The New York Post’s Steve Serby has the pleasure of chatting with Craig Nettles.
Former Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles is hardly thrilled that Barry Bonds, with his 715th home run, has finally passed Babe Ruth and moved into second place on the all-time list.
“I just hate to see a guy that cheated like him get the record,” Nettles told The Post. “It hasn’t been proven, but I can tell with my own eyes what a guy looks like.”
Nettles – like so many others in and out of baseball – has long suspected Bonds of steroid use. “For the last three or four years, when he got so big,” Nettles said. “Guys don’t get so big and strong at that age. It doesn’t happen without chemicals.”
Nettles, who ranks 46th on the all-time list with 390 home runs, 250 as a Yankee, believes Major League Baseball was right for not celebrating Bonds passing The Babe. “They shouldn’t do anything until he passes Aaron,” Nettles said. “I don’t see any reason how a guy who passes second place … you have to pass the leader.”
Nettles believes those that choose to play the race card in Bonds’ defense are misguided and out of line. “I don’t think race plays any part of it,” Nettles said. “I’m sure some people in the country are racist. I don’t think anything about race should even be mentioned.”
And on that note, I was planning on ignoring the following passage by ESPN’s Tim Kurkijan, but seeing as the same copy has been used on “SportsCenter” along with ESPN.com, I can’t resist :
Passing Ruth into second place all time should be a cause for celebration, but Major League Baseball isn’t recognizing it, Bonds gets booed wherever he goes on the road, and every once in a while a player takes a shot at him: Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle was the latest, saying he doesn’t want to see Bonds break records. Hank Aaron dealt with racial hatred and ignorance on his road to 715. Bonds is dealing with some of that and much more, but unlike Aaron, he brought much of it on himself.
That Bonds has been (I’m being diplomatic here) a testy, sometimes tough-to-embrace kinda guy throughout his big league career is well documented. That said, what has the Sultan Of Surly ever done in his public life that would constitute bringing racial hatred upon himself? Barry has had a thing or two to say about being a black man in Americaville. Sometimes he has a point, sometimes he’s out to lunch. None of it, however, justifies any measure of racial abuse, and there’s something a little screwy about the claim “he brought much of it on himself” going unchallenged. I could certainly use an editor over here most days. I’m surprised they can’t afford one in Bristol.
Spare a thought today for KNBR’s Dave Flemming, dicked out of his moment in baseball history by a technical snafu.