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Friday, March 10, 2006

Boswell makes me feel better

It's often worth waiting for what Tom Boswell, the best baseball columnist in America today, has to say about a matter. He proves it is worthwhile to wait with his column today on Bonds.
...as public scrutiny and cyber vituperation rain down on Bonds, we should remember that he is just the symptom, not the cause. When sports fundamentally warp themselves out of greed, we never know until later where the long-term damage will manifest itself. When baseball's owners "took a strike" -- ousting conciliatory commissioner Fay Vincent and installing Bud Selig, then a hardliner, to do the deed -- no one dreamed that the greatest damage to the sport would come years later and in an unexpected form.

The true price of the strike was not in canceled games or wasted revenue or a glaring gap in the list of World Series champions. Instead, the greatest toll was taken from the game's credibility, its integrity, its place in the national consciousness as an institution worthy of high and long-held regard.

...

But your sins don't "find you out" in the forms of your own choosing. Your misdeeds come back in warped and intractable ways. Then suddenly you are stuck with problems that have no solutions. For example, every baseball fan for decades to come will have to make mental adjustments for every accomplishment since the juice arrived. Who was clean? Who was dirty? And who cheated, yet did not technically break any of the written rules?

Bonds's own words will echo in the future, a perfect representation of the broken moral compass of his baseball period. "What players take doesn't matter. It's nobody's business," Bonds said four years ago. Last spring, he rebuked a questioner, saying: "You're talking about something that wasn't even illegal at the time. . . . Man, it's not like this is the Olympics."

No, sad to say, it's not the Olympics. It's only baseball, a business that misplaced its conscience for years, and only now is discovering that, in ways it never dreamed, the sport has truly become a game of shadows.


Don't know why I've done all the baseball posts-- must have something to do with the spring coming soon, the first signs of which being pitchers and catchers reporting in February. Or perhaps it was running in shorts this morning in the northeast.

In honor of Boswell's greatness, here are some of his recent greatest hits on the DC stadium struggles:
For the Nats, One Stadium Down, One Owner to Go
Time to Decipher D.C.'s Code
Nationals' Stadium Gets a New Lease on Life
Baseball, D.C. Are in a League Of Their Own


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