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Some Bonds Haters Need To Join The 21st Century – Or At Least The 20th

Hey, I can understand that in the court of public opinion, Barry Bonds has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he is a jerk. The whole “I have a recliner in the clubhouse, because I can” routine, his inability to show up for team pictures, and the consistent reports from press and fans alike about his personality, have convinced me that it is fair to say, “The guy’s a jerk.”

Which is fine, because I don’t have to work with him and neither do you. I don’t care if my insurance agent is a jerk at the office if I don’t have to work with him and he helps me with my insurance needs. The same goes for my waiter, my CPA, and my dentist. If the A’s players and coaches want to work with Bonds, and Bonds can perform on the field the way I, as a fan, want him to, then there is no problem in regards to his personality.

The problem, then, is really the issue of Bonds using Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) and lying about it under oath. And I’m here to tell that on these charges, Barry Bonds is innocent. Until proven guilty. On this site, I keep hearing Bonds referred to as a “cheater,” a “liar,” a “steroid user,” when the guy has been accused of these things, but has consistently denied any wrong-doing, and has been found guilty of nothing. On what high horse do you get to talk about the accused, who has pleaded “not guilty” to all charges, as if he were guilty? It’s one thing to say, “I, knowing fewer facts than the insiders, have decided anyway that I just believe him to be guilty.” OK fine – you’re entitled to your opinion. But here in sunny old Not Guantanamo Bay, that’s an outsider’s personal opinion, not a fact or a trial.

You’re worried about whether or not Bonds’ HR record will or won’t be accompanied by an asterisk? Don’t worry: Whether he is in fact innocent or guilty of any or all charges, whether or not an asterisk does or doesn’t appear in some official book, Barry Bonds’ HR record will always be tarnished. It will always be referred to as “the disputed HR record…” and “under suspicion of steroid use…” Does anyone really associate O.J. Simpson primarily with football anymore?

So let me get this straight, those of you who are so outraged at the thought of the A’s signing Bonds, those who would even cease following the A’s if or while Bonds were ever on the team. You’re telling me that if the A’s could improve their team by signing Bonds, who has never admitted to using PEDs – and has never been convicted of using PEDs, or of committing perjury or, well, of anything at all – you would be so outraged and disgusted because…you can decide better than Eric Chavez can whether Bonds would be a desirable teammate, and you can judge matters of law and evidence better than, and sooner than, an informed jury?

You may not care for Bonds but you should care about blurring the distinction between heresy and hearsay, because that threatens all our freedoms, not just some jerk in a recliner’s.