Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Fall Of The Phony Slugger

"The Boone" sulks
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Seattle Columnist Leaves Out Boone's Indiscretion

I suppose there nothing wrong with a sports columnists to wax sentimental when a local hero leaves his team, if not, unceremoniously like the Mariners Bret Boone was this week.

Steve Kelley, a columnist for the Seattle Times, detailed Boone's exit in funeral tones:

The tears kept coming. Each hug with each player, each coach, each broadcaster, trainer and clubhouse attendant brought more tears.

After the crying and hugging ceased, the mourners shuffled by the coffin of a baseball career Boone is sure to lead

Players, many of them dressed in their traveling sport coats, stood like guests in a formal reception line, waiting to hug him and heartily slap him on the back.

Steve Kelley is a homer. He knows that all of his readership is Mariner fans and Boone is beloved in the northwest, but how could you fail to mention the true reason of Boone's demise and Bariod Bonds you better be watching!

The Boone is off The 'Riods.

Is it coincidence that Boone's homerun and sluggling totals shot up considerably the same year as Bonds's?

Before 2000, Boone was a definite talent. Having played first for Seattle, Cincinnati, Atlanta and then back to the Mariners--the team that drafted him from El Cajon as the son of big league greats Gus and Bob Boone (Note: I still have my Bob Boone model catchers mitt in the garage).

In his 13-year career, Boone hit 50 percent of his homers from 2000 to this weekend. His sluggling percentage rose more than 130 points higher than at any point in his career. Since his return to Seattle, many have wondered aloud whether Boone was on the juice. In his tell-all book, "Juice", Jose Canseco wrote of an account where he questioned Boone on the field during a spring training game when Boone reportedly winked at Canseco, playfully covering his dirty little secret.

In addition to his noticeably larger physique he has other things in common with Bariod; mind-boggling statistics that go beyond believability, the child of baseball superstars and an ego spilling all over the sides.

He may have seemed like an anomaly back in 2000; a secondbasemen free-swinging and nearly leading the league in homers. Today, he's seen as a steriod-injecting, pompous ass, ballplayer who can't rely on the syringe that once contained hundreds of tape-measure homers and loads of RBI's.

Kelley ended his column by saying:

Time passes and gives birth to a new double-play combination. It's the business of baseball. Still, it is sad every time it happens.

In this case, time had nothing to do with it. Boone's career ended because a former colleague wrote a provocative book and some senators in Washington called a committee meeting.

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