I’m not writing this to defend Barry Bonds as a person.
I’m not going to support a guy who tells a small group of six-year-olds to “f*** off” when they want an autograph. My parents taught me better than to support a guy like Bonds.
I also can’t explain how, during what should be the decrescendo in a player’s career, Bonds got better.
And better. And bigger. And stronger. His head, which figuratively was always big, continued to grow. Literally. In his 30s, when most men lose what muscle they’ve accumulated throughout their lives, Bonds continued to put on more. The only place Ken Griffey Jr. has put on weight is in his backside and his belly. He hasn’t put pounds of muscle on his legs, arms and chest.
Griffey is the poster boy of how a man’s body begins to deteriorate in his late 30s. Bonds, however, is the polar opposite.
But one has to admit, Bonds has unbelievable, God-given talent, steroids or not. He was an outstanding player as a wiry Pittsburgh Pirate at 6-feet and 180 pounds, and he is an outstanding player as a muscle-bound San Francisco Giant at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds.
It’s not a far stretch to say he’s one of the greatest players of our generation. After all, he invented and remains the lone player in baseball to hit 500 home runs and steal 500 bases. It’s up to the individual to believe whether he used “flaxseed oil” (according to Bonds) or if he used steroids known as ‘the clear” and “the cream” (according to the court of public opinion, and allegedly federal court documents).
Let’s face it, Bonds broke the most hallowed record in sports earlier this month. I don’t want to admit it, but for now, he is the home run king. Most people couldn’t tell you how many points Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored in his NBA career, and they probably couldn’t tell you how many yards Dan Marino threw for. For one reason or another, 755 home runs was the most hallowed record in sports.
Until earlier this month. The day Bud Selig, Henry Aaron, and everyone outside the Bay Area feared came to fruition. With that “majestic” swing of his, Bonds drilled an 84-mph fastball to the deepest part of AT’T Park.
So there it was, 756, or 756* according to some. The most cherished record in sports was shattered with the quick flip of the bat by a surly, (allegedly) chemically-enhanced, freakishly-talented individual, whose attitude and disposition toward the media and fans won him over in no places except Pittsburgh and San Francisco.
However, give the grouch some credit. It’s not easy to hit a 96-mph fastball with a two pound wooden stick 450 feet into the night sky. And he isn’t the first, nor is he the last to “allegedly” cheat in the game of baseball.
See the March 2005 Congressional Testimonies involving some of the “good” guys in the game of baseball for further evidence.