Will he, or won’t he?
Should he, or shouldn’t he?
Is Bud Selig the worst commissioner in the history of professional sports, or is he merely wearing the most laughable hair system?
These and many more questions will be hitched with salient answers later this month, when Barry Bonds is pretty much guaranteed to break the most cherished record in sports not involving conjugal visits with Wilt Chamberlain.
Despite the media’s attempt to stop him with everything from voodoo to reverse psychology, Bonds will hit No. 756 alarmingly soon. Maybe this weekend. Maybe the next. Maybe in his sleep.
Four years and a dozen milestones ago, Selig started getting the questions he never forgot to duck: Where will you be when Bonds knocks Hank Aaron from the top of the foul pole? In the park for the presentation and the grip-and-grin photo? On the DiamondVision to issue a heartfelt proclamation? On a four-week vacation in Siberia?
Selig has avoided the question so effortlessly that he should be considered as next White House press secretary. The man from Milwaukee who made baseball infamous usually brushes off the overture with a pat answer about travel and variables and unknowns and attendance being up around the majors.
Well, here’s the deal, Commish. Your absence is the only thing that possibly could make Bonds’ achievement less meaningful and more laughable than it already is.
You created this monster.
You took over the sport in the early 1990s under an obvious conflict of interest.
You presided over the work stoppage and World Series cancellation of ’94, an elephant in the room that dwarfs even the impending coronation of a fraudulent home run king.
You became vision-impaired when everybody came back from the strike 15 pounds heavier and hitting the ball 50 feet farther, thereby giving us the first phony homer hootenanny between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
Your inspiring leadership made this mess. Now it’s too late to clean it up, so you’d better man up and deal with the consequences.
If Selig fails to fly around the country until Bonds breaks this record and millions of hearts, it’ll be the saddest chapter of his adminstration. And that’s saying something.
Bonds hasn’t tested positive for anything stronger than Vitamin C. Selig has never acknowledged his alleged fondness for synthetics and suspended him accordingly. We can only assume that the commissioner considers this journey into immortality legit.
And so it follows that if Selig stays away from the record-setting swat, it’s for the same reason that the rest of us will ignore it: Because Bonds is a jackass.
When you’re the guy whose laissez-faire leadership allowed him to prosper, that isn’t a good enough reason.