Baseball and America will never forgive Barry Bonds.
America has a way of forgiving who it wants, when it wants. This has crossed over into the sports realm with the rise in use of performance enhancing drugs.
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Andy Petitte, Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong have been linked to PEDs over the years. McGwire, Petitte and Clemens are all back in baseball without fuss or muss. Hell, Pete Rose’s chances of making the hall have improved.
Will that change if Bonds decides to re-enter the game?
Bonds has never had a problem staring down the media…
There’s no doubt in my mind Barry Bonds is the most hated African-American athlete in history. Whether PEDs played a role in Bonds surpassing the great Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record will forever be speculated. What’s known is that for all of his talent Bonds was the man the white America least wanted to hold the crown.
America shamed itself in the months leading up to Aaron hitting #715 and surpassing Babe Ruth. The racism Aaron endured wasn’t seen since Jackie Robinson’s early years in the majors. In the end, Aaron’s graceful nature despite obvious bigotry left baseball no choice but to deem him an ambassador for the sport.
Bonds is cut from a different cloth. Literally growing up in the sport, he was hardened by the ridicule his father Bobby and godfather Willie Mays took at the hands of the media. Bonds entered The Show as a five-tooler with all-time potential. The difference between Bonds and other African-American greats before him was his bat would write the story of his career as opposed to the pen of any journalist. Bonds made his feelings to the media known at every opportunity without regrets or apologies.
Bonds was blackballed out of the game after the 2007 season. In 340 at-bats, Bonds batted .276 with 28 home runs, 66 RBI and an amazing 132 walks. He was walked in 39 percent of his at-bats, which were about half of what he would see in an average season. It was clear he was still a feared hitter and effective despite seeing limited duty. Bud Selig warned baseball owners not to touch Bonds as he reached free agency is my belief.
In the end, those same media heads may have the last say, allowing their personal feelings for Bonds to seep into the voting process. Most of the voters on the Hall of Fame committee have never stood in a batter’s box, but were quick to assemble a soapbox when the opportunity to pile on Bonds presented itself.
Bonds knows his place in history and I think that’s all that matters to him. And if he gets the opportunity to say so I’m sure he’ll tell the writers who hold so much contempt for him where they can go.
Etan Thomas leads a celebrity panel on fatherhood (Allan Houston Twit Pic).
Alabama braces for Michigan’s Denard Robinson (Tuscoloosa News).
West Nile deaths on the rise (NY Times).
President Obama isn’t ready to give up the keys yet (Barak Obama).
Doug Williams speaks on the changes involving Black Quarterbacks (Wild Thing Sports).
Is Roger Clemens looking to come back with the Astros (CBS Sports).
Boyz II Men save Charles Barkley (Twitter video).
Nets eyeing Josh Childress (Hoops Hype).
The basball writers can’t wait to screw Barry Bonds…