I would like to take a phrase from famous comedian Dennis Miller by telling you that “I don’t want to go on a rant here” but after eight years of did he or didn’t he, media coverage, legal analysis and an overall circus of mistresses and jilted lovers Barry Bonds sentence was 30-days of house arrest and two years of community service.
I’m so glad we did this.
If you couldn’t tell, that last sentence should have spilled some of the sarcasm it was dripping with on you. You see I didn’t care if Barry Bonds did steroids because I wanted him to go to jail. I honestly didn’t even care if he went to jail. What I did care about was if our judicial system, the “Mitchell report” and all of those yahoos running around screaming “save the integrity of the game!” instead of our economy actually did come up with some way to bring some bit of truth back to the game I love. But alas, it ended with a multi-million dollar slugger getting a slap on the wrist, a laundry list of legal fees, and a 30-day “punishment” in the comfort of his Northern California abode.
My beef with the situation was the fact that no one fully understood what was supposed to come of it, and yet we had to hear about it as though you were doing some sort of a service. You bring in a baseball player who said for years he never tested positive for a PED and you don’t find anything on him. Then you take him to court for perjury and you don’t find anything on him for that so to make the witch hunt worth it, you pegged him obstruction of justice. A crime that, in this instance, is so vague it still doesn’t bring us to an answer of whether or not he used steroids.
Why are baseball players on trial? Why am I being subjected to listening to Sammy Sosa speak broken English or Mark McGwire forgetting what he was brought in to talk about? Why is Rafael Palmeiro waving his finger in my face and most importantly how did we come to a point where Jose Canseco looks like a hero? There are myriad reasons why baseball players decided to throw everything but mercury into their system (money, the demands of fans, more money, etc.). Does this mean I have to waste precious tax dollars on them in a courtroom? What are we looking for that couldn’t have been solved two decades ago? Commissioner Selig prances around stating he has the toughest system for testing in the sport but a lot of the players on CourtTV were products of his watch. Kudos I guess.
I have eyes. I’ve seen the images, the neck change, the body change, the decrease in mobility and speed. I saw a perennial Gold Glover play left field like the kid you play in left field after age 12. I’m not naive, and if you ask me MY opinion on the matter of whether Bonds juiced I will say yes. Then I will ask you do you think it is a punishable defense in the court of law? If you say yes, I will no doubt say “I disagree”.
I’m not a Barry Bonds fan. Those who know me know my allegiance to the Atlanta Braves very well. Do I think he is the best player of this generation of baseball players? Without a question I do. Better than A-Rod, better than Griffey and (dare I say it) better than Pujols. Clean or otherwise Bonds was the superior player. The only crime he committed was that if he did use something to enhance his performance, he took away our opportunity to see this generations Willie Mays.
The guilt that comes with knowing that, in the grand scheme of things, should have been his ultimate punishment.