SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Here's the Thing: No One Seems to Care

I always enjoy reading who made the All-Star team (and who didn't) and how internet voting from other countries affects who gets elected to the All-Star game. I'm particularly thrilled to see David Eckstein get a starting spot in the All-Star game, as I saw him as a minor-league second baseman more than five years ago for the Trenton Thunder when they were a Red Sox affiliate (the year I saw him play, he hit .330, stole 50 bases and had an above-.400 OBP). Eckstein personifies the term "winner" (despite this, the BoSox let him go after the following season, and Baseball America didn't have him in their Top 10 Red Sox' prospects after that great AA season -- OF Michael Coleman, who turned down a football scholarship to either Alabama or Auburn, and the late 1B Dernell Stenson, topped the list). He makes things happen, and it's great that not only does he make the All-Star team as a starter, but he does so from the best baseball city in the U.S., St. Louis.

If you'd like to see a kid with electrifying stuff, vote for Brett Myers, the Phillies' starter, for the 32nd player on the NL team. When the kid is on, he is lights out, showing the talent that enabled him to become a top draft pick several years ago.

Finally, and here's the who cares part, Barry Bonds isn't an All-Star. And no one seems to care. At all.

Which goes to show you that no one player is larger than the game, and that the game can survive the loss of one of the best players in its history (it helps when he has made himself unapproachable and, as a result, unlikeable to most).

There will be many great, young stars for you to watch at the All-Star Game, and a few older ones as well. Barry Bonds will not be there, but not many will notice.

Which is as is should be, to a certain degree. Let's rejoice in those who made it and not worry too much about those who are not there.

Or, at least, those who never showed the fans even a small fraction of the attention (and sometimes affection) that they showed him.

They say it's a game for the fans, and, if that's truly the case, the fans will get to see a great game, without having the arrogance of one of the all-time greatest rubbed in their faces.

We do miss your prodigious talents, Barry Bonds, but somehow the All-Star Game will feel a bit better without your being there, as much as I want the all-time greats to participate in the game.

I hope that wherever you are doing your rehab, you are bummed that you're not in the All-Star Game, and that you actually miss the festivities.

Because, if you do, then you'll start to get it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

You state that you miss Barry Bonds and his talents, but as you say no one cares. The fact that he is gone has enhanced MLB's brand because they don't have to deal with the publicity that he generates,ie negative pub. We don't have to hear that he wants to break Babe Ruths record because he is a white man who didn't play against Black ball players. Well he was a fat out of shape white man who was an alcoholic, but he still hit home runs. We don't have to hear about Balco and the impending ivestigation of Barry Bonds by the Federal Government. Bonds hurts your brand as much as he helps it. You can't begin to change his image because he is sorry for anything that he has done. You can't create a script in which he is the bad guy gone good, because he isn't accepting any of the negative press. He is not open, he is abrasive, and stand offish. How can fans relate to him on a personal level when he acts as if he has no personal flaws. So it is best that he is not involved in MLB this year because MLB can begin to generate interest around new players such as Brian Roberts, David Eckstein, and Derek Lee. Baseball has to replace the aging stars with new ones to keep the machine going. So it is good that Derek Jeter, Barry Bonds, Nomar, Sammy Sosa, Randy Johnson, and Schilling are nowhere to be found because it gives MLB the chance to create new personalities.

11:30 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Thanks, Jonathan. The really puzzling thing here is that there's hardly been any buzz about his absence and how he's been missed. Part of it is that he plays for a West Coast team (were it the Yankees, we might be hearing about his absence a lot). Most of it, though, is Bonds himself, and it's refreshing not to have to hear about the juxtaposition of his accomplishments with the agony of his interactions with the media. The question now is: will he come back at all?

1:58 PM  

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