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We don’t need to celebrate Barry Bonds, but we should avoid whitewashing baseball history

Apr 9, 2014, 11:35 AM EDT

Bud Selig

I realize that approximately 95% of you think I’m out to lunch on this whole “Don’t call Hank Aaron the Home Run King” thing I’ve been posting about over the past couple of days. I get that I am not changing any minds. I get that everyone hates Barry Bonds, I get why they do and I get the love for Hank Aaron. But what’s setting me off here isn’t some unholy love for Bonds or a vendetta against Aaron. It’s about baseball’s troubling tendency to whitewash history.

We see this all the time, especially when Bud Selig is involved. One thing he has learned very well over his 20 years as commissioner is that if certain people assert things often enough, people start to repeat it and then, most of them anyway, start to believe it. This is not something anyone can do, of course, but when you are the speaker and the leader, you get that privilege. We’ve seen it with presidents and we see it with Selig too.

Selig has been allowed to distort labor history via his characterization of the 1994-95 strike as something that just sorta happened as opposed to a strategy that he and a group of small market owners actively put in place before Fay Vincent was even deposed. We’ve seen him talk about the PED epidemic as something he long wanted to deal with but couldn’t because of player intransigence when, in reality, it was never a priority for him or the league. Many of the innovations he has championed — the All-Star Game determining home field advantage, instant replay — were things which resulted directly from his failures or failure to act, yet are portrayed as his leadership. Indeed, he and those who work for him have actively tried to erase those failures from history at times.

Again, this is not some special or evil trait of Bud Selig’s. It’s something all leaders tend to do, either intentionally, accidentally or half-passively because they’re allowed to without having anyone call them on it. It’s somehow seen as rude to call politicians, executives and leaders out on their mistakes and inconsistencies. They’re aware of this, so they simply assert that Things Are Just So, and thus they tend to become As So.

We’re seeing this happen with an entire era of baseball. Players who starred from the early 90s through the mid-2000s will be the least represented of all eras in the Hall of Fame. Records set during that time are not being recognized. The great bulk of what shaped the game over the past 20-30 years — PEDs, labor issues, financial issues and the lot — are brushed aside because they don’t fit too comfortably with a retiring commissioner whose legacy seems to matter an awful lot to an awful lot of people.

I think Selig’s legacy is a pretty good one, actually, and have argued the case before. But it’s certainly not a flawless one, and the consequences of that legacy mean that we have some uncomfortable truths to wrestle with. Things like the all-time home run champ being a cheater. Things like one of baseball’s charter franchises playing in a ballpark full of raw sewage. I think we should acknowledge those things just as much as we acknowledge the sepia-toned highlights of baseball’s past.

By writing Barry Bonds out of baseball’s history the way a lot of people, the Commissioner included, would prefer to write him out, we fail to do this and we go way too far into whitewashing history as opposed to dealing with it. That’s why I bristle when I hear the stuff I’ve heard the past few nights.

122 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. coryfor3 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    A re-hashing of past PED arguments in different form. I hope most of this was just cut and pasted from some prior post.

  2. leylandshospicenurse - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Not everyone hates Barry Bonds. He was the most exciting player I have ever had the chance to watch play.

    • hammyofdoom - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:50 AM

      I don’t understand the thumbs down. I mean, he was REALLY exciting to watch and you can’t refute that as much as people disliking his choice in what he put in his body

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM

        Dunno.. But I can probably understand em though, No one probably hates Bonds because of the excitement and the record he has broken throughout the years in the sport, some if not many people out there hated him because he cheated and lied throughout his trial, many people was turned down because of that especially the new ones who just gained interest in the game.

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:39 PM

        renaaldo, if Barry did “lie throughout his trial” the federal prosecutors could not prove that (acquited on all perjury counts.) The completely bogus “obstruction” charge clearly should be overturned. The testimony in that trial has been posted on this blog, and it shows that this was simply a case of an incompetent prosecutor who should never have been allowed to handle a cross-examination. That guy simply could not ask direct questions pushing a witness to make any admissions. In fact Barry answered every question asked; he was under no obligation voluntarily to offer any admissions.

    • pbastille - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      I think this is just Craig’s subtle way of saying that the press and bloggers contribute to this problem by including hyperbole in their posts

    • chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      I hate you for saying that.

    • barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Yep

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        You just made this account right now did you?

  3. cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Not only is it a whitewash of history it misses what Bonds can teach. He was not wholly a creation of PEDs. He was a creation of fantastic plate discipline, an unparalleled eye for his pitch, a true home run swing, and a plate approach that forced pitchers into either walking him or serving him a hittable pitch. People can be taught these things.

    • chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      He hit 73 homers in one season and his head looks like a Volkswagon. Plate discipline is nice. A good eye is useful. Neither adds up to 73 and 756 without a boatload of steroids.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:03 PM

        Same season a lot of guys did the same thing. The ball was juiced.

      • chiadam - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        A lot of guys hit 73 homers that year? I might have to head over to baseballreference.com and verify that. Wait here…

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        … Darn it Ryozo Kato !! Your the reason for this “Juiced Ball” thing in the 1st place.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Well that’s my fault for treating this like people are going to play fair and not treat every statement as a literal one. Of course I don’t mean they all hit 73. But I DO mean that from the mid 90′s to 2001-ish A LOT OF BALLPLAYERS WERE HAMMERING HOMERS. More homes than they had ever hit before or since. If we buy the “ITS ALL PEDS!!!!” argument then NO ONE took a PED before or after that time. And that simply isn’t so when it is recorded and verifiable that anabolic steroids were around from about 1930, ball players were reported using them from as early as 1960, and doping has been around in baseball since 1900.

        There was something else going on in that time period. The proliferation of hitters parks and a juiced up baseball are far more explanatory than some miracle drug which only Bonds had.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Neither adds up to 73 and 756 without a boatload of steroids.

        Then why did he never hit more than 49 in any other season? Did he stop taking them? Was he only using placebos?

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        Yea, because he was the ONLY one using steroids. :rolleyes:

      • renaado - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        I really just don’t understand why when it comes to Baseball and it’s Peds they were highly publicized though.. I’m pretty sure some other athletes with a high profile name uses this too like Armstrong for example. But definitely not on a different level on what the sport of Baseball is getting.

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        “And that simply isn’t so when it is recorded and verifiable that anabolic steroids were around from about 1930, ball players were reported using them from as early as 1960, and doping has been around in baseball since 1900.”

        There’s some truth in there, Felchee ’68; but being realistic about it, those steroids up until about the 70s were worthless. Plus there wasn’t the widespread training knowledge to get the full effectiveness from the steroids until later. I get your point, that steroids didn’t just show up in clubhouses in 1993, but the way you make the point is a little extreme.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        fecalbear: GFY

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Curious, but why are you obsessed with referring to others by disgusting sex acts?

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Define disgusting.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        He has a point church. In his eyes he may be complimenting people since he presumes everyone likes to partake in such acts the he himself indulges in.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Define disgusting.

        You don’t think pedophilia is disgusting?

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        Whoa…why do u ask? Pedophilia is not felching.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        I think we’ll have to trust fecalbear on his definition of terms. He’s the expert on this stuff.

      • paperlions - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        Here is the complete list of steroids that work better than testosterone:

        There are none. Modern steroids aren’t better…they are just better at not getting you busted because they are harder to detect.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        Whoa…why do u ask? Pedophilia is not felching.

        Because you used to refer to OG as old pederast. Stop playing stupid, and since you won’t answer the question, I assume you enjoy felching?

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        Here is the complete list of steroids that work better than testosterone:

        There are none. Modern steroids aren’t better…they are just better at not getting you busted because they are harder to detect.

        A stupid comment, from a stupid man. The PEDs in 1900 were the monkey gonad stuff, not testosterone. And even if you took testosterone, and then went and did calisthenics – not much help.

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        “Because you used to refer to OG as old pederast. Stop playing stupid, and since you won’t answer the question, I assume you enjoy felching?”

        Pederasty is his deal, not mine. Ask him about it. And, not sure if I do or not, never tried it – why are you offering?

      • groupofsevenrules - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        Sewerbear, you really were scraped off the bottom of the barrel, weren’t you? What happened, you got stung by being reminded of how useless and ignorant you are on the other thread, and so you came over here to prove you were perfectly capable of making obvious and superficial comments about some other subject?

        Several of us know through other sources that Gator is a successful, eloquent and eminent man. I’m sure that just kills you. You, on the other hand, are insubstantially less than a nothing.

        You are seriously in need of professional help. Seriously.

      • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        Church: I don’t think it’s accurate to accuse sewerbear of playing stupid.

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        chiadam, unless you want to be a complete a$$ you realize that cur was referring to an increased HR-rate for many players. No one in their right mind would suggest that anyone, steroided-or-non, could be as good as Barry Bonds.

      • raysfan1 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        “Monkey gonad stuff” …AKA Brown Sequard solution = animal testosterone

        Dianabol–released to the market in 1958, still being used by athletes today
        Stanozolol–released in 1962, still being used by athletes today

    • peymax1693 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Agreed that Bonds was awesome before he took PEDs, the classic 5 tool player, but count me in with the 95% that are giving Craig a hard time.

      To me, honoring Bonds with the title “Home Run King” whitewashes his use of PEDs which I believe had to contribute, if even a little, to Bonds passing Aaron.

      But, then again, maybe Aaron was popping amphetamines to give himself a little pick-up, especially later in his career, so me criticizing Bonds would be hypocritical.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        At least that’s more honest than what most people run with. Bonds did a lot things that you simply do not require drugs for. An acknowledgement of that would go a long way towards dispelling some of the myths of steroids in baseball.

        Bonds is now instructing Giants hitters. If he can teach what he used to do we’ll see a noticeable jump in homeruns from them. Are we simply going to call that “PEDS teaching”?

      • vivabear - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        “Agreed that Bonds was awesome before he took PEDs, the classic 5 tool player, but count me in with the 95% that are giving Craig a hard time.”

        I get the point; but, at most, Bonds was a four tool player. He never had a plus arm.

      • cur'68 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        fecalbear: GFY

      • umrguy42 - Apr 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        cur:

        Are we simply going to call that “PEDS teaching”?

        Why not? They said it when McGwire came on as hitting coach for the Cards, that he’d be teaching them how to stick needles in their butts.

  4. chip56 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    “Washed aside” are you kidding?

    I think Selig would be thrilled to go down in history as the Commissioner who helped put in place a drug policy that is regarded as the toughest in the major sports and oversaw baseball hit new financial highs.

    Should he also be remembered as the Commissioner who cancelled a World Series and turned a blind eye to steroid use in baseball? Of course.

  5. jburk003 - Apr 9, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Barry Bonds = THEE Home Run Long.

    I get your drift, Craig. And for the most part agree.

    Id also like to add, sure, Bonds probably hit some knocks on roids. But how many of those pitchers he hit knocks off of were taking roids also????? A lot.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Which would actually increase his home run rate, theoretically, because a ball thrown harder when struck will travel even farther.

    • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      I think that THEE is on something.

    • grumpyoleman - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Pitchers didn’t start throwing 120mph fastballs from taking steroids.

      • jburk003 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        Pettite, Clemons, Gagne, Romero, Volquez, Colon…

        Just 6 guys off the top of my head who have been busted. Wanna keep saying roids don’t help pitchers??? I can bring up stats for all 6 of the guys above to prove you wrong. Starting with last years Oakland Ace Bartolo Colon, whom after getting busted was NOT even close to the same. So, keep saying pitchers didn’t benefit from steroids. You look laughably stupid to me.

        Steroids allowed pitchers to throw harder, more innings, and heal faster for the next start.

      • grumpyoleman - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        Seems like you may be having a little roid rage dbag

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 9:56 PM

        jburk, lumping Andy in this group is flatout wrong. The only thing he admitted to (and nothing else was ever even credibly accused not to mention proven) was that he used HGH in an attempt to recover faster from an injury. A very large part of this testing regime smacks of witch-hunt, and some of it even contradicts known medical value of some drugs. People need to grow up and stop having this crazy DC/Marvel superhero view of reality.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    We could avoid forcing the discussion on a regular basis.

    In 20 years it’s not going to matter any more than the argument of “who was better, Ted Williams or Babe Ruth (or whatever combination you want to use)” because we’ll be talking about Mike Trout or whoever else comes along, and we’ll say “You can’t compare today’s superstars like Hollis Hurlbutt to Barry Bonds. They were just different eras. And Bonds never had to hit against robot pitchers or play on moon turf.”

    • yahmule - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Or against genetically engineered humans.

      It would be cool to blend up a kid who is a mixture of Bonds, Mozart and Einstein, although he would be virtually guaranteed to be utterly insufferable.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:41 PM

        would such a creature put sabermetrics to music? would the length of a baseball game be relative to one’s inertia framework, this mitigating and complicating replay issues?

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:10 PM

        In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, you have a station commander who is obsessed with the ancient (and alas deceased) sport of baseball. The show also has a character, Dr. Bashir, who IS a genetically engineered human. He did get to show his scary prowess in a futuristic, racketball-like game, but unless I missed it, they did not show what this guy could have done in our game. Another running bit it the show was his competing with Miles O’Brien at darts – the standard pub game. The Doctor could hit a bull’s eye from the entrace to the bar, a LONG way. It boggled my mind to think how those athletic skills could have combined to smack out a ball just on the edge of the strike zone – oh wait, that’s exactly what Barry Bonds could do.

  7. temporarilyexiled - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    On the contrary, Craig, thank you for harping on, nagging us with, persisting in stating…the truth. It’s no more healthy to ignore the debate than it is to get obsessed with it. Better to acknowledge it, deal with it, and then move on. Sports are no more pure than the rest of life, though we all want to them to be. Really, we all just want life to be pure, and it never is. Sports – and life in general – way more interesting than heaven. And I’ll take what I have to deal with over where I’ll never get anytime.

  8. apeville - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Nothing here convinces me that I should like Barry Bonds as a baseball player. If you aren’t hung up on stats, then it comes down to who you prefer watching play baseball, the guitar, or the sax, or whatever.

    So for me, Willie Mays, Frank Zappa and John Coltrane.

    Barry Bonds is like Metallica- undeniable power, but not my cup o tea.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:37 PM

      Barry Bonds is the exact opposite of Metallica.

      They were awesome at first, and then turned into a bunch of weakass turdnuggets.

      Well, ok, Barry Bonds was good at first too, not a weakass turdnugget….but still. Metallica is more like Ryan Howard.

      • apeville - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        He’s like Metallica- in that I don’t really care for his style of play. But, yeah, he’s different in others ways- including the fact there are not four of him and one of him died already.

  9. gbart22 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    This league grew more popular than ever on the backs of those PED users. Not because of anything bud did. People do dig home runs even if they are steroid tainted and the fact remains outside of baseball writers who want to make themselves more important than they really are by acting as “moral guardians”, irrational die-hard fans who always like to act like their older generation of players from their youth were great guys who never did anything wrong and that other minority of fans who want to use athletes as some pillar of human decency and excellence like gods the majority of fans like to see their team score a lot of runs especially via the home run and could care less about steroids as long as the guy is hitting homeruns, playing everyday and helping the team win.

    If the trend continues of pitchers dominating two eras under 3 and 2 and the number of players hitting home runs continues to dwindle the attendance will drop ratings will fall then magically they will go up again because the league will do something build smaller parks or juice the baseballs to get more carry cause they will not lose money.

    • yahmule - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      It is true a percentage of simpletons only like high scoring games, but they don’t stick around. They’re like the “hockey fans” who abandoned the sport along with FOX and its stupid glowing puck.

  10. Barry's Triceps - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Why does Ken Griffey Jr always get the pass of being natural? Everyone wants to compare pics of Bonds at 21 to 35. Do the same with Griffey, head and body are enormous. Also Griffeys body broke down like a guy abusing steroids for years…I feel MLB shielded Griffey cuz they couldn’t have everyone go down. Kind of like how the NFL has their token steriod busts each year. Ive been a personal trainer for 22 years and you cannot achieve the body some of these guys have without HGH or steriod help. Its my job to know every up to date workout and nutrition secret, if I cant get people results I wont have clientele. It would be awesome to see deadline NBC barge into an NFL locker room and start demanding Olympic style drug tests on the spot not administered by the NFL…the sport would crumble down. I would gander at least 60% to 85% of NFL would fail for something. Thanks for sitting through my steriod rants.

    • jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      because people are idiots. I think he was on them as were most players, pitchers included. I also think people give many players (like they did with Braun) the benefit of the doubt if they don’t see them with huge muscles. But anyone who has ever seen a bodybuilder pre competition (massive, retaining water…looking like McGwire) knows that by the time competition rolls around they are single digit body fat percentage and with clothes on look much more normal as they weigh 20-30 lbs less. Braun and Griffey may have just been more cut and went that route over bulking up. But this crowd doesn’t get PED use and gives all their favorite players a pass

      • yahmule - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

        The best thing about this debate is watching people high five each other over their shared misinformation. Like you guys.

    • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      No one shields Griffey. You just brought him up, didn’t you? Griffey doesn’t come up because he broke down before he broke any golden records. If he had hit 757 home runs, you bet your sweet derriere you’d be hearing about him.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Simple.

      Griffey was popular. Bonds was a jerk.

      • tysonpunchinguterus - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        And there has never been a credible report linking Griffey Jr. to PEDs. That’s important to acknowledge.

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        tyso, as opposed to what on Bonds? If there was any “there there”, you don’t think the Feds could have proved it when they went any Bonds? They had NOTHING, and that “obstruction” booby prize they got from the jury stinks to high heaven. Read the transcript of his interrogation which has been posted on HBT. No way this was “obstruction”, and they could not convict on anything else.

    • jm91rs - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Griffey was fat when he retired, not ripped. He may have used something, but he essentially tranformed from an athletic teenager to a slightly lazy 41 year old just about like anyone would. He may have used, but you most definitely cannot use his body type as evidence.

      • jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        huh? where did I say his body type after injuries and age hit him was indicative of him using? I am saying, that you can’t give players a pass because they look like Griffey or Braun as opposed to Chris Davis or McGwire. A 190lb guy with 6% body fat can be just as strong as a 240 lb guy with massive muscles but at 18% body fat. Griffey and Braun and Trout all could be the former but most people would not associate their body type as looking PED enhanced. You gotta admit, you never heard anything about Braun being on PED just like you never heard anything about Griffey. But we all know better now. The whole era from the mid to late 80s (after Canseco, Rickey, McGwire) made muscles in vogue and worth it, till about 2007 when they started testing everything is tainted. The pitching, the hitting, all of it. I think for the most part most were using so it was a level playing field to some extent, there are obvious outliers like Bonds who had more assistance using than others. But numbers mean so much in baseball and this more so than any other era is more tainted. And yes, that includes black less baseball as the advantages of a black athlete simply don’t matter as much in baseball as it does for other sports.

  11. Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    No one will succeed at “whitewashing” history. Too many people, doing too much research, and arguing from too many points of view, will place far too much information and way too many perspectives in front of people for any “official” narrative to take root here. Bud Light’s role in perpetuating the steroid era in the first place will be a thoroughly dissected matter of public record. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and the rest of the über-cheaters will be examined, deconstructed, reconstructed and interrogated by critics and historians.

    In the long run, no one is going to get away with anything – the frauds who played and the onlookers who would like to re-present what happened, alike.

  12. bobwheel - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Al Sharpton hadn’t ratted Bonds out.

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      al sharpton ratted bonds out? that’s pretty bizzare, but makes very interesting the report i heard on npr yesterday that sharpton was an fbi informer on the mob. highly entertaining, but we should save this PED stuff for the off season.

      • bobwheel - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        What’s even more bizzare is that you thought I was serious.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        sorry, gullibility is a requirement of twins fandom, and the sharpton is mobbed up report made it seem plausible.

  13. Uncle Charlie - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Just wanted to leave a comment without reading the article. Thanks.

    • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Phooey. The only reason you didn’t read the article is because you didn’t want to be called out for commenting on it without reading it.

      Or something like that….

  14. florida76 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Nobody is whitewashing history, we’re just dealing in reality. The reality that a naturally gifted player made a horrible judgment which tainted his legacy. The reality that he continue to cheat and lie past one of baseball’s most hallowed records.

    It’s simply because of truth and reality that Bonds won’t ever get the HOF nod, and every intelligent person knows the record isn’t authentic. We can’t change the past even if we’d like to, and if Bonds is lucky enough to live to an old age, he just might discover that himself.

    It’s actually pretty funny to see how emotional people are getting, in the end, the moral equivalency folks always lose. The most feeble argument put forth by someone has to be the “well, all pitchers were on steroids, too” This is hilarious beyond measure, with no facts behind it.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      The most feeble argument put forth by someone has to be the “well, all pitchers were on steroids, too” This is hilarious beyond measure, with no facts behind it.

      horrible judgment
      The reality that he continue to cheat and lie past one of baseball’s most hallowed records.
      very intelligent person knows the record isn’t authentic.
      moral equivalency folks always lose

      Who’s making arguments without facts now?

    • illuminancer - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      As a relatively new baseball fan, this is the part I just don’t understand:

      one of baseball’s most hallowed records

      Does any other sport have this attitude, that it’s not just a game, but a religious experience? The ire at Bonds seems to be partly driven by the idea that he profaned something sacred. I didn’t get that before I started following baseball, and even now it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Records get broken. That’s the nature of the sport–for any value of sport–when you consider that each generation of athletes has access to different legal means to enhance performance, like diet and training and medical technology. Eventually someone will get more home runs than Bonds over the course of their lifetime because sport medicine will allow players to perform effectively into their 40′s. Pitchers can already prolong their careers with surgery, while at the same time having wear on their arms saved by not pitching every other day and rarely pitching complete games. Things change, and to insist that a form of entertainment is somehow holy and special because it’s old is baffling to me.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        you need to understand that believing that it’s holy and special IS the entertainment. that’s why there’s such a thing as cubs fans, and most years, twins fans.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        I’ve said it before, if this had been Rickey Henderson on Steroids attaining the all time steals record the level of backlash would be nowhere NEAR what we’re seeing right now.

    • clemente2 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      I know two active agents (one famous) and three ex-MiLB players–they all have said they expect usage percentage of PEDS was higher with pitchers than hitters, and generally more effective–use to rocover takes little extra work. Making PEDs work for hitting requires lots of weight time.

      • clemente2 - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        “…recover…”

      • jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM

        “I’ve said it before, if this had been Rickey Henderson on Steroids attaining the all time steals record the level of backlash would be nowhere NEAR what we’re seeing right now.”

        LOL at you not thinking Rickey was on steroids. He was probably one of the first, along with Reggie Jackson..to use and look the part as well. too much!!

  15. dparker713 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    The All Time Homerun Champ has been a cheater since there’s been an All Time Homerun Champ.

    • Old Gator - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Yeah, the nitrites in all those hot dogs….

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        and the 295 foot right field line

      • dcarroll73 - Apr 9, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        happy, just asking but what park has a 295 foot right field line? That would certainly be shorter than both Fenway and Yankee Stadium.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:29 AM

        dcarrol

        i meant yankee stadium in the 1920′s. when i saw gator mention hot dogs i thought babe ruth.

  16. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    This has been Bud’s mentality for a long while now.

  17. jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    Bonds before PED use was Carlos Beltran. Imagine Carlos Beltran now hitting 70 HR and another 250 in his career and you get Bonds. This means two things. Bonds is slightly overrated prior to PED and/or if Beltran had played in a bigger market he’d have more cred. I also think Beltran has used but not to the extent Bonds did therefore the results are lacking comparably

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      Bonds before PED use was Carlos Beltran.

      This is absolutely insane. Let’s cherry pick here, the best single season marks of Beltran’s career:

      BA: .325 (’09)
      OBP: .415 (’09)
      SLG: .594 (’06)
      OPS+: 154 (’11)
      2b: 44 (’02)
      HR: 41 (’06)
      BB: 95 (’06)

      Bonds Average from ’86 to ’98, .290/.411/.556 – 164 OPS+ with 31 2b, 32 HR, and 104 BB

      Bond’s AVERAGE is only slightly below the best cherry picked stats of Beltran’s career. From ’86 to ’98 Bonds was a 164 OPS+ OF with 400+ steals (76%) and 400+ 2bs and 400+ HR. Beltran won’t even hit those marks, let alone catch the rest of Bonds career.

      • jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Through their age 33 seasons they are very similar numbers wise. Beltran changed leagues and that adjustment hurt him for a season. I think Bonds, like most MLB started using PED in 92 93. This is around the same time Clemens started, and the rest as well. Bonds took it to another level completely with working out and incorporating HGH later on which is why his numbers went full retard. Beltran had two wasted seasons due to injury and he also played on horrible teams throughout his career. Despite that he has 300 HR and 300 SB…no small feat. Take away that league change and two lost seasons to injury and through age 33 they are in the same conversation.

        I’m not arguing that Beltran is as good. Only that he is pretty damn close and he played CF which is harder imo

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Through their age 33 seasons they are very similar numbers wise.

        In what way? Beltran’s first full year was ’99, his age 22 season, so let’s take age 22 to 33 for both:

        Beltran: 1612 G; .282/.359/.494, 119 OPS+; 1745 H, 346 2b, 280 HR, 286 SB (88%), 757 BB (49.8 OWAR, 9.5 dWAR; bref)
        Bonds: 1785 G; .294/.416/.565, 168 OPS+, 1825 H, 377 2b, 395 HR, 409 SB (77%), 1292 BB (75.8 OWAR, 12.1 dWAR; bref)

        In what world are those similar numbers? An almost 60 pt gap in OBP, a 60 pt gap in SLG, 30 more 2b, 115 more HR, 123 more SB…

        If instead of getting jealous of McGwire and Sosa and ‘roiding up, Bonds retired after the ’98 season here’s what he would have had:

        1898 GP
        BA: .290
        OBP: .411 (32nd all time)
        SLG: .556 (21st all time, between Frank Thomas and Mickey Mantle),
        OPS+: 164 (10th all time)
        2b: 403
        HR: 411
        SB: 445

        Only member of the 400/400 club I believe. 99.6 rWAR, 3 MVPs, 6 GG. He would have been a first ballot HoFer then.

  18. gbart22 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    A percentage of simpletons actually makes up the majority of fans in all sports. When teams win more people show up because they are the “band wagon” fans but those are the fans the teams want to attract as the diehards don’t fill up ball parks or arena’s and those band wagon simpletons will always be catered to as they generate the money that flows in the game. They are the eyeballs that tune in to spike ratings instead of watching something else and the butts that fill seats and those folk love offense because it’s exciting. While Many die hards love today’s game it is considered boring to the majority.

  19. jtowme - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    If I entered a 4 cylinder car race with an 8 cylinder engine and won all of my races, would I truly be able to say I hold the record for winning the races? No…and Bonds can’t say that either.
    But my reasons for disliking Bonds go far beyond his PED use. For me it was taking my then 6 year old son from Pittsburgh to Bradenton when I had to scrape together the money to do it. I wanted my son to experience baseball as I never had the chance to do. It was Barry Bonds who shot all the fans the stink eye on his way to the locker room while Bobby Bonilla and Mike Levalier signed autographs for every child that wanted one. Bonds was the biggest star on the Pirate team and possibly in the league and he was too good to stop for even one child. He didn’t have time for a child then and I have no time for him now.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      If I entered a 4 cylinder car race with an 8 cylinder engine and won all of my races, would I truly be able to say I hold the record for winning the races? No…and Bonds can’t say that either.

      But what if there wasn’t a rule against an 8 cyl engine? What if others in the race were using 6 and 8 cyl engines and no one cared about it? In fact, [insert racing league] actively encouraged you to use it? What about now?

      • jrob23 - Apr 9, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        can’t believe people upvote you on this drivel. But there are a group of followers on here back patting all the nonsense spewed so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

        Nothing he said deserved to be downvoted.

  20. pmnick2013 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Baseball execs and media junkies like to tell everyone how to think. If the Hall of Fame was legitimate there would be plaques for the players with the most hits, strikeouts, home runs, etc. Instead the fans are removed from the discussion. Fans are smarter than everyone else. Let the top players into the Hall, where the fans cans say “Oh that guy. He played during the steroid era.” The fans should choose who they like and who they don’t instead of Bud Selig telling them who they should like.

  21. droman79 - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    I mostly love this site, but Craig’s are just so damn predictable already…

    I know, I know, get off the site if you don’t like it, or don’t click on Craig’s articles… I guess I like to be annoyed.

    Sad thing is, I’ll click on the next A-Rod is being screwed story that he posts.

  22. moogro - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Craig posits an interesting theory of communication. For that to work it would mean that subjects aren’t fully formed in the mold of their Creator, and have an unlimited amount of volition and free will, and a constant appeal to Reason. I dunno ’bout that. :)

  23. granfergiachi - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    The 2001 Giants won 90 games, certainly aided by Bonds’ 73 HRs.

    For Barry to not be the HR King, they will have to take away those HRs, vacate some or all of those wins, take Runs away from Jeff Kent and lower Terry Mulholland’s career ERA. None of those things will happen.

    Like it or not, we all need to accept the fact that 762 times Barry Bonds made a ball leave the ballpark. Your team probably lost several games because of it, and that sucks. But it happened.

    • aboutamoo - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Bang. Exactly.

      40 years ago, people argued that Babe Ruth was the “real” Home Run king because he hit 714 home runs in several hundred (thousand?) fewer at-bats than it took Henry Aaron to hit 715. (Also, because they were loathsome racists, but they tried to couch their hatred in a baseball-related argument.)

      The record is “most career home runs”. That’s what it is, and Barry Bonds is the one who holds it. The home runs he hit were real. They counted. Arguing otherwise is, at best, childish.

  24. sdelmonte - Apr 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Barry Bonds didn’t cheat. Under the rules of the game when he was playing, he didn’t cheat. He broke the laws of the United States, and he offended the moral sensibilities of many, but he didn’t cheat.

    And as such, he has to be recognized as the home run king. Unless we are going to travel back in time, change the rules, and catch him using PEDs at that time.

    Of course, if we are doing that, let’s also change the rules in the past to get rid of greenies. And then get rid of every player who used them.

    But since Gaylord Perry, who is a known cheater under the rules of the game in his day, is in the Hall of Fame, I suspect we would be guilty of some form of inconsistency. Or hypocrisy.

  25. nymets4ever - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    NOBODY FRICKIN CARES

    • nbjays - Apr 9, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      You obviously care or you wouldn’t post… therefore you are Nobody.

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