BARRY BONDS, HANK AARON AND THE WILLIE MAYS CONNNECTION!
Brad Penny, with a record of 13-1 will be pitching for the Dodgers tonight, but the majority of fans watching in person or on ESPN won't be thinking about Penny's chances at winning a Cy Young award or the Dodgers' chances of winning a division title. No, the focus will be on a 43-year old player who has the attention of two distinctly different groups of people. Baseball fans who do or don't want Bonds to break Hank Aaron's home run record and a Grand Jury that's debating whether or not to indict Bonds for perjury and or tax evasion.
Hank Aaron has let it be known that he won't show up to watch Bonds tie and or break his home run record and he refuses to discuss it further. Willie Mays is Bonds' godfather. Mays was playing during the Aaron era or vice versa. Aaron set all the records while Mays got all the glory. Make no mistake, Willie Mays was a great baseball player. Some say he's the best there ever was! Aaron, great at being consistently great, but without the fanfare, seems to have a "chopped liver" complex because of adulation bestowed upon Mays that isn't bestowed upon Aaron.
Hank Aaron is a very quiet guy who accomplished what he accomplished like a working stiff as opposed to Mays who accomplished what he accomplished like a star!
In almost any office in America, you can see something comparable. Maybe not from a money or national stage standpoint, but ego and personal feelings are something as basic as breathing.
The working stiff and the prima donna. Hank Aaron? Working stiff. Barry Bonds? Prima Donna. Willie Mays? Prima donna. And every bit the jerk Barry Bonds is. Don't believe me? Ask San Francisco kids who used to wait after games to get an autograph from Mays and you'll find out why those same kids became fans of Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey.
Birds of a feather? Bonds and Mays. As Paul Harvey might say, "Now you know the rest of the story!"
THE POSSIBILITY OF A HISTORY MAKING BASEBALL TRIFECTA TONIGHT:
There's an outside chance that Barry Bonds won't play tonight, but for him to miss a game at Dodger Stadium is hard to believe. Here's something you can believe. At Yankee Stadium tonight, Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) will be trying to hit his 500th home run in a game against the White Sox. In Milwaukee tonight, Tom Glavine will be pitching for the Mets. If Glavine wins, it will be his 300th win. Assuming that Bonds plays, will baseball score a history making trifecta tonight?
IRAQ AND TURKEY:
An interesting story in yesterday's New York Times indicated progress that is being made in Iraq. Unfortunately, a story today is about Iraqi legislators who have decided to go on vacation for more than a month. They won't go back to work until the 4th of September. About two weeks or so after that, General David Patraeus is supposed to give Congress an Iraq progress report. It is hoped that he will speak plain English which would include the word "lazy" being used to described Iraqi leaders and Iraqi military commanders. Not to mention Iraqi troops, some of whom have been fighting against Americans.
Speaking of fighting...According to a story written by Robert Novak, President Bush is considering secret military action in Turkey. Novak says that a high level administration official has assured members of Congress that "The U.S. role would be concealed and denied." Short Commentary: For openers, I guess concealing and denying would be a little hard to do now, but the big question I would have is this; Could we maybe get this Iraq business done correctly first! And if we have special warriors we could send to Turkey, wouldn't it be better if we used those same people to go after Osama bin Laden?
AND ON A LIGHTER NOTE:
Patrick Emory is a friend of mine who spent many years as a great news anchor for CNN as well as other places. Emory sent me a story designed to lighten the mood that's titled, "The Zipper".
In a crowded city at a busy bus stop, a beautiful young woman wearing a tight leather skirt was waiting for a bus. As the bus stopped and it was her turn to get on, she became aware that her skirt was too tight to allow her leg to come up to the height of the first step of the bus.
Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the bus driver, she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little, thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her leg. She tried to take the step, only to discover that she couldn't. So, a little more embarrassed, she once again reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the second time attempted the step. Once again, much to her chagrin, she could not raise her leg. With a little smile to the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and again was unable to take the step.
About this time, a large Texan who was standing behind her picked her up easily by the waist and placed her gently on the step of the bus. She went ballistic and turned to the would-be Samaritan and screeched, "How dare you touch my body! I don't even know you!" The Texan smiled and drawled, "Well, ma'am, normally I would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly three times, I kinda figured we was friends."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Don't forget! You can HEAR this blog! The links to the stations broadcasting today's blog can be found at the bottom of my links section which is to the right of what you're reading now. It's the last links.
A new blog is written every morning, Monday through Friday and is posted between 7 and 7:15, Pacific Time. Sometimes earlier. Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I do write back.
TOMORROW: As usual, I'll be commenting on something that makes me say, "Whaaat?!?"