a problem and it having an affect on the portrayal of athletes. But to use that to discount all the things about the situation which are completely independent of race is just stupid.
Like the OJ case, just because you're a minority and some racist people call you guilty, doesn't mean you're not guilty. Should we question their motives? Sure. But to pretend that anybody else in baseball is a fair parallel with Bonds in terms of off the field actions is ridiculous. The treatment of the press to Bonds and Clemens is apples and oranges because their circumstances are completely different. Maybe I'm just naive, but I think that if any white guy had the same behaviors, took the same actions, etc. as Barry Bonds, he be just as vilified.
As a sociologist by training, this sort of muddling the waters of race discourse makes me sick. By playing the race card as a way of claiming innocence, Bonds is doing a disservice to those cases where racial bias is truly causing harm in society.
Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.
Last edited by RedsManRick; 05-09-2007 at 11:12 AM.