Recently, there was an article in which the author took the position that it has never been proven in a court of law that Barry Bonds used steroids. How naïve can one get?
Compare Barry Bonds’ career from his rookie season of 1986 through 1999, when he was 34 years old, to his career from 2000-2004.
Until 2000, Bonds batted .288 with a .409 on base average and a .559 slugging average.
From 2000-2004, he batted .339 with a hard to believe .535 on base average and a .781 slugging average.
Until 2000, he averaged 32 home runs, 93 RBIs, and 102 walks a season.
From 2000-2004, he averaged 52 home runs, 109 RBIs, and 174 walks a season.
No player in baseball history increased his offensive production so dramatically after the age of 34.
Compare photographs of Bonds in 1998 to photographs of Bonds after 2000 ( http://azbass.com/barry-bonds-barry-bonds-jury-lukewarm-on-baseball-and-balco/2011/03/22/ ). Age does not usually result in such radical changes.
Bonds admitted that he used steroids but claimed that he was unaware that what he thought were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream were steroids. No further proof is needed.
In his recent trial in which he was convicted of a felony, Bonds’ lawyer told the jury that his client had indeed taken steroids but that he didn’t know it because Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson, led him to believe the substances were not steroids.
Anderson’s actions were those of a coward. He refused to testify at Bonds’ trial, which really seals the case.
If Anderson’s testimony would have helped to exonerate Bonds, he would have testified, but it is not difficult to infer that if Anderson had testified, Bonds would have been sent up the river.
As he neared Hank Aaron’s career home record, Bonds was supremely arrogant and disrespectful. He almost dared the government to go after him.
During the all-star break in Chicago in 2003, Bonds told reporters “The only number I care about is 715 [homers] because as a left-handed hitter, what it means is that I wiped him out. To the baseball world, Babe Ruth is baseball. I got him on slugging percentage, I got him on on-base, I got him on walks. And then I can take his home run record and that’s all – you don’t have to talk about him no more.”
We live in a society of laws. We are all equal before the law. Individuals who perjure themselves are snubbing their noses at the justice system.
Whether we agree with a law or not is irrelevant. There are wonderful, democratic methods to change laws.
Being a baseball player is a privilege, not a right. Barry Bonds was given the chance, as are all Americans (actually, slightly less than one-half Americans) to earn fantastic sums of money playing major league baseball.
Major League Baseball is a private entity. Those who run the game make up the rules. Those individuals who don’t like the rules can leave. It’s that simple.