Skip to comments.'Today': NY Times Goes to Bat for Bonds
Posted on 08/08/2007 5:16:12 AM PDT by governsleastgovernsbest
When New-York based 'Today' went looking for a local sports reporter to defend Barry Bonds, it didn't turn to the New York Post, whose headline this morning reads "JUNK BONDS: SULTAN OF SYRINGE'. Nor was it likely that the designated hitter would be someone from the Daily News, whose back page screams "King of Shame." Instead, "Today" turned to the New York Times, and in particular to sports writer William Rhoden [pictured here with Lauer], to embrace Bonds.
'TODAY' CO-ANCHOR MATT LAUER: You've been very critical of baseball actually leading up to this milestone for the way they've been wringing their hands trying to figure out what to do with this record. Barry Bonds you wrote, quote, "he will be baseball's king, it's emperor, it's czar." How are you feeling this morning?
NYT SPORTS REPORTER WILLIAM RHODEN: I think it's a great moment, Matt. It really is. It's an historic moment. The number's there, no matter. There's going to continue to be hand-wringing, but there's no hand-wringing in the Bonds household [proving what?] . . . It's just a tremendous accomplishment . . . I don't think anyone doubts that.
View video here.
Fortunately, sports commentator Bob Costas was there to provide balance. In a July episode of the "Costas Now" HBO show he hosts, Costas' guests were Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and chemist Patrick Arnold, both of whom expressed the opinion, in which Costas joined, that Bonds had taken steroids. Bonds replied by calling the 5' 6" Costas a "little midget man who knows (nothing) about baseball."
LAUER: You have bristled at the idea he is innocent until proven guilty.
SPORTS COMMENTATOR BOB COSTAS: This "innocent until proven guilty" is an insufferable platitude that is masquerading as high-mindedness, as if those of us who don't withhold all judgment need a remedial course in civics. First of all, this isn't a criminal case. We're not talking about depriving him of his liberty, or for that matter his livelihood. But if for the sake of argument it were a criminal case, you would have more than enough evidence not only to establish that he used performance-enhancing drugs, but to establish that he used them in copious amounts and that he wasn't just assisted but transformed as a player as a result. And you would prove that beyond any reasonable doubt.
Lauer then brought another Times reporter off the bench to bolster Rhoden, reading from an article today by NYT reporter George Vecsey, who wrote: "Nobody, and certainly not some chemist in a white smock -- swung the bat for Bonds against objects moving 80 or 90 or 100 miles an hour. He had to do that himself, with the superb reflexes he had as a cocky stripling, and the craft he acquired as a smug and enlarged elder."
This is one of the most specious arguments that has been regularly trotted out in Bonds' defense. Of course steroids don't swing the bat. But they permit the user to swing it harder, turning doubles into home runs. And Vecsey's comment begs the question: just how did Bonds become "enlarged"?
Rhoden never addressed the steroid allegations per se, offering this blanket defense, or better yet, pulling the blanket over his head.
RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he's a great home-run hitter. Period. The end.
The end of what? Rhoden's credibility?
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NY Times goes to bat for Bonds. Ping to Today show list.
Led Zeppelin is dedicating a song to Bonds. They’re calling it “Steroids to Heaven.”
Maybe we can come up with an appropriate nickname for Bonds: “Homer.”
Mr Rhoden, if you celebrate this “feat” and ignore the drug factor, what are you telling the budding stars of tomorrow?
Costas, bless him, eloquently pointed out the problem with Bond’s record.
I think it is incredibly hypocritical of baseball to make such a big deal out of the fact that Bonds may have taken steroids. They turned their gaze away from McGuire and Sosa who ABSOLUTELY were roided up in order to regenerate fan interest after the debacle of canceling the World Series, and, to me, to now act as if they are horrified and didn’t know that something was going, is the ultimate height of hypocrisy.
Baseball deserves this result.
naaah, that’s not evidence, just clean living and lots of leafy green vegetables....
But who reads the New York Times?
Willikers! He must have eaten a lot of Wheaties!
They seem to be on the side of wrong on every issue. Gawd, they are truly disgusting.
quality use of the english language PING !!
costas 2, barium bonds 0
bottom of the turd...
Excellent comment by Bob Costas.
For once, I agree with the liberal Bob Costas. Bonds is not a legitimate home run king.
Once again the New York Times continues its tradition of disagreeing with me about everything.
How can they be so foolish?
I think Bonds's overall attitude has the effect of creating criticism on steroids. Regardless, he's now hit the ball over the fence more than any other MLB player.
The media are obsessing over this to make us forget that Your Black Muslim Bakery was an incubator for violence against Your White Christians.
It’s a good think Hank Aaron isn’t Caucasian...or the loudest argument would be racial.
Let's hope A-Rod stays healthy...Bonds' record may only last 5 or 6 years.
How much of the change is due to steroids and how much is due to aging?
amazing photo comparison
some brilliant chemist out there should develop a thought-enhancing steroid for NYT reporters
Having the NY Times covering sports with any real expertise is about as effective as expecting the Royal Opera of London to promote NASCAR.
What with all the scandals, drugs, etc the sports records are pretty much meaningless as far as I’m concerned.
I ignore anything after 1970.
1) The apparatus is hinged at the elbow. It is a literal "hitting machine" that allows Bonds to release his front arm on the same plane during every swing. It largely accounts for the seemingly magical consistency of every Bonds stroke.
2) The apparatus locks at the elbow when the lead arm is fully elongated because of a small flap at the top of the bottom section that fits into a groove in the bottom of the top section. The locked arm forms a rigid front arm fulcrum that allows extraordinary, maximally efficient explosion of the levers of Bonds' wrists. Bonds hands are quicker than those of average hitters because of his mechanical "assistant."
3) When Bonds swings, the weight of the apparatus helps to seal his inner upper arm to his torso at impact. Thus "connected," he automatically hits the ball with the weight of his entire body - not just his arms - as average hitters ("extending") tend to do.
4) Bonds has performed less well in Home Run Derbies than one might expect because he has no excuse to wear a "protector" facing a batting practice pitcher. As he tires, his front arm elbow tends to lift and he swings under the ball, producing towering pop flies or topspin liners that stay in the park. When the apparatus is worn, its weight keeps his elbow down and he drives the ball with backspin.
5) Bonds enjoys quicker access to the inside pitch than average hitters because his "assistant" - counter-intuitively - allows him to turn more rapidly. Everyone understands that skaters accelerate their spins by pulling their arms into their torsos, closer to their axes of rotation. When Bonds is confronted with an inside pitch, he spins like a skater because his upper front arm is "assistant"-sealed tightly against the side of his chest.
6) At impact, Bonds has additional mass (the weight of his "assistant") not available to the average hitter. The combined weight of "assistant" and bat is probably equal to the weight of the lumber wielded by Babe Ruth but with more manageable weight distribution.
So why doesn’t MLB simply ban Bonds from using the Elbow pad?
I guess you are right. My head has gotten to be twice the size in the last 20 years. YEAH RIGHT.
|1988||Kirk Gibson(1)||Los Angeles|
|1989||Kevin Mitchell(1)||San Francisco|
|1993||Barry Bonds(3)||San Francisco|
|1996||Ken Caminiti(1)||San Diego|
|2000||Jeff Kent(1)||San Francisco|
|2001||Barry Bonds(4)||San Francisco|
|2002||Barry Bonds(5)||San Francisco|
|2003||Barry Bonds(6)||San Francisco|
|2004||Barry Bonds(7)||San Francisco|
|2005||Albert Pujols(1)||St. Louis|
|Barry Bonds Hitting Stats MVP years highlighted in yellow|
“Puffy” or “Buffy”
Funny!! Someone needs to photoshop Barry's face onto the stay-puft marshmallow man.
LOL - Someday I’m going to learn how to do it.
Oh, they had to get Racist Rhoden to weigh in. I watch him on ESPN’s “Sports Reporters” from time to time. I remember a while back they were talking about doping accusations against Lance Armstrong, and all Rhoden said was, “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. I’m sure if Bonds was white, Rhoden would be solidly in his corner. NOT!
If any good comes out of this, it will be an overdue appreciation of what Hank Aaron accomplished.
His next article will no doubt praise Michael Vick for ridding the world of dangerous pit bulls.
RHODEN: Oh no, he, Matt, he’s a great home-run hitter. Period. The end.
The end of what? Rhoden’s credibility?
Yes, as a matter of fact.
That's the truth.
Everybody knew that steroids were being used. For Bud Selig to act all high and mighty is laughable, and IMO, disingenuous.
Babe Ruth is still the greatest baseball player and home run hitter of them all. He hit a homer on average every 11.76 times at bat. Bonds’s average is 12.92 and Aaron’s was 16.37.
Hence, with the same number at bats (Bonds, 9774; Aaron 12,364), the Babe would have 831 homers to date versus Bonds and 1051 lifetime v. Aaron.
Oh, and how many seasons did Bonds and Aaron pitch?
I look at what a player did compared to his peers, and Ruth was head and shoulders above his comtemporaries.
As good of years that Bonds has had, he wasn’t head and shoulders above guys like Sosa and McGwire.
Their heads get bigger?
I know mine has. I’ve had to give up wearing pullovers. And I’ve NEVER used steroids. Well, there was this one time a guy rubbed some cream on my backside. But I just thought he liked me. I had NO idea. Honestly. I swear.
Of course he isn’t. Sadaharu Oh is. :)
That could be from ego.
LOL And the closet makes my suits shrink too.
Cheeks and jowls and necks, yes, that is part of the aging process. How much bigger is Bond’s head at age 22 versus 43? Do you have any measurements?
Do you have data to back up that ridiculous assertion?