On My Mind April 23rd
by Geraldo Rivera | Apr 23, 2015
three fallen heroes all in the news this morning, former baseball greats Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriquez and former CIA Director, retired General David Petraeus.
Bonds crushed a record 762 home runs in his 22 years in MLB. He hit 73 home runs in 2001 alone, for the single-season record.
As everybody knows, Bonds fell from grace in 2011 when ravenous federal prosecutors managed to pin a single count of obstruction of justice on baseball’s homerun king stemming from a mushy answer Bonds gave in 2003 to a federal grand jury probing performance enhancing drugs during that period when the doping debate distracted baseball and tarnished the careers of sure Hall of Famers Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens and Alex Rodriquez.
Well, the headline is that after a decade of grand juries and newspaper scandals, the wreck of Bonds’ admission to the Hall of Fame and any career as a coach or commentator, on Wednesday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit reversed the conviction from 2011…the 11 judge panel ruling 10 to 1 that the question Bonds fudged had nothing to do with the government’s investigation into the alleged drug-distribution ring.
Bonds must be given his career back and be admitted into the Hall of Fame on the next ballot. He has been punished enough.
And so has Alex Rodriquez, who just endured the longest ever suspension in the history of Major League Baseball for his involvement in the Bio-Genesis drug scandal. And for the Yankees to be essentially ignoring A-Rod’s closing in on Willie Mays' 660 home runs, 4th place on the all-time list behind only Babe Ruth 714, Hank Aaron 755 and Bonds’ 762, is small ball.
We get it.
A-Rod was super-obnoxious when he was fighting the suspension two years ago. He hired the most annoying lawyer in the city Joe Tacopina who alienated the whole town, including the entire staff of the New York Daily News by suing and threatening to sue everybody.
But since coming back this season A-Rod has been humble. He’s been hitting homeruns, hustling and doing his job. And it is time for the Yankees to embrace their fallen star, give him the bonuses promised and let bygones be bygones.
Which is what I totally feel about Former CIA Director and fierce fighting general David Petraeus who will be sentenced today for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified material, which sounds a lot worse than it is since he gave the classified materials to his biographer who was also his lover who was also a West Point and Harvard-educated Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. She wasn’t exactly Edward Snowden for God’s sake.
Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor count, get two years probation and pay a $40,000 fine.
And now the President of the United States should step up to the plate and grant this American hero a pardon then put him to work leading the war against ISIS those Christian murdering, women and children raping and kidnapping savages who still occupy a vast swath of Iraq and Syria and who threaten innocent lives throughout the Mid-East, Africa and beyond—remember that crew of Minnesotans just busted for trying to join ISIS.
I think President Obama should follow the lead of my colleagues at Fox who just announced that they have hired the best all around baseball player in the history of the game, Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle, the all-time Major League leader in hits, with 4,256; games played 3,562, at bats 14,053 and outs 10,328. He won 3 World Series rings, one MVP award 2 Golden Gloves and made 17 All-Star appearances at 5 different positions.
Rose accepted a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 for gambling on games, which is horrible for a manager to do for obvious reasons, but that was 26 years ago.
Rose is 74 now. And I praise Fox for just hiring Rose as a baseball commentator on a variety of Fox programs.
Rose, Petraeus, Bonds, A-Rod all deserve second chances.
So does NBC’s Brian Williams, but that’s another column.