I think this is what most fans did with Bond’s during the steroid era. We didn’t want him to change because we would no longer benefit from him. But after hearing Ban’s sermon, I’m beginning to think this happens in my life with more than just baseball.
Baseball season is upon us now, and that means a few things. First of all, I have a chance to repeat as the champ in fantasy baseball. Secondly, the Tampa Bay Rays will get to see whether Manny Ramirez will hit like Manny Ramirez or act like Manny Ramirez (that is one dude to whom you don’t want to say, “Just be yourself”). And thirdly, since games are starting up, it would be nice to see the Barry Bonds perjury trial not take center stage.
While its not been a media circus, on some levels this trial is quite comical. Former teammates have testified about his use, while the most incriminating man in this case, his trainer, would rather spend time in jail than testify. Even former mistresses have testified that Bonds’ testicles had shrunk over time. It’s fairly obvious that the unlikeable lad’s head literally grew; that kind of growth doesn’t happen with weights and protein supplements. Here are a few of my takes on this trial.
1.) A need for truth
People don’t like to be lied to. The Feds really don’t like to be lied to. While Dr. House’s “everybody lies” philosophy of life is unfortunately very accurate, people still want some sort of ultimate arbiter, or at least a final accountability to actual tell the truth. That and the fact that he is perhaps baseball’s most unlikeable player ever (or at least top 5) will, in my estimation, leave many people pulling against him.
2.) We’re all users.
Baseball really enabled this whole steroid era to flourish, and not simply by limiting drug testing. MLB promoted these new found home-run heroes because THEY put people in the seats. And people knew they were on roids, but people didn’t care. Baseball had use for rhoid freaks like Bonds and Mark McGuire. Fans had use for them as well. But now there is no use for Barry Bonds, and we no longer need him.
I find it funny how much I profited and enjoyed watching these home-run legends, and watching them chase such home-run single season and all time records. But now for some reason I feel cheated. Yet at the time, I didn’t want them to change. It’s not just that “chicks dig the long ball” as the commercial claimed, but guys did as well.
Martin Ban of ChristChurch Santa Fe gave a challenging, as well as fascinating sermon called “Sloth and Anger” on the connection between these two “deadly sins.” In his application, he questioned whether or not we really want people to stop being angry or slothful. Parents can use slothful children so that they feel needed. Folks use angry people to have someone tough to follow, and let them do the dirty work. Ban argues that we often don’t want people to change, because we benefit from them. We use them, and to call people to change will be hard because we’re good at using people.