So apparently the government has evidence, in the form of positive tests from between 2000 and 2003, that Barry Bonds took steroids.
In my mind this is barely news at this point. We all know Bonds used steroids. We also know he was a great player. MLB finally decided, thanks in part to public pressure, that drug use created a severe enough competitive imbalance that they changed their rules. So that’s that.
This crazy witch hunt for Bonds’ head is a bit much. For some reason, he is treated almost like the leader of the entire steroid era – bring him down and steroids fall as well. Well, that isn’t remotely true. The same people calling for his head now, are the same people who cried for joy when McGwire and Sosa hit 136 home runs in 1998. That whole debacle is what caused Bonds to start taking supplements to begin with. His logic, “why should these guys get the accolades when I’m a better baseball player,” is similar to the logic people use when discounting the achievements of “juicers.” How can McGwire be in the Hall of Fame when we don’t know if he would be as good without steroids? He might have been no better than an average player. Well, Bonds knew he was the best and figured if he leveled the playing field again, he’d prove it. And you know what? He did.
MLB has a drug policy in place – and while it’s far from perfect – it’s a big improvement. As for the so called “steroid-era,” well it’s time to let it go. When blacks weren’t allowed in baseball, that was a competitive imbalance. The league rectified it. Competition is never perfectly fair. But when something is a glaring problem, you make changes and move on. End of story.
I find it disheartening that Bonds’ trial starts in March, because come March, all I want to be thinking about is the 2009 season.