|Could Bonds, Faded from Limelight, Return?|
Written by Paul Keen (Contact & Archive) on May 20, 2008
In the hustle and bustle of the regular season, many of the names and scandals that clouded the pre-season have fallen silent.Â Partially because deep down, itâ€™s probably what we all wanted.Â No one likes to think about the fact that some of the greatest players of all time might have taken drugs to get ahead while others worked hard.Â No one wants to consider the fact that in this day and age when the stakes are the highest and in the eye of the public people can still cheat.Â However, itâ€™s something that needs to be thought about for the simple fact that, regardless of whether or not people are guilty or innocent, careers have been ruined.Â And like the Black Sox Scandal, Lou Gehrigâ€™s retirement speech, or Pete Rose, the downside of baseball is just as much a part of it as the present.
The reason I use the past tense of ruin is because Bonds has not re-signed with the Giants or any other baseball team in the Major Leagues.Â This doesnâ€™t mean the season is necessarily over for Bonds which might have people asking themselves why his career is ruined.Â Itâ€™s because the accusation is like toothpaste.Â Once itâ€™s out there, itâ€™s not really going to get back in.
In case you missed all of the excitement that occurred, or are rather fuzzy on the details, I can recap quickly.Â Since 2003 Bonds has been fighting allegations that he has been taking steroids.Â Granted, if you saw him in Pittsburgh, it had to have crossed your mind, but someone finally had the chutzpa to actually accuse him of it.Â Furthermore it stuck.Â Fast forward to the off-season and you have more allegations that he took drugs.Â In January, Bonds files a motion to have all charges dismissed.Â The Federal Government responds by stating that they have proof Bonds took drugs.Â Bonds since then has been awaiting trial, free on (ahem) bond.
Frankly, part of me wasnâ€™t surprised in the least, and part of me was shocked that the Giants chose not to bring back Bonds for the 2008 season.Â The Giants are not a good team.Â Right now, they need all the help that they can get, and even without the steroids, Bonds has skill.Â It also shocked me because the people of San Francisco have defended Bonds tooth and nail.Â I even remember hearing one Giants fan go on record saying that baseball is a competition, and in competition you need to do whatever you can to make it, even if it means taking drugs.Â So maybe San Francisco can handle drug accusations, but perjury charges and playing free on bond isnâ€™t what they have in mind.
But this is all old news.Â The question is, Where does Bonds go from here?Â What does the future hold for Mr. Barry Lamar Bonds?Â There are two minds on the subject.Â Barry Bondsâ€™s mind says that he still has more baseball in him, and he plans on going for a World Series ring again in 2009.Â He has also said (in not so many words) that heâ€™ll do it with or without the Giants.Â It might be a good thing that he has that attitude because San Francisco doesnâ€™t seem to want to be associated with Bonds anymore.Â Although they arenâ€™t saying it, itâ€™s most likely that the club doesnâ€™t want to go down in history as the club that backed a man facing jail time for perjury under a drug investigation.Â The other side of that is that the Giants might be looking for younger blood.Â Bonds was arguably their best player, but he is also their oldest.
Bonds might be able to beat the rap legally (his salary can buy some fancy lawyers), but he has more to beat than that.Â Bonds has already been judged in the eyes of many baseball fans, and a few who of those fans that have been hoping against hope might be starting to fade.Â