The Universe holds these truths to be self-evident (if you really are open to knowing it):

We are all one. Linear time is an illusion. We create our own reality, individually and collectively.

Therefore, because we are all each other, because we will all always exist, and because we will all experience, at some level, everything and anything that we can imagine, there can be no "good" or "bad," no "right" or "wrong." There can only be creating and experiencing what we create. There can be preferences, and indeed many things that we experience as negative, painful, destructive, etc., are often not preferred, but nonetheless, whatever the choices, none are inherently "bad."

Which brings me to Barry Bonds.

On the baseball field, if you knew nothing else about his back story, he was the greatest baseball player who ever played the game. On paper, this is also true. Bonds' accomplishments, which may or may not have been facilitated to a major or minor degree at some point or another by chemistry, are simply and nonetheless truly astounding.

Here are the records Barry Bonds holds:

Home runs lifetime (762)
Home runs in a single season (73), 2001
Home runs against different pitchers (449)
Home runs since turning 40 years old (74)
Home runs in the year he turned 43 years old (28)
Consecutive seasons with 30 or more home runs (13), 1992–2004
Slugging percentage in a single season (.863), 2001
Slugging percentage in a World Series (1.294), 2002
Consecutive seasons with .600 slugging percentage or higher (8), 1998–2005
On-base percentage in a single season (.609), 2004
Walks in a single season (232), 2004
Intentional walks in a single season (120), 2004
Consecutive games with a walk (18)
MVP awards (7—closest competitors trail with 3), 1990, 1992–93, 2001–04
Consecutive MVP awards (4), 2001–04
National League Player of the Month selections (13—2nd place: 8 - Frank Thomas; 2nd place (N.L.) - George Foster, Pete Rose and Dale Murphy)
Oldest player (age 38) to win the National League batting title (.370) for the first time, 2002

Here are the records he shares:

Consecutive plate appearances with a walk (7)
Consecutive plate appearances reaching base (15)[175]
Tied with his father, Bobby, for most seasons with 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases (5) and are the only father-son members of the 30–30 club
Home runs in a single post-season (8), 2002

Here are a "few" other distinctions to his name:

5-time SF Giants Player of the Year (1998, 2001–04)
7-time Baseball America NL All-Star (1993, 1998, 2000–04)
3-Time Major League Player of the Year (1990, 2001, 2004)
3-Time Baseball America MLB Player of the Year (2001, 2003–04)
8-Time Gold Glove winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–98). As of the 2009 season, he is the last left fielder to win a Gold Glove in the National League.
12-Time Silver Slugger winner for NL Outfielder (1990–94, 1996–97, 2000–04)
14-time All-Star (1990, 1992–98, 2000–04, 2007)
3-Time NL Hank Aaron Award winner (2001–02, 2004)
Listed at #6 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranked active player, in 2005.
Named a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999, but not elected to the team in the fan balloting.
Rating of 352 on's Hall of Fame monitor (100 is a good HOF candidate);[176] 9th among all hitters, highest among hitters not in HOF yet.
Only the second player to twice have a single-season slugging percentage over .800, with his record .863 in 2001 and .812 in 2004. Babe Ruth was the other, with .847 in 1920 and .846 in 1921.
Became the first player in history with more times on base (376) than official times at bats (373) in 2004. This was due to the record number of walks, which count as a time on base but not a time at-bat. He had 135 hits, 232 walks, and 9 hit-by-pitches for the 376 number.
With his father Bobby (332, 461), leads all father-son combinations in combined home runs (1,094) and stolen bases (975), respectively through September 26, 2007.
Played minor league baseball in both Alaska and Hawaii. In 1983, he played for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in the Alaska Baseball League,[12] and in 1986, he played for the Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League.
One of only six Pittsburgh Pirates to ever be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The other five are Willie Stargell (twice), Roberto Clemente, Harry Walker, Dick Groat, and Frank Thomas.[177] He is one of ten San Francisco Giants to appear on the cover, along with Kelly Downs, Rick Reuschel, Willie Mays (nine times), Alvin Dark, Juan Marichal, Will Clark, Tim Lincecum (twice), Brian Wilson, and Buster Posey. He has appeared as the main subject on the cover eight times in total; seven with the Giants and once with the Pirates. He has also appeared in an inset on the cover twice. He is the most recent Pirate player to appear on the cover.

Here's another distinction that became part of Barry Bonds' legacy just today:

He was found guilty of obstruction of justice for lying to Federal Prosecutors about his use of performance-enhancing steroids.

In an article in the Huffington Post by Buzz Bissinger entitled: Barry Bonds' Federal Steroids Case Was a Travesty, the case is made for why this case shouldn't have been made.

Buzz very succinctly illuminates the blatant hypocrisy of all involved in the prosecution and persecution of Bonds. In an era when most major league franchise owners passively encouraged performance-enhancing drugs, and a vast majority of players used them, Bonds was singled out by a zealous IRS agent-turned-prosecutor because a. Bonds was the biggest fish; and b. nobody liked Barry Bonds. He was unfriendly and surly and as Buzz Bissinger points out:

"Bonds is the ultimate cautionary tale of what happens when you don’t care if you are liked and go against the grain of the Field of Dreams image of baseball, which has as much merit as heavily recruited high-school football players going to college because they want to major in molecular biology."

So, why am I writing about this? Because when we really don't want to connect to or acknowledge our oneness, when we don't want to accept that we create our own reality, and when we live in fear of the passage of time, we accumulate despair, and when we seek to do an end run around despair, we become "moral." Or more accurately, "moralizers." We look to excoriate those who appear to be "worse off" than us in some way or we seek to bring down those who appear to be "better off" than us in some way - stronger, richer, more creative, etc.

Look, folks... sports, like politics, is one of the ultimate expressions of duality, the false 3D notion that there are opposite sides to everything, teams, as it were, enemies to be defeated, winners and losers. With winning, then, at such a premium, is it surprising that athletes and their sponsors will do whatever it takes, rules be damned, toward that end? Of course not.

If we were all consciously connected to our oneness, we would be playing kadima, a game in which two players try to keep a ball in the air with paddles. It is a challenging game, requiring skill and stamina, but one in which each of the players are working towards the same goal. Imagine that. Athletes playing a sport without an opponent.

Build it and they will come.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Another home run article for Peter. I couldn't agree more. Stephen


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