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Barry Bonds thinks he belongs in the Hall, doesn’t care if he’s kept out, loves Roger Clemens

Aug 7, 2012, 8:22 AM EDT

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Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s home run record five years ago today. Recently he sat down with Barry Bloom of MLB.com to talk about that, the end of his career, the Hall of Fame, his status as a felon and his good friend Roger Clemens.

It’s a pretty b.s.-free interview in which he offers the following:

  • He wishes he was better with the media during his career, but he just isn’t wired that way;
  • He thinks his career ended too soon — he wanted to play one more year — but was happy for the 22 years he did get and is glad he finished as a San Francisco Giant;
  • He respects the Hall of Fame and believes he belongs (“There’s no doubt in my mind”) but he’s not going to be upset if the writers keep him out, saying that if they want to apply their moral standards to make it their Hall of Fame, that’s their business;
  • He was happy Roger Clemens was acquitted and thinks everyone needs to lay off him. Personally, Bonds said he “will go to the end of the earth for that man.”;
  • He wants to win his appeal, but if he loses he accepts that he’s been judged a felon, will do his sentence and move on; and
  • He doesn’t want to be a uniformed, regular coach, but he does want to teach hitting for the Giants, saying “it would be a shame for what I know, to what I can give, to what I can offer, to let it go to waste.”

Lots of good stuff in there. It’d be different if he was deluded about his standing among the fans and the media, but he seems pretty realistic about it. It’s hard to disagree with anything he says.

As for the Hall, Bonds is going to be a lot of fun come voting time. Unlike all of the other PEDs dudes so far, there is no rational argument that he wouldn’t be a shoe-in absent PEDs. As Bill James once said about Rickey Henderson, cut him and half and you have two Hall of Famers. Dock him 300 homers and all of his post-1999 awards and he’s still a Hall of Famer.

So basically, if one doesn’t vote for Bonds, one is saying only one thing: any player who uses PEDs is morally unfit for the Hall.

146 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Steroid apologists always without exception fail to understand that those taking them are fresher and do not tire like those without.
    They completely ignore the 162 games and travel, the juicer stays fresh and spry the whole season while the non juice feels the effects much more and it translates on the field.

    You all keep going on about strength to hit a ball and co-ordination, how it’s doesn’t have that much of an effect. But just complete miss and fail at understanding that juicing allows them to trainer harder without the as much negatives that come with the training. They go game to game with a fuller tank than those without.

    Seriously I do not think anyone who has ever juiced has ever made the argument that it isn’t a MAJOR advantage.
    Because it is

    • atlrod - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      What’s your point? Even if I grant you that steroids help you simply because of the extra ability to lift weights, you can’t prove that everyone else that Bonds was playing against wasn’t doing the exact same thing. He was taking advantage of a gigantic loophole in the game and pretty much systemic, tacit encouragement to do jump through it. And just because he is really good at baseball and grew the size of the Jolly Green Giant doesn’t mean that all of his other competition wasn’t doing the same thing. Look at some of the guys that came out as steroid users (through the Mitchell report or otherwise). For crying out loud JASON GRIMSLEY was using it and no one so much as sniffed in his direction.

      Barry Bonds pretty obviously used steroids. Granted. But the bottom line is that we can’t prove that he wasn’t doing something that every single other player was doing. He took advantage of the era he played in and, guess what; he was pretty damn good at baseball. When you can prove to me who did and didn’t take steroids during that era, then I’ll feel like I can make an accurate judgment about how advantaged he was. But you’ll never be able to. And you’ll never be able to tell baseball’s story without Barry Bonds. He was a jerk. He almost certainly roided up. And he was really good at hitting baseballs (and everything else having to do with baseball before he got old and massive).

      I can’t stand him. But he deserves to be in. Or no one at all from that era deserves to be in. No one.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Aug 7, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        “can’t prove that everyone else”
        No, but again, this isn’t a murder trial where I need “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
        This is the court of public opinion
        This is People’s Court
        All I need is more likely than not.

        This is what I get a kick out of from your types, you set up some sort of wall that you figure requires “definitive proof” to overcome.
        Sorry no, I can make assumptions based on what I have read, heard and seen.

        Did I watch Bonds do juice? No
        Did he do juice. I will always say Yes
        You then want to try to take it a ridiculous level of “Everyone was on juice” so no big deal.
        “Everyone”

      • atlrod - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:16 AM

        That whooshing sound you heard was you completely missing the point.

        It’s not about standard of evidence. I already said that I was pretty sure Bonds did steroids. I don’t know many people who doubt it. The issue is the OTHER players. You say it’s obvious he did steroids because he got cartoonishly large. Well what about the crap players that did ‘roids and enabled themselves to have mediocre careers? What about guys who used PED’s simply to heal from injuries (ahem… Andy Pettite)? Your claim that he was a “cheater” relies on the assumption that he was doing something no one else or very few other people were doing. But we’ve seen enough evidence of guys you wouldn’t suspect being users to completely destroy the assumption that you actually CAN accurately recognize who used PED’s. Too many skinny, mediocre players are on those lists. So we have no idea how much Bonds actually “cheated” compared to anyone else.

        It has nothing to do with proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Bonds juiced. It has everything to do with having no idea who did besides him.

        And just because we don’t need the courtroom’s standard of justice for proof doesn’t mean we should need NO proof. That’s just asinine. Watch me do it right now: John Smoltz changed positions with different kinds of wear on his arm and was really good no matter what he was doing. He obviously juiced.

        See? That’s stupid. But it has an argument from personal observation. I need no proof. Therefore my charge is just as valid as yours. Ban John Smoltz!

      • gsrider911 - Aug 8, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I don’t know atlrod…
        It’s not a matter of who else was doing ‘roids as much as who else was doing ‘roids whom are HOF worthy. At the end of the day, the HOF is an expression of your skills AND your character.

        The president that they have taken to date (Re: Pete Rose) is:

        You cheat, you don’t get into the HOF.

        There are issues with Bonds in this context I realize; but this isn’t a court of law, it is the court of public opinion and maybe the HOF voters, (which I have issues with too) all decide to make an example of Steroid use = Cheating by keeping Barry Bonds out of the HOF.

        And Pettite, Clements and McGwire. The records are one thing, the echelon of the HOF has always bee seen as sacred and some are plain not worthy due to choices they have made in their personal and professional lives.

        It will be interesting to see what comes of this when these jerks are all eligible. I tend to agree with Bonds being worthy before the Steroid era and would not be upset if he made it on those grounds.
        Who knows, maybe some day we’ll be able to do a DNA test and see who ever took PEDs in their lifetime! So you can’t say that ‘We’ll never REALLY know who took them’ – because you can’t predict the future.

        Maybe Bonds converts to Buddhism or Islam and finds Gawd and then somehow decides to confirm his use, where/when etc. to set the record straight… For shit sake, that’s what Pete ROSE did in regards to his cheating and gambling! (Or was that just to sell books???)

        As long as the general public, myself and the HOF voters included believe generally that Steroid use = Cheating, as long as Pete Rose is OUT of the HOF then Bonds should never be in the HOF either.

        Aw hell, just wait til their all dead and then let them all in… who cares. I mean, if you’re going to do that to Santos then Barry and Pete deserve the same treatment. It’s about the game and their play, not their promotion and self edification.

        Is the wooshing sound gone??

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Is the wooshing sound gone??

        Nope, because A, it’s precedent not president, and B, Rose broke an MLB rule in cheating and Bonds didn’t. Steroids weren’t banned by MLB when Bonds took his*, and he never failed a drug test. Rose admitted to gambling, after lying about it for 15 years**. It’s an apples to oranges comparison

        *Don’t give me this crap about being against federal law; therefore, against MLB rules. Amphetamines are a Schedule II drug so the whole 60s/70s generation should be out of the HoF, and people break other federal laws (DUI for instance) all the time that doesn’t prevent their induction
        ** Rose isn’t eligible for HoF voting anyhow, as he’s beyond the 15 year window. And good luck with the Veteran’s Committee

      • atlrod - Aug 8, 2012 at 6:35 PM

        I wasn’t saying that anyone who disagreed with me doesn’t get the point. I’m saying that particular response totally misses the point. My basic problem is this: this whole “court of public opinion” thing is a total cop-out. It basically just means, “I’ll vote my gut.” And it can be entirely irrational. I’d point to Jeff Bagwell as an example. There is no evidence that he did steroids. ZERO. But for “the court of public opinion,” Jeff Bagwell’s big muscles are enough evidence. That is so stupid. Is muscle size really what it’s down to? We know that standard doesn’t work. We know a bunch of scrawny guys took PEDs.

        There is no consistency. There is no rational measure that can be universally applied if it’s all about muscle size or reputation or whatever else there is rumbling around in people’s lower torso, “gut” region. The only universal, totally fair standard is to say, “Was there proof of rule-breaking? PROOF.” The answer for all of these guys is, “NO.” Except Palmeiro and Manny. If you get popped after the rules changed, then fine. I can accept that ban. Before? No. I don’t get it.

        If you want to stick by the Hall as not just a baseball museum, but a temple to morality, I get your rationale. I just disagree, at that point, with your fundamental perception of what the Hall of Fame should be. I think it should be exactly what its name says. A Hall of (baseball) Fame. Bonds belongs in that.

      • gsrider911 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Thanks @churchofdickheads for correcting my post. That’s what we all need in this world: a cock who has to point out a grammatical error when my point is clear as day.
        I’ve been out of country for a lengthy period of time trying to learn Spanish roadsigns, directions and attempt to communicate with non-English speakers. Thanks for bothering to post to correct me.
        ~
        This may sound bleeding heart, but WE ALL KNEW they were doing ‘roids in the ’90s and I was outraged that Bud didn’t do anything about it then, as well as now. I know ‘too little too late’ and that we likely will never be able to prove use or non-use. I’d love to definitively know that Bonds didn’t do them, so that he could be in the HOF, because he is deserving. But the argument about Manny or Palmero is a mute one, as neither of them are HOF worthy based on numbers alone.

      • atlrod - Aug 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM

        Uh… if Manny Ramirez doesn’t have HOF batting numbers, then no one does. Career line: .312/.411/.585. His career OPS+ is 154. Those are his CAREER numbers to go along with those 555 HR. His player comps on Baseball Reference are Frank Thomas, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Ken Griffey Jr., Gary Sheffield, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson, and Vlad. Holy crap. Manny is one of the best hitters that ever lived. Period.

    • Craptastics9 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      More pitchers did steroids than hitters. More pitchers have been suspended for PEDs than hitters. A quick recovery from throwing 120 pitches is more advantageous than lifting weights to gain strength if you don’t have the coordination to hit a curveball.
      But who knows the % of players that juiced? Was it 10% or 50% or 80%? Because we all don’t know the exact number, punishing the suspected users is too arbitrary, and punishing the known when we don’t know the unknowns is unfair.
      It would be hilarious if someone who isn’t suspected but regularly pitched 120 pitches per outing back to back (like Greg Maddux or Tom Smoltz? I don’t follow pitch counts for teams I hate) got elected first ballot and got on the stand and led off his speech with “First of all, I have to thank Anabolic Steroids!”.
      So everyone get off your danged high horse. If you fall off, you’ll break your neck.

  2. joewilliesshnoz - Aug 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Waaaa, I got caught, waaaa !

  3. philliephaninva - Aug 7, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Hall of Fame? Hall of Shame maybe. I think they have to add a wing to house his ginormous melon.

  4. jjdstl01 - Aug 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    No

  5. SteelyMcBeam6 - Aug 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    I couldn’t care less about PEDs. It was just the era, players used them so what? Bottom line PEDs brought baseball back! Baseball was in the tank before roided out McGwire and Sosa brought the game back with their home run race. I think PEDs were good for the game….brought a lot of the casual fans that left after the lockout back watching games and in the seats.

    Do I hate bonds? Yes but not because of his PED use. I hate him because he’s an asshole. He’s probably the biggest self important blowhard in sports history. A moron to boot…this guy actually said he thinks people didnt want him to break the homerun record because he’s black…hank Aaron was black you fucking idiot! We didn’t want you to break the record because you are a prick of a player and a worse human being.

    • dcsuperfan - Aug 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM

      Not saying Bonds was right, but thought it was relevant to your comment that people definitely didn’t want Hank Aaron to break the record because HE was black. Just saying…

    • joecool16280 - Aug 7, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      Thanks for saying “couldn’t care less” rather than “could care less”.

    • acerob2002 - Aug 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      Steely – couldn’t agree with you more! After the strike wiped out the World Series and half of the next season, I was done with baseball, but McGuire v Sosa chasing 61 was some of the most exciting baseball you could want. Say what you want about the “steroids era” it was some exciting freaking baseball.

      Just for the record, steroid use has been around long before the late 90’s. Think about the A’s teams of the late 80’s. Canseco and McGuire were roiding up even back then. Steroids have been around for years, they aren’t isolated to a 5 year span in the late 90’s.

  6. nflfollower - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    Bonds was a perennial all star and a hall of famer before he ever juiced. This guy was one of the greatest talents in the history of the game, and as for me, I watch baseball to watch it played by superior talents, not morally superior individuals. Hall of fame will lose some credibility in my opinion if they don’t let Bonds in. Which is really a shame, but c’mon, it’s about talent, not sportswriters casting moral judgement when they’ve never been involved in anything remotely resembling that level of pressure or competition. I get so sick of the talking heads. Bonds was a phenomenal talent, and as a fan, that’s all I care about.

  7. schlom - Aug 7, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Who exactly was Bonds cheating by using steroids? Certainly not his teammates as he was better with them than without them. He wasn’t cheating the fans as he was helping his team win and bringing excitement to other teams’ ballparks. Was he cheating other players? Considering they all had the opportunity to do the same thing I don’t think that’s true either. So the only thing he was potentially “cheating” was the baseball record book. Do people really care that much about records that you can’t even compare from different eras?

  8. dcsuperfan - Aug 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    PEDs give the user a distinct advantage over those that don’t use. Anyone that argues against that chooses to ignore the facts. But the fact is, for a long time the majority of players used them. Should we say that NO players from this era should have their talents acknowledged? Should we remove every player before Jackie Robinson from the Hall Of Fame because they excluded non-whites from the game? As solemn as many seamheads are about tradition, the fact is the game is constantly changing. I’m not sure what morals have to do with the HOF. Playing the game the “right way” to me means excelling in the era you happen to be in. Bonds didn’t invent the steroid era, he just played along. Put an asterisk next to him, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire, etc. if you like, but put one next to Babe Ruth too. And let Rose in, for Pete’s sake! Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  9. stercuilus65 - Aug 8, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    “BS free” interview? Yeah that was out the window as soon as he siad he “didn’t care” if he gets into the HOF Oh yeah let’s not forget about Clemns whom he “said he “will go to the end of the earth for that man.”! The whole interview and article reeks of BS.

  10. danolson68 - Aug 8, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    You secure an exclusive interview with Barry Bonds and the best you can do is provide a few bullet point quotes for us? Next time write an actual article. Actually, next time, pretend you’re an actual journalist and give us something to savor.

    It appears you wasted everyone’s time here, including Bonds.’

    • Marty - Aug 8, 2012 at 1:57 AM

      Thumbs down for you being a fucking retard who didn’t read the second sentence of this post, nor realized that second sentence is a hyperlink to the original fucking article.

    • atlrod - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Reading is really hard, isn’t it?

  11. Marty - Aug 8, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Was there ever a pure and ethical era in baseball? In 20 years, I think some will have to explain why Ty Cobb is in and Barry Bonds is not.

    • dizoakiusmaximus - Aug 8, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Right, you can be a sociopath racist who beats handicapped people but Heaven forfend that you use something to give yourself an advantage over the competition. I seem to recall hearing about similar outrage when Candy Cummings invented the curveball. In 20 years, PED’s will be legal. They’ll be monitored by team doctors and documented, but they’ll be legal.

  12. jimeejohnson - Aug 8, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Bonds loves Clemens: steroid cheats and liars of a feather stick together!

    • materialman80 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

      Well said.

  13. normanbates13 - Aug 13, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Barry, you’re trippin.

  14. materialman80 - Aug 14, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Cheaters don’t belong in any Hall of Fame. Period. The Hall of Shame would be more like it. Bonds doesn’t have any records as far as I’m concerned.

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