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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ESPN:  Barry Bonds HR Ball #756 to Go to the Hall of Fame With An Asterisk

The ball Barry Bonds hit for his record-breaking 756th home run will be branded with an asterisk and sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame, its owner said Wednesday.

Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:28 PM | 487 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, giants, hall of fame, history, media, online, special topics, steroids, teams

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   1. Hurdle's Heroes (SuperBaes) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:43 PM (#2543256)
sending it to the museum unblemished or launching it into space

Thank goodness he didn't blast it into space.
Ecko, whom Bonds called "an idiot'' last week

I'll reiterate that I also think that Ecko is an idiot.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:45 PM (#2543259)
This will be a lasting testament, but not in the way Ecko thinks it will be.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:45 PM (#2543260)
Can't think of a more appropriate way to mark the occasion, even if you have to wonder about the vote counting procedures of any internet poll.
   4. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:46 PM (#2543263)
How about a compromise: send the ball to the Hall of Fame without the asterisk but blast Barry Lamar into outer space?
   5. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2543267)
This will be a lasting testament, but not in the way Ecko thinks it will be.

Hard to believe that, given that every time someone looks at the ball he's going to be reminded of the whole steroid controversy, regardless of what some people might think of Ecko's stunt. Seems to me that the whole point of what Ecko was doing was to keep the steroid issue in the face of everyone who looks at that ball, and seems to me that he's succeeded beautifully in doing this.
   6. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:51 PM (#2543268)
How about a compromise: send the ball to the Hall of Fame without the asterisk but blast Barry Lamar into outer space?


I think I'd rather brand him with an asterisk.
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 01:55 PM (#2543274)
How about a compromise: send the ball to the Hall of Fame without the asterisk but blast Barry Lamar into outer space?

But space is fun!
   8. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:01 PM (#2543282)
Hard to believe that, given that every time someone looks at the ball he's going to be reminded of the whole steroid controversy, regardless of what some people might think of Ecko's stunt. Seems to me that the whole point of what Ecko was doing was to keep the steroid issue in the face of everyone who looks at that ball, and seems to me that he's succeeded beautifully in doing this.

Maybe, but we don't know what the future holds. I have a feeling our age is going to be known for going into hysterics over things like steroids and Britney Spears while we express our displeasure/pleasure with things like war and gloabal warming and government sanctioned torture by debating what the latest celebrity of the day had to say about it. We live in some crazy times, man.
   9. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:10 PM (#2543292)
That's a bit harsh, Shooty. The real problem is that we're immobilized from acting on those things because a blithering idiot is currently occupying the White House.

Yeah, I'm harsh because I include myself in the inaction. I know Andy was part of the Civil Rights movement back in the day, and I have to say I'm envious that his generation could form mass movements that actaully made a difference. My generation seems paralyzed in comparison. I have a lot of liberal friends--naturally!--and I can't even convince them to recycle their alluminum cans consistently.
   10. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:10 PM (#2543293)
Hard to believe that, given that every time someone looks at the ball he's going to be reminded of the whole steroid controversy, regardless of what some people might think of Ecko's stunt. Seems to me that the whole point of what Ecko was doing was to keep the steroid issue in the face of everyone who looks at that ball, and seems to me that he's succeeded beautifully in doing this.

Maybe, but we don't know what the future holds. I have a feeling our age is going to be known for going into hysterics over things like steroids and Britney Spears while we express our displeasure/pleasure with things like war and gloabal warming and government sanctioned torture by debating what the latest celebrity of the day had to say about it. We live in some crazy times, man.


But the point isn't that there's any guarantee about what future generations might think about the Bonds record; it's that they'll be reminded that there was a controversy about the legitimacy of that record every time they look at that ball.

Ecko's point was to ensure that the dialogue continued, and not just in forums like this, but among future visitors to Cooperstown. How does he not succeed in doing that? And given that wish, what could he have done with that ball that would have been any more appropriate? He's not looking to please the fanboys, but if they wanted to keep the ball unmarked they could have gotten together and bought the ball themselves.

It was the free market at work---a willing buyer and a willing seller. And now, apparently, a willing recipient.
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:13 PM (#2543298)
Ecko's point was to ensure that the dialogue continued, and not just in forums like this, but among future visitors to Cooperstown. How does he not succeed in doing that?

I look forward to the next few decades of steroids threads. :)
   12. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:16 PM (#2543307)
I look forward to the next few decades of steroids threads. :)

Yeah, they can be interactively linked to the front of the display case for the baseball, thereby immortalizing us all....
   13. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:18 PM (#2543309)
Am I the only one who sees this guy as a self-serving idiot just looking for publicity and that the whole idea is just a ridiculous populist stunt that says more about the current cultural zeitgeist than it does about any homerun record and whether or not it was reached by enhancement due to PEDs?

I think Shooty does. I hope I'm not alone. This is absurd.
   14. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2543316)
Yes, Joe C. you're not alone.
   15. Randy Jones Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:22 PM (#2543319)
Am I the only one who sees this guy as a self-serving idiot just looking for publicity and that the whole idea is just a ridiculous populist stunt that says more about the current cultural zeitgeist than it does about any homerun record and whether or not it was reached by enhancement due to PEDs or not?

no
   16. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:23 PM (#2543321)
I have a feeling our age is going to be known for going into hysterics over things like steroids and Britney Spears while we express our displeasure/pleasure with things like war and gloabal warming and government sanctioned torture by debating what the latest celebrity of the day had to say about it.

Why do you think our society will be any different in the future?
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2543322)
Also, I would much rather see the ball in the HOF with an asterisk rather than destroyed.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:26 PM (#2543325)
Why do you think our society will be any different in the future?

Do you want me to kill myself? IS that what you want? Because I will jump out the ####### window right now--I'm on the 43rd floor--and I will leave a note saying "Barry's Lazy Boy did it". Is that what you want? Because I tell you now, it would inconvenience my girlfriend and my mom might cry a little, or at least sigh pensively and you'll have to live with that the rest of your life.
   19. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:28 PM (#2543329)
The real problem is that we're immobilized from acting on those things because a blithering idiot is currently occupying the White House.

Emboldening the terrorists are you? We'll see how much you like your precious baseball when the 7th inning stretch is replaced by the 7th inning Prayer to Mecca.
   20. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:30 PM (#2543331)
"Mommy, why is there a big, black mark on that baseball?"

"Well, sweety. That's because the bad man who hit the homerun with that ball is a lying, cheating sack of ####."


I wonder how Norman Rockwell would capture such a moment with a painting?

Best Regards

John
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:40 PM (#2543344)
We'll see how much you like your precious baseball when the 7th inning stretch is replaced by the 7th inning Prayer to Mecca.
Would that be shorter than Kate Smith signing "God Bless America"? Because if yes, I'm willing to give it a try.
   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2543355)
If the Hall of Fame displays this ball after it has been defaced, my respect for it as an institution will greatly diminish. Part of the Hall's mission statement is "honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime."

Displaying a defaced ball does not honor Bonds -- it insults him -- and leaves the Hall looking pretty shameful.
   23. BeanoCook Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2543358)
Am I the only one who sees this guy as a self-serving idiot just looking for publicity and that the whole idea is just a ridiculous populist stunt that says more about the current cultural zeitgeist than it does about any homerun record and whether or not it was reached by enhancement due to PEDs?

I think Shooty does. I hope I'm not alone. This is absurd.


It is absurd.
At least #800 from Bonds won't have an asterisk.
   24. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2543361)
Yeah, I'm harsh because I include myself in the inaction. I know Andy was part of the Civil Rights movement back in the day, and I have to say I'm envious that his generation could form mass movements that actaully made a difference. My generation seems paralyzed in comparison.


Perhaps that's because the problems of this generation are far, far less than the problems of past generations?
   25. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2543367)
If the Hall of Fame displays this ball after it has been defaced, my respect for it as an institution will greatly diminish. Part of the Hall's mission statement is "honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime."

Displaying a defaced ball does not honor Bonds -- it insults him -- and leaves the Hall looking pretty shameful.


But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging. I'm sure he'd be pleased.
   26. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:56 PM (#2543371)
At least #800 from Bonds won't have an asterisk.

He needs 38 more, and hasn't been able to stay healthy anough to hit that many since 2004. I don't think he gets there.
   27. sotapop Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:57 PM (#2543375)
maybe I'm missing something ... but depnding on how he "brands" the ball, couldn't the Hall just prop up the ball so the asterix is on the back side and out of view? now that'd be funny.
   28. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2543378)
But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging.

The only dialogue Ecko's interested in is anything about himself. Dude just got bought his way into getting his name in the Hall of Fame.
"Well, sweety. That's because the bad man who hit the homerun with that ball is a lying, cheating sack of ####."

"Then why isn't there an asterix on Ty Cobb's plaque? Or Gaylord Perry's? Or on Pete Rose's 4192 bat?"
   29. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 02:59 PM (#2543380)
But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging. I'm sure he'd be pleased.

Andy, I think that he's had his name mentioned about 10 times in this thread already pleases him more. A lot more.

Perhaps that's because the problems of this generation are far, far less than the problems of past generations?

Nope, we have plenty of stuff, unfortunately.
   30. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:00 PM (#2543382)
A) I have to think that you can do more good with $700K+ than what Mr. Ecko has done with it (he wrote in an ESPN Chat that he donated millions to Charity anyway, but still....);

B) If Barry Bonds were really hardcore (or borderline nuts, like Mike Tyson) he'd get an asterisk tatoo on his face. That or act in a movie with today's equivalent to Trini López;

C) There's going to be some major collusion this winter against signing Barry Bonds, mark my words;

D) Alex Rodríguez has to stay healthy so the Barry can be erased from No. 1 in the record books (though A-Rod being how he is, he is going to have some serious stress when he nears the record. He was pressing when he was due for 500, so I wouldn't be surprised if he starts shedding hair clumps like Maris did).
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:05 PM (#2543386)
maybe I'm missing something ... but depnding on how he "brands" the ball, couldn't the Hall just prop up the ball so the asterix is on the back side and out of view? now that'd be funny.

First, I'm sure that Ecko will make it part of the deal that the HOF can't do that. He ain't that dumb.

But beyond that, all that would do would be to call attention to the HOF's attempt at censorship, which would bring even more publicity to the asterisk.

If the HOF doesn't want the asterisk, of course, it can always refuse the ball, as Ray recommends. That's perfectly within their rights, and I could see their point. But unless they change their minds, they've already said that they wanted it. Said it right there on the Today show this morning.
   32. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2543391)
But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging.


Not really; Ecko's "goal" (assuming it was not simply to get his name in the paper) was allegedly to force a dialogue over drugs in sports (*). Instead, the issue will be how much respect the Hall of Fame has lost by displaying the defaced ball.

(*) As if people haven't already been suddenly obsessed with the topic of drugs in sports.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2543395)
But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging.

The only dialogue Ecko's interested in is anything about himself. Dude just got bought his way into getting his name in the Hall of Fame.

-----------------

But that comment is merely another example of the very sort of dialogue that Ecko was encouraging. I'm sure he'd be pleased.

Andy, I think that he's had his name mentioned about 10 times in this thread already pleases him more. A lot more.


Maybe so. What of it? The only asterisks in Cooperstown by Ecko's name are going to have to be provided in people's imaginations. But the asterisk on the baseball is going to be right there in your face, like it or not, unless the HOF follows Ray's recommendation.
   34. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:11 PM (#2543396)
The Beatles should be removed from all "greatest albums of all-time" lists or at least have asterisks placed next to their names. It's been well-documented that they used drugs during the making of much of that work. Also, all women should birth children naturally. Drugs are bad.

Also, Barry Bonds should be vilified for taking magic pills which made him so much better than every other player of his era, even including other players who also took these magic, talent-increasing pills.
   35. Rich Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:11 PM (#2543399)
Democracy at work.
   36. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2543401)
Perhaps that's because the problems of this generation are far, far less than the problems of past generations?


Nope, we have plenty of stuff, unfortunately.


No, we really don't have big problems. Not in this country, anyway. That's why Al Sharpton is protesting trivial things like the Don Imus comments.
   37. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2543404)
Not really; Ecko's "goal" (assuming it was not simply to get his name in the paper) was allegedly to force a dialogue over drugs in sports (*). Instead, the issue will be how much respect the Hall of Fame has lost by displaying the defaced ball.

That's what your issue will be, anyway. Maybe you can sponsor a poll to see how many people agree with you.

But as a backup I might recommend that the fanboys pool their resources and buy that upcoming final Bonds home run ball, if and when it ever goes up to auction. You never know what else that publicity hound Ecko might have up his sleeve for an encore.
   38. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:16 PM (#2543409)
First, I'm sure that Ecko will make it part of the deal that the HOF can't do that. He ain't that dumb.


If he's dumb enough to spend $750,000 on something he could have bought for $2.50 at any sporting goods store, then he's dumb enough to be fooled in that way, too.
   39. McCoy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2543410)
This is stupid, there is no way the Hall is going to display that ball. If they do so they jeopardize there entire operation of receiving items from players and baseball itself. The hall of fame was created to honor baseball not rub its face in its own trash.
   40. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2543416)
But as a backup I might recommend that the fanboys pool their resources and buy that upcoming final Bonds home run ball

Andy, I'm not a Bonds fanboy and I'm not sure why you have to resort to this everytime people disagree with you about something regarding Bonds and/or steroids. Though I admit, it's not as bad as kevin's fellater trope.
   41. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:21 PM (#2543419)
Does this Ecko guy have a Wikipedia page? Someone should edit it and put an asterisk next to his name. (Dr. Nick Riviera voice) The asterisk ... stands for #########!
   42. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2543420)
The Beatles should be removed from all "greatest albums of all-time" lists or at least have asterisks placed next to their names. It's been well-documented that they used drugs during the making of much of that work.

They didn't think it was LSD. Dr. Leary told them it was tiny little bits of paper soaked in flaxseed oil.
   43. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:22 PM (#2543424)
No, we really don't have big problems. Not in this country, anyway. That's why Al Sharpton is protesting trivial things like the Don Imus comments.

I wish I lived in your neighborhood. I really don't want to get into a big thing about this, though. Obviously more people share your view on this than mine.
   44. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:27 PM (#2543430)
As it shouldn't. And as it should.


I wonder how this guy feels about Barry Bonds.
   45. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2543436)
Ecko's point was to ensure that the dialogue continued, and not just in forums like this, but among future visitors to Cooperstown.


In spite of your fears that this is going "to get swept under the rug", a statement you have made many times, with or without Ecko's stunt, the HR record, the media, and Bonds personality/actions will ensure that Bonds will always be remembered for PEDs.

And, I am highly skeptical that this will "encourage dialogue" or that that was the intent. As you tend to do, you are ascribing nobility of purpose and clarity of thought to anybody who agrees with you. What it clearly does do is to encourage people to keep trashing Bonds, by, again, separating him from other users/alleged users, and again, by highlighting his culpability in relation to MLB's et al. That, actually, might help "sweep it under the rug", if this era is remembered as the time when Barry Bonds broke the HR record by taking steroids and the discussion becomes Bonds defenders vs. Bonds haters. In some cases--I would submit rare cases--the ball may lead to productive dialogue. People may look at the ball and talk about the era, about McGwire, about Caminiti, about Palmeiro, about Canseco, about the no-name users, and about Selig.

But I don't think that will happen that much.

This is viscerally satisfying for PED hawks and Bonds haters, as your posts and others in the thread indicate. Whether it will actually help matters is a larger, more complex question. If the HoF displays it such a way so as to illuminate the whole issue for museum patrons, it could be a good thing. But I doubt it goes down that way.
   46. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:33 PM (#2543442)
I blame the IRS.
   47. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:35 PM (#2543448)
But as a backup I might recommend that the fanboys pool their resources and buy that upcoming final Bonds home run ball, if and when it ever goes up to auction.


I would have expected better from you, as Shooty points out.
   48. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2543453)
That future generations will have the opportunity to diss the prick is a bonus.

Like I said in 49, I think that was what Ecko was trying to do, as well as get himself some pub. And in that, he in fact "succeeded beautifully."
   49. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2543454)
   50. villageidiom Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:40 PM (#2543458)
Why do you think our society will be any different in the future?

Do you want me to kill myself? IS that what you want?


I dunno... what does Paris Hilton think about it?
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2543459)
Seems like the Hall could just rotate the ball so that the asterisk is on the bottom before they put it on display.

Ecko is a publicity-seeking nudnik, and writing this comment has exhausted my interest in the subject.
   52. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:45 PM (#2543461)
Well, Ecko apparently didn't encourage dialogue in Szymborski's case.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2543467)
shooty,

I didn't mean that you were a fanboy, and I apologize if it came off that way. All I meant to suggest was that if the fanboys or their temporary allies don't like what Ecko is doing to #756, they might want to take preventive measures about #800 or whatever number the final ball winds up at.

And BTW note that my first vote on this thread expressed skepticism about the voting procedure. Not that I'd ever trust any internet poll to begin with.

robinred,

The dialogue about the HOF display has begun, as we can see by this thread. There are already many different opinions worthy of note, among others including yours, Ray's and McCoy's. How this dialogue continues---on what level it continues---remains to be seen. That's up to future generations, and we don't have a whole lot of control over that.

But I do believe that unless the HOF refuses the ball, Ecko's little bit of guerrilla theater will help to bring a bit of life to what otherwise would be just one more Cooperstown artifact. There will be millions of kids who see that asterisk who don't visit sites like this, and who know much about baseball history, and there will be millions of parents who will be asked millions of questions about it. How is that a bad thing?

I blame the IRS.

A subtle but apt point. Having appraised many book and memorabilia libraries I'm fully aware of the scams surrounding "charity" donations. I've had more than a few people show me the door when I wouldn't play along with their inflated ideas of what their stuff was worth.
   54. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 03:56 PM (#2543471)
There will be millions of kids who see that asterisk who don't visit sites like this, and who know much about baseball history, and there will be millions of parents who will be asked millions of questions about it. How is that a bad thing?


Because I think a large percentage of them will say something like this:

. kevin Posted: September 26, 2007 at 09:55 AM (#2543273)

I think this is great. Kudos to Ecko:

"Mommy, why is there a big, black mark on that baseball?"

"Well, sweety. That's because the bad man who hit the homerun with that ball is a lying, cheating sack of ####."


****

EDiT: Which may not be a bad thing, dependiong on one's POV. But it probably won't educate people about the PED era in baseball. For those of us who are cynical, it is easy to picture the HoF asking Selig about this, and Selig going along with it/backing it, so he can keep the public focus excelusively on Bonds, and, with the help of the Mitchell Report, players
   55. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2543476)
I have a feeling our age is going to be known for going into hysterics over things like steroids and Britney Spears while we express our displeasure/pleasure with things like war and gloabal warming and government sanctioned torture by debating what the latest celebrity of the day had to say about it.

Why do you think our society will be any different in the future?


Did anyone see Idiocracy?
   56. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2543477)
I didn't mean that you were a fanboy, and I apologize if it came off that way. All I meant to suggest was that if the fanboys or their temporary allies don't like what Ecko is doing to #756, they might want to take preventive measures about #800 or whatever number the final ball winds up at.

Fair enough Andy. Of course, Bonds's biggest fan could afford the ball all by himself.
   57. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2543480)
Robinred,

I'm sure that lots of parents will say exactly that, and I'm equally sure that lots of them will sound like Chris Dial, unless the Chrises and the Rays are all boycotting the HOF in protest.

But I'm also sure that many other parents will find a way to go beyond that. There may even be some whose explanations would be as subtle and informed as yours. You never know.

Put them all together, and I say it's a well spent $750,000.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2543481)
Did anyone see Idiocracy?

I did. I liked the movie a lot, but I wasn't so crazy about the premise that poor people have a lot of kids because they're inherently stupid. I grew up well below the poverty line and was raised by a "teen aged" mother and I don't think my mother is stupid, not do I think my brothers are. I'm undecided about myself, but luckily I haven't pro-created.

More importantly, Brondo! It's what plants crave!
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2543484)
Of course, Bonds's biggest fan could afford the ball all by himself.

He could even pull a Ted Williams and make the baddest HOF donation of them all....
   60. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:18 PM (#2543496)
But I do believe that unless the HOF refuses the ball, Ecko's little bit of guerrilla theater will help to bring a bit of life to what otherwise would be just one more Cooperstown artifact.

I respectfully disagree, Andy. Clearly there is plenty of dialogue around steroids already; I don't think it will soon be forgotten that there is a cloud of suspicion around Bonds and his record. I think it's FAR from just another Cooperstown artifact - it's not like we're talking about Mark Whiten's batting gloves from the day he hit four HR - this is one of the most (in)famous characters AND greatest players, and his "crowning" achievement which not only gave him the most hallowed record in the game, but did so under wildly controversial circumstances. I think the display of that ball in Cooperstown, sans asterisk, would still elicit most of those same conversations. Now, the story is that there was some fashion designer (!?) who bought the ball at auction and had a poll to see what fans wanted to do with it, and the fans apparently decided they wanted an asterisk stamped on it.

The story is no longer about Bonds, or the record, or the controversy; it's about Mark Ecko, and the asterisk itself. And, unless you a) have an irrational hatred of Bonds or b) you're Mark Ecko, that's a shame.
   61. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:21 PM (#2543498)
Seems like the Hall could just rotate the ball so that the asterisk is on the bottom before they put it on display.

Hmmmmmm, I might shoot off an e-mail to Mr. Ecko suggesting that it be branded with little asterisks on all sides.
   62. Willie Mayspedes Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2543515)
"Mommy, why is there a big, black mark on that baseball?"

And who is this Bonds dude? This was only his 756th HR? That's way less than A-Rod's 867.

He cheated and broke the record son.

Wow he cheated and only got to 789, what a loser.
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2543517)
But I do believe that unless the HOF refuses the ball, Ecko's little bit of guerrilla theater will help to bring a bit of life to what otherwise would be just one more Cooperstown artifact.

I respectfully disagree, Andy. Clearly there is plenty of dialogue around steroids already; I don't think it will soon be forgotten that there is a cloud of suspicion around Bonds and his record. I think it's FAR from just another Cooperstown artifact - it's not like we're talking about Mark Whiten's batting gloves from the day he hit four HR - this is one of the most (in)famous characters AND greatest players, and his "crowning" achievement which not only gave him the most hallowed record in the game, but did so under wildly controversial circumstances. I think the display of that ball in Cooperstown, sans asterisk, would still elicit most of those same conversations. Now, the story is that there was some fashion designer (!?) who bought the ball at auction and had a poll to see what fans wanted to do with it, and the fans apparently decided they wanted an asterisk stamped on it.

The story is no longer about Bonds, or the record, or the controversy; it's about Mark Ecko, and the asterisk itself. And, unless you a) have an irrational hatred of Bonds or b) you're Mark Ecko, that's a shame.


I agree that for now the story is about Ecko, but the timeframe for that is probably going to be shorter than you might think. I doubt if they'll be running clips of the Today show alongside the ball, and in any case the HOF will be around long after Mr. Ecko is six feet under. Future generations are seldom all that interested in previous generations' minor celebrities.

But it's also entirely possible that we can't predict what some future HOF curator might do to an unasterisked ball. There are absolutely no guarantees that you might not get someone who decides that "controversy" is a bad thing (especially if this particular controversy might reflect badly on baseball officials), and who displays the ball with little hint of the whole steroid issue.

And you don't need to be of a grassy knoll bent to believe this. Take a look at our high school history textbooks over the past 100 years and you're going to see a continuing shift it what is emphasized and what is not. It's the normal state of affairs.

What that asterisk does is to make sure that whatever revisionism there is, is going to have to deal with a concrete image visible to every visitor to Cooperstown. Ecko may be every bit as self-serving as some of you say he is, but to me that is utterly secondary to the legacy of that asterisked baseball.

And BTW, in case you're including me in the category of "irrational [or even rational] Bonds hater," please give us any evidence you may have along that line.

But here's a hint: You won't find any. I went through that with BBC several years ago and she admitted that it wasn't true. And you'll never find a bigger fan of Barry Lamar than she is, bless her heart.
   64. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2543521)
I agree that for now the story is about Ecko, but the timeframe for that is probably going to be shorter than you might think. I doubt if they'll be running clips of the Today show alongside the ball, and in any case the HOF will be around long after Mr. Ecko is six feet under. Future generations are seldom all that interested in previous generations' minor celebrities
Well, if the ball is marked, that ensures that Ecko will be noted in the Hall of Fame long after he's taking his dirt nap, because I doubt the Hall will just display the thing with the big burned * and not explain how it got there.

For better or worse, Ecko has made himself a big part of the story, and since the Hall will have to explain that story, he's going to be part of the debate for a long time to come.
   65. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2543527)
I'm sure that lots of parents will say exactly that, and I'm equally sure that lots of them will sound like Chris Dial, unless the Chrises and the Rays are all boycotting the HOF in protest
.

If you break down the Bonds/PEDs poles/groups here at BTF, the numbers are about even, granting that everyone has different views and takes even if there are broad areas of agreement within the various camps.

But I don't think that is true among the general public, NOT because there is any special insight here, but because we spend a hell of a lot of time thinking/talking about it. I am rereading The Long Season--hadn't read it since '88. One thing I had forgotten from teh book is Brosnan on the media. At one point, he is talking to his brother Mike about the Reds' offense. The 1959 Reds, helped by Crosley Field, led the NL in runs scored but finished 5th. Brosnan's kid brother is telling him this and how the Reds pitching sucks (It did, but not as bad the Cincy media in '59 thought) and says "I get my opinions from the media."

I work with with many smart people who are casual Padre and baseball fans. Many of them will repeat Ted Leitner's opinions about the Padres almost verbatim. And, as much as I dislike him, Leitner is right about some things. But the point is that it doesn't involve critical thinking, not because these people are are not capable of it, but because baseball is not that important to them, like the difference between Brosnan and his kid brother.

You add in Bonds' personality and the way people like binary narratives, I think in general, except in SF, there are not as many "Chrises and Rays" out there as you think even among people visting Cooperstown. Most people, incluidng Ecko in my opinion, are not really interested in a complex dialogue about PEDs in baseball. Looking at Ecko's asterisk, chuckling, and trashing Bonds, is easier.
   66. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2543531)
And BTW, in case you're including me in the category of "irrational [or even rational] Bonds hater," please give us any evidence you may have along that line.


This thread.

Your dislike of Bonds, as far as I can tell, has always come because of your purported respect for history and how Bonds has distorted the historical record in your eyes.

Yet, you now are in support of a historical artifact being tampered with before being displayed, which is the type of thing that is the absolute bane of their existence for every historian, archaeologist, or paleontologist walking the earth today.

Branding an asterisk on a record-setting home run ball in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the equivalent scribbling "Anti-semitic!" on sketches for Beethoven's 9th symphony or "Slaveowners!" on the US Constitution.

And frankly, we're going to be harder on you because we respect you. You don't have the luxury of falling back on the excuse of being an insufferable, anger-filled assclown like a certain other poster.
   67. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2543544)
I agree that for now the story is about Ecko, but the timeframe for that is probably going to be shorter than you might think. I doubt if they'll be running clips of the Today show alongside the ball, and in any case the HOF will be around long after Mr. Ecko is six feet under. Future generations are seldom all that interested in previous generations' minor celebrities.

Well, if the ball is marked, that ensures that Ecko will be noted in the Hall of Fame long after he's taking his dirt nap, because I doubt the Hall will just display the thing with the big burned * and not explain how it got there.

For better or worse, Ecko has made himself a big part of the story, and since the Hall will have to explain that story, he's going to be part of the debate for a long time to come.


I'm not saying that his name won't be mentioned, since he's undoubtedly the reason for the asterisk's being there in the first place, but I don't think that future generations are going to pay that much attention to the identity of Marc Ecko, other than as the answer to a trivia question. His personal biography is unlikely to dwarf the significance of the asterisk on the baseball, and even less likely as time goes by.

And in truth there's no reason that the "controversy within the controversy"---i.e. the controversy about what Ecko did to the baseball---should not be part of the whole Bonds story. It's not as if Ecko is merely a lone cowboy whose opinion about what Bonds did isn't mirrored by many millions of others. And just as we're living in an age where "history" is not decreed by a handful of official historians, we're also not living in an age where a handful of statisticians crunch a few numbers and dictate the final legacy of a baseball player. To long for that is to be every bit as foolishly nostalgic and sentimental as some of us are often accused of being when we decry the use of steroids. This is not going to be your grandfather's Hall of Fame, and all the better.
   68. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2543551)
And BTW, in case you're including me in the category of "irrational [or even rational] Bonds hater," please give us any evidence you may have along that line.

I wasn't referring to you, Andy, and I wouldn't have engaged you on the topic if I thought you were. Though I very rarely participate, I keep up with the steroid discussions around here and (I think) I have a decent handle on where you're coming from, at least in a broad sense.

Yet, you now are in support of a historical artifact being tampered with before being displayed, which is the type of thing that is the absolute bane of their existence for every historian, archaeologist, or paleontologist walking the earth today.

Branding an asterisk on a record-setting home run ball in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the equivalent scribbling "Anti-semitic!" on sketches for Beethoven's 9th symphony or "Slaveowners!" on the US Constitution.

And frankly, we're going to be harder on you because we respect you. You don't have the luxury of falling back on the excuse of being an insufferable, anger-filled ######## like a certain other poster.


Dan made the rest of my point better than I would have, so I've just reposted it.
   69. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2543552)
It's not as if Ecko is merely a lone cowboy whose opinion about what Bonds did isn't mirrored by many millions of others.


The Bonds ball is of a piece with the silkscreened Campbell's Soup cans and Marilyn Monroes of the early 1960s, and Warhol's works didn't lose their power because they singled out Campbell's Soup and Marilyn Monroe even though there were (are) other worthy representatives of disposable consumerist culture.

It's not the purpose of art to address all points of view.
   70. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2543553)
I would have no problem if Ecko wanted the HOF to display a sign with an asterisk next to the ball, but placing an asterisk on the ball itself is just plain assfoolery. For better or for worse, the ball is a part of baseball history and should be accorded respect. The batter? That's up to you.
   71. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2543554)
Branding an asterisk on a record-setting home run ball in the Baseball Hall of Fame is the equivalent scribbling "Anti-semitic!" on sketches for Beethoven's 9th symphony or "Slaveowners!" on the US Constitution.


Which should give it pretty good artistic staying power, assuming the museum is true to the artist's intent.
   72. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2543555)
I'm still peeved that bastard Duchamp ruined my toilet.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2543558)
Dan,

I detest---you can call it hate, if you like---what Bonds did. But to me "Bonds hater" implies a lot more than hatred of one particular act. For which there is no evidence, in this thread or in any other thread.

I won't respond to your characterization of the asterisked ball as being equivalent to inscribing "slaveowners" on a copy of the U.S. Constitution, other than to say that if such an annotation had been put there by an early abolitionist in 1787, the defaced copy would have reflected a far greater sense of the underlying tension of the time than the unadorned version. And in fact, I'm certain that by now you'd be able to fill a small library with subsequent books lauding the farsighted courage of the vandal.

That said, if any 21st century person tried to perform such an act retroactively, I'd slam him in jail and throw away the key. Just like I'd do to anyone who'd try to deface the unasterisked 755 ball once it gets its own place in Cooperstown. Context is everything.

And I'm flattered if you feel that you're harder on me, but the truth is all I've ever asked is that my views not be misrepresented. And so far I have no complaints about that on this thread.
   74. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2543560)
I'm still peeved that bastard Duchamp ruined my toilet.

I nearly spit my coffee all over my monitor.
   75. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2543566)
If he's smart enough to have accumulated 750 large so easily that he can blow it on a baseball and then give the ####### thing away just to make a point, then he ain't ####### dumb, Ray. You should be so dumb.

No kidding. And furthermore, a guy who thinks that he can buy Barry Bonds' record breaking home run ball for $2.50 at a sporting goods store is calling someone else dumb? I find that pretty hysterical.
   76. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:23 PM (#2543572)
The Bonds ball is of a piece with the silkscreened Campbell's Soup cans and Marilyn Monroes of the early 1960s, and Warhol's works didn't lose their power because they singled out Campbell's Soup and Marilyn Monroe even though there were (are) other worthy representatives of disposable consumerist culture.

It's not the purpose of art to address all points of view.


The Bonds baseball is totally different than a Warhol work as Ecko's agenda is different than Wrahol's. This is part of why I never bought the "guerilla art" description.

The asterisk itself does not bug me, really. But the idea that there is something noble or farsighted about what Ecko did is something that I disagree with.

People like Murphy, with a different concept of baseball history than my own, make a good point as well.
   77. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2543575)
54. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 26, 2007 at 11:39 AM (#2543454)


I hope your laryngitis gets better Dan. ;-)

Best Regards

John
   78. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2543576)

The Bonds ball is of a piece with the silkscreened Campbell's Soup cans and Marilyn Monroes of the early 1960s, and Warhol's works didn't lose their power because they singled out Campbell's Soup and Marilyn Monroe even though there were (are) other worthy representatives of disposable consumerist culture.

It's not the purpose of art to address all points of view.


Warhol's art itself was the historical artifact. The Bonds ball is not performance art or pop art, it's a ball that was hit that set an important record. Ecko should donate it to the proper venue if that's what he wants to turn the ball into.
   79. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:31 PM (#2543587)
The Bonds baseball is totally different than a Warhol work as is Ecko's agenda.


I'm not sure it really is all that different.

And it's a perfect depiction of our times in both the way it came together -- an object obtained through a frivolous waste of money appended with a notation decided by faux-democratic means -- and in its representation of ambiguous achievement.

My vote is on staying power.
   80. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2543588)
No kidding. And furthermore, a guy who thinks that he can buy Barry Bonds' record breaking home run ball for $2.50 at a sporting goods store is calling someone else dumb? I find that pretty hysterical.


And I find it pretty hysterical that you thought that was a serious comment.
   81. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2543589)

I won't respond to your characterization of the asterisked ball as being equivalent to inscribing "slaveowners" on a copy of the U.S. Constitution,


And it's a perfect depiction of our times in both the way it came together -- an object obtained through a frivolous waste of money appended with a notation decided by faux-democratic means -- and in its representation of ambiguous achievement.

***

EDIT: I will respond at more length.
   82. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:33 PM (#2543590)
Warhol's art itself was the historical artifact. The Bonds ball is not performance art or pop art, it's a ball that was hit that set an important record. Ecko should donate it to the proper venue if that's what he wants to turn the ball into.


Right ... and until 2007 and Barry Bonds everyone understood a milestone HR ball to have that meaning. Barry Bonds and 2007 changed that ... thus the power of the asterisk.
   83. Mark R. Garber Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2543595)
Anyone have any suggestions what we should tattoo to Kevin for the benefit of future generations?
   84. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:38 PM (#2543598)
Then it's entirely appropriate to attach the asterisk, so as to fix for posterity the controversy under which the feat was accomplished. Heck, Ecko is doing future historians a favor.

Sure. The Taliban did us all a favor by destroying those giant Buddhas as the newspaper accounts of their destruction will portray the character of extreme Islamic fundamentalism in the early 21st century for future generations.
   85. robinred Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2543602)
Heck, Ecko is doing future historians a favor.

No. He is doing Bonds haters, PED hawks, and himself, a favor, as this thread shows.
   86. The Bones McCoy of THT Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2543604)
It would include Bonds standing behind the two principles with his eyebrows raised and an expression of consternation on his face while the kid's beagle puppy is raising his leg on Bonds shoes.


RDF .... touche!

Best Regards

John
   87. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2543611)
And I find it pretty hysterical that you thought that was a serious comment.

I know that when you made that comment you were trying to be funny and/or clever. Sorry, but you failed miserably. To quote Dave St. Hubbins: "It's such a fine line between stupid and clever."
   88. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2543616)
People like Murphy, with a different concept of baseball history than my own, make a good point as well.


We have museums that highlight the evils of Stalin and Hitler, yet they don't deface Nazi or Stalinist artifacts but instead have displays that spotlight the atrocities of those two monsters in a negative light. I'm pretty sure even a "monster" like Bonds deserves that same type of action. :-)
   89. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2543618)
I haven't caught up in the thread, but there doesn't seem to be anything preventing the HOF from displaying the ball with the asterisk not showing, assuming they mount it properly.

heh, i said mount.
   90. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2543619)
Woops. I'm only 70 posts too late.
   91. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 26, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2543631)
We have museums that highlight the evils of Stalin and Hitler, yet they don't deface Nazi or Stalinist artifacts but instead have displays that spotlight the atrocities of those two monsters in a negative light. I'm pretty sure even a "monster" like Bonds deserves that same type of action. :-)

But again, any "defaced" artifact of Hitler's or Stalin's that was defaced by a dissident while they were still in power would be treated differently than it would be if such an artifact were to be defaced by a museum visitor today. Obviously this has nothing to do with any comparison of the relative crimes of Hitler, Stalin, or Bonds, or with Ecko to a Nazi or Soviet dissident, but only how once again, context matters.

And yes, John, I caught the :). But the point remains.

Woops. I'm only 70 posts too late.

Make that 65 to be exact.
   92. Willie Mayspedes Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:08 PM (#2543641)
But again, any "defaced" artifact of Hitler's or Stalin's that was defaced by a dissident while they were still in power would be treated differently than it would be if such an artifact were to be defaced by a museum visitor today.

Like the famous video of the big swatztika getting blown up.
   93. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2543667)
I'm sorry but I'm struggling to find symmetry in the comparison between a 150 ft tall, 1500 year old religious statue and a mass-manufactured baseball that is virtually identical to millions of others made by the same hands in the same factory a the same time.


If it's just another meaningless baseball, then let it sit in the HOF without a stupid asterisk on it.
   94. Depressoteric Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:42 PM (#2543672)
#101 - kevin:

Additionally, the ball isn't being obliterated such that posterity will be unable to view it (and yes, it's not like it has any unique characteristics that shed light on a dead civilization, either). It's merely being branded with an asterisk. The comparisons to the Bamiyan Buddhas, or even defacing an original copy of the Constitution, are utterly preposterous and are as good an indication as any of the essentially empty outrage that detractors are falling back upon.

I for one applaud Ecko, whether he be a publicity hound or not, for this action. It's the best possible answer, and I shudder to think that Bonds' ball might have been displayed in the HoF without an everlasting reminder of his befouling of baseball.
   95. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2543680)
I shudder to think that Bonds' ball might have been displayed in the HoF without an everlasting reminder of his befouling of baseball.

I'm waiting for people to demand that asterisks be attached to Ken Caminiti's name on MVP lists. I need an everlasting reminder of his befouling of baseball.
   96. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2543687)
To a museum that is about baseball, the 756 ball is the equivalent of Beethoven's 9th, or the U.S. Constitution, or Buddhist statues.
   97. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:53 PM (#2543688)
The comparisons to the Bamiyan Buddhas, or even defacing an original copy of the Constitution, are utterly preposterous and are as good an indication as any of the essentially empty outrage that detractors are falling back upon.

I think your projecting a little too much outrage. I'm not really outraged at all, I'm just trying to make a point. The Buddha statues are historical artifacts and the Taliban felt they needed to editorialize on those artifacts and force future generations to think about the Taliban's commitment to Islam everytime the subject of those statues and their destruction is brought up. It's really no different that what Ecko has done to the ball. He's decided he's going to interpret the artifact for posterity since future generations can't be trusted to interpret it how they see fit. The only difference is the scale of the stupidity. The Taliban's stupidity is obviously off the charts compared to Ecko's.

Also, "befouling"?
   98. MSI Posted: September 26, 2007 at 06:54 PM (#2543690)
Ecko should have matched what he spent on the Bonds ball to go to charity...he's a billionaire and there are bigger issues than this stupid ball.

I was reading THT today and the mailbag claimed Bonds would have around 680 by now without steroids. So, if he played until his mid-40's, and had some less injuries now due to less steroids, he could have broken the record anyway. What a shame...I voted the ball should to go the hall by itself. There are tons of different eras in baseball and this is just the steroids era; Bonds was still extremely amazing at what he did.
   99. Depressoteric Posted: September 26, 2007 at 07:00 PM (#2543695)
106 - Shooty:

1.) "Befouling" - self-conscious hyperbole on my point. Knew it was waaay over the top even when I wrote it, and thus fair game to call me out on that one.

2.) The Taliban was not thinking along the lines you seem to believe when they destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. They were simply erasing forever a supposed blasphemy in their eyes, not merely putting a rinky-dink asterisk upon it so that you could look at the Buddhas and still appreciate them whilst imagining there was no marking upon them. The Taliban were so batsh!t insane precisely because their version of Islam gave them authority to rewrite and erase history. Furthermore, to paraphrase Stein, ball is a ball is a ball is a ball. There is really no difference between #756 and any other Rawlings ball on the planet from a superficial point of view, and we're not losing any aesthetic value by branding it the way, say, we would if someone 'branded' the Buddhas or the Mona Lisa.
   100. Zoppity Zoop Posted: September 26, 2007 at 07:01 PM (#2543696)
But again, any "defaced" artifact of Hitler's or Stalin's that was defaced by a dissident while they were still in power would be treated differently than it would be if such an artifact were to be defaced by a museum visitor today. Obviously this has nothing to do with any comparison of the relative crimes of Hitler, Stalin, or Bonds, or with Ecko to a Nazi or Soviet dissident, but only how once again, context matters.


German dissident != Rich guy who runs internet poll.


Anyone have any suggestions what we should tattoo to Kevin for the benefit of future generations?


Why tattoo Kevin? It would probably be easier to cut off his internet access. Then he could go back to bench-pressing vagrants or whatever it is he normally does.
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