Thursday, March 09, 2006

I read the Sports Illustrated excerpt of the book detailing Barry Bonds steroid use, Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports. The amount of detail in the article is astounding; I can't imagine what the book is like, but I'm looking forward to reading it.

After this, there should be very little doubt, except among the biggest Bonds apologists, that he used numerous performance enhancing drugs. He was apparently insanely jealous of all the attention Mark McGwire received in the summer of 1998, so he decided to pump up his own body.

What to do about his records and the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible? Unfortunately, I think the records have to stand. You can't "unhit" a home run. Maybe it's the accountant in me, but I believe the ledger has to balance out. If a pitcher gives up a home run to Bonds, Bonds has to have hit it. You can't take away Bonds' accomplishment without having all the implications of what he did disappear as well.

The Hall of Fame is another matter. There is no way I would vote for him. I don't care that he was a Hall of Fame caliber player prior to his steroid use. He's a cheater. So is Rafael Palmiero. Likely, so are McGwire and Sammy Sosa, although the evidence that exists to damn Bonds and Palmiero hasn't been compiled in the cases of Sosa and McGwire. I don't think cheaters belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame, regardless of how gaudy their statistics are or how many records they've broken.

The whole situation is really sad. Barry Bonds was a great player without resorting to cheating. He almost certainly would have been a Hall of Famer if he had never done the juice. He was one of the best all-around players in baseball before he turned into a home-run hitting freak. He may not have been beloved outside his home cities, but he was certainly respected. Now he has turned into a circus act and a joke. I don't think that was the result he was looking for, was it?

1 Comments:

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Segan_SCA said...

All this proves what I've always felt about Bonds: It's all about Barry.

Dan Patrick said it best yesterday when he compared Hank Aaron's size to Rich Aurelia(sic). Barry couldn't hit 700 homers at that size. He had to outshine McGwire. His ego couldn't allow anyone to one up him. It's a shame.

 

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