Like its namesake, the Boeing aircraft, Barry's 747th streaked through the night in defiance of gravity. It had been a long time coming. Barry hit his 746th on the 27th of May. The long homer drought would not normally be news for a power hitter. After all, these guys are human and they go through slumps--even the best of them. But Barry being Barry means every nose hair is scrutinized. The steroids "scandal" and the on-going federal investigation of Mr. Bonds' alleged perjury in front of a grand jury has dampened enthusiasm for his record chase, and made sure his name will live in baseball's Hall of Infamy (along with Mark McGwire). Funny how "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's image was rehabilitated by a couple of films--the quirky and interesting Eight Men Out and the smarmy and maudlin Field of Dreams (based on the terrific novel Shoeless Joe by the Canadian writer W.P. Kinsella). I wonder if Messrs. McGwire and Bonds will find a similar cinematic redemption. The king of the baseball bloggers, John J. Perricone of Only Baseball Matters (indeed), has written incisively about Barry, MLB, the Feds, and the steroid silliness, and it would take a week of posts to give a precis that does Mr. Perricone justice. Check him out for yourself!. If it weren't for the bloggers, there would be no decent baseball journalism to read. The clowns in the national media have NO FUCKING CLUE (excuse me) and it pains me that they get paid to re-hash the drivel someone else has already regurgitated. Love or hate No. 25, he's the best hitter you will ever see. And that's what we pay our hard-earned dollars for. Number 13 last night brought The Dark Prince one step closer to the King's Throne.
Hank Aaron--you will always be a champ. Like Frank Robinson, you played in the big shadows of Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, and never got the kudos that was due you. One thing Barry Lamar's chase will do is remind every fan what an outstanding ballplayer Mr. Aaron was. And that's worth something.
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