The news for non-sports fans: “The ball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run will be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame.” Some eccentric rich guy named Ecko buys the Bonds’ ball for $700k, and then runs an online poll to decide what to do: (1) give to baseball’s hall of fame as is; (2) send it into outer space or (3) give it to the hall with an asterisk on it. Number 3 wins!
Poor William Rhodes of the NY Times seems to be Bonds’ only defender. In his column today, Rhodes argues that the Hall of Fame should reject this defiled donation or else be an “accomplice in compromising the integrity of baseball.” Come on, Rhoden: what really hurts the integrity of baseball more: this asterisk or BALCO?
But Rhoden brightened my day with this question and answer: “What would happen if the Hall of Fame rejected the ball? Ecko is stuck with a $700,000 ball.” Yes, that would also be a funny ending to this farce.
Footnote: Immediately after Barry Bonds broke the home run record, the Onion ran this funny headline: “MLB To Place Asterisk, Pound Sign, Exclamation Point, Letter ‘F’ Next To Bonds’ Name In Record Books.” Once again, the Onion is spot on.