Sunday, August 05, 2007


There are more areas of broad agreement in American life than we think. Most of them involve a creative synthesis of opposing ideas. Example: Capital punishment. Most American support it, but only if, as is the case, it's used very rarely. There about 1000 murders for every execution.

Last night in San Diego, there was another example of consensus in action. It was also an example of the wisdom of crowds.

As they have for the last decade, Padres fans booed mightily when Barry Bonds came to bat. But when Bonds hit his 755th career homer to tie Hank Aaron, they both booed and cheered, with the cheers outnumbering the boos by a significant margin.

Consensus. We don't like you Barry. We think you're a cheat. But damn! Hitting 755 homers is pretty amazing even if you're cheating! So congratulations, you miserable SOB.

May I suggest we all adopt the wisdom of consensus. It is to be hoped baseball's steroid era is in its last days. There's no point in picking this scab any longer. Keith Olbermann, move on. Bob Costas, got back to hyping the absolutely moral conflict-free National Football League. George Mitchell, tell Bub Selig you quit and get back home before blueberry is over.

Records weren't meant to be worshipped. They are representations of history. Bonds, ironically, has insured that steroids will have a far bigger chapter in baseball history than if he'd quit at 754 homers. So be it. Who's pitching today?


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