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Don't You Hate Pants?

I'm not sure what else to say about the Bonds thing, so I might as well resort to the old Homer J. standby. You should try it some time: Don't you hate pants? It rolls off the tongue and is strangely metaphorical. I remember reading on some idiot screenwriter's blog about how he thought "Snakes on a Plane" was this deceptively telling phrase, indeed worthy of mantra status. That's pushing it, but Don't you hate pants? The "pants" could be any of society's ills or any individual's bugaboos.

No, really.

Ah hell, I'm here now, so I might as well flesh this one out. And by that I mean I simply don't care.

Well, that's not entirely true. I care about Hank Aaron. I don't think he has any sort of entitlement to sit on top of a record list in perpetuity, but I have absolute respect for what he has accomplished in life. True story: Parker Field, the old park here in Richmond, closed its doors one night late in 1984. I was eight years old, and I was at the ballpark the night of Parker Field's last game. So was Hank Aaron, who at that time worked in Atlanta's front office. Aaron served as the dignitary for that final game, and during pregame introductions he walked up one of the aisles and shook the hands of several Parker Field patrons. I was one of them; I shook the great Hank Aaron's hand. I was all of eight, but did I know who he was? Hell yes. He was Hank Aaron.

Harry Caray was by far my most exciting childhood baseball brush with greatness, but similarly Hank Aaron was by far my most proud.

As for the Bonds factor, I find myself indifferent. Look, I'm not a child anymore; I've regressed, and so I'm an attorney. There are a few types of attorneys. There's the ridiculously overzealous hyper-prosecutor/hanging judge, the meely moral relativist, the unconscionable scourge of ethical unscrupulousness, and the unremittingly maddening sophist. On my good days, I am none of the above; on most days, I tend to resemble the last.

I could construct an argument about how this all doesn't really matter, about how baseballdom's relentless and childlike obsession with quasi-mythical numbers and hierarchical lists is utterly sophomoric, about how if you want to regard Hank Aaron (or Babe Ruth before him) as the Home Run King then by all means do so. Whether Bonds surpasses Aaron on a list of raw home run totals really needn't diminish what Aaron was as a player or is as a baseball legend. I could waste my time doing that.

I could.

But I won't. It's pointless. Instead, I'm going to direct a quick flash of trademark condescension at every single announcer who has indicated the weight of the world is on his shoulders for the horrible burden of maybe, maybe having to call Bonds's record-breaking homer. Screw you, fellas. I'm not going to name-drop, but I have some idea of what your job entails. You are among a very elite fraternity of voices of this game, in some ways the noblest stewards of the National Pastime. Your job is not easy. Granted.

But get off it, you jerks. You're living the dream of countless people: calling games played by people who live the dreams of all those aforementioned people from back when they were dreaming as kids. You're a lucky man, Ted Leitner. Stop taking yourself so damned seriously.

As for the rest, check out McCovey Chronicles. You won't regret that.