Friday, November 16, 2007

All About Barry (Again)

It's generally a bad idea to make posts about things that are highly emotional right after you find out about it--so that's why my Bonds post last afternoon was so short.

So I've had a day to think about it.

There is, of course, a lot you could say about the indictment. You can argue that 'okay, finally something is being done about steroids" or that "Why did they wait until now", or even "they're only going after Barry because he's Barry."

Truth is, it's a bit of everything.

Steroids are a real problem. They are a big problem. Barry Bonds is an easy target. Barry Bonds is a good target. The government has proof that Bonds did use steroids.

There is no question that this has suddenly become the biggest story of the off season (and not, I almost feel bad for Scott Boras. Almost.) and that it could, if it goes to trial and Bonds is proven guilty, be something that shakes the sport for a long time to come.

However, Barry Bonds is not Micheal Vick. Bonds did not harm another human being, did not desecrate property, did not harm animals, did not cause tangible damage. It is important to remember this when weighing whether or not Bonds deserves to be criminally prosecuted. Remember that Bill Clinton perjured himself while President, and simply ended up impeached, not incarcerated.

What Barry Bonds did do, however, is hurt an idea, and perhaps an ideal. He hurt the idea that men could do truly great feats, like hit 756 home runs, on nothing more than talent and honed skill. He hurt the idea that it was possible to have heroes that were human doing things that were not human. He hurt the idea that the home run record was sacred, that only someone touched by divine grace such as Hank Aaron could touch it.

So what should happen to Bonds?

Well, it seems the worst has happened. Before 2000, Bonds would easily be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. Now, despite the record, he will probably end up in the limb of Mark McGuire, Pete Rose and those others who let things slightly less than legal, slightly hubraic (I just invented a word!) overwhelm their on-field accomplishments.

Bonds will never be able to fully separate or exonerate himself from the steroid allegations. He has become a symbol, a caricature of everything we see wrong with baseball today.

Perhaps, in some sense, that is punishment enough.


  1. I think Barry should be in jail only for lying to a federal court.Which is why Martha Stewart went to jail not for insider trading but for lying about it.They tell you not to lie.That why Bonds should get some time in jail like a few months because it's a federal offense.

    Even though yes he's not Michael Vick he still should be punished.The Truth will set you free and since Bonds lyed like Rose he will be punished and if he goes to jail he will be kicked out of the Hall like Rose for killing the integrity of the sport.

    I think the reason it took the government this long is because they must have the real deal on bonds as in blood test linking to Bonds knowledge or a big witness who isn't his scorned girlfriend.

    Wonder if Hank Aaron still gonna say Barry Bonds is a role model to the young kids or Frank Robinson gonna throw Barry under the bus again.His going to jail because the Federal Court has a 95% Conviction rate they ain't taking you to court unless you are guilty.

    A-Rod:244 homeruns and counting.

  2. I certainly think Bonds should face some jail time; however, for him, I believe, the true punishment will be that the record will always be tainted, if not stricken.

    You can serve jail time and then when you're released, it's all over, but Bonds will never get a release from the taint.

  3. I think before this he had a shot at the Hall of Fame.But he will get some slap on the wrist and that will destory him in any Hall votes for a long time.Hopefully this will make Roberto Alamors chances of going to the Hall better because Barry Makes Roberto look like Jeter.

  4. Kevin Ryan, the US Attorney who began the Bonds investigation, resigned in February.
    His resignation was related to the Gonzalez DOJ/US Attorney controversy.
    Last night on ESPN, he claimed that the DOJ experienced some "dysfunction" in the past year, which added in the delay.
    I think Dysfunction would be putting it mildly.

    Not saying Bonds did not lie, just adding some food for thought here.

    Good luck at the wedding!

  5. Have a good time at the wedding, and yes, we want pics :-) Good luck at catching the bouquet!