As a San Francisco Giants fan living within a half hour of New York City, I got to witness first hand how the country felt about Barry Bonds during his chase for the home run record, whether it was passing Ruth or Aaron.
Even while playing for a California team, New York papers would always get their two cents in about how they felt about the slugger. Never once was a kind word ever said.
"Bonds is a disgrace."
"Bonds is an embarrassment to baseball."
Those two are just some of the many slurs people have flung at number twenty five over the last few years and going through school, it was a nightmare being a fan of his. The verbal abuse was constant since I was the lone fan of the Gigantes, there was no one to help me out.
But Bonds persevered, even with the public crucifixion of himself, he kept playing and kept on hitting home runs. He could care less what the media said about him and let them know it. Up until the last few weeks, he was the only baseball player I have ever seen to be treated so badly.
And then the Alex Rodriguez situation came along...
Even though it's been all over the news and tabloids constantly, I still don't know the exact reason as to why he is getting divorced, because I shut the T.V off everytime his story comes on, but I know it's because of something that happened in his private life, something un-related to baseball.
But, now that Bonds is gone, the media needs another antagonist, another superstar who's reputation they need to tarnish. Since the divorce is becoming bitter, the media capitalized on that and have done nothing but chew him up and spit him out onto the back page of every New York news paper, and now radio shows, such as the hit in the New York/New Jersey area "Mike and the Mad Dog" are devoting entire day's discussions to this matter.
Is it that important? Of course not, but we, the media, have nothing better to do on the long, dull summer months except find someone to hate.
I neither love nor hate the Yankees, so I could care less what becomes of their multi-million dollar man, but I can say this, the Yankees, Rodriguez himself, and all die-hard Yankee fans are going through exactly what Bonds went through for all these years.
Is it justice? Perhaps, because after all the years of the media attacking the man everyone loved to hate, they have now found their other target, and have him with an iron-clad grip.