December 4, 2004

JUNKIE BONDS:

The Truth Lies in the Numbers (Thomas Boswell, December 4, 2004, Washington Post)

Now we know how much of Barry Bonds was real and how much was fake. Half was a fraud.

Bonds's reputation has lived by his statistics. Now, let it die by them. Forever. Before Bonds hooked up with his old friend and alleged steroid merchant Greg Anderson in '98, he had 411 homers in 6,621 at-bats, one per 16.1 at-bats. The next two years, as he acquired and adjusted to a new body, he hit 83 in 835 at-bats, one per 10 at-bats.

In the past four seasons, from ages 37 to 40, as he has done the deeds and committed the offenses against his sport for which he will always be remembered, Bonds hit 209 home runs in 1,642 at bats -- one every 7.9 at-bats.

In those four years, Bonds won four straight National League most valuable player awards, two batting titles and set the all-time single-season records for home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, walks and intentional walks.

All those records are now a steroid lie. [...]

Let Bonds keep his 411 homers and three MVPs before he linked his fate to Anderson in '98, though we can't be sure what he might have used to aid his play before that. At least we now know what he's willing to use: anything that's put into his hands.


He's a surly Dale Murphy.


MORE:
Steroid fallout dims chances of Sosa trade (CHRIS DE LUCA, December 4, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times)

Mets executives, worried about the implication of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, are urging general manager Omar Minaya to back out of the trade talks, according to a report in Newsday on Friday.

The Long Island-based paper reported that the idea of a Sosa deal was put to a vote among Mets officials last month and it was shot down 8-2, with Minaya and special assistant Sandy Johnson the only two in favor of acquiring Sosa.

When testimony was revealed Thursday that showed New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi admitted using steroids, the Mets officials against a Sosa deal reportedly stepped up their pressure to end talks.

Sosa has been dogged by steroid rumors since 1998, when he belted 66 home runs in his seasonlong duel with St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire. When Sosa reported to spring training before last season -- the first year of Major League Baseball's stricter drug testing and punishment -- and looked considerably thinner, the steroid rumors resurfaced.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 4, 2004 8:53 AM
Comments

The public takedown of Mr. Bonds will save the lives of many young athletes; let's get on with it.

Posted by: JimGooding at December 4, 2004 9:48 AM

Jim

I think steroids are dangerous, like you do, but I'm not as optimistic that chemical enhancements won't continue to be used, regardless of what happens to Bonds.

On this same topic, why no mention of Mark McGwire or Sosa in the present uproar on steroids. I would think the same suspicions directed at Bonds, would apply to them also.

Posted by: h-man at December 4, 2004 9:55 AM

Bonds has been making any criticism of his current home run tear as the white media's fears about his assault on Babe Ruth's 714 mark. But the one who really will be hurt by this is Henry Aaron, when his drug-free home run record falls. Since Aaron's still very much with us, it will be interesting to hear what his take is on the situation as Barry gets closer and closer to 755.

(And any bets on what the favorite chant of fans this coming season is going to be when Bonds comes to the plate? "Cheater," "Liar" or " 'Roids" are possible options, though "Asterisk" would be a little wittier option.)

Posted by: John at December 4, 2004 9:57 AM

If Bonds behaved towards writers and teammates like a decent human being, he would be given a more or less free pass on this steroid nonsense. It is precisely because he has been the prime example of the arrogant jerk athlete for about 2 decades that there is such a feeding frenzy.

I do not however believe in relying on the word of demonstrable sleazeballs like Conte and Anderson to take Bonds down for records in which he has a proprietary interest. If there is a chemical or paper trail that is a different matter.

When Barry Bonds pitches a 20 win season while leading the league in homers, then we can compare him to Ruth.

Posted by: Bart at December 4, 2004 10:02 AM

You know, I was the biggest Dale Murphy fan ever, and never heard a word about steroids. But, I figured, fandom might blind me. So I did a Google search on the topic, and couldn't see a thing. So tell me, OJ, why is Bonds a surly Dale Murphy? Is it because he was great up until 32 or so, then (but for the steroids) fell off?

Posted by: Chris at December 4, 2004 10:34 AM

Chris:

Yes. Put Murphy on steroids at a similar age--when they had similar records--and he'd have 700 HRs.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2004 10:58 AM

Bart,
Bonds is certainly one of the biggest jerks in sports, but if that is the only reason he is being torn apart by the press, how do you explain Marion Jones? She is another fraud but has generally been press and fan friendly. I heard her being savaged on sports radio last night. The press love to tear down the mighty, unless it will conflict with their politics or have a negative effect on their job.

Posted by: Pat H at December 4, 2004 1:49 PM

Why is zitty, puffy-faced, short-tempered, Brutus-from-Popeye-looking Mark McGwire getting a free ride in all of this?

Posted by: Seven Machos at December 5, 2004 2:22 AM

More analysis is needed, but the available evidence is that Bonds took the injections in his eyes.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at December 7, 2004 4:13 AM
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