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Barry Bonds: Good or Bad?

Barry Bonds used to play in Pittsburgh. It's incredibly obvious to me and virtually everyone outside of the San Francisco Bay area that Bonds took some sort of drugs - be they steroids, human growth hormone, or something else - to enhance his performance on the baseball field.

Though he technically didn't "cheat" because he's never been caught and steroids weren't illegal until recently, many - myself included - have a broader description of "cheating" than "not getting caught and doing substances before they become illegal." I believe in the purity of sport. It's an admittedly blurry line: I have no problem with cortisone shots to numb pain, for example, which you could argue "enhances performance," but which to me is an entirely different kind of "enhancement."

Barry Bonds likely won't make the hall of fame right away simply because he's been such an asshole to journalists, but that's not really what the question below asks. It's more of a "positive" or "negative" poll, and the two choices are all I could think of to represent the options.

Barry Bonds: Cheater or Hall-of-Famer?
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I think the Giants are likely to ditch Bonds and all the problems and costs he brings to the team at the end of this year.

P.S. I'm glad Hank Aaron chose to be classy about the whole thing, but I'm really rooting for Alex Rodriguez and even Ken Griffey, Jr. to break Barry's "record."

P.P.S. No, I've still not forgiven Barry for sucking during the Pirates playoff runs in 1990-1992.

6 Responses to "Barry Bonds: Good or Bad?"

  1. First, my test for anyone who thinks steroids are why bonds hit home runs...get on a steroid cycle, then go try to hit home runs off of an MLB pitcher. Good luck with that. Enjoy your strikeouts. All steroids would do is turn hits that might not have been runs into runs. How many of those did bonds hit? Hard to say. But hitting a pitch off of an MLB pitcher is, from a physical coordination POV, *hard*. The idea that Steroids did it all is silly.

    And please, spare me this fair play nonsense. Baseball is a business. It's always been a business. The powers that be, *and the fans* had no problems with it until it got too obvious to ignore. It's been going on for at least two, probably three decades, and had MLB and the fans been able to ignore it longer, they gladly would have. It just got too obvious to ignore, and now, this all sounds like a line from "Casablanca": "I'm shocked to find out there is gambling in this establishment. Your winnings sir. Oh, thank you."

    All the fans and everyone else loved the increase in balls getting hit out of the stadium. THey loved it. Screamed for more. Well, they got more. Now they're having the fact that the process of adding a few hundred feet to a home run hit wasn't as clean as they wanted to pretend it was, and it's all the dirty player's fault?

    BAAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Gimme a break. It's what MLB and the fans wanted, but like people who don't want to know how the meat gets from the cow to the plate, everyone's all whiny that the process got shoved in their faces.

    Sorry, no sympathy for anyone other than perhaps Bonds, whose greatest "crime" was not hiding what he was doing better, and was mostly guilty of going too far in giving the fans what they wanted.

  2. John C. Welch said on August 11, 2007:

    First, my test for anyone who thinks steroids are why bonds hit home runs...

    I doubt anyone thinks that's the only reason why he hits homers. He hit 'em with the Pirates when he was clean.

    That doesn't mean they don't help, and that's the essence of "cheating."

    John C. Welch said on August 11, 2007:

    All the fans and everyone else loved the increase in balls getting hit out of the stadium.

    Well, I didn't, but believe what you'd like. I prefer the old days when strategy was involved.

  3. John C. Welch said on August 11, 2007:

    First, my test for anyone who thinks steroids are why bonds hit home runs...get on a steroid cycle, then go try to hit home runs off of an MLB pitcher. Good luck with that.

    I would then ask, why do baseball players take steroids then if it will only hurt their game? Bob Costas interviewed a person with the inside to all of the doping that was/is going on. The unequivocal response was that these drugs do enhance one's performance. That includes hitting home runs off of an MLB pitcher.

    John C. Welch said on August 11, 2007:

    And please, spare me this fair play nonsense. Baseball is a business. It's always been a business. The powers that be, *and the fans* had no problems with it until it got too obvious to ignore.

    Way too cynical of a statement to be accurate. Sure MLB is a business but it is also the national past time with a heritage of over 125 years. Take for example Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers, who bought the team in `92 and stuck with them during some of their worst seasons. The reason? Probably with some hope of making money but he understood that there is something special between a team and it's fans--in this case the City of Detroit and the surrounding metro. Illitch's thrust has been community focused and not for the almighty dollar. I also don't think the large number of fans had any idea the extent of doping that was going on. Besides that, knowing that the abuse existed doesn't negate the sincerity and love of the game that many, many baseball fans have. No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. Nor is it an all or nothing proposition.

    Bonds can have his record but it will always have that * accompanying it.

  4. richardz said on August 11, 2007:

    Way too cynical of a statement to be accurate. Sure MLB is a business but it is also the national past time with a heritage of over 125 years.

    And there's been shenanigans ever since money got involved. Black Sox anyone?

    If you think Ilitch is doing it "for the good of the game", then ask him if he'd do it for free. Somehow, I doubt it. Ain't nobody ever went broke owning an MLB or an NFL team. Revenue sharing? If it's "all about the game" then such things aren't needed, are they.

    The *instant* money got involved, it stopped being a pastime, and became a business. You know when it's a pastime? When it's a buncha people playing in the park. Kids outside having fun. A local league.

    But when you pay 30 bucks for your seat, 7 bucks for a beer, and 3 bucks for a hot dog? That's a business. When fans who couldn't hit a ball fifty feet, much less out of the park, nor run around the bases sans oxygen and CPR can rattle off contract statistics like they negotiated it? That's a business.

    I agree with Carlin. The problem with major league sports isn't the players. Without the players, you'd not have sports. So they're needed. The problem isn't the owners. Someone's got to arrange the places to play, uniforms, etc, and if they players are busy doing that, then they aren't playing. So you need owners. The problem is the fans. The idiots demanding superhuman performance, but unwilling to deal with the results of those demands. The morons getting in fights in the stands all the time, yet insisting that "it's a family - friendly affair"...that just happens to require thousands of gallons of beer. That war-zone feel you get in fenway when the Yankees play there? that's not the owners or the players doing that, that's the fans. The fights in the parking lots? Fans.

    Quite frankly I'd love to see an end to major league sports. The players would still play, the owners would find other ways to make money. But the roads wouldn't be clogged with drunken angry idiots screaming like rabid baboons, and maybe we'd get state/city/county to commit the millions they throw at stupidity like new stadiums at healthcare, rapid transit, and other things that benefit everyone.

    Maybe if people stopped being fans, and started oh, i don't know, remembering *it's supposed to be a game*, we'd have fewer riots at little league games because little bobby didn't get enough playing time.

    Steroids ruining baseball? Hardly. It's the monkeys buying the tickets doing that.

  5. John C. Welch said on August 12, 2007:

    It's the monkeys buying the tickets doing that.

    Amen to that. If people who complain about the price of Major League tickets stopped buying them, they could break the cycle. Not likely to happen though.

  6. As a resident of San Francisco, I can assure you that not everyone here is under the delusion that Barry hasn't been juicing. I despise Barry and really wished that they wouldn't renew his contract as he's dragging the team down (can you imagine having to play on the same team with this jerk?). I enjoy a good game, and PacBell Park is a nice one, but I have a very hard time justifying the idea of going to a game there.

    Anyhow, my love for baseball was pretty significantly damaged with the players' strike way back when. Monkeys buying tickets indeed. Money is better spent to watch players who really hustle and give a damn by buying a minor league ticket.


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