Tuesday, July 24, 2007 by Dave Winer.
News just in that baseball commissioner Bud Selig will come to San Francisco to watch Barry Bonds try to tie and then set the all-time home run record.
The cloud over his accomplishment makes this a difficult decision, but I think this is the right choice. Baseball is our national sport, and the conditions under which the game is played always changing. When Hank Aaron played there was no interleague play, no designated hitter. For much of his career there was no baseball on the west coast, so travel was very different, and when he started his career baseball was segregated.
The two accomplishments are comparable, for sure, but not exactly. There's no doubt that Hank Aarron earned a place in baseball history, though his accomplishment has in no way diminished the accomplishment of his predecessor, Babe Ruth, and if Bonds surpasses Aaron, as seems very likely, we'll still remember Aaron being the great player and role model that he was.
Barry Bonds has done what no other player of his generation has done, and like it or not, performance drugs are a part of baseball today. Whether Bonds took the drugs or not, his record is important and must be recognized by all who love the sport.
And by the way, this would be a great time to forgive Pete Rose, and let him join the Hall of Fame.