For years, Barry Bonds had scorn heaped upon him. It was unfair. Sure, he did some things we now consider to be transgressions and to the extent his credibility as a ballplayer is now besmirched, he brought it on himself. But the suggestion that he was somehow worse than hundreds if not thousands of other ballplayers who did exactly the same thing was always overwrought. He was a product of his times, not some singularly bad actor. And his bad acts were so harshly criticized that, to this day, no one has been able to properly contextualize his accomplishments or appreciate them in an appropriate manner.
But that wasn’t just bad because it caused us to overlook the greatness that was Barry Bonds. It has now caused us to ignore his real, serious transgressions. To turn a blind eye when confronted with something truly horrible:
This is baseball’s Boy Who Cried Wolf moment. And we all ignore the cries.
[RELATED: Looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned ]
Eventually, once you’ve been given enough tributes, people are gonna run out of material. So maybe we should stop it with this.
The D.C. Metro system shuts down around midnight. Which isn’t always a huge problem for people going to Nationals games, as rare are the games that last past midnight. But in the playoffs when the games start later and go longer — and when they are important enough to where fans really don’t want to have to leave early to make the last train — this can present a problem.
There was a controversy about this back when the Nationals made the playoffs back in 2012. At the time it was controversial because the Nationals claimed that they could not do what all of the other sports teams in D.C. do in such a situation and pay the local transit authority to keep the Metro open late. They said it was against Major League Baseball policy. No one ever could point out what policy that was, unless it was just a broader policy in which Major League Baseball and its teams simply will not pay for things that benefit them if they think they can get someone else to pay for it. THAT policy has a long and rich history.
Of course, it was really about the Nats not wanting to pay. And they didn’t, as a third party — the company Living Social — stepped in to pay the price to keep the trains running late. It’s happening again. This morning it was announced that American University would pay.
If you’re an American University student paying big tuition or an employee wishing for a raise, I bet you’re pretty happy about that right now. If you’re the billionaire owners of the Washington Nationals, I bet you’re pretty happy about it too, as you’ve now got even more precedent on your side justifying your never having to pay for something that benefits your bottom line.
It’s probably important not to read too deeply into this given that everything Ichiro says to U.S. reporters is through a translator and there are nuances — especially when it comes to potentially controversial things about which Ichiro has always been careful about — that may not translate particularly well. But this is still interesting.
First, Ichiro certainly sounds like a guy who wants to continue playing:
But, also, there may have been some behind the scenes stuff that make him unsure if he wants to go back to the Yankees:
When asked whether he’d return to New York, Ichiro wasn’t exactly forthcoming. “That might be a question you shouldn’t ask right now,” he said . . . Ichiro said, there was more happening behind the scenes than it appeared, though he didn’t go into specifics.
“”Obviously there’s a lot of things that go on that the fans and the media can’t see, that goes on inside (the club),” he said.
It was a veteran team that, because of injuries, relied on Ichiro more than it probably thought it needed to. And of course the season was ultimately less successful than everyone hoped, so it’s understandable if he’s got some disappointment. But one also wonders if there something unusual and/or unpleasant was going on behind the scenes. Obviously not a question that can be answered right now, but perhaps we’ll hear over the course of the offseason.
As for Ichiro, he hit .284/.324/.340 in 385 plate appearances.