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 Post subject: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:29 pm 
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Anyone else find it very difficult to get excited about Bonds' tying Mays? <p>I think my indifference owes partly to the fact that he has been such a jerk over the years and partly to the suspicion that he has been ingesting illegal substances, whatever they may be. I find it impossible to believe that a guy who came up with the physique of Willie McGee could go out with the physique of Lou Ferrigno without artificial enhancement. <p>The sad thing is, even if Bonds were to go accompanied by reporters to a drug-testing facility tomorrow and the sample came back clean for HGH, THG and every other supplement or steroid on the market, the cloud of suspicion will always hang over him for having hit 73 homers in '01 when his previous high was 49--and '01 was the year he started working with the now indicted Greg Anderson.<p>An even sadder thing is a diehard baseball fan like myself being indifferent to a player's tying one of the great home-run hitters in baseball and being well on the way to breaking the home-run record. I don't even hold McGwire's old record in any esteem anymore, now that I know androstenedione is converted to testosterone once it's ingested. All the good feelings generated by McGwire and Sosa in '98 seem like such a sham now.<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: wordygurdy ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:50 pm 
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Willie Mays: 660 steroid-free homers. And Willie, Barry's godfather, is probably Barry's biggest fan. Go figure. No doubt, the artificial ingredients testify to Bonds' all-consuming desire to measure up to such a monumental figure. Still, for me, they also reveal a substantial gap in true stature.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:28 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
Anyone else find it very difficult to get excited about Bonds' tying Mays?<hr></blockquote><p>Yes, I do. I agree 100 percent with your post. It's all quite nauseating, and I'm a baseball fanatic. Or rather, I used to be.<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: ***me*** ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:47 pm 
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I'm still a baseball fanatic, but I'm with the rest of you. I root for Barry to strike out every time he comes to bat. Or better yet, fly out to the warning track every time he comes to bat.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:21 pm 
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Adjusting his numbers for inflation (and we'd be remiss if we didn't), Bonds would be lucky to have 500 home runs.<p>Still, it's a big deal to catch Willie Mays on the all-time HR list. At least Willie appreciates that fact.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:15 pm 
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I don't mean to be fair, but has it been proven that Bonds used any illegal substance to promote strength?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:39 pm 
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I, too, have suspicions about Bonds. Then again, a lot of people had monster HR seasons in the 90s. If Brady Anderson could hit 50, isn't it possible that Bonds could hit 70, without drugs? Or was Anderson on steroids, too? Were they all on steroids? Was Sosa on steroids? <p>About McGuire: His home-run pct. was in the stratosphere for several seasons. He would have broken Maris's record years earlier if he had had an injury-free season. Does anybody know if he was using drugs in those other seasons?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:26 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by blanp:
I don't mean to be fair, but has it been proven that Bonds used any illegal substance to promote strength?<hr></blockquote><p>That's precisely the problem, Philip. It can't be proven for Bonds in 2001, but that was the year he began working with a trainer who has been indicted for distributing steroids. And Bonds has been named in an affidavit as having received steroids from a lab in San Francisco.Why would he receive them if he weren't using them? <p>Even before the BALCO indictments, people were suspicious of the dramatic changes in Bonds' physique. He went from a lithe whippet to a bulked-up strongman as he aged. Who does that naturally? All of a sudden he sprouts muscles on top of muscles at age 37 (his age in 2001), when many players are on the decline?<p>These are the questions that arise in baseball fans' minds and cast Bonds in a cloud of suspicion.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:27 pm 
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The affidavit does not prove anything. That is up to a court of law, which I hope will not waste any time on something so unimportant.
Sammy Sosa was a stick when he was with the White Sox. Are we to assume that he bulked up on steroids?<p>[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: blanp ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 10:57 pm 
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As moderator of the Baseball category, let me point out that we've been dealing almost exclusively in conjecture on these topics. Of course, none of us knows whether any of these ballplayers are assholes or 'roid freaks. None of us can go back in time and compare Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. We're baseball fans. We pretend we know intimate details of these men's lives. We judge them on no basis of fact. We do nothing but speculate. Go start another college hoops category if you can't handle it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:28 am 
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I don't have inside info, but I'd be surprised if Sammy Sosa didn't use lots of steroids a few years back. Not only did he bulk up quickly, but his face took on the puffiness of a 'roid abuser.<p>IF IF IF Sosa, Bonds, other stars) and, let's not forget, marginal players desperate to hang on) used steroids, they still deserve some credit for their accomplishments. Steroids alone don't create muscles; lots of heavy lifting is required for that.<p>Still, it's difficult to take baseball or football seriously when chemical-gobbling humanoids get ahead in them. It's no wonder that many in younger generations would rather twiddle Game Boys than go to a stadium or even turn on the TV to watch a game as subtle as baseball be bludgeoned by physical oddities. Increasing, older generations resent the tainted record-breaking feats and salaries of stars they view as cheaters. After all, records mean more in baseball than in perhaps any other team sport.<p>With sports increasingly run for or by television, and owners always complaining about debt from salaries, how long will it be before humans are replaced by robots or video images? With the human element waning in sports, what's to keep the Steinbrenners and Seligs of the world from taking that step?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:28 am 
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Sammy Soo-ser (as Ted Kennedy memorably once referred to him) has somehow escaped scrutiny in the recent steroids flareup, probably because he wasn't involved (apparently) with BALCO. But I wouldn't be surprised to find out he was on steroids for the same reason I suspect Bonds is or was. You're right, Philip: Sosa was even slighter than Bonds when he first came up, and now he's Brobdingnagian. Hell, Sosa already figured he wouldn't get caught using a corked bat; why wouldn't he figure he wouldn't get caught enhancing himself illegally and artificially?<p>Wayne, that's a scary situation you propose. I hope it's well beyond the realm of possibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:49 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
Wayne, that's a scary situation you propose. I hope it's well beyond the realm of possibility.<hr></blockquote><p>It's already happening to the umpires.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:20 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
We're baseball fans. We pretend we know intimate details of these men's lives. We judge them on no basis of fact. We do nothing but speculate.<hr></blockquote>Granted. But what are we to think when we hear former players talk about taking "supplements"? Ken Caminitti guessed half of MLBers take steroids; Jose Canseco put it at three-fourths. And Jim Bouton wrote in "Ball Four," in the pre-steroid era, "If you had a pill that would guarantee a pitcher 20 wins but might take 10 years off his life, he'd take it." <p>They, too, are speculating, but they're doing it from a position in which they do know some of the "intimate details."


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 2:43 pm 
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Murray Chass writes a column in today's New York *Times* calling on the owners to test players for reasonable cause if the owners are serious about banishing steroids from the game. Here is his lede graf, in which he states the main reason for the speculation regarding Bonds:<p>"BARRY BONDS, who hit his 661st home run last night and now trails only Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth, has denied using steroids, but he hasn't convinced everybody. An unprecedented torrent of 213 home runs in four seasons covering his late 30's can have that effect."


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:29 pm 
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I know I'll probably get hammered for this, but here goes ...<p>It takes a hell of a lot more than muscles to hit a home run. Sure, if Bonds took steroids, it may have helped him hit a few of his home runs. <p>But really, do you think steroids help a guy watch that 90+ mph fastball come in, and pinpoint it with enough precision to hit it on the nose and knock it outta the park? <p>The biggest home run hitters aren't always the biggest guys. I think it's more about bat speed and hand-eye coordination than just pure power. <p>Now, that's not to say that I don't think steroids gives the sport a "black eye," but I just don't think it's as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I don't know, just one man's opinion ... <p>And as blanp has noted, nothing has been proven against Bonds.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:16 pm 
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I would never dispute that Barry Bonds, with or without cheating, is and has always been one of the finest players in the game's history.<p>I suspect him of cheating anyway. And I also think this sort of conversation is fair game in sports, unlike other areas of the news, because an athlete's job is to be fodder for the conversations and attention of fans.<p>[ April 14, 2004: Message edited by: Matthew Grieco ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:36 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Biggdbo:
But really, do you think steroids help a guy watch that 90+ mph fastball come in, and pinpoint it with enough precision to hit it on the nose and knock it outta the park? <hr></blockquote>There're about 400 position players in the majors. At least half have the skills -- vision, timing, etc. -- to hit a fast ball a long way on a semi-regular basis. If you can't hit the fast ball, you don't make the show. Hell, if you can't hit the fast ball, you might not make your high-school team.<p>Yeah, there's been some "normal"-sized guys who could regularly go yard, the non-bulky Bonds among them. (He averaged 31.8 homers per year in his first 14 years with a high of 46 in 1993, his first year with the Giants.) It is about bat speed and hand-eye coordination -- and vision -- but wouldn't muscle increase bat speed, or aid some other force-enhancing property of physics? <p>In my mind, the steroid scandal -- if true -- is far worse than the indiscretions of the "Black Sox" or Pete Rose. All they did was break a rule (a big one, granted). Steroid users, if there are any, broke no rule only because baseball stupidly did not introduce one until last year. But it's still cheating, and -- unlike gambling -- it's doing so to gain an advantage.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:30 pm 
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Bonds didn't even have a Willie McGee physique, more like a lanky high school senior. Sammy Sosa also has a much different physique. Wonder why?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:33 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by slummingreporter:
7) Barry was the best player since, well, since well before I was born before he started doing whatever he is doing. Remember that. I don't like him. Think he's a jerk, myself. But I would argue that with or without the juice, they'd have remembered him. He wouldn't have hit more homers than Mays, but he was already better than Willie at his best. And that's what makes me angry.
<hr></blockquote><p>Are we saying Barry Bonds is a better player than Willie Mays "at his best"? I'd have to disagree, at least as an all-around player.<p>Had Willie Mays played in the new S.F. park, with this generation's lively ball and harder bats, he might be Bonds' equal as a home run hitter.<p>Mays was among the greatest runners and fielders ever. Also, he was a good team player.<p>Bonds has been a good to very good baserunner and good fielder, playing the easier left field with an average arm. His self-centeredness has hurt his teams. Despite all this, he has been one of the best.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:10 pm 
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Willie Mays coulda thrown Sid Bream out at the plate.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Matthew Grieco:
Willie Mays coulda thrown Sid Bream out at the plate.<hr></blockquote><p>Exactly. The coach probably would have had him slide into third.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:57 am 
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None of us, i assume, has met or befriended Willie Mays or Barry Bonds. If Bonds was popular in the 50s and 60s and Mays came to prominence in the 90s and 00s, I wonder: Would we think Mays is the bigger asshole?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:59 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
None of us, i assume, has met or befriended Willie Mays or Barry Bonds. If Bonds was popular in the 50s and 60s and Mays came to prominence in the 90s and 00s, I wonder: Would we think Mays is the bigger asshole?<hr></blockquote><p>I think not. Mays, as far as I know from having read about him, was always good with the media and played all or nearly all of his career with the same kind of joie de vivre with which Ken Griffey Jr. played for his first few years in the bigs. Bonds, on the other hand, has always been a self-absorbed churl.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 10:05 am 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
<p>... as far as I know from having read about him ...<hr></blockquote><p>that's my point, Wordy.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:10 pm 
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Hmm. Well, JJ, I don't know. Are you implying there was an unspoken agreement among sportswriters of the '50s and '60s to hide Mays' personality flaws, whereas in today's anything-goes, post-Watergate culture nothing is glossed over, and that's why Bonds has a poor image?<p>Was *every* sportswriter who covered Mays when he played in the tank for him? Surely we would have had *some* idea of Mays' being a jerk if that were the case, even if only from present-day writers looking back at the past?<p>I don't think it's fair to the media to blame them for Bonds' poor image, unless I'm misreading your implication. If he's constantly telling writers and cameramen to fuck off and the writers and news anchors report the fact that he told them to fuck off, who's to blame?


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:48 pm 
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When I was in grammar school, I usually would spend trips to the library in the section devoted to sports biographies, those written in the '50s and '60s. I've never forgotten the passage in the Willie Mays bio that describes the rookie addressing his manager as "Massah Leo." (I had to ask my mom what that meant.) <p>Yes, it's a different world, not just a different media world. (Tho if a reporter came up to me after deadline and asked me a question about the way I slotted page A4, I'd tell him to fuck off, too.)<p>Barry Bonds doesn't play the role of deferential boy. He's a successful man (and, yes, maybe a cheater, too). He's not an actor. He wears earrings. He doesn't get the pass someone like Mickey Mantle did. Just because you read about Barry Bonds doesn't mean you have the first clue about what he's like or what his life is like. <p>Look at the universally fawning coverage of Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan plays the media game. He's always kind and respectful when the tape recorders are rolling. But for all we know he's the biggest gambling, whoring, lying prick in the world. Would you be surprised if he beat his kids? <p>So we can have fun in our pretend world judging Barry Bonds based on his distorted image. I merely add the disclaimer that it's nothing more than a sewing-circle offshoot of the Rotisserie League.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 12:49 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
If he's constantly telling writers and cameramen to fuck off and the writers and news anchors report the fact that he told them to fuck off, who's to blame?<hr></blockquote><p>The media.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:41 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by jjmoney62:
The media.<hr></blockquote>Spot on, jj.<p> <blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by wordygurdy:
I don't think it's fair to the media to blame them for Bonds' poor image<hr></blockquote>Why on earth not? The media create images.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:03 pm 
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The media create images through manipulation of them--I'm not denying that--but the media also transmit what's in front of them. Bonds could have chosen to exhibit a more fan- and media-friendly persona, a la Cal Ripken Jr.'s, say, or Ozzie Smith's or Tony Gwynn's. But he didn't. He chose to be snappish, rude, offensive and arrogant most of the time, so that was the image the media transmitted. <p>How is Bonds' image solely the fault of the media? Bonds has no role in how he is perceived? I find that premise ludicrous.<p>So, for example, Ripken's positive image is only a media creation? He's actually a wife-beating, children-abusing monster who bet on the Orioles to win with Pete Rose's bookie?<p>I don't understand the argument that a player is completely at the mercy of the media when it comes to how he is portrayed. The player has everything to do with how he is perceived and portrayed by the media.


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 Post subject: Re: Bonds hit No. 660. So what?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:08 pm 
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I'm also not arguing with the notion that none of us know these players and what they are actually like. <p>But I do find ridiculous the idea that the player has no role in how he is perceived. <p>Even if Bonds is actually a philanthropic, kind, generous person when he is away from the media's spotlight, one could argue effectively that he is all those negative adjectives that have been ascribed to him at least toward the people who constitute the media, if to no one else.


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