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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Word about Barry Bonds

I've been meaning to write about Barry Bonds for a while, but never made it a priority. (When all one does is write, write, write, every day, doing a little writing "just for fun" isn't a high priority.)

Today I came across an eloquent statement about Barry Bonds, steroids, and the culture that brought the two together. It is written by Tony Long, copy chief at WIRED News. In an article for his regular column, "The Luddite," he puts into words exactly what I've been thinking. If you are interested in baseball and the Bonds brouhaha, you should read the whole column. Here's an excerpt:

There's no doubt that Bonds' homers have traveled a lot farther in the second half of his career than they did in the first. We're pretty sure why that is. But if steroids make you stronger, that's all they do. They do nothing for hand-eye coordination or visual perception, the most important ingredients (along with bat speed, which is at least partly an acquired mechanical skill) that go into the making of a great hitter. Those gifts are there from the start. Either you have them or you don't. If you don't, some Poindexter in a lab coat can't give them to you.

Bonds has these gifts, in spades. Even without the chemical enhancements, he'd have a boatload of home runs and would be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.


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