Did you know that Mark Ecko, the fashion designer, bought Barry Bond's Hank Aaron 756th homerun ball?
Ecko then set up a site for people to vote on what to do with the ball. The options were:
- Send the ball to Cooperstown as is, where it'd be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- Mark the ball with an asterisk, signifying the cloud of doubt on the issue of whether Bond's used steroids was deliberate, and then send to Cooperstown for admission.
- Send the ball into space, and effectively banishing it.
The fact that he bitched and moaned and whined about how everyone was trying to tear him down even before the steroid issue didn't exactly make him a likable figure in the game, and once all the issues about "the clear and the cream" came out and he went on the defensive to purport his innocence (he said he didn't know they were steroids) and reiterated that people were trying to bring him down just like they did his dad it didn't really help sweeten his image.
What if he had exerted a little more energy to be a "likable" guy...maybe hired some spin doctors? It's not like he wasn't a capable athlete. Would there had been such a controversy? Maybe, but had he been a 'lovable rogue who was out there playing the game the way he meant to', I bet Mark Ecko would've never bought the ball, and there wouldn't have been such a stink about the matter. We still might've had the steroid investigations and the banning of performance enhancement substances in the MLB, but Bonds would probably have gotten to stay with the Giants...now he gets to wrap up his career as he lived it: bitterly.