Friday, June 15, 2007

A tale of two icons

So, tonight at Fenway two icons will appear with the San Francisco Giants. And they represent such opposite ends of the spectrum - and I anticipate two totally different reactions from the Fenway Faithful.

Barry Bonds will be playing DH for the Giants, and he's on his way to breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. He stands tonight at 747, only needing 13 more. Yet the whole record chase is tainted, according to most fans. There is the shadow of doubt over whether Bonds' homers were fueled by steroids. You can't deny the photo comparisons between Bonds in the 90s and how he looks now. All evidence seems to point to steroid use. So, should his record have an asterix? How should we celebrate the occasion when he passes the record?

Personally, I feel he did take steroids, and I do think that he's cheating. I don't think I can celebrate his breaking of the record. Hank Aaron did it clean, and did it in the face of incredible opposition - most of it racially motivated. I'd have an incredible amount of respect for Bonds if he chose to retire one short of the record. But I don't see that happening. In the interest of full disclosure, one of my summer reading books is "Game of Shadows" - so I should be able to weigh in with more clarity soon!

On the other end of the spectrum is their lead-off hitter. Dave Roberts will forever be an adored icon in Boston - his steal of 2nd in Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS really shifted the momentum of that series. Without his steal, we lose that series, and never win the 2004 World Series. I had the chance to meet him last year in Atlanta, when he played for the Padres. He was so complimentary of RS fans, talked about how they always came out and supported him in every city. A total class act! I can't wait to hear the reaction from the fans - and he leads off tonight, so the wait won't be long.

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