Thursday, 1 May 2008

Zaun = Bonds? Bullshit.

I take issue, sir, I do.

One of the callers to "Wednesdays with JP" last night challenged the Jays' GM on his assertion he would not "sell his soul" by signing Barry Bonds by pointing out that Gregg Zaun was listed in the Mitchell Report and yet remained employed by the Jays.

It is exactly this sort of simplistic thinking that makes such call in shows such a pain in the ass for broadcasters and team personnel.

Barry Bonds has, without remorse or hesitation, used steroids to leverage himself up the list of career leaders in several categories for over a decade. He, and those like him, have placed the entire sport in the no-win situation of sorting his tainted accomplishments from those of earlier generations of baseball giants. He has placed himself above his team and above the game as a way of life. All the while consoling himself with the delusion that he has done nothing wrong and everyone hates him for no reason (or even more myopic, because he's black).

By contrast, Gregg Zaun, as far as we know from the Mitchell Report, is a guy who - at worst - dabbled with steroids on one occasion, while recovering from injury, during his worst season ever. A back-up catcher on a bad time having a bad year trying to salvage his major league job with a one-time poor choice. That's IF in fact you think a guy using 'roids to get back on the field faster after an injury IS a bad choice, which I don't but will concede the point to stay on topic.

Should a player who succumbed to temptation once (so far as we know) in the darkest hour of his career be subjected to the same pariah status as the King of Steroids?
Should a man who has been in your clubhouse - demonstrating all the characteristics of good character you hope for any player wearing your uniform - for YEARS be dismissed based on something he did once years before joining your team with the same prejudice one would have against someone like Bonds?

Nonsense. Complete simplistic thinking that makes for all sorts of bad decisions.

Look, call BS on JP if you want to, a lot of the things he says seem self-contradictory. Advocate for Bonds all you want, bash Zaun for your low opinion of his skills all you want.

But please, the notion that having Zaun on your team means you can't find Barry Bonds of unacceptable character is just rank stupidity. Their situations are not remotely compareable.

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