From John Perricone's OnlyBaseballMatters.com blog:
Some of the more interesting quotes about my latest piece include a forum writer who commended me for my endless defense of Barry Bonds; “Say what you will about Perricone, the guy’s been defending Bonds for going on five years now.”
Thanks, I guess.
In truth, I think I’ve been more interested in defending Bonds’ rights. The right to be treated fairly, to be held as innocent until proven guilty, the right to self-determination, and, of course, the right to be an asshole. I think I’ve also been criticizing the ham-handed, sanctimonious outrage and piety being displayed by so many of the members of the mainstream media, who are falling all over themselves in their efforts to prove that they will save the children, the heroes of the past, and, of course, by extension, us.
To them, I say, thanks but no thanks. I’m comfortable with controversy, I’m OK with sports stars who may not be perfect. I do, in fact, want our athletes to do amazing things, and I don’t really care how they go about doing it. It has always been obvious to me that to perform at the highest levels in athletic competition, extreme measures have always been taken.
I have some context, that perhaps a writer like Lupica doesn’t. I’ve worked in construction for most of the last 25 years, and I know what it’s like to work through pain. I’ve shot myself in the leg with a nail gun and wrapped duct tape around it and kept going. I’ve had to drill a hole in my thumb nail to release the blood blister under it, and kept going. I’ve worked on a roof in three feet of snow, with a 20 mile an hour wind making the wind chill factor below zero, all day long, for days on end.
When I wasn’t out in the field building houses, I worked in a mirror factory, I worked in a restaurant, I’ve worked with my body since I was 14 years old. In that time, I’ve taken every pill, literally, everything I could get my hands on, to make sure I could go to work every day. Until you do, maybe you can’t understand. But I know that my readers who come from a similar background understand.
And when I read Bill Gilbert’s account of the different players who do the same, I wonder, no, in fact, I know, the only difference between what Bob Gibson did and what I did was directly related to access.
If I would have had access to a physician whose sole purpose was to ensure that I got up and worked to the best of my ability, well, I mean, come on. Anybody would have made the same choice, and to suggest otherwise is more than disingenuous, it’s flat out lying. Reading Bill Gilbert’s followup piece makes that crystal clear.
Tags: Only Baseball Matters, John Perricone, Steroids, Bil Gilbert