August 13, 2007

Breaking News: Hank Aaron Congratulates Barry Bonds (Again)

Last night during its broadcast of the Braves-Phillies game, ESPN cut into the action with a mid-inning replay of the congratulatory speech that Hank Aaron made after Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run.

The video and audio of Aaron was the only thing on the screen for about one minute of game action in the 7th inning. And it was somehow very fitting that while ESPN was re-airing that speech, Braves second baseman Martin Prado doubled into the left center field gap to score Brian McCann and cut the Phillies’ lead to one.

It was fitting in part because it was a perfect emblem for all of the exciting baseball that unnecessarily took a backseat to Bonds’ anticlimactic, horribly tainted chase over the past weeks and months.

And secondly, Prado’s double being missed entirely during the re-broadcast of Aaron’s speech made some sort of strange sense because in a way, that speech is all about what you can’t see. Namely, you can’t see the gun that’s (figuratively speaking) being held to Hank Aaron’s head just off camera. Because there’s absolutely no way that those congratulations to Bonds could truly be heartfelt. It’s just not possible. Even if Hank didn’t think that Barry had cheated – which you have to believe Hank does – he still wouldn’t be particularly pleased. But to think that he was really feeling anywhere close to gracious at that moment is absolutely absurd.

For the record, when the tape of the speech was over and the broadcast returned to live action (with the score suddenly and inexplicably 4-3 instead of 4-2), play-by-play man Jon Miller acknowledged Prado’s double, but didn’t issue anything even remotely resembling an apology – as if completely cutting out run-scoring hits in a close game is routine practice when it comes to talking about something that infuriates a large majority of baseball fans in the first place.

Of course the ESPN broadcast team didn’t intend to miss Prado’s hit, and no doubt everyone involved was pretty unhappy when that hit coincided with the one-minute window when Aaron’s speech was airing.

But that’s beside the point. The point is that the Barry Bonds consumption and obsession has gone too far. He hit his “historic” homer; now it needs to immediately be put in the past. We all have to deal with that dubious record however we want to deal with it and move on to things that are happening right now.

Such as that run-scoring double that just soared into the left center field gap.


Blogger jeffrey said...

After that Aaron video gaff, I devoted all my attention to the LLWS game on ESPN 2. Those kids are ballers--year in, and year out.

Anyone else see little Levi's crazy curve ball and Torii-esque outfield play? Forget about missing Prado's rbi double, I advocate skipping the rest of the season until the LLWS champ has been crowned.

2:56 PM, August 13, 2007  
Blogger J.B. said...

espn is getting worse and worse and is definitely on a short leash for me. because i almost always try listen to the radio instead of those moronic bastards on sunday night baseball, i tuned in to joe (simpson, not morgan) and pete (van wieren) fully expecting the deliberate delay between radio and espn broadcast (so you get so annoyed that you just suck it up and listen to those bastards), only to find that it wasn't delayed!!! so i was able to listen to joe simpson and the professor all game without the annoying delay so i actully heard the braves action while watching hang aaron mutely congratulate bonds. That made me even more frustrated that i knew what i was missing while i was missing it....FUCK ESPN!!!!

4:41 PM, August 13, 2007  

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