It's over. Barry Bonds hit home run #756. It was inevitable. We all knew it would happen when he got off to such a hot start. As fans, most of us booed, bitched, and bashed the man as if it would somehow slow his progress down –- as if each boo was combating each power swing.
Obviously, it didn't, but it was fun while it lasted. We tried to make his journey to the top as least enjoyable as possible. Every time he came a step closer, we tried to ruin that moment by raining the boos down on him. We held up signs branding him as a cheater, as if that would hurt his feelings. Of course, that all did nothing. And now that he's reached his milestone, it's time to stop.
I'm not telling you to respect the man. That's your personal decision. Dislike him all you want. But the personal hatred for the man that everyone outside the city of San Francisco feels can be let go. It was fun for awhile to have a bad guy to root against. But it's over now. Now that he's the home run leader, there's nothing we can do to change any of that.
It's not as if Barry did something personal to us. Did he taint the sport? Maybe, but Lord knows he wasn't the only one juicing. Yes, he cheated, and it was wrong, but at that point, baseball was a steroid haven and you had to do what you could to stay afloat. That doesn't make roiding right, but it was the state of the sport at the time. Barry didn't hurt your family in any way though. He didn't fight dogs. He just succeeded where other steroid users did not, and part of that is because he's one of the best players, steroids or not.
As fans we love to take the moral ground, as hypocritical that can be at times. How many people booing Bonds for his immorality have backstabbed and cut throats at work to get ahead? How is Bonds worse than the standard politician? The only difference is that we have a venue where we can boo Bonds. There aren't stands in the Senate where we can boo them.
I don't even think it's the steroids that make Bond so hated. Yes, it's the reason we give, but the truth is fans love outspoken characters. Bonds is not one of those at all. Bonds is an isolationist player who refuses to talk to the media, is not outwardly friendly to the fans, and not that enjoyable to watch. He's closed up to everyone but his close circle and we can't stand that. Bonds always has a scowl on his face while he plays. He just looks like a bastard.
No matter how hard some may try right now, we're not going to hate this guy forever. There aren't many in sports that are hated by the masses after their retirement. Fans of certain teams all have certain players they will always hate, but it doesn't happen much away from individual teams. Pete Rose isn't even hated any more. In fact, many would like to see him in the Hall of Fame. Bonds will probably never be liked by those fans outside the Bay Area, but the hatred most of us feel right now should not last long. And it won't.