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Back Out on a Limb: An Apology to Peter Bean

Last Wednesday evening, I wrote and published an open letter to Peter Bean regarding Barry Bonds. My intention when penning this epistle was to address what I saw as an incongruity I was unable to reconcile; namely, my high regard for Peter and the low esteem in which I hold major league baseball's newly-crowned all-time home run king, who has been a sports hero of Peter's since his childhood.

I attempted to state a persuasive case for the proposition that Bonds was an unfit idol for a person of Peter's high standards and moral character. While my posting certainly contained a constructive criticism of Peter, it was couched in what I believed were otherwise glowing terms which indicated my great respect for Peter's class and integrity.

For reasons that since have been made clear to me by others, it did not come across that way; rather, it was perceived as a premeditated personal attack and a condescending condemnation without provocation. While, obviously, this was never my intention, I now understand and regret that it read much differently than it was meant.

One of the many comments I received in response recommended that I delete the posting. I considered this, but decided against it. The posting went up around 9:45 p.m. last Wednesday night; within approximately the next three hours, over 30 comments were posted (which is quite a lot by Dawg Sports standards), so, had I taken the posting down when that suggestion was made, many readers would have shown up the next morning, seen a blank spot where the posting once was, read the comment thread, and wondered what had transpired.

That left me with the option of deleting the comment thread, too, but it seemed to me that, since I had given the widespread impression that I was maligning Peter Bean, it didn't seem fitting for me to delete comments in which his friends defended him and he demonstrated capably why he is held in universal esteem.

My more important reason for letting the posting, and the responses to it, stand unaltered is that I have never believed in sweeping my own mistakes under the rug like a Soviet functionary airbrushing Leon Trotsky's image out of official state photographs. History happened, warts and all, and there is no use pretending otherwise.

In the midst of speaking ill of him to a degree I did not intend, I credited Peter Bean with having the strength of character to own up to his own shortcomings. I couldn't call myself his friend if I didn't at least attempt to emulate him in this regard.

To Peter, and to everyone else who thinks highly of Peter (read: everyone), I apologize. My heart may have been in the right place, but my head wasn't, and I am sorry. I did not mean to offend anyone, but I accept responsibility for the fact that I offended many people. Although I stand by my position regarding Barry Bonds, I was wrong to make that issue personal and I will do my best to learn from my mistake in the future.

My thanks go out to Holly, Jebus, Kanu, and everyone else who helped me to see the error of my ways. Because I know I damaged his ability to enjoy the moment on what Peter considered a good day, I hope I have managed, at least, to add some positive note to what I know has not been a good day for Peter.

Mea culpa.