Rule 714: ESPN

Major League Baseball is making a mistake. Not celebrating 714 does more hurt to the game, than help. No one is asking MLB to be judge and jury. If you don’t celebrate the second greatest achievement in baseball history, then number 3 (Babe Ruth) becomes a fading memory. Who cares about number 3?

The swing is the thing! Barry’s beautiful swing combined with his laser eyes and hand speed are extraordinary. There are stronger players in the game, but they lack the skills of Barry. We are not celebrating are supporting the use of drugs. On the contrary, I am celebrating that swing, his skills and knowledge of the game.

Rule 714 (don’t celebrate a scapegoat) is going to bite baseball in the butt! Already the legend of the Babe is taking a beating. Now your (MLB) blatant attempt to protect the legend of a hitter who wasn’t even the best in his time (Negro Leagues, Blacks were excluded from playing) is being called to the carpet by many. I like The Babe. I love and hate the Yankees. Love the tradition, hate when they beat my A’s and love and respect George.

Set aside judgment, and celebrate the greatest feat in sports in the last 50 years. Imagine if baseball had decided to support Barry Bonds. The game would have won new fans and would be the hot topic of today, in a positive light. We can always debate performance enhancing drugs and who did or didn’t take them and what effect it had on the numbers and the game. We then can decide the penalty and how to uniformly apply it.

However, what we are witnessing is once in a lifetime. Let’s enjoy this magnificent achievement and allow the world to celebrate with us. Abandon Rule 714. Lift up the game! It’s not too late. Go to the mound and make a change.

I tip my hat to ESPN. They are walking the tightrope with the best of them. MLB should take notes. While it’s clear they don’t support Barry, they are acknowledging and celebrating the moment in a way that only ESPN could do. Masterful to say the least.

The "Bonds on Bonds" show is fair and balanced. I couldn’t believe that some analyst didn’t want Barry to have a platform to offer another perspective of who he is. That is typical of agenda-driven journalism that will soon be replaced by community-driven journalism that will offer the voice of the people, not these one-sided attacks to create perception, that offer no counter perspective.

The executives at ESPN held to their guns and deserve accolades for their courage. I applaud them and ESPN. Rule 714 has no place in sports reporting.

Now let me add a little more ice around these two bottles (714 and 715, respectively) that I will soon pop.


  1. Bobby

    Sometimes I think Barry Bonds has a large stake in ESPN. However, Sammy and Mark had the same type of coverage in the single season race. Hammer, we just can’t possibly compare Bonds and Ruth. The era’s are completely different.Babe hit home runs when they were scarce and pitching dominated the game.Plus, he was a good pitcher early on in his career. I don’t like Barry Bonds from what I have seen over the years in interviews, etc. I don’t know him personally so I really can’t say what type of person he is, but as a fan of the game…again, I don’t like him anymore. I used to like him back when he played in Pittsburgh and the early SF days, but then he got all cocky. I can say that I don’t like any cocky players that treat the media and fans as a nuisance instead of people that are giving them their big paycheck.

    I do agree MLB should celebrate the occasion as this is more of a big deal than they will let on. Even if he is found guilty of something in the future, he is still an innocent man right now and that’s where we are at. Kind of looks to me baseball(and most of this country)already passed judgment on his guilt. That’s just too bad.



    Thank you for saying in a public forum what we as Bay Area baseball fans, Giants’ fans (and Barry fans especially) have been saying all along! I am so PROUD to be a BONDS girl! As a true fan of baseball, I would love to see people wake up!
    This is an era of sports that has controversy over performance enhancing drugs. SO WHAT! Every era has had controversy. In the ’70s, I recall my father saying the DH should eliminate American League teams from competing in the World Series. And the game went on. Prior to that, there were other issues where people cried about how this or that would ruin baseball. It didn’t destroy the game. Things were different, yes. But destroy baseball? No. No more than the players’ strike and subsequent lock out ruined baseball.

    At this point in baseball, there will be endless discussions over who did or didn’t ‘juice’. But the question should be: Were they violating any rules? No they were not. Will we EVER be able to prove that any player did (or did not) use performance enhancing drugs? Not unless they come right out and admit it. But by beating up on any player for suspected past use, we are only damaging the game. All we can do is move on.

    Give it a rest. Barry Bonds is the finest player I have ever had the privilege to see. It is with pride and pleasure and excitement I watch him take the field for the Giants.

    Yes….VERY proud to be a Bonds Girl!

  3. Lisa

    Hammer, and Bonds Girl,

    Respectfully: You are the ones who need to wake up. The level of denial that this takes is staggering. He DID juice. He admitted as much (although he claimed not to know, which blows my mind, he’s a professional athlete of the highest caliber, you will never convince me he didn’t know exactly what he was putting in his body). Because “everyone else is doing it” is the worst excuse in the world. And Bonds Girl: talking about this is NOT what’s damaging the game. Come on. The juicers (not just Bonds, but McGuire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc.) have already taken care of that.

    Also, the guy’s a punk. Plain and simple. Bonds on Bonds is just more self-love and self-pity from a self-promotional and self-aggrandizing diva who won’t even carry his own water bottle.

    You’ve gotta be kidding me with this. If he ever passes Aaron, it will be a sad, sad day for baseball.



    Come on, everybody. We all know the Babe could never have hit 714 home runs if he hadn’t juiced up on all those hot dogs! Even then, the additives were probably pretty darn dangerous. And sfter all, his sixty home runs came in a season that was about fifty games longer than when the previous record was set (look it up). Seriously, the impression much of the public has about Barry Bonds is a creation of the San Francisco sports press. I’m not arguing he’s a nice guy or a terrible guy–just that none of us, unless we know him personally, can really have the knowledge to pass the kinds of judgemnts on his character that are being made. What’s being judged is what the sports news folks want us to see. They did the same to Roger Maris when he hit 61 home runs–said he was aloof, had an attitude, really wasn’t as good as the Babe, on and on–all because he was a shy kid who didn’t know how to handle journalists.
    I’ve been a Giants fan since 1962. I watched McCovey, Mays, Cepeda, and Marichal play. I remember reading an awful lot of negative press about Willie Mays back when he was frightening as many pitchers as his Godson does today. Willie somehow endured. but I saw interviews in which he sounded pretty much as exasperated as Barry Bonds does today. I remeber all the bad things written about Juan Marichal after the “bat” incident with Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro…stuff that was quietly put away when juan briefly pitched for the Dodgers.

    I have read how others feel. For me, my interest in baseball was pretty much killed by the strike and lockout in 1994. The only thing that made it live again was what guys like McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds started doing…and I suspect that without them, baseball would not be the leading sport it is today.

    If we are determined enough, we can take down any legend. What puzzles me is why we so desperately seem to want to do that.

    Hammer, I used to live in Fremont, and I still remember the stories about the enormous chocolate bars you handed out at your place on Halloween. God bless you!

    Now I’m going to watch the game, and see if Barry hits number 714.


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