The jury is still in deliberations. In fact, at the time of this writing, they are in day 3. Why the fascination with Bonds? Is it because of the single-season homerun record (73)? The career homerun record (762)? The lies, cheating and deceit? No. It’s because his head has gotten so BIG. Literally and figuratively!
Funny thing is, the 1987 Topps Baseball series is the first set of cards that I managed to get a complete set. I didn’t set out to make a complete set. I was just trying to get all of the Mets cards, a Team Set if you will. The Mets had won the World Series and, since I was now living in Las Vegas, the baseball cards were my only connection to the game.
So, when all this Baroid Bonds started up, I started digging thru my collection of cards. I did find my Bonds rookie card. To tell the truth, I couldn’t believe it was the same person. Seriously, 1987 Bonds doesn’t even remotely look like 2007 Bonds.
I digress yet again…
The point of this is not to rehash and regurgitate what has been said before. No, it’s to discuss his big head. Barry has got an ego the size Burj Khalifa. It’s this ego that won’t let him admit that he did drugs. It’s his ego that won’t let this mess go away. He’s not the only one. Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro are two more. Let’s not forget the latest one to let his ego get in the way, Manny Ramirez.
But these aren’t the only guys to get busted with steroids. Oh no. We also have Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, and Alex Rodriguez. What do all these guys have in common, aside from the fact that they have all played for the Yankees*, that sets them apart from the previously mentioned bunch of illegal drug users**? One word:
Yeah, all four of those guys admitted (to a certain degree) to having done steroids at some point in their career. Not going to go into detail, just Google them to get more info. The thing is, how much more have you heard about these guys and the steroid allegations? Not a whole heck of a lot. Why? One word:
I think that, in general, we want to forgive people, especially larger-than-life figures. Nixon, Clinton, Steinbrenner have all been forgiven for their transgressions. Baseball players fall into the same category. For all their homeruns hit and strikeouts pitched, we want to believe they are human, just like us. They can falter, just like us. They can admit mistakes, just like us.
I really think that if Barry would have admitted from day one that he had taken steroids and asked for forgiveness, we would have forgiven him. If he would have said that he is no longer doing steroids, we would have believed him. Fans outside of San Francisco would have cheered for him. Heck, I would have cheered for him. Would he have broken Babe Ruth’s homerun record? Probably. Would he have broken Hammerin’ Hank’s homerun record? Doubtful. Would we look at his single season homerun record as legit? Not likely, but how is that any different from the way it is looked at now?
But Barry’s ego won’t let him even imagine that he did anything wrong. In the end, it’s going to be Barry’s ego that’s going to leave his legacy tainted.
*Interesting isn’t it? But that’s a rant for another day.
** The fact that all PEDs are illegal should be enough to ban them from the game. Again, a rant for another day.