Barry Bonds spoke some choice words on Tuesday for Mark Ecko, the fashion designer who bought the slugger's record-setting 756 home run ball.
"He's stupid. He's an idiot," Bonds said. "He spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid."
Ecko set up a Webpage for voters to decide what to do with the baseball. The options are to send it to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY; brand the ball with an asterisk then send it to Cooperstown; or send it into space as symbolism for "out of sight, out of mind."
I agree with Bonds.
While the clothes designer may have the $750,000 to burn without second thought, what's troubling is that he's trying to democratize this debate when there are more factors involved than just steroids.
Ecko claims on his Webpage:
"We all have an opinion about Barry Bonds' ball that broke Hank Aaron's home run record. Some feel it is a piece of history that belongs in the Hall of Fame. Others believe it is the embodiment of a cheating culture - not just in baseball, but in professional sports overall. I have my own opinion, I've been part of this debate just like everyone else."
The problem with that line of thinking is that Ecko believes fans are going to vote based solely on the alleged steroid use that has swirled around Bonds for almost four years.
Not all fans, in fact a good percentage of them, boo(ed) Bonds simply based on the steroids and cheating. They boo(ed) him because he's a self-absorbed crybaby jerk. Furthermore, a man cast in the negative spotlight is the last person fans want(ed) to see pass Aaron, who's been called one of the classiest baseball players in history.
Also, as an ESPN poll a few months ago indicates, many fans don't like Bonds and didn't want him to break the hallowed record because he's a black man. Some of those numbers were baffling considering Bonds was in pursuit of a black man's home run record.
I fear many of these voters are going to select the second and third options simply because of the aforementioned factors other than steroids. That's a sad reality and probably even a sadder fate for the historic baseball.