Remembering the great Clemente
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
George Will praises David Maraniss’ Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero. I saw the Giants play the Rockies (with John Abramson) in Denver a few weeks ago, and the fans had nothing but contempt and boos for Barry Bonds. Clemente was never booed. He was great, and everyone knew it.
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The man had no concept of a strike zone.
Didnt need one.
Bonds is great as well, though his greatness comes in part from the steroids he has been pumping into his veins for the past few years. Anyone who can take a look at Bonds and claim that he might not be taking them is blind as a bat. Sure, hell end up passing Babe Ruth, and maybe even catch Aaron. It will be a shame if he does, for Aarons record deserves to stand. I dont mind that players beat records, provided its done on a level playing field. Bonds deserves to hear the boos, in my opinion. I never saw Clemente play (he was before my time), though his reputation is one of a great player and a great man.
Im not so sure about looking at Bonds indicates steroid use. In fact, before the overwhelming evidence came out, I didnt think he had taken them at all. Ive seen steroid users in the weight room and on the field. Mark McGwire, Jose Conseco, Rafael Palmero...they have the body type of a juicer. Bonds never looked like it. When you look at his early days, you can see he has the frame for a big body. Weight training picked up serious steam in baseball and basketball in the early 90s and has stayed strong since. Even the NFL had only a few, recognizable monster-muscle men in the 80s. Now look at the league, or even college, everyone is huge. I dont think everyone is a user. I do think great gains have been made in utilizing the effects of weight training. Until all of the evidence came out on Bonds, I had serious doubts on whether he was a juicer because of his body (it looked natural). But the evidence looks to be too much. Its a shame, b/c he was a great player (if more diverse than the heavy home run years) before he blew up.
The fact that his hat size grew from a 7 to an 8 in about a years time (after the age of 35 nonetheless) definitely indicates HGH. I agree that with this among others it just seems to overwhelming to not be true.
Lets not forget(at least our older posters)Stan "The Man" Musial. Great player, respected on the road, a genuinely good guy. Joe Namath as a kid recalled that he and his high school buddies would go to Forbes Field whenever the Cards were in town and get box seats just to get to talk with Stan during pregame practice. Joe said that Stan was always accomadating and asked how they were doing in school and would always autograph a ball. Any of todays "pros" will do this?
Sure, Jesse, many of them will still do it. The only problem is that they expect you to pay them $50 in return for the "honor" of having their signature.