MLBPA Executive Director Donald Fehr used to be one of the most hated figures in professional sports. On Friday, he met with sports editors from the Associated Press and addressed the man who has succeeded him in the role of baseball's primary villain: San Francisco Giants leftfielder Barry Bonds, who enters the weekend fifteen homeruns shy of breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755.
Fehr's thoughts on Bonds were surprisingly apathetic, especially given his position as head of the union. For starters, he's pretty sure he won't be in the stands when Bonds unloads for number 756:
"I won't follow him around, but I generally don't go to games during the season, so that's nothing new for me."
"My guess is it's probably possible if not likely that somebody from our office will be there because Bobby Bonilla is in the office and he'll probably go...And if he wants to go, we'll certainly send him."Translation: Nobody in the office really wants to travel for this, but Bobby drew the short straw. Honestly, the way the statement is worded, doesn't it sound like Bonilla is expected to catch the record-breaking game as a show of personal support for Bonds, but the MLBPA will gladly consider him an "official" representativce?
The best part of the whole article, however, comes near the end, when Fehr rails about "cable-television culture" and the way it has apparently driven the PED scandals of the past few years:
"They're going to say, with everything else that was going on America, between global warming and a war and 9-11 and the collapse of health care and everything else, why did we spend all this time on steroids and Anna Nicole Smith and whether Britney Spears did this or that or the other and all the rest of it? And yet it dominates the news, it just dominates it."Just a thought, but maybe we're spending all this time on steroids in baseball because we're concerned about the trickle-down effect to high school kids who see their sports heroes using and figure, "These can't be that bad." It's certainly not as big a problem as the war in Iraq, but to place it in a category with Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears is an unnecessary minimization of the issue.