At press time, the number 69 held significance for two reasons. First, the obvious significance amongst sexually active individuals; and secondly, it also happens to be how many homeruns San Fransisco’s Barry Bonds has on the season. Bonds, with just six games remaining in the the regular season is attempting to break Mark McGwire’s single season home run record of 70. Unfortunately, virtually no one has noticed.In 1998 when McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke Roger Maris’ single season home run record of 61 the media and public couldn’t get enough of talking about the feat. Now, in 2001, it seems that for the most part no one really cares.
There are a couple reasons for that. The most popular explanation amongst sports enthusiasts is the notion that Bonds’ accomplishment has come in a span of time that is too close to McGwire and Sosa’s. As valid a reason as that is, the point remains that Bonds is having the type of season that may never again be seen. Alright, so they said that about McGwire, but the fact that it has happened should make Bonds’ run that much more appealing. You would think that in light of the terrorist attacks in New York that this would be the sort of thing that would bring a populous together but it appears that there simply is not enough interest in Bonds’ chase for history.
For those that don’t know, Barry Bonds is an Afro-American who has had a very successful career as a power hitter. He is a solid outfielder but is more likely to receive praise for his hitting rather than his fielding. Although, he has not fared well in playoff play it would be absolutely asinine to deny the fact that in the regular season he very well could be one of the greatest power hitters in baseball history. You see, the real reason why Bonds’ is not receiving the same attention that McGwire enjoyed is because he is a bad black guy.
Bonds has a personal trainer outside of those that the Giants provide for him, a big screen television in the locker room, personal massage therapists, and a dietitian. He doesn’t want to be a role model, he doesn’t want to talk about the record and he certainly doesn’t want to be Major League Baseball’s poster boy. Why does this make Bonds the “bad” black guy? The answer is quite simple, he simply doesn’t fit into the American propaganda machine. Currently, the American propaganda system is spinning at a pace that half of America can’t even understand never mind comprehend. And, in a time when America is asked to believe in “the system” Bonds simply doesn’t fit. Instead, he symbolizes individuality; a theme that the American media simply does not want to explore right now.
It is quite sad to think that Bonds is being denied heroic status simply because he has his own identity, his own goals, and his own brand of thinking. If anything, he should be praised that much more for his ability to excel in a sport that places so much pressure on its limited amount of superstar players. It would be quite refreshing to see Bonds get praise for being an individual, standing up for what he wants and achieving a goal that for the most part is absolutely mind numbing. Realistically, he could beat McGwire’s record of 70 homerun’s by as many as three. Even more impressively, he is going to do this while the Giants are in the middle of a pennant race. Just think, Bonds could finish with two things that McGwire didn’t have in 1998; more home runs, and a shot at a National League championship. McGwire is very familiar with the first part of the equation but ask him, “how does it feel to win a pennant”?