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BREAKING: Barry Bonds' career is over

Dec 10, 2009, 9:56 AM EDT

I know. I’m as shocked as you are.  John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle has the scoop:

Barry Bonds’ agent finally acknowledged Wednesday that the home run king is done playing baseball.

“It’s two years since he played his last game, and if there was any
chance he’d be back in a major-league uniform, it would have happened
by now,” agent Jeff Borris told The Chronicle.

There’s a certain brand of sabermetrically-inclined fan — many of whom are friends of mine — who think that Barry could still DH for someone if he was given a week or two in a batting cage.  I’m extremely dubious of this, and was last year and even a good way back into 2008.  Sure, he probably can still tell a ball from a strike better than anyone, but entropy is a bitch once you reach a certain age, and even the Great Barry Bonds’ baseball body is going to quickly decline without regular use.  He probably should have broke camp as someone’s DH a couple of years ago, but I long gave up any hope that he’d don a uniform again.

The real question, of course, is the Hall of Fame.  2013 is his eligibility date.  All things being equal he’d be a first ballot inductee. Of course all things aren’t equal with him.  There’s some softening on the Mark McGwire’s of the world, but no one was the face of the Steroid Era like Barry Bonds was.  He’s going to take the heat for that, likely delaying his induction for a good long while.  This despite the fact that (a) there’s no evidence to suggest that he was deeper into PEDs to a greater degree than any other player of his era; and (b) he was likely a Hall of Famer before the turn of century and his association with BALCO.

If I had the franchise, I’d vote for him in a second.  I’d expect, however, Barry won’t be getting into the Hall of Fame without a ticket until he’s an old man.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 10, 2009 at 10:08 AM

    This news should really drive the price of steroids down. Might even offset the increase in gasoline prices among major leaguers who still drive Hummers.

  2. Simon DelMonte - Dec 10, 2009 at 10:23 AM

    For good or for ill, Barry Bonds is the lightning rod and the scapegoat for the PED issue. The only way he has half a chance of getting into the Hall with the current voters is to come clean and actually seem contrite. I cannot see this happening.
    And if he ever gets convicted of anything, I think they won’t even let him buy a ticket.

  3. Xpensive Wino - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:06 AM

    Apparently Bonds and his agent were the last two to know his career was over. I think this is only news to them.

  4. Cubs_Fan - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:17 AM
  5. j. snow - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    as long as pete rose is kept out, barry should be kept out. what barry and all the other ‘enhancers’ did is 100 times worse than what pete did.

  6. mick-7-1961 - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:33 AM

    Hall of Fame?
    Hall of Shame in 2013

  7. Martin - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    Did he break any MLB drug policy rules? NO! MLB turned its back during that time to get the fans back.

  8. Michael Seibert - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    So you say you’d put him in because he was likely a HOFer before he perhaps did steroids?? How ’bout Rose? He was certainly a HOFer before he did any/caught doing/evidence suggests gambling. Of course, the HOF didn’t change any rules to keep out Bonds like they did to exclusively ban Rose two years after he was suspended. Pete should go in.

  9. Craig Calcaterra - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    I would allow Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame (I wouldn’t let him have a job in baseball though, because I think he represents an ongoing risk to its integrity). I’d also let Barry in based on his steroid and non-steroid performance. No need to parse. I was just making a point.
    The upshot: the Hall of Fame is a museum that trafficks in history. No matter what else these guys did, they played those games and did those things and that history should be reflected. As should their infamy, be it on the plaques themselves or in other exhibits or what have you.

  10. Mike - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    I totally agree – let Pete in and keep the PED user’s out!

  11. mikeppsych - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    I own the finest and most complete collection of Barry Bonds rookie basecall cards and it would be worth a great deal more if he were elected to the Hall of Fame – between his friendly altruistic personality and heavy obvious steroid use IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!- what a shame – he was a sure fire first ballot candidate and threw it all away – even his close and loyal friend rotting in jail for refusing to spill the beans did not faze the home run king – what a man.

  12. mick-7-1961 - Dec 10, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    If Pete Rose ever gets in the Hall, then Shoeless Joe better be right behind him.

  13. Fly in the Ointment - Dec 10, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    Now, who is this guy again? Barry Bonds?
    I remember a Bobby Bonds who played in the MLB in the 70’s and played with integrity, class and with passion for the game. Did he have a son who also played in the bigs?
    That’s really neat!
    end sarcasm…………..NOW!

  14. Papa G - Dec 10, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    The Hippocrates continue to babble!
    The reason the owners pay so much money for a player of any background to hit the ball over the fence is because they (the owners) stand to make millions from the fans (consumers0 who wish to pay to see it done. Television racks in millions in revenues from advertisers who display their favorite drug enhancement just after old Barry deposits another baseball into the San Francisco Bay.
    Cut to: VIAGRA
    A rotating advertisement for players and fans alike, positioned directly behind home plate for all the fans to see. Enhance your own performance tonight, enjoy it. Just don’t expect to be voted into the Hall of Fame for it.

  15. smokehouse - Dec 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM

    “If I had the franchise, I’d vote for him in a second.”
    Craig, that statement is exactly why you don’t have a vote or should have a vote.

  16. PR - Dec 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM

    Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion. You would vote Bonds into the Hall while most fans would not. If I had a vote I would strip Mr. Bonds of all the MVP awards he has won and take away his home run records, just for a start. But that’s just my opinion and I don’t have a vote. So there you are.

  17. Paul in KY - Dec 10, 2009 at 1:32 PM

    He should be banned for life (moot point now as far as playing, but still banned from coaching, managing, GMing, etc.) and all his records striken from the books.
    That goes for any other steroid using cheating loser. Even if they still sucked when on steroids, ban them & remove all their stats.
    I’d also be for vacating wins by a team that used a steroid cheat. Probably the only concrete way to get the clubs to police themselves.

  18. Josh - Dec 10, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    Really now? How about all of the cheaters in the past? Lets remove Gaylord Perry and Don Sutton from the hall right now. And vacating wins is useless charade. Steroids ran rampant in Major League Baseball and it’s a safe bet that almost every team at one point or another enjoyed a person who used PEDs.
    Now as for the question of whether or not the people of this era deserve the hall. I really don’t know. It’s unrealistic to exclude this entire era from the hall, due to quite a great quantity of HoF worthy players. At the same time, due to how truly rampant PEDs were, it’s not safe to assume anybody was clean.
    Before we allow the PED big names in, lets allow Pete Rose in. Rose was an amazing player, and (from what we know) didn’t cheat to get his numbers. Don’t let him in a dugout of course — a sign of a compromise of integrity. Before Rose, let in Shoeless Joe, who more than likely didn’t even do anything wrong.

  19. Paul in KY - Dec 10, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    Josh, Pete Rose broke the only Major League rule that is written over the door of each clubhouse. He did that repeatedly, & while he was the manager of a major league team.
    I would probably put Mr. Bonds in the Hall before I would put Pete Rose.
    Mr. Rose gave inside information to mobsters. He then lied about all he had done only until he thought it was in his best interests to fess up to what those in the know had known was the truth for 15 or 16 years. He also embarrassed his own late father, who would never have countenanced Pete gambling on baseball. He probably helped hasten Mr. Giamatti’s death (although Mr. Giamatti was fat & a smoker) by all the stress from the sordid situation.
    There are many ballplayers (past & present) who play between the lines more or less like Mr. Rose did. Difference is, they aren’t lying, egotistical maniacs who think they’re above the rules.
    Root for them, instead of Mr. Rose, would be my advice to you.

  20. ward - Dec 10, 2009 at 3:37 PM

    I agree with you about Shoeless Joe. It is about time to let those deserving Black Sox members in.

  21. Jibber Jabber - Dec 10, 2009 at 4:32 PM

    Bonds was “likely” a HOFer before the steroids scandal hit? If Bonds had stopped playing after the 1999 season, he would have had 445 HRs, 460 SBs and a .163 OPS+ (10th best all-time). At that point, he was an 8-time Gold Glover, a 3-time MVP and an 8-time All-Star. I think there’s no doubt he would have been a HOFer. Bill James published his New Historical Abstract during that period, well before Bonds was ever tied to steroids, and IIRC, ranked Bonds as the 3rd best LF ever and one of the top 20 players of all-time.
    I’m not arguing he should be admitted in 2013. But perhaps the fact that a player of his caliber started to use steroids after all those accomplishments demonstrates both the pervasiveness of the use at that time and the irresistible urge that most players must have felt to start using.

  22. Tracy - Dec 10, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    The Hippocrates continue to babble!
    Yeah! I hate it when doctors dish outside the OR! Damn you, Grey’s Anatomy!

  23. newton21 - Dec 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    The last time I checked MLB rules don’t supersede the Federal law. Federal law placed anabolic steroids in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as of February 27, 1991 which means they were illegal. It doesn’t matter that MLB hadn’t banned them – they were illegal during Barry’s time.

  24. Prince of Mid-Air - Dec 10, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    Just call Barry…”HOME RUN KING”!!! All of you haters are just jealous. Barry owes it all to hard work and good clean living. Barry Bonds is the greatest player of all-time!!!

  25. Newton'sApple - Dec 10, 2009 at 6:50 PM

    Barry Bonds may have been taking performance enhancing drugs much earlier in his career than has been thought. That would make all of his stats and records tainted.

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