DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Go, Barry

Written:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:05am
I’ll drink with you Barry. Come down to the bar and sit by me. I know the baseball faithful have forsaken you. I know they villify you and try to diminish your accomplishments. I’ve even heard they’re trying to put an asterisk by your record. They’ll never compare you to Ruth or Aaron, even though you’re better than both of them. Forever, perhaps, they’ll try to say that you weren’t even better than Gehrig or DiMaggio, but we know the truth, Barry.

Let me order you a drink buddy. What’ll it be? I know you’ve made something like $15 million this year, but this one’s on me. You’ve earned it. Not for breaking the homerun record, but for going through all the shit you went through. You deserve to have someone buy you a beer.
An Anchor Steam? Good call. Make it two.

You remember back in the day, when you first started playing? Remember when everyone thought of you as Bobby Bonds’s son? You’ve come a long way now. It’s a media circus everytime you come to the plate. People either love you or they hate you, but no one’s indifferent, how many people alive can really say that? Some people are even talking about you not being a Hall of Famer. Can you imagine? After almost 3,000 walks, almost 2,000 RBIs, over 2200 runs, oh and that pesky little all-time homerun record, somehow they still deny your greatness.

Have you seen that anti-Barry site online. They’re making a fortune selling hats and t-shirts with little syringes on them or something ridiculous. People even wear them to your home park. Aren’t people crazy. Like they know you did it. As if you failed a single steroid test, or admitted to the media that you took steroids. It’s amazing what people will do with second hand information. Think of how many people have made millions of dollars using your name. Those Chronicle writers, and their Book of Shadows and Sports Illustrated, with “The Truth.” Those guys don’t even know you and somehow we’re supposed to believe that you poured your heart out to them in interview after interview. People will always believe what they want to believe. But I support you man.

People say you’ve destroyed the game. You know, by “cheating”? I guess I was under the misguided impression that you had to break a rule to cheat, but I guess I was wrong. Remember in 1998, when McGuire and Sosa were chasing the record? Remember how tough they had it with all the talk of putting an asterisk by their accomplishments? Oh wait… Did you take the ‘roids Barry? Did you?

Actually, don’t answer that. What does it matter. Whatever you did, you did what you had to do to get to the top. I don’t get it. Why do people want to take down the single greatest player of our generation? What is it about you that drives people to buy anti-Barry merchandise and threaten to throw back your homerun ball? Does that diminish the milestone for you any? Maybe your just the type to not let people get to you. Everybody’s got an opinion. “He used steroids! He used steroids!” Pointing their incriminating little index fingers, as if it’s really any of their business. That’s got to be a little strange, right? Having millions of people who don’t know you and never will have an opinion on you. Talk show hosts, and sports columnists all have something to say, how does that make you feel. I only ask because I feel like no one else has bothered to.
Finish up that beer man. I’m sure you’ve got places to be and people to see. Who wouldn’t love to run into the all-time homerun champion? I guess there are lots of people. At least you hit that fateful run in San Francisco where most people wish you well. I know I do. You’re the greatest Barry. The greatest hitter that’s ever lived, and I’m just glad I had the pleasure of seeing you play in my life time. I’ve told you all this before. It was at the “Daddy’s Little Girls” premiere in LA a while back, but you probably don’t remember. You were pretty drunk.

Best of luck to you man. I hope everyone gets off their high horse and starts celebrating you like they should. There haven’t been too many players in the history of the game who could hit a baseball like you and there certainly aren’t any now. We should all consider ourselves lucky to have even caught a glimpse of you while you were here.

They’ll probably dispute your legacy for years. I wouldn’t be surprised if they never give you your due. I just want to say thanks. Thanks for playing, Barry.

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