free credit score ratings secured credit cards canada capital one equifax credit score range explained online free credit counseling certificate dispute credit report online win pay my chase credit cards online chase prepaid card customer service american express credit card india customer care email id chase credit cards home page cardmember services post office credit card balance transfer to current account dispute transunion credit report chase credit card application phone number globe prepaid cards wholesale price good fico credit score range free transunion credit report and score grand chase prepaid card code generator my annual free credit report from government shell credit card application online credit report government free website annualcreditreport free credit report experian uk equifax free credit report and score free credit report band tabs bank of america credit card rewards center free credit check online transunion hsbc credit card interest rate hong kong shell credit card login user gm hsbc credit card walmart prepaid card review check status of shell credit card application fair credit score range compare credit cards balance transfer fee interest free credit cards uk get transunion credit report denied credit united states government free credit check what is an average credit score 2012 credit card debt advice best way dispute credit report errors fix trw credit report free get free transunion credit report denied credit chase student credit cards with no credit instant free credit report uk all access visa prepaid card login visa prepaid credit cards free credit card calculator interest rate sears credit card services credit score chart 2012 chase credit card account access credit card debt statistics college students walmart credit card services 1-800 secured credit cards to rebuild credit chase prepaid credit cards explained prepaid credit cards online purchases texaco shell credit card payment bad credit credit cards capital one sample letter to dispute credit report errors american express credit card services canada bank of america credit card rewards points 0 percent credit cards balance transfer pay walmart credit card online chase credit cards payment phone number bank of america credit card online services hsbc credit card account dollar general visa prepaid cards chase credit card application form best credit report bureau fico free credit report without credit card info needed which is best credit report agency how to dispute credit report items using credit cards abroad tesco fee free secured credit cards non secured credit cards for people with bad credit jtj credit improvers capital one credit card payment plan names of 3 major credit report agencies stop bank of america credit card offers walmart prepaid card paypal where to get prepaid credit cards in ottawa free credit report commercial new car lyrics internet prepaid card usa credit card calculator interest calculator improve your credit score 2010 free credit rating report australia credit cards for no credit with no deposit required best bank of america credit card rewards alaska airlines bank of america credit card sign in one time credit report purchase fico free credit report commercial guy government annual free credit check trw credit report wiki credit cards 0 interest on purchases for 12 months nbad prepaid card inquiry american express credit card login american express login walmart credit card phone number customer service free credit report uk companies free credit counseling agencies completely free credit report no credit card required free credit score report experian capital one credit cards login in credit score free online free trw credit free trw credit report sample transunion credit report canada walmart credit card application for canada college student credit cards for no credit history free credit report money saving expert credit card balance transfer poor credit history 3 one credit report free trial bureau best buy hsbc credit card account website shell credit card payment address contact virgin credit card ppi visa credit card protection plan unsecured bad credit credit cards with no fees chase credit cards home page phone number government free credit check experian chase credit card payment plan how to get a free credit score report disney chase credit cards payments capital one credit card rewards site get credit score free online without credit card capital one credit card login mobile best credit card balance transfer fee why your credit report matters add prepaid card paypal account walmart credit card customer service phone numbers how much do visa reloadable prepaid cards cost free credit counseling online free transunion credit report canada credit improvers net compare credit card deals uk best credit card deals purchases chase credit card protection plans credit card protection act sears credit card login online start up business credit cards for bad credit free credit score no credit card equifax order transunion credit report by phone experian annual credit report login one time credit report equifax monitoring free prepaid credit cards walmart hsbc credit card india application status shell credit card online account worst credit cards to have hsbc credit card singapore application metabank visa prepaid card fees government credit score free check walmart credit card customer service phone credit improvers inc credit report government once year law equifax credit report free trial best 3 in 1 credit report hsbc sears credit card account online fee free credit cards for business who are the free credit report band view my free credit report experian experian free credit report south africa free credit card details that work bank of america credit card login mastercard what is the best credit report monitoring service experian credit report phone number consumer free credit counseling services california credit cards balance transfer deals transunion credit report online dispute free credit rating check south africa transunion credit score 990 citibank credit card dubai skywards best secured credit cards banks looking free credit report no credit card required sears credit card payment locations walmart credit card interest rate best chase credit cards rewards walmart credit card balance inquiry online credit card interest calculator credit report agencies free credit card balance transfer comparison australia how to negotiate credit card debt credit card calculator interest india ftc how to dispute credit report errors sears credit card application discount credit report gov free annual prepaid credit cards canada where to buy tips on how to raise your credit score capital one credit cards online free score online login how can you improve your credit score fast the best and worst credit cards original free credit report commercial lyrics walmart credit card payment options 24 months interest free credit cards globe prepaid cards expiry chase credit card payment address american express credit card application status singapore annual free credit report program free annual credit report my credit report government free request student credit cards money saving expert equifax free credit report online experian citicards credit cards login citibank hsbc credit card promotion singapore average credit card debt in us dispute credit report experian pay bank of america credit card with debit card need to apply for a walmart credit card capital one credit card application canada transunion credit report free annual capital one credit card pay online clark howard annual free credit report program credit cards with cashback offers fico credit score scale walmart credit card credit card balance transfer offers uae go debt free credit counseling credit card ppi claims hsbc credit improvers co uk american express credit card travel insurance credit report government issued requires free credit rating check online aarp chase credit card log on visa prepaid card fees free credit score check experian walmart credit card services walmart credit card payment canadian walmart credit card application fico credit score range 2011 virgin credit card ppi refund true credit report customer service top credit report agencies free credit report commercial cast equifax free credit report experian credit report non profit credit card debt help transunion credit score meaning credit card balance transfer fee offers good credit score scale bad credit credit cards instant approval - south africa bad credit credit cards 3 credit report agencies us best secured credit cards to build credit 2012 apply for sears credit card online dispute credit report letter template free credit check report uk chase credit card customer service telephone number credit report noodle their sears credit card uk bank of america credit card payment number instant approval credit cards for no credit 0% credit card deals how to use hsbc credit card points reloadable prepaid cards cvs citibank credit card customer service phone dispute credit report information online best prepaid cards no fees free credit repair software for businesses citibank credit card philippines balance inquiry american express credit card login in cardmembers amex prepaid card review capital one credit card canada contact alltel prepaid cards online free government annual credit report best credit card deals 2007 annual credit report equifax free credit report free credit report band winner free credit repair kit software paper on how to eliminate credit card debt shell citibank credit card malaysia best and worst credit cards 2010 free credit repair ebook downloads citibank credit card uk ppi chase credit card debt write off free credit repair software program credit card calculator formula credit report uk government prepaid cards uk paypal net 10 prepaid cards virgin credit card ppi claim back bad credit credit cards instant approval no fee free credit report uk no trial catches chase credit cards payment activate capital one credit card phone number buy t-mobile prepaid cards walmart credit card center on line bill pay dispute credit report experian mailing address need virgin american express credit card uk free credit report gov macy;s american express credit card account capital one credit card phone number payment credit card debt settlement uk get free credit report no credit card required free equifax credit report without credit card best credit cards for bad credit score best credit card deals india sears credit card services account profinity contact number ge money bank walmart credit card balance sears credit card login chase credit card balance transfer address annual credit report experian log credit cards balance transfer 0% shell credit card application free credit card details credit report companies wiki experian credit report dispute address bank of america credit card payment by phone annual credit report transunion consumer mbna credit card ppi reclaim credit card calculator download capital one credit card uk customer services capital one credit card application result credit score check one time fee free use credit cards abroad free credit score uk average credit score experian uk credit report companies house what is an average credit score in 2011 walmart credit card pay bill line check bank of america credit card application compare prepaid credit cards uk equifax credit report promotion code 2011 dispute credit report uk errors pay sears hsbc credit card upromise bank of america credit card phone number find out credit score free online annual credit report experian login walmartmoneycard visa prepaid cards green dot secured credit cards uk only federal government free credit check secured credit cards to rebuild credit canada equifax credit report request pdf t-mobile prepaid cards can you get free credit report without credit card list of the worst credit cards how to improve your credit score with a credit card what happened to the free credit report band free credit report and score canada what happened to the new free credit report band bank of america credit card customer service toll-free bank of america credit card online bill pay login credit cards uk 0 free credit cards no credit check instant approval citi bank secured credit cards cheaper use credit cards abroad 3 free credit report companies credit card debt good credit score range for mortgage secured credit cards for no credit history credit card protection plan put visa prepaid card paypal chase credit card application status 2012 what are the names of the three credit report agencies tesco credit card protection on purchases pay chase credit card with savings account free equifax credit report canada walmart credit card services contact number check your credit score free online without credit card sears credit card payment website free credit score no credit card interest free credit cards bad credit my chase credit cards online business gas credit cards for bad credit credit report government low credit card balance transfer fee check your credit score free no trial online free credit check canada citibank credit card customer service singapore free credit report band contest 2010 credit score range for credit card secured credit cards usa credit card debt write off policy college student credit cards with no job prepaid credit cards free vanilla visa prepaid card vanilla visa gift card western union prepaid card balance free credit report government issued dispute credit report transunion credit score free annual where to report credit card fraud free credit cards online application how to eliminate credit card debt minimum payment apply citibank credit card singapore free equifax credit report and score citibank credit card online payment prepaid cards uk best credit cards balance transfer 0% free trw credit report phone number interest free credit card deals uk bank of america credit card balance transfer offers use prepaid credit cards paypal american express credit card login us free credit check score business credit report uk best way use credit cards abroad credit cards uk compare credit score calculator hsbc credit card malaysia hotline transunion credit score range 2012 shell credit card account online citi best credit card deals 0 on purchases how to get my free credit score online has best credit report service what is the best credit report site are credit card protection plans worthwhile chase credit card services login reloadable prepaid cards no fees free credit check report canada walmart credit card pay bill credit card debt relief how to eliminate credit card debt sears credit card customer service contact credit card ppi reclaim template top 5 worst credit cards annual credit report uk credit score check experian visa prepaid credit cards ireland prepaid card paypal improve your credit score in 24 hours ebook credit report uk business prepaid credit cards paypal canada free prepaid cards verizon hsbc credit card malaysia application status prepaid cards uk post office prepaid credit cards walmart no fees free prepaid credit cards numbers free annual credit report legit website target t-mobile prepaid cards free annual credit report legit these pay off credit card calculator cnn where can i get a one time credit report nationwide credit card protection on purchases pay bank of america credit card in person get free verizon prepaid cards unsecured credit cards for bad credit chase free credit report uk no card details green dot reloadable prepaid cards sears credit card account online access improve your credit score instantly update my true credit report free credit counseling classes visa prepaid card pin number my credit score free online credit cards uk best deals macy;s american express credit card payment address free prepaid credit cards uk site only average credit score by age trw credit report equifax credit report tesco credit cards uk virgin credit cards uk online banking credit cards for no credit or bad credit reclaiming credit card ppi letter template citibank credit card singapore customer service what is a good credit score rating for mortgage capital one credit card rewards redeem walmart credit card cash back bank of america credit card payment address delaware american express credit card india billdesk citibank credit card login malaysia how to improve your credit score overnight credit report experian post credit card calculator uk my free credit score check hsbc credit card points my free annual credit report government average credit score for home loan annual free credit report from experian amazon credit card balance transfer fee how to get a one time credit report equifax 3 in 1 credit report coupon code free credit report gov annual rate free credit report companies capital one credit cards online sign in best credit card balance transfer deals uk best credit report service canada walmart credit card login page ge chase credit card protection services best student credit cards for 2012 hsbc credit card protection plan secured credit cards to rebuild credit wachovia dispute credit report experian address credit score explained wiki experian annual credit report request form free credit karma credit report credit card balance transfer fee calculator free credit report no credit card required credit card debt calculator bank of america credit card payment address sears credit card application canada capital one credit card application prepaid credit cards canada walmart hsbc credit card promotion indonesia chase credit card services elgin il bank of america credit card online banking chase credit cards united visa where to get prepaid credit cards in ontario credit score range uk credit cards 0 interest balance transfers no transfer fee pay chase credit card online rfid credit card protection sleeves equifax credit score range free credit score free trial best credit report service 2012 easy credit score matters login free credit report band commercial transfer fee free credit cards credit report agencies wiki chase credit card balance transfer offer best credit cards for no credit people chase credit cards southwest airlines
Home All Articles Voices on Barry Bonds

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 1087 guests online

Atom RSS

Voices on Barry Bonds PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Articles & Opinion
Written by Various Authors   
Tuesday, 27 November 2007 11:02

A Biz of Baseball ExclusiveThere may be no larger lightning rod in Major League Baseball than Barry  Lamar Bonds. He is arguably baseball’s poster child for performance-enhancing drugs. Nevertheless, he has never tested positive for the use of PED.

In 2003, Bonds testified before a grand jury in the BALCO case and stated that he never knowingly used the “clear” and the “cream”. Four years later, he has been indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice charges for telling the BALCO grand jury that he did not knowingly use anabolic steroids. The indictment (read the full searchable PDF here) uses 19 excerpts of his testimony in 2003 as the basis for the indictment.

When you add in that Bonds is now baseball’s all-time homerun leader, his abrasive persona, the “asterisk”, and whether as a free agent, Bonds will be under contract in 2008, we thought it might be interesting to get the thoughts of some of those that cover baseball in the media. Much as we did in our “32 Voices on the State of the Game” we offer up this compilation of commentary on Barry Bonds. - Maury Brown

The list of authors (in alphabetical order) are:

  • John Brattain - Columnist, The Hardball Times, MSN Canada.
  • Maury Brown - President and Founder, Business of Sports Network. Author, Baseball Prospectus
  • Fred Claire - Former VP and GM of the Dodgers, Author, and
  • Ken Davidoff - National baseball writer, Newsday
  • Jordan Kobritz - Staff member, Business of Sports Network. Former owner of the Daytona Cubs Baseball Club, and the Maine Guides Baseball Club.
  • Tim Lemke - Sports business reporter for the Washington Times
  • Rob Neyer - Author and Senior baseball writer for ESPN
  • Roger Noll - Author and Sports Economist, Stanford University
  • Jayson Stark - Author and Senior baseball writer for ESPN
  • Paul Swangard - Director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center
  • Andrew Zimbalist - Author, consultant, and Sports Economist, Smith College

Select Read More to read Voices on Barry Bonds 

Zimbalist ANDREW ZIMBALIST - Author of several books, including In the Best Interests of Baseball? The Revolutionary Reign of Bud Selig and The Bottom Line: Observations and Arguments on the Sports Business , sports consultant and Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics at Smith College specializing in sports economics

From what appears in the indictment, my sense is that there is not enough information to convict Bonds.  It will be followed in the media as a personal interest story and felicitously bring more attention to baseball during the offseason.  Most of the bad news is already known or discounted.  I don’t see baseball suffering from this, or, frankly, from the Mitchell report. 

Bonds will fade, but his records will stand, with or without a printed asterisk.  They will always have at least an implied asterisk.  Removing his records entails removing the records of everything Bonds touched, as well as everything touched by the dozens, if not hundreds, of other performance enhancement substance users.  This may take us back to the amphetamine era of the 1950s and 1960s, and earlier. 

(Read interviews with Andrew Zimbalist on The Biz of Baseball from 2004 and 2006)

Jayson Stark

JAYSON STARK - Senior baseball writer for ESPN. Author of The Stark Truth: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History

Let me talk about Barry's Hall of Fame prospects.

I never feel comfortable saying definitively how I'll vote on anybody's Hall of Fame candidacy five years or more before the ballot shows up. But since I'm one of the people who voted for Mark McGwire, some people might automatically assume I'd also vote for Barry. Well, if Barry gets convicted in this case, here's why he'd be different.

For one thing, he'd almost certainly wind up doing jail time on a federal felony, and since voters are specifically instructed to factor in "character" and "integrity," he would be off the charts in negative character-and-integrity points.

Second, one of the big reasons I voted for McGwire is that I'm not comfortable with all the assumptions voters have to make on virtually all the players of that generation. We're pretty sure hundreds of players were doing or taking something in that era. So I don't think it's logical to make stands against just a few players, while voting for others, even though I have no definitive evidence on any of them. I would like to be as consistent as possible on the whole generation. So unless or until I have more facts to work with, I'm going to go with the precedent set by voters for years on players who cheated in all sorts of forms: If baseball let them play, I'm going to vote on their credentials as players -- measured against their peers.

But if Barry is convicted, he would separate himself from virtually everyone else because he would be the one player who gave us a chance to connect all the dots. Between the courts and Game of Shadows, we would know exactly what he did, how he did it, when he did it and even why -- specifically to break the greatest records in sports. So the body of evidence against him would put him in a category all his own.

Now if he's acquitted, or the Mitchell Investigation creates a whole different set of circumstances, my point of view may shift and evolve. I always reserve that right. I also respect how great a player Barry was before 1999. So I'm not committing to a vote either way. But if he's convicted, there is no way -- none -- he'll be elected to the Hall of Fame. And if baseball's all-time home run champ and all-time hits leader are both kept out of the Hall of Fame, that's a black mark on this sport that will never fade.

(Read the Biz of Baseball interview with Jayson Stark)

Fred ClaireFRED CLAIRE - Former VP and GM of the Dodgers, Author of My 30 Years in Dodger Blue, and currently with

Barry Bonds established himself as a great player before there was any discussion or hint of the use of steroids by Major League players. He was definitely on track to enter the Hall of Fame. Bonds' past and future have now been clouded by the fact the federal government has indicted him for perjury and obstruction of justice, charging him with lying to a grand jury when he said he unknowing used steroids. Bonds deserves to have his day in court but he will be remembered more for his link to steroids than his accomplishments on the baseball diamond. Baseball will move past the era of steroids but Bonds will forever be stuck in that troubling period of time.

(Read the Biz of Baseball interview with Fred Claire)

Ken Davidoff KEN DAVIDOFF - National baseball writer, Newsday.

The indictment impacts Bonds' career in the short term, as it's difficult to envision any team signing an indicted player.

As for the bigger-picture issue of Bonds' legacy, I'm not sure that an indictment, or even a conviction, is going to make much difference. We all know that Bonds cheated to reach the top, but he did so in an era when cheating was rampant, and when the supposed watchdogs (the commissioner, the union, the media) did essentially nothing until it was too late. We all know that this indictment is the result of a witch hunt, the government's effort to prop itself up by bringing down a big name. The indictment reflects as poorly upon our government and our media as it does upon Bonds.

Bonds' legacy will be that he was the best performer at a time when nearly everybody disgraced themselves.

ROGER NOLLProfessor Emeritus of Economics, Stanford University

The indictment of Bonds provides no new information.  Letting an expensive, four-year investigation end without an indictment would have been very costly politically for the already under siege San Francisco U. S. Attorney's office.  The grand juries that actually heard the evidence have long since been dismissed, and all of the evidence that supports the indictment was published years ago.  The biggest surprise is the shoe that did not drop -- the failure to indict over tax evasion.

Getting a jury to convict Bonds faces two big problems.  One is the well-known difficulty of convicting someone of perjury when he says that he did not know something.  Here Bonds was smart to testify that he did not knowingly take steroids.  The other is the difficulty of convicting someone of perjury for lying about something that was not a crime when the alleged act took place.  Moreover, by the time this case is tried, the Mitchell Report will be out, and it will accuse a long list of top players of taking performance-enhancing drugs.  This report will be used by Bonds' lawyers to argue that their client is being singled out and thereby has been denied equal protection.

Despite all of this, the indictment is a convenient excuse to prevent Bonds from playing again, if there was any chance of that before the indictment was handed down.  The press will have a field day with any team that tries to negotiate a deal with him, and even if he is signed, the Commissioner may reject it.

Given all of the above, my expectation is:

(1) Bonds will never play again (although I would have poredicted this even if he had not been indicted);
(2) The charges will be dropped, the case will be dismissed, or he will be acquitted;
(3) Bonds' records will not be expunged and he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame within two years of being eligible, mainly because baseball can not punish every athlete who took these drugs and can not single out Barry Bonds as an exception;  and
(4) Baseball will survive.

Rob NeyerROB NEYER - Author and Senior Writer,

The day the latest news about Barry Bonds broke, I heard something on TV that I found truly offensive. This came from a sort-of colleague of mine, so I hope you'll excuse me for leaving his identity to your detective work, if you're really interested.

Anyway, first he said this about Mark McGwire, and the widespread belief that his exploits, particularly in 1998, were gained with the help of illicit drugs: "We mention it, but it's in passing as he was able to walk away from the game quietly, without any kind of repercussions or ramifications whatsoever to anything outside of his image."

What's so odd about this claim is that not even one year ago, Mark McGwire made his first appearance on the Hall of Fame ballot. A few weeks later the results were announced; McGwire received 128 votes. But 417 voters did not vote for McGwire, which left him far short of election. Doesn't being denied baseball's greatest honor count as "outside of his image"? What's more, the fact is that nobody -- not the league, not the media, and not the government -- was all that interested in PEDs a decade ago. The enormity of the issue simply hadn't sunk into the public consciousness yet.

But wait, it gets worse. This same commentator said, "Anybody who denies that race doesn't play some role in all of this has their head in the sand, it's on purpose, and they need to just be dismissed and ignored, for their ignorance or their flat-out lying ability."

Got that, everybody? Granted, the significance of "some role" is open to interpretation. But if you choose to take issue with the role of "race" -- which is a pretty squishy concept anyway -- you're either ignorant or you're lying. And you must be dismissed and ignored Lovely way to start a conversation, don't you think?

(Read "5 Questions with Rob Neyer here on The Biz of Baseball)

PAUL SWANGARD - Director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center

The Barry Bonds saga has just cemented the reality that sports is now just another form of entertainment. Any baseball fan, visiting any park, on any given day in the last 10 years has probably witnessed a cheat.

Sadly, the attendance figures just prove that what makes the business most profitable is not those who believe in the tradition or sanctity of the game...rather those who just consume it for its entertainment value. Whether you like him or not, Barry has been entertaining...but he has contributed to a fundamental change in the value proposition of sport. For most fans today, they are dissappointed...but it doesn't matter. To me, that's a little dissapointing. We should expect more from sport.

TIM LEMKE - Sports Business reporter for the Washington Times

I’m not sure Barry Bonds’ indictment for perjury and obstruction of justice means all that much. Sure, it means a lot to Bonds, since he’s facing possible jail time. And I suppose it’s significant that prosecutors plan to present evidence of a positive steroid test.

But there are very few people in baseball, the media or the general public that did not already believe he cheated. Does the indictment mean that Bud Selig will suspend Bonds? Not necessarily. My guess is the Commissioner will wait until there’s some sort of resolution to the case. And even then, he may choose not to act at all if he believes Bonds is done playing.

Selig could impact Bonds’ Hall of Fame candidacy by serving him a lifetime ban. But I am not aware of a single BBWAA member who planned to vote for Bonds anyway.

I’m interested to see how the Bonds’ situation will play out, but I’m more interested in reading the contents of the upcoming Mitchell report, which will hopefully shed some light on not just Bonds, but the multitude of players who’ve been involved with steroids over the years.

Baseball's in good shape. Attendance and revenues are up, and the sport's steroid testing program should give us greater confidence that cheating isn't widespread. Here's to hoping that Bonds indictment, followed by the Mitchell report, will allow us to move on from the issue and enjoy the game on the field.

JORDAN I. KOBRITZ - Staff Member - Business of Sports Network. Former owner of the Daytona Cubs Baseball Club, and the Maine Guides Baseball Club.

Get ready for O.J. redux.  From the media frenzy to the acquittal, the Bonds trial will mirror the O.J. fiasco.  The feds have a weaker case against Bonds than California had against O.J.  So why indict?  Because the feds are convinced that Bonds lied to the grand jury - a no-no in prosecution circles - after he was granted immunity.  And they’re right.  But knowing it and proving it in a courtroom are two different things.

Unfortunately, this case will do nothing to reduce or eliminate the illegal use of PED’s in baseball.  Bonds is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice, not illegal use of PED’s.  Besides, he’s effectively “retired” and beyond the jurisdiction of MLB.  And forget about asterisks and rewriting the record books.  Even MLB isn’t foolish enough to go down that endless road.

One thing the feds did get right:  They went after the suppliers, not the users.  That’s why Victor Conte and Greg Anderson went to prison, and Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield were never charged.  If MLB did likewise, the anticipated Mitchell Report would focus on Messrs. Selig and Fehr, rather than individual players.  Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are even less than a Bonds conviction.  

John Brattain JOHN BRATTAIN -John is a weekly columnist for The Hardball Times and MSN Canada

What this is really all about can be summed up thusly: Barry Bonds should have been nicer to people. Bonds was, at one time, a three-time MVP, a potent power/speed mix and,despite an unremarkable throwing arm, a gifted outfielder. Had he never touched performance-enhancing drugs he would not be far off from where he is right now. At the end of 1998, he had hit 411 home runs and nine major league seasons have transpired since. Many factors besides steroids have come into play in the current era and Bonds benefited from them, as did all hitters. To think a player of his calibre could not have averaged at least 35 home runs per season in this environment is asinine. If he hadn’t hit 73 HR in2001 Bonds would have had a lot more opportunities to go yard from 2002 until today.

What people forget is that to discount Bonds’ achievements requires a supposition. That being, if Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz etc, were put on Bonds’ PED and training regimen that they too--during the decline phase of their careers, could top the levels set by the likes of Babe Ruth. Is ‘decline phase + steroids’ a better combination than ‘athletic peak - no steroids’ for an elite level player? It is
beginning to appear that anabolic steroids have been quite prevalent in MLB for quite some time yet only one man has reached the levels of Barry Bonds and that is Bonds himself.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. It has been said that you should treat folks nice on the way up since you’ll be seeing them on the way down. Every superstar in every walk of public life have experienced this truism. Those who mistreated people were treated likewise when their stardom no longer offered protection. Bonds felt he was immune from this phenomenon; that he would always be protected by the fact he was “Barry BondsÒ.” He expected different results even though history has taught us otherwise repeatedly. Yes, he used performance-enhancing drugs. Yes, he lied to a Grand Jury. Make no mistake though; this is happening because Barry Bonds lived his professional life reminding almost everybody by word and action that he was one of baseball’s all time greats and they are not.

For all the records, money, and accomplishments, Barry Bonds spent 22 years in the big leagues and now all his hard work has gone for naught. However, the biggest tragedy in all of this is that for such a celebrated life, he never really seemed to enjoy what he was doing. Whether he was trying to erase the records of pre-Jackie Robinson players, avenge the slights inflicted on his father, or be known as the best ever at his chosen profession he never took the time to understand that baseball is supposed to be fun. He was so preoccupied with keeping the rabble at a distance that he never understood that one day the rabble would be the ones trying to keep him away.

Only three people showed up at Ty Cobb’s funeral--if that’s the price of trying to be great at all costs can it really be called greatness?

Maury BrownMAURY BROWN - Founder and President - Business of Sports Network, of which The Biz of Baseball is a member. Author, Baseball Prospectus.

When responses for this compilation on Barry Bonds started to come in, nearly everyone agreed that the topic has grown tiresome. Many felt they had nothing to say that hadn’t already be said. Some were simply tired of the whole story.

It’s a sad tale, if you think about it.

Barry Bonds seems pathetic. And the Federal investigators are much the same. The millions of dollars placed into what can best be described as a trophy hunt is enough to make anyone nauseous. The fact that the indictment came after Bonds broke Aaron’s record speaks volumes. The fallout will be considerably less if the Feds lose this case now, than if they tried to convict before the record was broken. Oh, and the fact that the tax evasion charges aren’t in the mix weakens the case further.

And while I can’t say MLB is "pathetic", there seems to be this prevailing sense that we (the fans, and those that cover baseball) are somehow a merry band of fools -- a group of lemmings willing to accept that the individual players are the ones responsible for the "Juiced Era". We’re somehow lead to believe that neither management nor the union are not somehow culpable for the situation that game is in. I often wonder if Selig washed his hands of the matter before placing them in his pockets the day Bonds hit career home run #755, tying Henry Aaron.

Look, we’re not stupid. Management turned a blind eye, and the union foisted up players’ rights as a way to let the PED culture permeate the game to the levels we are witnessing after the '94 strike. If this isn’t the case, then the whole lot should be canned for being inept.

As for Barry Lamar Bonds, he’s going to go out like a lamb. Unless Bonds is willing to take some offer miles below market value, no team will put the man with the scarlet letter “A” on his chest under contract.

Jayson Stark seems to hit on the one topic that is of most interest to me: How will the HOF react if Bonds is found guilty? The Hall of Fame has never been confronted by a situation like this before, and their actions will be a large part of baseball’s history, if Bonds is guilty.

Barry, and the whole sordid steroid topic in baseball has become a tale of apathy. Wake me when baseball turns inward, looks itself in the mirror and says, “We created the monster.”




Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?