Thursday, July 19, 2007
Records meant to be broken
Funny how publicity plays such a huge part for the famous and the infamous. Can you remember back a short 10 years ago when the NBA threw all of its support behind the newly initiated WNBA and the league immediately soared? In the last couple of years some of the interest has soured and maybe it isn’t so much about how the games are played as when the games are played.
The WNBA cranks up just as the NBA is winding up and the basketball world is still pretty much saturated with the thrills of March Madness and a steady diet of high school and collegiate basketball.
Well, the ladies of the WNBA have reached their midway point and held their All-Star game on Sunday. Very much without fanfare. This is not to say that the game was not well attended, verily it was sold out for the second straight year. Some commentators attributed the sellout to the fact that it was held in D.C. Can’t say what the final outcome was because when I turned away coach Bill Lambeer and the East were winning.
This writer feels that a little more publicity should have preceded the game day.
Not a team but there is one individual in the sports world who is getting his share of publicity these days and some of it just might not be all that welcomed by the recipient. The media is filled with tracking Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hammerin’ Hank’s (Henry Aaron) all time home run record.
Bonds has been halted at 751 now for a few weeks (the Giants played on Sunday evening and I don’t have those stats, but I am sure if he had hit number 752 it would been flashed incessantly in news trailers). The man who set the all time regular season record in 2001, now finds himself the victim of more bad publicity than good.
Statistically, there are so many variables that could be affecting the chase. Some teams won’t pitch to strong bats in crucial games. Some pitchers are harder to hit than others. And one can bet that teams will plan on throwing their best against Bonds.
The MLB season has reached the halfway point and the man expected to break Aaron’s record has only hit 17 round-trippers thus far. You can easily see that this is not the best record in the league (The Milwaukee Brewers’ Fielder owns that mark at 30). Bonds could be distracted by the adverse publicity although continuously denies it. He is not beset by some of the negativity that beset Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron when they were writing baseball history.
There are those, for whatever reason(s), who would like to see Aaron’s record remain, but anyone thinking realistically knows that records are great but are meant to be broken. There is an old western movie saying – there is always a faster gun.
Maybe Bonds is not as affable and gracious as Aaron and Robinson were but right now he is “the man” and on course to topple baseball’s most prestigious record. And it will happen. Probably this season.
So there is little that we can do about it except honor Aaron and all the other great hitters for their individual accomplishments and prepare to crown a new king.
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