To Bonds or not To Bonds

As I sit here in my apartment on a beautiful summer night in Milwaukee, I look out my window and I can see Miller Park in the distance. While not the biggest or best city in the country, there are literally dozens of things to do in this great city on what is set to be a beautiful summer weekend weather wise. Frankly, there is only one thing on my mind for the weekend though: whether or not to be a part of the biggest and most controversial moment in baseball history. And I guess it’s not even a question of whether or not I’ll be there. As long as Bonds is playing, I’ll be at Miller Park. The question for me is: How do I react if Bonds hits number 756? It’s a question I’ve pondered all season and now that it’s about to become a reality, I’m as torn as I’ve ever been on the issue. At the beginning of the year I was set in my stance of how I felt about Bonds. He’s a cheater and it’s a disgrace that he’s breaking the greatest record in all of sports. No room at all in my psyche for any other thoughts. However, as the season has gone on and Bonds is now on the doorstep of the record, my romantic and sentimental side has started to kick in and I have begun to quietly cheer for Bonds. My feelings run far deeper than just a die-hard baseball fan wanting to see history. Growing up, Barry Bonds was my favorite player. This was due in part to poor baseball played in Milwaukee that wasn’t worth following and partly because Barry was just that damn good. There was no doubt even in the early 90’s that Bonds was a future Hall of Famer. Then came the strike of 1994 and baseball fans by the millions were driven away. Many of them still haven’t come back but most were lured back in the summer of 1998 by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and the pursuit of Roger Maris’ single season home run record. The record only stood for 3 years as Bonds broke it in 2001. It was the beginning on his assault on Henry Aaron’s all-time home run record. Fast forward to Thursday afternoon in Chicago. Career home runs 752 and 753 sailed over the fences at Wrigley Field. It had been the first game Bonds had started since Sunday and he hit the 2 long balls after a 0 for 21 slump which caused Bonds to publicly rip himself and his play. Bonds is now in the city where Henry Aaron hit 420 of his 755 career home runs. It also happens to be the hometown of Commissioner Bud Selig. Selig of course is creating a stir by his indecision of whether or not he will attend the historic event. When push comes to shove, I really hope that Selig puts aside whatever personal animosity he has towards Bonds and does what is best for the game. Bonds may or may not break the home run record in Milwaukee. I hope he does. I want to be part of the history. I will stand and applaud Bonds as he rounds the bases at Miller Park. I want to celebrate Bonds. I want to celebrate Henry Aaron. Most of all, I want to celebrate the game that I love so much.

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