Saturday, November 17, 2007

no love from jhuff for barry bonds' steroid inflated head.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Regardless of my immense distaste for Barry Bonds, I rushed home from work during the week that he was on the threshold of breaking the Hank Aaron’s recor. I rushed home to watch baseball, even though my Orioles had long been out. I rushed home to see something that I held, in my own personal opinion, as a farce.

Fine, Barry is innocent until proven guilty. He’s guilty in my mind, unfortunate as that is. I’ve come to terms lately about what it means to have people think things about you that aren’t true. Maybe Barry took ‘roids, and maybe he didn’t—it doesn’t matter, really. He isn’t on trial for that. He’s on trial for lying, for not telling the truth under the oath.

Like bsto said, Barry didn’t ruin the game for us—baseball did a fine job doing that. It allowed him to play, among all of the suspicion. It let him play after the debacle that was Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire (oh, the ‘SC gods will strike me down for knocking our own alumni). It let him play through the haze, the smoke, the cream and the clear. Why? Innocent until proven guilty?

Baseball had it in their power to prove him guilty. Drug testing. Plain and simple. What? The cream and the clear fooled the tests? Fine. I’ll accept that excuse for a few months—but baseball has a lot more money than any private lab does. Baseball just did not give a damn. It needed the fans back after the ’94 Strike, and it was willing to do so at any cost. So, they let players take injections. Ken Caminiti died. Sosa and McGwire were quickly marginalized by Bonds. Palmeiro took Viagra—and steroids.

Why was this okay for anyone? Why was this okay for baseball? I remember being at Aloha Stadium, waiting for Ken Caminiti to sign my ball when the Padres took on the Cardinals. I was taught from a young age to play by the rules—that this was the only honorable way to win. I was taught that steroids were illegal. And here, no less than twenty feet from me, was a man who would go on to die as a result of shooting up.

Barry Bonds absolutely sickens me. Who supports him? Coincidentally, the people who support him can be found in a single city and could fit in a single ballpark. We’re willing to cheer for the devil if he’s wearing our colors. Fine, Barry was a Giant, but Barry Bonds also wore baseball’s colors. Baseball was said to distance itself from Barry.

It didn’t do so well enough.

It’s convenient for the Giants and for baseball that he broke the record and became a free agent. He’s not our liability anymore, they thought—but they were more than eager to ride his home runs to the bank, even if they “appeared” to distance themselves from the situation.

Then again, Barry put the drugs into his body. Let’s not shy away from that. Fine, maybe he didn’t do it. If he did, though, that’s what happened—he put illegal substances into his body. If I was caught doing this? I would undoubtedly go to jail. No one would argue the rationality behind this—I would get hard time.

If Barry is guilty, there is no doubt in my mind that he should go to jail. Not only did he take illegal supplements, but he lied. He fooled all of us. He lied to all of us. He made a mockery of all of us.

This is where I diverge from bsto: I do not feel that the BALCO boys should go down harder than Bonds. We don’t break up the coke makers, we bust the coke users and dealers. Perhaps it would make more sense to do so, but what would busting Anderson do? Stop people from making steroids? The problem is drug use, not drug creation.

I don’t feel sorry for Barry—not one bit. Perhaps, if he tried to engage the public, I would consider embracing him. Sorry, Barry. You were an absolute prick. No one feels sorry when the bully goes down.

And the ‘roids—for what? So A-Rod can break your record in ten years? You threw away a hall-of-fame career to temporarily hold a record. Congratulations. Now, your name will only be looked upon with disgust and contempt.

I hope you get everything you deserve—nothing. Barry going to jail means nothing to me. I hope you’re happy with your millions—because you can’t buy your way into the hall-of-fame with them.

That’s what I hope stings Barry most—knowing he threw away a hall-of-fame career and knowing that he threw away being regarded as one of the ten best players of all time just to temporarily hold a meaningless record. That’s Barry, though—he only cares about himself, not about the forward progress of the game.

Good luck in court, Barry: steroids won’t help you there.