It isn’t often that Barry Bonds is right on the money with his public comments about anything. The man has an almost supernatural knack for saying even the most innocuous things the wrong way.
Yet his stance on the man who plunked down $750,000 to score the ball that Bonds hit for career homer No. 756 is nothing short of spot-on. Unassailable.
“He’s stupid,” Bonds said. “He’s an idiot. He spent $750,000 on the ball and that’s what he’s doing with it? What he’s doing is stupid.”
Exactly who is this idiot? He’s a publicity hound, and that’s why you won’t find his name published in this space. He’s already gotten exactly what he wanted — his name, and therefore the name of his eponymous clothing line, splattered all over the media — out of this whole deal, so the coin he dropped on the ball has already been recouped tenfold in the form of free advertising.
Exactly what is this idiot doing? Well, unless you’ve spent the past few days searching for Osama Bin Laden in an intricate system of Afghani tunnels and caves, or you’ve been transfixed by YouTube clips of killer whales playing with their food, you probably know that by now.
But just in case, here it is: The idiot has built a Web site on which you can vote for one of three options regarding the future of the ball.
Of the three, the only acceptable one would have the ball sent directly to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s where it belongs, regardless what you think of the record and how it was achieved. History is history.
Another option would have the ball branded with an asterisk before being sent to Cooperstown,and shame on the Hall’s stewards for having already said they’ll gladly accept and display it should that option prevail. They probably plan on giving the brand a little Wite-Out job if it comes to that, but we’ll all know the ball’s been besmirched. No bueno.
The laughable and highly improbable one, at least from a logistical standpoint, has the ball being sent into space. NASA doesn’t scatter ashes up there, but it’ll float a baseball? Come on.
Earth to idiot: Just send the ball to the Hall clean and go away. Then write another check for $750,000 and send it somewhere that it’ll actually do some good: $750,000 could pay for 75,000 mosquito nets in Africa, where 3,000 children die every day from malaria; it could save the after-school sports program at several schools; it could fund a shelter for abused women; it could create college scholarships for low-income students.
And who knows, maybe it’ll make the people you’ve helped want to buy your clothes.
Mychael Urban is the author of “Aces: The Last Season On The Mound With The Oakland A’s Big Three — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito” and a writer for MLB.com. He also hosts the weekend edition of “Sportsphone 680” on KNBR (680 AM).