|No longer a shred of doubt about Bonds|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on November 18, 2007
News reports quoting the filed indictment indicate that Barry has tested positive for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs since 2000, the year he broke the single season home run record held by Mark McGwire who has all but confessed that he used similar substances.Â And the test results, this time wonâ€™t be shielded.Â Â The MLBPAâ€™s (thatâ€™s the Playersâ€™ Union to most of us) will not be able to wrap them in their cocoon of obscuration, nor spin them, nor blackmail baseball into not releasing the details â€“ because baseball will have no say in the matter.
These will be public records and while the defense will attack the validity of the tests, they will erase any doubt as to if the slugger used steroids or other drugs.Â No one will be able to say any longer that we need to presume that Barry was innocent.Â No, the only conclusion that fans will be able to draw is that the man who holds two of baseballâ€™s most coveted records â€“ single season home runs and alltime home runs â€“ is nothing more than a fraud during the best seasons of his career.
Yes, Barry is a child of the times, when big home run totals have equaled big contracts and put plenty of fans in the seats.Â Â For a while he was seen as good for the game.Â But that time will have passed when the records become public â€“ even if he isnâ€™t convicted of perjury or sent to prison.Â Â Thatâ€™s because those public drug test records will be inconvertible proof that Barry cheated.
Even in the minds of his most ardent and self deluding supporters, heâ€™ll join the pantheon of players whoâ€™ve compromised the integrity of the game along with Pete Rose, Joe Jackson and the Rest of Black Sox, men who had great skills, enviable talents and questionable moral compasses.Â Â No, Bonds, like Rose, or Jackson wasnâ€™t evil.Â There was no malice toward the fans in his use of steroids.Â There was just stupidity and greed â€“ the love of the fame and the never ending quest for the big contract.
When the tests are entered into evidence, Barry will not just have cheated the owners out of wheelbarrows full of dollars, but heâ€™ll have cheated the fans â€“ all the fans, especially the kids, and the devout fans, who have lived and died for this game over the past decade.Â Â And it will make us question a lot of things about baseball â€“ especially the relationship between the owners and the Players Union and how they colluded to cover up a scandal which should have been wrapped up years ago.
That indeed makes this â€śa sad day for baseball.â€ť