Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Has the Media Gone Overboard ?George Borges Answers SI's Reilly

ok Rick, you’ve finally managed to push me over the top…have been wanting to scream at the top of my lungs for a long time at the sick (not sick the way my 11 y/o daughter uses the word, but sick as in mentally disturbed) obsession you and a great many of your colleagues have with bonds – however, having a life (job, family, playing ball, attending and enjoying sporting events, etc.) and not really knowing how to type has discouraged me from taking the time to respond to the volumes of venom you and those of your ilk have been gleefully spewing forth for such a long period of time …but, as the hit pieces keep coming, well, let’s just touch on some things, not necessarily in order of importance, that should be noted.
George Borges responds to Sports Illustrated’s Rick Reilly’s column about Barry Bonds. George is a lawyer in San Francisco and an avid basketball player who can still hit a fade away jump shot.

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Bonds was the best player before steroids, the best player during the steroids era and is one of the best afterwards (at 4 days shy of 43)…it appears that the disdain, indeed hatred, of you all seems to emanate from his refusal to admit using steroids (a practice commonplace among the majority of players during that time period) combined with the prospect of his breaking the hr record…this is baseball rick, not war or the million other real life things way more important – and you actually write about that stuff on a somewhat regular basis (yes, am a nearly 40 yr SI subscriber and no, am not canceling my subscription – even though it’s turned into a people magazine/national inquirer type publication in recent years the swimsuit issue alone makes it worthwhile)…but you have devoted more time to bashing and belittling barry for "not coming clean" than can be justified by any measure…kobe, the rapist, pacman, the paralyzer, shawn kemp and the legends of pro athlete deadbeat dads, todd bertuzzi, the cheap-shot career ender, the wife beaters, rae & orenthal, nate newton and his ton of weed, the jailblazers & the bengals and on and on – long gone from the sanctiomonious moralizing you all engage in…but when it comes to barry having "cheated" you guys just can’t help yourself…he didn’t electrocute a dog that wouldn’t fight (see vick), he didn’t pummel a woman half his size (see brett myers), he has never been involved in anything except steroids – not something to brag about but to continue to villify him on a daily basis speaks volumes about all of you…what does it speak to? – among other things, your resentment of barry’s "toxic" personality (a throwaway quote from a recent article in your magazine happily predicting a lower $ value for #756)…yes, he’s been a jerk to the media forever…here’s a news flash – nobody likes bonds (or at least nobody used to like him – you guys have created a backlash that is rapidly growing by the day)…however, he has provided a tremendous level of excitement for baseball fans here in sf (and in pittsburgh and throughout mlb) for many years… take this to the bank – ANY city he was playing in would be cheering for him they way we do here…anyone who would suggest otherwise is a liar and the worst type of hypocrite…you know it’s funny – watching the giants in st. louis recently i was struck by the standing ovation behind both dugouts as bonds returned after his last at bat…it wasn’t wild adoration just a show of respect from those knowledgeable, classy fans and that, and similar, scenes of acknowledgement have been replicated in other cities on other occasions (witnees the booing of the hometown pitchers who walk him – like yesterday at wrigley after he homered for the first time)…but never a mention of that stuff anywhere in the papers or on tv or on the radio…indeed, after that cardinals game, our local paper carried a photo of a guy with an oversized batting helmet in the stands making fun of bonds…anything you guys can do to keep feeding the hate – really, you’re the ones who should be embarrassed for your refusal to provide even a modi***** of even-handed, unbiased reporting (remember, virtually all the polls are 50/50 on bonds in spite of media coverage that’s 100% one-sided).
speaking of the sf chronicle how about those two reporters, er, authors – hmm, let’s see…they obtain stolen, leaked, confidential grand jury transcripts – conduct that strikes at the very heart of the criminal justice system – staple them together, call it a book and are hailed as heroes by their fellow reporters..they are criminals who were properly sentenced to jail for their crimes of disobeying a federal judge’s order but managed to avoid doing their time – good for them and their families but pardon me if i laugh at the notion that their motives were altruistic…they saw a chance to make a buck and a name for themselves, hooked up with another criminal (the lawyer who is going to jail for providing them the material) and have been paraded around as paragons of virtue…puh-leez, stop it…the week the all-star festivities started in the city (you know the game bonds was voted to start in by all baseball fans) these guys managed to get an article recounting all of the stale, old information surrounding the grand jury, etc. published – it contained zero new information but, hey, anything to keep their names out there (yes, jason robards was right when, as ben bradlee in ‘all the president’s men’, he uttered the phrase "send it to the sf chronicle – they’ll publish anything")…shouldn’t those guys at least pretend to have a shred of objectivity?…i mean, doesn’t that come with the territory of being a reporter anymore?…apparently not.
ok, let’s finish up…bonds is going to break the record and then some…are lots of people going to be unhappy, think its tainted? yes…are there lots of people who just don’t care that bonds used steroids? yes, again…are we going to celebrate here in sf ? oh yeah and even more than we otherwise would considering our dismal season – take your sarcastic remarks about us being "kool-aid drinkers" and stick it where the sun don’t shine…the record and all the attendant issues related to his breaking it have been shoved down the american public’s throat ad nauseam…most people are tired, very tired of listening to you rick reilly and the rest of the media pontificate about it…it’s baseball, give it a rest, have some pride, be a better, bigger man than bonds…whatever it takes, however you can justify or rationalize it please stop demonizing bonds over and over and over and over again in the name of journalism…once again, it’s now gotten to the point where it says more about you than him…get a life.


1 Anonymous { 08.08.07 at 2:26 am }

Very good, to the point !! Please see "Barry Bonds: A Point in Time," by the Chronicle’s Bruce Jenkins, if you get the chance. Yes, I think the fans understand Bonds’ greatness and are not looking to sports–a totally commercial venue that has historically been beholden to drugs, rigging of games, gambling, you name it–for our moral lessons, of which we have many to learn. Thanks for your great piece

Rick Kaplan

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