This is news? Barry Bonds was on performance enhancing substances? Wow … who’d a thunk it.
This may be perhaps the most un-news since Bill and Monica was confirmed. The only suspense in this story has been the ways in which Bonds will continue to deny the allegations and the way in which Major League Baseball and the Hall of Fame will treat Bonds.
Here are the numbers: From his rookie year in 1986 through 1999, Bonds hit forty home runs exactly three times (46 in 93; 42 in 96; 40 in 97). Over that fourteen year period, he averaged just under thirty-two home runs a year.
In the last six years, Bonds has hit forty home runs five times, and played only fourteen games in the sixth season (where he was on pace that would have brought about fifty round trippers).. He has averaged almost forty-four home runs a year, and if you remove the numbers from 2005, Bonds averaged fifty one home runs over five years (2000 to 2004).
Do the math, people. That means that Bonds, in his late thirties, increased his average almost twenty home runs a year. You don't get that from the weight room alone.
Wine may get better with age. Baseball players don’t, especially not to the tune of twenty more home runs a year.
Barring some magnanimous event, Bonds will pass Babe Ruth’s place on the all-time home run list this year and move into second place beyond Hank Aaron. It will be a sad day for baseball when it happens. This is a record that is meaningless now.
If Roger Maris earned and asterisk from breaking the Babe’s single season mark by using an additional eight games, then Barry Bonds should earn a censure for passing the Babe using performance enhancing substances. He should be embarrassed to show his face in a ball park. The Giants should be embarrassed to have him in their uniform. He should be barred from the Hall of Fame and the record book
In a classic sport like baseball, if you are going to hold a record, you should hold it naturally, not by bulking up on steroids. Bonds is a great player, and would have made the Hall on his own merits. He didn't need to dope up. But he did. And it is shameful.
The game has withstood its fair share of problems (gambling, lockouts, dead balls, live balls, sign-stealing, bad commissioners, and the like). But some things should be sacred, and the record book and the history of baseball deserve better than a doped up home run king who would have never come close were it not for cheating.