The big news coming out of sports today is that Barry Bonds allegedly took steroids, in other news scientists discovered cats and dogs don't like each other. Now, I'm a Barry Bonds apologist, and personally I don't see what the big deal is about this book. It appears to be an encyclopedia of all of the rumors and allegations that we've been discussing (or in other words had forced down our throats by ESPN) for the past 5 years. I love baseball, its arguably my favorite sport, and I would trade a Pistons title for the chance to see the Tigers in the World Series........and I love the Pistons, but personally I'm just tired of hearing about steroids, I just don't care anymore, it was a problem in the past which will hopefully be put to rest by the stricter testing, harsher suspensions, blah, blah, blah. I'm ready to move on but I just can't get away from this, I'm actually more interested in seeing Karim Garcia in uniform again in the WBC then hearing another story about steroids. So having said that I'm going to completely contradict myself and write five observations about the most recent steroid scandal.
1: The thing that bothers me the most, and about the only thing left for Barry Bonds supporters like myself to stand on is the fact that he's never failed a drug test. Even with all of the evidence that SI came out with today the most glaring omission was there failure to explain how he was masking his steroid use, or whether the steroids he was allegedly using were undetectable. I find it hard to believe that he could be shooting up with steroids on a daily basis, showing up at drug tests with a needle practically hanging out of his ass and still pass EVERY ONE of them. Also I keep hearing talking heads talk about the court of public opinion and how thats all that matters. Wrong, the court of public opinion has hated Barry Bonds for about 10 years or more. He could be totally vindicated tomorrow, break the home run record, and put an end world hunger and 90 percent of the population would still think he was an asshole because he gets short with Pedro Gomez after being asked about steroids for then 5,982nd time.
2. If he did take steroids he wasnt breaking any rules, and thats Major League Baseballs fault and not his. If a great player has the chance to become the greatest player of all time, by taking a substance that baseball had been glacially slow to outlaw, thats his choice. It certainly isnt morally right but neither is cheating on your wife, or being a crack head, or a drunk. When we start looking at athletes to determine our values, which many people seem to do, well maybe its time to start re-evaluating things. Also it's not entirely inconceivable that someone who is a workout fanatic and dedicates his life to being one of the greatest athletes is able to play longer and more effectively then fat ass Babe Ruth who smoked cigars in the dugout, battled syphilis, and lived in a time when people were still dying of Tuberculosis in this country on a large scale.
3. I don't think they should put an asterisk by Barry Bonds name, based on hearsay and suspicion. Should they put an asterisk by Roger Maris' record season because he played a longer.......oh wait they tried that, and immediately realized how stupid and shortsighted that was. Speaking of Babe Ruth should people recognize his homerun total when he played in an era with no Latin or African American players. Can you imagine how many homeruns Adam Dunn would hit this season if he got to tee off on the Jason Johnson's of the world of the world on an almost daily basis.
4. Was anything more satisfying for a Detroiter then watching Jeffri Chadiha calmly and rationally destroy a reactionary Drew Sharp on Jim Rome today. I'm not just saying this because I hate Drew Sharp, which I do since he quit trying to write columns about five years and started to follow Stephen A. Smiths career path of shouting people down and trying to be intimidating over being right, but its always a pleasure to see Drew Sharp get put in his place.
5. Finally I touched on this in the beginning but I hate that this book is being released the week before Opening Day. I hate it beyond words so in protest I will never, ever buy or read this book. I won't let this book, steroids, or Barry Bonds ruin my passion for baseball, because well...thats what I follow the Tigers for.