(if the gentleman above is sitting next to you at Shea tonight…you must have pretty good seats!)
Salutations to ESPN.com’s Wayne Drehs for using Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron’s home mark as an excuse to raise the spectre of something truly chilling —- the aesthetic atrocity that was Tony Scott’s “The Fan”.
Best-selling author Peter Abrahams describes the character with ease — a man in his late-50s, a throwback of sorts, frustrated by a world of escalating gas prices, scandalous reality television and too many me-first, you-last personalities.
He would have grown up loving baseball, worshiping Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and others. He’d despise what the game has become. He’d look at San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds and cringe at the thought of this sullen, allegedly chemically enhanced antihero smirking his way to one of the most prestigious records in all of sports.
So he’d want to do something about it. Major League Baseball? The Mitchell Investigation? A San Francisco grand jury? An ultra-revealing, best-selling book? They might not be able to stand in the way of the slugger’s becoming baseball’s all-time home run king. But he could.
“His goal would be to almost religiously sacrifice himself on behalf of the American people to stop this record from happening,” said Abrahams, author of “The Fan,” the early-1990s book that was the basis for the Robert DeNiro/Wesley Snipes sports movie thriller of the same name. “I’m not sure if that character truly exists. But I can assure you those emotions do.”
“You get those crazy assassin types who are out there in the woodwork and are magnetized to someone like Barry Bonds,” Abrahams said. “Then there are the baseball purists who want to protect the records like a bible. Those people are annoyed, too. Whether or not that type of guy is going to pull out a .357, well, it doesn’t exactly fit the profile.”