Barry Bonds' 756 home runs is no more offensive than Tiger Woods' records or Jack Nicklaus records
Those declaring Barry Bonds breaking Henry Aaron’s home run record the end of sports civilization are as in touch with reality as Paris Hilton or well … a reality TV star. Yes, there is more evidence linking Bonds to steroids than Sergio Garcia to bad fashion sense.
Bonds broke the record under the standard conditions of his times. If you don’t think the majority of major league baseball was on performance enhancing drugs - and still is on the more potent and undetectable HGH - the Tooth Fairy is probably offering you a ride along on her rounds tonight. Those big jumps in radar gun fastball readings in the late 90s aren’t just happenstance. And do you really think it’s coincidence that pitchers started rediscovering their dominance in their 40s and started racking up Cy Youngs again?
There is virtually no competitive imbalance in Bonds’ home run binge - except the fact that he may have been more meticulous about the extra boost that most of his peers were also getting.
Bonds earned his record under the playing field of his time, just like Tiger Woods dominates in the circumstances of his time and Jack Nicklaus set the majors mark under the conditions of his time.
Now no one thinks that Woods and Nicklaus took steroids themselves. But you can be sure that Tiger’s played against a number of guys on some form of the juice. If anything Gary Player’s numbers seem low.
The reason steroids are a bigger deal in golf than in baseball, as I wrote in this column, is because golf fans believe it’s still a gentleman’s game. Golf fans care much more about steroids than baseball fans do.
The majority of baseball fans are indifferent to what these guys put into their bodies. Actual baseball fans are much more reality based than most sportswriters. Golf fans still hold onto their naivity and fantasies of fair play.
Which isn’t a bad thing. Just don’t rip on Bonds for dealing in the reality of his time.
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I agree with the hirsute one that it is equal to the times. Babe set the standard, doing whatever he did, when no one paid attention and/or swept it under the carpet. All who come after will be held to standards that blur with the passage of time.
Remember the Maris asterisk? 61 homers in more games with fewer at-bats. Explain the logic in that one. If the science of pitching has surpassed the science of hitting, or vice-versa, this is not the same game that Babe nor Henry played.
That said, steroids is illegal, no matter how many MLB players are taking them. (I'd say 90% have at some point). Those drugs can take you from a hitter to a home run banger like what happened with Bonds. People don't want to see their old favorites taken out by illegal means.
That makes for double the controversy.
Also, do you really not think the Giants' park was designed with Barry's stroke in mind?
I agree with some of what you say. Comparing generations, and the accomplishments between generations, is an exercise in futility. How can I compare Hogan to Woods? I can't. Different equipment, different courses, etc., etc., etc. It's a fun exercise, but we can't draw definitive conclusions from such a comparison.
I do disagree with the slippery slope you present with regard to PED's. I can make a conclusion that PED's are bad, and they present an unfair advantage. So if it is proven that Bonds did take steroids, knowingly or unknowingly, baseball will have to qualify the accomplishment somehow.
And Mark, the elbow guard is legal. Helmets are legal. Don't blame Bonds. Other players are wearing helmets and elbow guards. They haven't hit 757 homers.
And Aaron used performance-enhancing drugs. And admitted it in his own book. Greenies, if anything, are worse. Amphetamines pump you up for a game, steroids will pump you up for a workout.
Why would NO ONE think that Woods hasn't
taken steroids? If Bonds looks the part
physically, how can one dismiss the changes
What amoral slugs so many of you are.
HGH, growth hormones, Andro, etc. are not
(with a doctor's perscription), and they
were banned by baseball only relatively
recently. So if they took these things
prior to the rule change, it was OK? I think
many here would contend that they were not.
Seems to me that a purely rules-based view is is more relativistic (actually, pragmatistic) than some of the previous comments.
Steroids are legal with a prescription as well.
Using any prescription beyond its intended medical use IS illegal, whether it is steroids, HGH, etc.
I don't think the Judge is making a rules-based commentary. I think he is also making a broader commentary that it is against the moral intent as well, which is cheating.
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