Thursday, March 24, 2011

Does Anyone Care About The Barry Bonds Trial?

The Barry Bonds trial that's been building for what feels like decades now has finally begun in the Bay Area, and... Wait a second. Before we get into a bunch of testimony about testicles and test tubes, does anyone even care?
It's not to say we shouldn't prosecute liars and thieves in this country, but when it comes time for the media to decide what's important enough to cover, this just strikes me as a complete waste of time. And yet there's no shortage of live blogging, live tweets, and on-site reporting for the Bonds trial, all distracting us from the most interesting truth in all this: Nobody gives a s**t anymore.

We've moved on. What began as a life-or-death truth-seeking crusade today feels like an neverending journey to nowhere. The crusade against steroids has always been sort of a charade on its own, but its latest reincarnation just seems even more ridiculous. Just one final act in a morality play that sucked to begin with. Who were we supposed to side with?

The truculent millionaire who treats everyone like crap, or the embarrassing media (and U.S. Justice Department) that decided to turn Bonds into a voodoo doll to exercise our nation's steroid demons?

It's only appropriate to have this end with an overhyped trial that teaches us nothing and ends in a stalemate, leaving us wondering why, exactly, we decided this was important in the first place.

At this point, it's less about upholding justice and integrity than it is about shame and guilt. We were all duped with the feel-good stories about McGwire and Sosa and even Lance Armstrong, but none moreso than the media that salivated over the history as it happened. Bonds just happened to have his history happen at the wrong time.

Once everyone realized that our nation's rebirth of nostalgia had been performanced enhanced, Bonds became the fall guy for an era of innocence that left everyone feeling dirty. And since lot of people felt ashamed and guilty for worshiping McGwire and Sosa, those same people wanted Barry Bonds to feel ashamed and be found guilty. It was never about Barry Bonds in the first place. It was about the voodoo doll.

Regardless of how ridiculous it is to be wasting taxpayers' dollars and all of our time with some trumped up investigation into steroid creams, everyone decided we needed a puppet to embody all the selfishness of Bonds and his predecessors. And then that puppet had to be torn to shreds and hung out to dry in the most public way possible.

The only problem with that plan was that it took too long, and we've moved on.
Now, as the crazy train nears the light at the end of the tunnel, nobody really cares what Jeff Novitzky has to say about Barry Bonds under oath.
And just like that, this whole saga will end with an overhyped trial that teaches us nothing and will inevitably result in some sort of stalemate, leaving us wondering why, exactly, we decided that cheating in baseball was such an important public issue in the first place. You may not care, but... Isn't the Barry Bonds trial kind of perfect?

By Andrew Sharp -
The steroids hysteria is breathing its last gasp in the Bay Area this week. But with the Barry Bonds trial finally underway, does anyone still care?