A topic was raised on KNBR yesterday that I found quite intriguing.
The issue of the backlash that should be hitting all of baseball, from the trainers to the President and from the Instructional League to the Bigs, is falling squarely on the shoulders of Barry Bonds.
Players from the mid 80's to 2002 have come out with numbers from 40-80% in regard to the percentage of major leaguers on juice. Why is Bonds the ONE that is getting hung here?
Does he know others who have taken these drugs? Sure he does.
Has he ratted them out or hidden behind any of them?
No he hasn't.
He has denied knowing that what he was taking was illegal. He hid behind a smokescreen of deceit.
Is there one amongst us that has not done the same thing in their lifetimes about something?
The easy thing for him to do would be to point at McGwire, Canseco, Palmiero, Caminiti and others and say, "They were doing it and the owners and commissioner knew this was going on."
He could blow up baseball as we know it.
Then again, as I am thinking as I write this:
His testimony may be the key to this quagmire.
Baseball may have him by the short ones now. If he were to out them, he would have to admit to some knowledge of the illegal drug use and therefore admit that he perjured himself in court.
We may never know the extent to the depth of this game of lies, but, I feel that this is an issue that should be addressed.
Is Bonds taking one for the team?
Or, is he being buried in his lie?
Listen, he's a jerk. has been forever, it seems, if you can believe the ASU stories. And he plays for the team we all hate the most And he cheated. and he lied.
But he deserves better than he's getting right now. Sprots talk show host in Madison, WI, the other day: "Russ Springer is my hero". caller to same show: "this man has ruined the game I love."
Excuse me, can we talk reality here?
original Sin? Look no further than the bowels of the then Oakland Alamedia County Coliseum. canseco and then McGwire did this far earlier than Bonds ever thought about it. Look at how skinny he was in 1993 when he came over the Giants, and compare him to the Canseco physique from Day One, the growing "Popeye" physique of McGwire; the incredible head growth of Sosa.
He was-- in the 90s-- the best player in the game. Not Ken Griffey-- who would be the only active player named to the All-century team-- a slap in the face of the Giants' star. Before 1999, I can say unequivovally that he was the best player I've ever seen. And I saw both Mays and Aaron in their later years. He won 3 and should have won 4 MVPs prior to that year. He was-- prior to 1999-- one of the 10-12 best players who ever played the game.
Why is 1999 significant? because it followed 1998. Remember that year? The year we all fell in love with the game again, after the fallow years after the strike? What a season? We fell in love with Cheater One... who narrowly beat out Cheater Two.
And what did that Giants player-- and problem dozens if not hundreds of other major leaguers then decide? "I better do it, too".
There are increasing reports which the Mitchell Commission (note to ANers: I know George Mitchell. I worked for him back in his political days. he is an honest broker-- talk to the Brits and irish about that. His report won't be a whitewash.) will undoubtedly confirm that the problem of performancing enhancing drugs was pervasive in thsi sport. Probably hundreds of players, and probably as high a ratio of users among pitchers as hitters. And who knows who's still juiicing or not? Albert Pujols denies it, but how do we really know? And if he hits 74 this year, will we beleive it?
At some basic level we are punishing this guy because he is the best. I don't condone his actions. I don't like him. I wish the records-- particularly Aaron's will stay intact.
But to be honest I think he's getting far too much crap from far too many short-sighted people. he didn't ruin this game... a lot of others came before him and the poobahs in the sport--including our teams' executives-- looked the other way. Who can fault him for concluding "why not juice"?, if this is how MLB leadership feels about it.
So pardon me if I resist some of the fiercest attempts to besmirch this player. If i were there tonight and the announcer (Roy-- we miss you) said "Bonds... Barry Bonds"-- I wouldn't boo.