Here is your semi-mandatory blogger reaction to Barry Bonds breaking Hank Aaron's career home run record last night.
For all you who say that Barry's record is tainted...shut up. Your excuses are annoying and recycled.
By basing your argument around allegations and accusations from newspaper writers and, of all people, Jose Canseco, you refuse to look at the facts and create your reasoning through sheer emotion. You want Barry 's record to include an asterisk, because he's an unlikeable guy who seems solely interested in himself. And why shouldn't he be? I don't want to live in a world where everyone is the same shade of gray, continually following a politically correct standard that doesn't convey the true feelings of the person inside. Barry shows everyone how he really is on the inside, even though it is a self-centered, aloof megalomaniac.
You think Game of Shadows and Juiced are the baseball equivalents to the Bible. Since when did Jose Canseco become a certified source? Look at the root of Canseco's evidence. He is a self-proclaimed cheater who decided to rat out fellow players to make a buck. Don't give me that b.s. excuse that Canseco can be trusted because he is just trying to come clean. The man was obviously strapped for cash prior to Juiced hitting the market. If he wasn't he wouldn't be selling his World Series ring for $40,000, or he wouldn't whore himself out to the VH1 crowd by appearing on that horrible excuse for a realty show. Celebreality can bite me. The best entrepreneurs know when to strike the market while the iron is hot. The steroids issue does not seem to be ending in the foreseeable future, and Canseco sold a book to millions of people who wanted to believe what Canseco was alleging, and he reeled them in by giving them exactly what they wanted. And now he claims to have dirt on A-Rod, as if he's the one-stop source for everything steroids-related. Being a cheater doesn't qualify you as the ultimate mind on cheaters. I don't believe a word he says.
And how have we gotten to the point in this world where we don't believe what a person says, but rather believe in what other people have to say about them. Barry says he didn't knowingly take steroids. Why is that not good enough? Now, listen to Dale Murphy's recent comments about Bonds. Here's his underlying message as to why Bonds cheated:
He's a hard guy to like. He's a hard teammate to have and, you know, he's set a terrible example for our kids.
Thank you, Dale. I'm going to go criticize Barry because you think he's hard to like. Just because you involve yourself in the Mormon religion, that doesn't mean you are the definitive source on how Barry should live his life. I'm strong in my own faith, but I don't criticize people for living their life a certain way.
Did Barry use steroids? Possibly. However, Matt Lawton used steroids. Neifi Perez was recently suspended for 80 games following successive drug-test failures regarding performance-enhancing drugs. These are bubble athletes who needed an advantage to stay in the bigs. Barry won 3 MVPs prior to the season that Game of Shadows says he involved himself in BALCO and that whole mess. He's a tremendous talent. But we crucify him because he put on a great show while most athletes' on-field statistics begin to decline. Barry isn't the other athletes. If so many athletes were on steroids, why is Barry the only one to hit 73 dingers in a season? Steroids might have helped (key word, might), but the hand-eye coordination in Bonds is unrivaled in the sport. And the Steroids Era isn't confined to hitters. Pitchers have gotten off way too easy in this whole witch hunt.
More blame falls on Bud Selig rather than Barry Bonds. He needed 1998 to happen to help baseball re-gain fan likability. Without McGwire and Sosa, the MLB would be begging the Versus channel to air its games, much like the NHL is doing now. No one watched baseball after the strike, and 1998 was the first time since the lockout that fans were talking about the sport. Bud knew what was going on. McGwire had his creatine out in the open. He regularly defended that it wasn't steroids, yet it was eventually placed in the banned performance-enhancing drugs category. Bud looked the other way so that his sport could rebound from a near-fatal strike and owners could begin to pad their pockets again. Placing sole blame on Barry is immature.
Will my opinion change? Almost certainly, if hard evidence comes out linking Bonds to steroids. However, at this point in time, there is no hard evidence. There is only speculation. I will not base my opinions of another human being on pure speculation.
Congratulations on becoming the new home run king, Barry.