Thursday, December 02, 2004

Leave The Game Barry

Sound the alarms. Our national pastime is near the point of irreparable harm.

We all could deduce that Jason Giambi like Gary Sheffield, Ken Caminiti, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco used steroids. Anyone could easily analyze the evidence logically. The sudden increase in production, the eventual increase in niggling injuries and the subsequent decrease in production and not to mention having accused steroid vendors as acquaintances.

This leads us to the apocalyptic question for the game. The question, that if answered positively, could only be rivaled in the damage it sustains on the game by the 1919 Black Sox scandal--Did Barry Bonds use steroids in his run-up to breaking the all-time home run record?

Barry Bonds must not be allowed to pass Babe Ruth’s 714 homeruns or break Henry Aaron’s Major League record 755 homers. These are hollowed records in baseball history. A ubiquitous asterisk must not be placed in the record books.

In practical terms, what can be done? Really, nothing. Bonds has neither admitted nor been formally accused of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. All the circumstantial evidence points to him, though. It’s highly unlikely that Commissioner Bud Selig will intervene on the matter. He’s been complicit to the entire reworking of Bonds’ public persona during his run to 755. He’s chosen to ignore any steroid issue when it pertains to Bonds and will continue, at least, until the courts intervene.

A federal judge in San Francisco is contemplating holding evidentiary hearings on the four defendants involved in the BALCO case in January. This may be the arena where evidence of steroids use on Bonds’ behalf become known.

Could we imagine a scenario in the coming weeks where Bonds hangs up his cleats and settles for third on the all-time homers list? There are many convenient excuses that one could conjure. He’ s burned out. He’s old (he has already begun to use this line last season), maybe the fun isn’t in the game since his father died last year or the old “I want to spend more time with family” schtick.

Leave his records as they are now as long as he leaves the game today. It is about time that Barry Bonds is revealed as the most morally corrupt athlete of our time. Given that he is already vilified by nearly everyone but Giants’ fans, he has nevertheless been able to duck the criticism that he truly deserves.

He was already one of the game’s greatest power hitters. He needed more? He needed to obliterate all the game’s most famous marks and do it fraudulently? He’s nothing more than a greedy, petulant, egomaniacal Giant.