Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Barry Bonds

So, in case you live under a rock, Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run of his career. With this homer, Bonds broke the record previously held by one of the all-time greats: Henry "Hank" Aaron. A lot of people are happy about Bonds breaking the record because he is a fantastic baseball player. And, to a degree, I wouldn't disagree. Bonds in his first decade as a pro was a 30-30 guy. You could count on him to hit around .300, steal thirty bases, and hit thirty dingers. But, then he started juicing (allegedly) and his production amplified in an unnatural way.

This (alleged) juicing carried on for about 6-7 years. Anyway, all of it culminated in him hitting this home run yesterday. To sort of cap this all up because I don't really care about this issue but felt I should comment, Bonds is not at fault for this being a tainted record. He did what was within his rights as an athlete to be the best athlete in his game. That meant that Bonds went on the juice, which has been admitted in a book on this issue called Game of Shadows.

While the evidence overwhelmingly points towards cheating, Bonds shouldn't be faulted for this; Bud Selig, commissioner of the game, should be. He knew it was happening, but Selig allowed it to happen anyway. Anyone with half a mind could look at Mark McGuire from his Bash Bros. days out in Oakland to the end of his career in St. Louis and clearly tell that the dude was on the juice. Same for Canseco. It's not like it was subtle; they grew in nasty large ways. This was all under Selig's watch.

But, these men were not stopped. Bonds only took advantage of a system. But, am I happy for Bonds? Not at all. This chase has been going on for over two months. Everyday I try to watch SportsCenter, they are talking about Bonds and the record. Then when he broke the record, I just didn't care. I think that Bonds cheated, and I don't applaud cheaters. Cutting corners? Fine. Flat-out cheating? No dice.

Regardless of what I feel, he is now the full-fledged king of the dinger. But, I know that this is only temporary as Griffey's only about 4 or 5 seasons away from catching up, 4 or 5 seasons that he can play all the way through. A-Rod is less than 10 years away depending upon when Bonds retires, which will be soon. And, I'd much rather have either of them hold the record than Bonds. Personally, I want Griffey to become the home run king, but that's because I grew up watching Griffey make circus catches out in the deep Kingdome center field. But, A-Rod is much more likely as he is only 32 and has at least 10 more years to play.