It’s starting to look like the bottom of the ninth for Barry Bonds

Boorish Barry Bonds is once again in trouble. This time, though, Bonds may finally be held accountable for one of his misdeeds…lying to a 2003 Federal Grand Jury when he said he’d never taken steroids. If found guilty, the big bopper could face prison time and a hefty fine. Bonds

Despite these new allegations, Bonds continues to deny everything and refuses to even address the subject. His new ESPN "unreality" TV show "Bonds on Bonds" has also conveniently skirted the issues.

Not that this guy’s reputation could ever be salvaged, but what’s with the denial and total avoidance? He’s clearly taken steroids and it’s almost a given that whatever home run records he ends up setting will be accompanied by an asterisk in the shape of a steroid pill. You also have to believe that, like another infamous bad guy, Pete Rose, Big Barry isn’t going to make the Hall of Fame in this century or the next.

So, what should Barry do? Come clean. Admit fault. Become a spokesperson who speaks out against the evils of performance-enhancing drugs. Work with the kids at a grassroots level to explain why winners never cheat and, yes, cheaters never win.

Sadly, though, Barry isn’t programmed to admit fault. Nor does he care what others think. His pill-popping, needle-injecting, cream-smearing habits were driven by one goal: to surpass the single season home run records of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and the career numbers of Babe Ruth and Henry Aaron. If he had to cheat to accomplish those goals, so be it. This Machiavelli of baseball is clearly one bad dude.

Here’s hoping that, if nothing else, Bonds’ eventual punishment will be enough of a warning to future generations of ballplayers to avoid cheating and embrace the responsibilities that go along with celebrity.

5 thoughts on “It’s starting to look like the bottom of the ninth for Barry Bonds

  1. Ted, your points are well taken. But, what do you think Bonds should do now? Admit fault?

  2. Deb – let’s not blame Bonds’ actions on pressure to perform. Should we give Ebbers, Lay and Skilling the same pass because of the pressure they faced from shareholders? Pressure or not, we’re all accountable for our actions, and Mr. Bonds is no exception regardless of the size of his paycheck. Professional athletes and CEOs alike get paid enormous amounts of money, in part, to deal with the pressure that comes with the job. But in no way does it give them the right or an excuse to cheat, lie and rob their industry/sport of integrity and justice.
    In regards to your other point about Bonds being innocent until proven guilty, whether he’s guilty or not, his goose has been cooked in the court of public opinion. His silence and refusal to address the accusations in public has done him in and it will cast a permanent shadow over his career and his accomplishments. Much like Martha, Andersen and the others before them, it wasn’t the original crime that did them in; it was the cover up and refusal to deal with the situation publicly in an effective and timely manner.

  3. I agree that Bonds is most likely guilty, and would be completely shocked if he wasn’t, but shouldn’t he be proven guilty first before you completely condemn the guy?
    Bonds is symbolic of a much bigger issue. I’m not defending him by any stretch of the imagination, but the pressure from professional sports to perform at a high level (and the bar is constantly being raised) and the absurd salaries that are at stake, add to — or create — the problem.
    And, it’s not just professional sports. Kids are taught in school that they need to score high on standardized tests to move to the next grade (in NYC) and score high on the SATs to get into college, etc. It’s no surprise that there have been many stories published over the past few years about the number of students cheating on tests.
    The steroid issue is a serious issue. But, the larger issue is the incredible pressure that society places on everyone re: performance….from professional sports to students…and everyone in between.

  4. Not sure if admitting fault at this point will do much good. I think he needs to be consistent with his defense – if that’s possible – if he wants to avoid prison time.
    Re: his reputation. I think MLB will ask him to fake an injury and walk away from the game before breaking these records.
    David Stern asked Michael Jordan to retire and step away from the NBA when rumors surfaced of him gambling. Stern didn’t want to have another Pete Rose issue on his hands. This strategy worked.
    Everyone knows McGwire juiced. But, he was smart, he denied the allegations and got out of the spotlight. You rarely hear about him anymore. Bonds should have gotten out in or around the same time. By staying in the limelight, this issue/his issue is becoming bigger than the game of baseball.
    It should be interesting to see what happens.

  5. Barry’s lie is so deep at this point that he’s probably starting to believe he’s really innocent. Admitting guilt now – in the midst of a new investigation that could send him to jail – has got to be tough to do. It’s true that the public is almost always willing to forgive someone who comes clean, but in Barry’s case it might be a little late.
    RepMan, while we’re on the subject of baseball, I wanted to shift to a different story. I’ve been meaning to get your thoughts on the various curses that have plagued MLB teams over the years (curse of the Bambino, curse of the Billygoat, etc) and whether or not the Yanks might have acquired a curse of their own.
    Let me explain. There are certain facts that have arisen over the years that can be construed as more than mere coincidence.
    Don Mattingly joined the Yanks in 1982, the year after they played (but lost) the 1981 World Series. He goes on to play with the Yanks for 13 consecutive years – arguably as one of the best players throughout baseball’s history – never once making it to the elusive World Series. In 1994, when the Yanks were on their way and primed to win the series, the infamous baseball strike happened. Many believe that the only reason Mattingly returned the following season before unofficially retiring in 1995, was to finally achieve the one thing he hadn’t…to play in a World Series game. But, to the dismay of Yankee fans everywhere, they only made it to the Post Season that year. Plagued by back injury, Mattingly retired from the Yankees. Then in 1996, the year after Mattingly retired, the Yanks win the World Series – and they win again in 1998, 1999 and 2000. In 2001 and 2003, they don’t win the World Series but at least they got to play.
    Finally, in 2004, Yankee fans get the news we’ve been waiting for, the return of Mattingly. He assumes the position of batting coach and heck, who better to give such guidance? Yankee fan or not, I’m thinking most would agree that no one personifies class and sportsmanship more so than Donnie Baseball. No other player (although Jeter is coming close) has done such a great job of creating and sustaining a solid reputation within a sport that is battling with the reputation of its players almost daily.
    Interestingly enough however, the Yanks have not won a World Series title since Mattingly’s return. And not only that, the 2004 Yanks post series debacle has been referred to as the “worst collapse in baseball history” after the Yanks lost four straight to the Red Sox who continued on to win the World Series for the first time since 1918. Interesting?? To say the least. Coincidence? God, let’s hope so.