J.P. Pours Acid on Decaying Corpse of Bonds Rumours
Another day, another one-run loss…The way they’ve been “swinging” the bats so far this year I thought the Jays would get a hit or two and about 10 walks against Matsuzaka, but he didn’t walk (2) or strike out (3) that many batters, and instead just induced a ton of weak contact over 7 innings from the predictably punchless Jays offense by pounding the zone and getting groundballs low and away:
After the game, J.P. was talking to blissfully uninformed callers on Wilners show. The first time Bonds Bonds was mentioned, he sort of danced around the issue by saying he might not help anyway and implying that management might be holding him back. But then someone implied that he had to sign him in order to save his job, and he dropped his usual “I respect your frustration” veneer and spat some venom:
I will never do anything out of fear. I’m going to trade my integrity to bring people here that don’t stand for what we stand for. It’s almost laughable that the fans are willing to sell their soul. For a guy we don’t even know if he has anything left. We think he is because we haven’t seen him, but…I don’t know. I don’t even want to talk about it any more.
I find it odd that this is probably the first time I have ever heard the “selling your soul” argument against signing Bonds. It usually stops at whether he’s enough of an “distraction” (read: asshole) to counteract what is probably a still potent bat. And eventually the conclusion comes around to the bottom line that he would have to stalk and kill about one key bullpen member a month (in stat circles, this is known as his Reliever Runs Murdered per Nine Innings, or RRM/9) in order for signing him to be a bad baseball decision.
But is it really so ridiculous to choose character on your team for some other reason than the intangible effects it supposedly has on your ballclub? It may sound preachy by J.P. to bring it up, but I guarantee the casual fan is more likely to feel this way. I ambivalently sympathize- we constantly hear the old chestnut “baseball is a business”, but I like to feel good about the band of millionaires I have chosen to support. I like that there are other things about Roy Halladay I admire other than his cut fastball. I’m glad Scott Rolen is on the team even if Troy Glaus marginally outplays him this season because he’s @#$@#$ hilarious. No matter how much you like his OPS, there’s not one thing to like about Barry Bonds other than his OPS.
It’s not even that Bonds took steroids, it’s that I’ve watched him lie and snarl and be an unbelievably arrogant jerk over the issue (and in general) for years, and recently received a good deal of Schadenfreude over the fall and eventual indictment of such a terrible human being. There’s just no way I could turn that around and wholeheartedly cheer for him. I mean, if Roger Clemens announced tomorrow that he’d put his doping, lying, entrapping, statutory raping days behind him, found his Cy Young stuff, and was ready to come back to Toronto and lead the team into the playoffs, would you really want him on the team? Really? Are we that desperate?
Ok, in the middle of an unbelievable drought at the plate might not be the best time to pose this particular hypothetical, because there’s also something to be said for watching good baseball. But I’d rather watch these losers try to figure out how to hit than try to feel good about hoping Barry can silence the Fenway crowd that is quite rightly throwing syringes and waving asterisks at him- because naive or not, that used to be me…