I don't usually comment on sports, but with all the "asterisk" talk and some sports news columnists sniping about whether this is a significant achievement, I thought I'd weigh in.
Oregonian columnist Brian Meehan writes in today's column:
Barry Bonds broke perhaps the greatest record in sports, but outside the Bay Area, does anybody really care?
So did all the people who filled up baseball stadiums where he played, even outside San Francisco. ESPN showed all the recent games. My guess is not because 95% of the country was yawning.
My dad and I, who watched his last 5 or 6 games, cared. We like baseball, but usually only watch games when they are convenient. We made time for these.
My dad points out that if you want to put asterisks behind names, try them on all modern players breaking records. In the good old days they traveled by bus and train. Ever do a 72 hour Greyhound East Coast to West Coast trip? Ain't fun and doesn't leave you in tiptop physical shape.
How about modern medicine, pain relievers, surgery, training facilities, vitamins and health regimens? How much of a handicap for modern players is that worth?
Steroids or no steroids, Bonds is one of the great baseball players. And as Meehan grudgingly admits: "Barry Bonds broke perhaps the greatest record in sports . . . ."
For those who didn't care, my condolences. I'm glad I was around to see it.