Dipping Into the Mailbag

I would like to thank all the fans who have responded to the recent article, There's No Being Nice in Baseball. Here are some comments and replies to comments. This also gives the opportunity for everyone to share different opinions, and/or to see how many people agree or disagree with them.

From Pete:
Your article "There's No Being Nice in Baseball" was so refreshing. I'll preface my comments by stating I am a Giants' fan and a Barry Bonds fan. Thank you for providing an alternate view to EVERY OTHER reporter out there. I'm so tired of people trying to bury Bonds at every chance. They talk about how this book is the final nail in the coffin for him when nothing has been proved yet. Just because someone writes something doesn't mean it's true and Griff's (Ken Griffey, Jr.) comments show how unfounded all this "new information" really is. I was really, really surprised to read your article on Yahoo! news which has gone after Bonds relentlessly. [Dan] Wetzel I would say is the most ridiculous of their reporters. His attacking of Bonds and San Francisco's fans is just ridiculous. Anyways just wanted to express my gratitude for putting the seemingly unpopular opinion out there.

People definitely need to stop jumping on the first bandwagon they see and realize that there are always two sides to a story, even if one of the sides is the side of a man you hate. It's obvious that whenever there are "multiple sources" involved that there should be some questioning about the so-called investigation.

I agree fully about Wetzel.

From Mike:
Your article was accurate and touched a nerve. When I go to the ballpark and Barry comes up, time stands still! No one goes to the John or goes and gets a dog because god forbid you miss one of the masterful blasts! The same will be true this year and next ( should he still be here). We should all be happy we were fortunate enough to see the game's greatest hitter in the midst of our fan-dome! Heck, we could be in Detroit or Kansas City or any number of other cities who don't have the talent and ballpark that us native San Franciscans have always deserved.

Time definitely stands still when Bonds' name is announced. No matter what your team is, any baseball fan in the ballpark would be glued to their seats (or at home we're all on our feet). Even the booing of teams and pitchers who walk Bonds is a spectacle. There aren't many players who make you hold off on going to the restroom just to have you see them be walked on four pitches.

And yes, we should be very fortunate that there's talent in our home team. At the same time, other baseball fans need to appreciate the greatness that we get to witness in our lifetime.

From Bill:
You've written a great article. Thank you. I am a baseball fan, and I've been a Giants fan since 1958. The effort by much of the sports press to vilify Barry Bonds is sad and disappointing. I guess that making names for themselves is more important that reporting the facts. Many are trying to shape opinion rather than reporting on fact and opinion. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Has Barry Bonds ever tested positive for drug or steroid use? No! Has he been convicted or indicted for perjury or tax evasion? No! Many journalists are attempting to give their careers a boost at Barry Bonds' expense. Many have stated that they will not vote for Barry Bonds (some on first ballot, some ever) for the Hall of Fame. Most of these same journalists voted for Barry Bonds to be awarded the NL MVP seven times!

It is very unfortunate that people who call themselves journalists are so willing to jump on the anti-Barry Bonds bandwagon. It's a shame, really. And yes, they publicly try to humiliate Barry in their articles, but turn around and vote for him for any special honor. Even most baseball fans, who boo Bonds every chance they get, vote for him for every All-Star Game that he's been eligible to play in.

From Jonathan:
As you mentioned, Griffey and Bonds are friends- what would you expect Griffey to say? "Sure, I've talked to Barry about steroids numerous times! Doesn't he look great?!?!!?" (I'm in OH and can't keep up with the "who's who" in this debacle) And isn't Victor Conte related to the Giants trainer? What would you expect him to say? "Yes, I realize that my brother works for the Giants and admitting my discussions of steroid use with Barry will inevitably lead to further headaches for his employer, but I feel in my heart it's the right thing to do. So yes, to answer your question honestly I not only discussed steroids with Barry, I provided them to him. Haven't they done a marvelous job for his career?" Your article has a couple valid points but assuming that people tell the truth is just plain silly.

At the same time, isn't it silly to assume that everything you read in the media is the truth? If no one assumes anyone is telling the truth, then how can we trust anyone? In this case, isn't it better to trust the people who are involved than the people who are observers from the outside? I used Griffey and Conte as examples of close sources to this situation. If we don't use first hand people, then who else should we use? They're the next best sources to Barry himself, not the media.

From Aaron:
As for Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, you are 100% correct. After reading some of the SI portions they are writing it as if they are Barry himself. Truth be told they got most of this information 2nd or 3rd hand and no one person physically saw Barry inject, pop, or rub any illegal matter in or on him.

Furthermore I think that Fainaru-Wada and Williams should be forced to inform the Grand Jury of how they obtained court sealed testimony, and if they don't they should be held in contempt of court and force into spending time in prison. It's only fair, that is what they are putting Barry through when they publish all of the non-truths, half-truths and here-say information that they have.

Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Many people hate Bonds, so many people will believe what they want to believe: That Bonds took steroids. I fully agree with the Grand Jury part. These so-called reporters need to start taking some responsibility in what they're doing, which is making a man's life complete hell.

From John:
Thank you so much for the first public defense of Barry Bonds by a member of the media. Believe it or not he has a lot of supporters that are not being heard. I hope you are heard at the national level because you offer another side to a one-sided assault on a man who has not been proven guilty of anything. We need more journalists like you that don't jump on the bandwagon in order to sell papers and pamper their pathetic has-been or never will be egos. You are refreshing and I appreciate your work.

It is very insulting to some of us, members of the media, who are true fans of the sport. We're not just looking for the next big scandal to fill the front page of our newspaper.

From Paul:
Wow, a breath of fresh air. You nailed this one! I only wish all those who are making a living by writing about how terrible Barry is will read your matter of fact article. They, not Bonds, make me upset. Not only writers are looking to draw Bonds blood. The folks in ESPN news and others on TV are just as bad and are always willing to re-hash any 'new allegation as if the audience hasn't heard any of this before. Even If Bonds did, what they are accusing him of, so what? He didn't do anything hundreds of others did or would have done, in a wide variety of sports, given the chance. And, I have always respected him for standing up to reporters who misquote or take his words out of context to create a headline story they think the public will read. Anyway, THANK YOU, JOB WELL DONE!!! PLAY BALL! The media definitely needs to take a step back. Bonds has made it clear many times that he does not want to be bother, and reporters can't even honor his request. He's a baseball player, not an internationally famous actor. And I fully agree: Let's forget about all this nonsense and play ball!

Note: Articles have been edited for grammatical errors

Sara Kwan is a writer and co-publisher for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Comments about the article and/or the site? Hit me up: kwanchino@alpha-q.net .

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