September 21, 2005

Dead & Barry'd

  • Giants 4, Nationals 3

First, we should clear (& cream) up a few things. Barry Bonds is a cheater. He is a steroid user, and all his stats are suspect. Nevertheless, he is the single best hitter of his generation. So the "we're going to treat him like any other hitter" school of thought doesn't strike me as brilliantly original thinking so much as stubborn determination to ignore reality. That said, the one time the Nats did the right thing and walked Bonds, Livo gave up his soon to be patented 3-run homer to Moises Alou. A strategy is only as good as its execution.

Going to the game tonight, to add my voice to the Greek chorus of baseball moralism. The pro-Bonds argument runs thus: A) He's been drug-tested out the wazoo for the 6 months, so he must be clean now. B) He has never publicly admitted using banned performance enhancing substances, so he can't be penalized. I will grant you that A) is more likely than not true, unless Barry has a next generation Whizzinator we know not of. But here's my problem with B):

I don't want to send Barry to jail for steroid use, or subject him to any civil penalty under law, so I have no use for the trappings of legal guilt or innocence. Pete Rose was ostracised from baseball for betting on the game despite consistently and vociferously denying for decades that he bet on the game. "Shoeless Joe" Jackson was tarred with the same brush as his teammates for throwing the World Series, despite evidence that he played his heart out on the field. Barry has admitted (in leaked grand jury testimony) to using steroids. That's it, game over. Wipe his records. Let him continue to play if he wants, let him rack up as many home runs as he can, but let his name appear nowhere in the official annals of baseball. There are no rules for achieving baseball milestones. There has never been a standard of proof, or leeway for reasonable doubt. On the field of public opinion, one strike ought to be more than enough to put Barry Bonds out.

2 comments:

Watson said...

Well said.

Dave said...

Yup.

'Nuff said.