Friday, July 20, 2007

Et Tu Sutton?

Ordinarly, it ticks me off when people defend Barry Bonds by talking about Gaylord Perry, spitballs, and scuffing the ball. It's an apples and oranges comparison that doesn't quite get to the heart of the matter. At its hear, it's a dog bites man story. But as I didn't learn in the journalism classes that I didn't take, it's the man bites dog story that really catches the eye.

And that's the case with the latest notebook. Don Sutton discusses (sort of) his views of Barry Bonds and the home run chase.
"Being a traditionalist, I guess there is a part of me that does not want it to happen because of all of the questions surrounding Barry," Sutton said not too long ago. ...

"The traditionalist in me likes to see records like that stay put and continue to belong to the man who earns them."

A reasonable position. You may or many not agree with it, but it's not crazy talk.

I just love it though because Don Sutton was wildly believed to be, especially towards the end of his loooong career, one of the great scuffing artists of all time. (Plenty of links, if you're interested.)

There's a particularly brilliant anecdote about Sutton here, which shows off one of the qualities that make him such a terrific announcer: his ability to adapt and think quickly.

I just think that there's a certain irony in someone who defaced baseballs to get an edge talking about the purity of the game and all its traditions!


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