His newest challenge is of course trying to buy Barry Bonds' 756 ball back from fashion jackass Mark Ecko. For the complete story of what Gil had to say, which is most certainly worth a read, check out Agent Steinz's piece from the D.C. Sports Bog.
But anyway, the gist of how Gil feels about the ball is simple. Here's some of what Agent Zero said:
"It's history," Gil began. "It's still history. I mean, the guy's a man before he's some big slugger. I mean, how you just going to take what this man's done for his career and, as another man, say 'Hey, you were accused of this, you allegedly did this, I want to take this away from you.' I mean, what if we took away your Ecko company?
"I mean, why graffiti the ball when, in everybody's mind, they think he's done it. So no matter what, when they look at the ball, they're gonna be like, 'Oh, he allegedly....You don't have to mark it in history. Like, who are you? Are you Superman? You're sitting here throwing all the rockets into space: 'I want to send it to space?' Are you serious? Like, come on."
Now, we're Giants fans, so we realize we're a bit biased here, but we really think Agent Zero has the right idea. The 756 ball is, quite simply, a historic item. It deserves to go into the Hall of Fame without anyone doing anything to it. Even as Giants fans, we're aware Bonds did steroids, and of course so is everyone else. Fans should have the right to go into the Hall of Fame and draw their own conclusions on the ball - not have it force fed to them. Branding the ball because Bonds used steroids is like branding all of Ty Cobb's stuff in the HOF because he allegedly threw a game with Tris Speaker. It's retarded. The items are still historic and deserve to be left untouched. Let history judge them.
Plenty of people already see that ball as one big asterisk anyway, so there's no need to brand it and deface it.
Now there's truth to the fact that Ecko bought the ball, and it's his property, so technically he can do what he wants with it. You can also buy a Picasso for $30 million and then draw a mustache on it.
But the point is you shouldn't do that. The ball, like the painting, is part of a greater cultural heritage. Both deserve to be saved by stand-up people like Agent Zero.
Remember what the whole point of this branding bullshit is. It's so Ecko can get himself some publicity, as NOIS so satirically put it. It has nothing to do with giving "the people" what they want. It has to do with getting the people to be aware of Ecko clothes.
We salute Agent Zero's quest to get the 756 ball to Cooperstown unbranded. It's a noble move on his part. Regardless of how the record was achieved, Gil is doing his part to save a piece of our cultural heritage. That way people can make their own choice about what the 756 ball means to them when they see it person.
Photo from Deadspin.