Fire Jim Tracy

Friday, December 03, 2004

Barry Bonds Was On Steroids?!?!

The handwringing over this is too much to bear. Suffering through his 73 home run season, my only comfort was that this day would finally, blessedly come. The circumstantial evidence against Bonds was at least as strong as that against Scott Peterson (to use a recent example); those that chose to discount the obvious now look as stupid as their defenses sounded three years ago. Why people choose to deny the perfectly obvious (Nomo is the worst pitcher in the National League, Kerry didn't win Ohio, steroids enhance performance and are bad for you, Barry Bonds was on more drugs than Charles Manson) is one of my running themes; I have no answer for you.

As to Jerry's (by the way, welcome back, and it was BELTRAN that Jerry says we could have gotten for Mota, not Johnson, so throw tomatoes at the post below) point, I am sympathetic, but not sure that it is all that great an idea to change history. Look at it this way. Barry Bonds' drug/steroid use was painfully obvious for several years. At least since 2001, possibly before that (see size of head). Is there not some merit in leaving the records as they are, with the attendant shame not only of the drug use itself, but of its facilitation by a pliable sports media more interested in headlines than news (Chief Problem: ESPN, which ran glowing tributes to Bonds several times last year, and I'm sure is now savaging him on all 24 hours of Sportscenter now that he's damaged goods), an impotent and spineless commissioner, owners who have ceded all good sense, a Players' Association that is rapacious in its greed, and individuals around the "game" that want to take the money and run before their actions sink the ship. Leaving these "records" in the book will require Jerry and me and all baseball fans to explain to their kids that even though this is in the book, it was done wrongly, it was done in bad faith, and by cheating. By taking this stuff out of history, you run the risk of having it be either 1) forgotten or 2) divert the issues (as Rose successfully did) from what they did to MLB's response to it. The result was that until Rose screwed up and put his book out on Hall of Fame Day, he was basically in.

A pox on all your houses, and to all of you who want to divert our attention from the real issue. Let's not pretend that today is the day Major League Baseball must start to act. That day passed so long ago that steroid use has taken on stare decisis protection in clubhouse annals. Ban it, don't ban it, whatever. If you don't ban it, I'll still watch it, because I love it. But LET'S STOP PRETENDING THAT GUYS WHO ARE ON DRUGS AREN'T!

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